Bristling Brock speaks out...


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International mischief seems to be a favoured ploy to damage your opponents capabilities or at least niggle them to the point of distraction.  The sagas of Russian interference in the US election in 2016 still roll on with nobody really knowing whether the president was complicit in the activities of the Russian state nor whether the Russians actually did interfere.  In more recent times there is renewed suspicion in the West that Russia used 'bots' to infiltrate the EU elections last month and sow a little mayhem.   And now we have attacks on oil tanker traffic in the Gulf that implicates Iran as a similar covert operator trying to de-stabilise Western economic and political interests and the events in Hong Kong have a shady ring of deliberate provocation by the Chinese state to purposefully needle the West and create doubt and concern over all manner of things held dear in the West.  In all instances, nobody seems to truly know who did what - and we must suppose that that is the whole point of these psych raids and unidentified piratical assaults, a tactic designed to cast doubt, accusation, rebuttal and counter accusation that diminishes the West's co-ordination and economic confidence.   Looking at these current examples we might be tempted to believe that they have achieved their objective - whoever the perpetrators may be - insofar as they have rocked the systems in the US, in Europe and now in the oil rich states of the Gulf and the politically sensitive enclave of HK.  Doubt creates fear and fear creates a diminishing confidence; currencies suffer, legislative programmes are re-scheduled, political figures are discredited and world trade shivers at the prospect of some concentrated attack on its previous freedoms to trade and uphold what it deems to be constitutional democracy.   In other words, the mischief destabilises the West - us !

Part of the response to all of these events is commonly knee-jerk politics, finger pointing, retaliatory noises and acrimony, an acrimony that has extremely dangerous potential that, in the case of the Gulf, could precipitate both regional and global conflicts, albeit very unwise ones.   Combined with trade sanctions applied by the US against Iran and China the picture that emerges is one of renewed international distrust, of national polarisations and inward looking policies - closing the curtains to the outside world and telling everyone that 'we can get on well without you' as they hunker down into a parody of defensive rhetoric.  Those directly affected by the raids are immediately back-footed - and if you're back-footed, your ability to advance is somewhat dented and discouraged.  The more diverse and widely spread the needle-pricks the perpetrator applies, the more uncertainty in the victim is spread.  The tactic and the strategy behind it - if it is all really happening in this managed and co-ordinated way - is quite brilliant and very effective.  Maybe major, international wars are a thing of the past, superceded by psycho-war and economic or enviro-war.  Nevertheless beware - those that feel the brunt of psych wars are ordinary citizens who, at a certain point in the heating up of a situation will rebel; it begs a passing thought as to whether Brexit will, in future history books, be classed as a victim of mass destabilisation by a foreign entity.

The political theatre in Britain is still one of continuing uncertainty.  As to who will become the next Prime Minister is an open book for now and as a consequence of that there is continuing uncertainty as to how Brexit will or will not be delivered as well as a lack of clarity as to how Westminster might necessarily transform itself into a more democratic body of executive, judicial and political power.  With Boris seemingly at the forefront of this competition we would be unwise not to keep a beady eye upon vigorous newcomers like Rory Stewart.  If they become the two contenders for the title, we will have a Brexiteer and a Remainer battling it out.   Sounds a little like the last three years in politically grey Britain wouldn't you say ?  

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Well, we have ten hopefuls who want to become the Prime Minister of Britain.   None are particularly shining examples of a new breed, something different that can genuinly bring about political and electoral reform in this country.  Naturally, all of them are Tories - no surprises there - but what is somewhat disturbing is that the Conservative Party and its continued political survival is very much the hidden objective of all the contestants.  As ever before, Party first, Nation second.   Each candidate spouts forth with 'sweeteners' ranging from tax breaks to environmental improvement but none of these are binding declarations of policy - they are the froth that orthodox political players imagine are the swayers and deciders of leadership contests.  Some, like Gove, have resorted to mud-slinging, that most vile and disreputable tactic employed by the desperate and least deserving and we can only hope that the members of the Conservative Party who vote on such crass matters as leadership elections do at least see the downright nastiness of this particular brand of campaigning.   These things in themselves tell us that there has been no recognition within the Party of the fundamental shift in political favour that lies in the gift of the electorate that was precipitated by the Brexit sagas; no understanding of the need for pretty radical changes to the way in which the governance of this land is desperately wanted; and no perception of the need for electoral reform that will enable voters to ensure that the winner of any general election necessarily secures at least a majority of the votes cast rather than the pitiful percentages that can give them success in the current FPTP mechanism.

