Bristling Brock speaks out...
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The political babble goes on...and on...and on. Accusation, denial, counter thrust and yet more denial have become the political language of electioneering. Not a single mouthpiece of any of the credible political parties in the upcoming election have opted to actually ‘tell it like it is !’, to be open and honest about the simple fact that nothing ahead of us in Britain is straightforward and easily obtainable. There will be some who take a hit and others who gain, there will be costs incurred, there will be taxation, there will be pledges that cannot be fulfilled, and so on. These are the realities of this political game being played out in front of an increasingly sceptical public and there is a significant appetite to hear the truth, the real pluses and minuses and an end to the ‘you said this and I said that’ format of campaigning which gets nowhere and frustrates the electorate inordinately. Will someone stand up and be counted ? Bristling Brock would certainly like to see a genuine campaigner but has so far seen absolutely no evidence of any such individual - of any political persuasion. Is this such a difficult thing for the political classes to shift toward ? Do they not even see the public despair over their playground antics ? Do they even recognise the public mood ? Seemingly not.
So this leaves us with sparse choice options for Election Day. Matters are further complicated by the occasional but persistent re-appearances of old prime ministers making interventions that favour even different parties to the ones they used to lead. Maybe they, and they alone have recognised that the life-cycle of tribal political allegiance has come to an end and that, for the most part, the electorate have become floating voters en masse, quite prepared to switch their voting patterns to suit a new awareness of strategic and tactical voting necessity. BB is loathe to believe that John Major and Tony Blair have any altruistic motives behind their interventions but these characters have, perhaps unwittingly, flagged up the very clear truth that voters are increasingly less partisan than ever before and have a much higher sensitivity to the political issues of the day (maybe we should thank Brexit for that). Their preparedness to flex their voting habits to achieve a strategic win by perceptive tactical voting is ever more evident if polling data is anywhere near the mark (acknowledging that very often, it isn’t). We could say, therefore, that choice has become much more fluid in this election, choices that encapsulate specific political drivers amongst the electorate, be they social, economic or international issues. The political camp that can convince us that they can achieve these goals becomes the electoral choice. That the political establishment don’t appear to have noticed this shift in electoral sensitivity is disturbing and reeks of a widespread denial in their midst about what is truly happening at the grass roots level in Britain. Thursday will tell, but BB suspects the outcome will be messy.
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Whilst our local politicians continue to conduct their electioneering with a profound lack of style and integrity, we are now assailed by the NATO gang of 29 who are also behaving like errant schoolchildren. Should we perhaps conclude that all those in positions of power and influence are really no more than.....I'll invite anyone who reads this to think up a suitably disdainful word to embrace them all.
NATO is, of course, quite an important institution. On that basis alone we perhaps ought to expect its leaders and representatives to display a little more skill in its varied and complex discussions. But, like many such corporate style bodies, it's the 'ground troops' who actually are the backbone of the organisation and the leaders (though Bristling Brock baulks at applying that title to many of them) are little more than passing-by politicians who are around for a year or so and then replaced by a new team of equally inept politicians. Listening to some of the dialogue coming out of their Watford meeting this week there is little to suggest that they have a deep grasp of world affairs - for most of what they have talked of thus far has been self-evident to the rest of us for quite some time, eg, Russia, China, cyber war, global terror, piracy, trafficking, etc, etc. Mr Macron's 'brain dead' summation of the NATO ethos, whilst mildly amusing is, in fact, about the only challenging statement that has been reported so far and which warrants some deeper, collective discussion. The world needs something like NATO to uphold the protection of its peoples, but unless it starts to grapple internally with its own structural issues - not least Erdogan's Turkey - then it will degenerate into a facsimile of that other great talking shop, the United Nations. Let us hope that that does not happen.
The recent London Bridge knife attack reminds us that there are fanatics still at large in our communities. Some of these will genuinly believe that they act for a higher purpose, but most, BB suspects, are the weak minded and easily led that follow some perverse instruction from a zealot or a criminal. We live in a society where human rights and freedoms are revered - there is a whole industry of lawyers who have sprung up over the last twenty or so years who pointedly remind us that even the most abhorrent terrorist has 'rights' under our extremely flexible legal system - but this is symptomatic of a dangerous cultural shift to over-represent minority factions within our midst. Trying to establish an equilibrium position where minority and majority positions can be comfortably made to co-exist remains a challenge that no government has yet found a solution to - the pendulum swings from one extreme and back to the other with a predictable cycle. And Britain currently finds itself at the leftward, ideological swing point