Unfortunately, all of this presages a continuance of the old guard and nothing of the new, reforming measures most of the rest of us can see the necessity of very clearly.   So, getting excited about who will become the next Conservative leader and Prime Minister holds no anticipation of change from those of us who have observed the decay and corruption of the outdated two-party system over the last decade.  All the razzmatazz of substantive and meaningful change is just that - razzmatazz.  For real change we seemingly will have to wait for that or deliver a punishing condemnation when the next election occurs.

The equally unfortunate outcome of this cringing episode in self congratulation by the Conservative Party is, ironically, one that will benefit that other hopeless and hapless contender for No. 10, Jeremy Corbyn.  The perversities of our electoral system will, by default, open a gap to Downing Street that will let this ideologue but never a realist get through when the time comes.  That is what will happen when the two-party system puts the wrong people and the wrong understanding of a changing Britain back into play.  Heaven forbid...

The Australian think-tank that last week published a gloomy prognosis of the decline of civilisation on earth was, if nothing else, quite thought provoking.  Their summation was that if the behaviour of regions of the world continued as they are now, there would result, by 2050, a fundamental disintegration of civilisation as we know it.  We might scoff at this doom-laden output from a credible research body but then let us take a quick global scan of discord and strife that still besets this earth - from tribal and Islamic terror across Africa, the rise of the far right across Europe, the ever-ongoing tragedies of the Middle East, environmental disasters globally, water shortages, fences keeping people out of the US - and so the list can go on and on.   Not a very peaceful or settled place we might reasonably deduce; so could what we perceive to be civilisation decay to the point where we resort to a planet of almost endless and ferral conflict ?  The stuff of science-fiction or a real possibility ?  We don't know of course - but what we do know is that our global behaviours bear an uncanny resemblance to those days of yore during the bloody and avaricious Medieval era.  Not exactly convincing advancement, is it !   

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Thus far President Trump seems to have kept a pretty low key tone during his UK visit.  That’s something of a surprise although he did reserve his best swipes for blasting Sadiq Khan (and BB goes along with Trumpy on that one) and Jeremy Corbyn (BB also goes along with Trumpy on that one as well).

It is, nevertheless, a painful and embarrassing sight to see our government fawning over every word uttered by Trumpy, egregiously applauding the ‘special relationship’ and surrounding it all with so much political obfuscation as to make their utterances both meaningless and facile.  The special relationship exists solely for the benefit of the US; it has no material significance that benefits Britain yet successive governments have bent over backwards to laud it and its importance to this country.  We should wise up.   Britain is at the crossroads of choice in which direction its politics and future governance will take.  It is a once in a generation position and provides the opportunity for those who would be king to lay out before the population a charter of values and principles against which they can be held accountable.  Britain has a heritage of being at the forefront of democratic evolution and it is fundamentally important that we nurture politicians who are genuine, honest, value driven and have the best interests of this country at heart.  Cynics will argue that it is an impossible demand because the political class have no morals, have no true values, have no scruples, have no interest other than in their own advancement.  In short, they are a breed that really should not be in government.  Yet we must strive for improvement against the odds and support those that offer at least a glimmer of hope in the future affairs of this country.  And in part, this means not bowing down before the President of the US and salivating at the prospect of licking his boots.  We are proud and dignified as a nation.  We may no longer be the world superpower we once were or the bastion of freedom and free speech - these things have passed by and we now need to generate a global position under the stewardship of a new breed of politician who does not have party interest at the front of the mind rather a national interest combined with national pride.  It’s a very difficult goal to achieve, nobody can doubt that, but unless we collectively push for that new breed to emerge and take the reins then we will slump back into that corrupted and inefficient form of governance that we have been subjected to for over half a century.  The crossroads is upon us.  Let’s be brave and enable a new and more vigorous governance to come about.



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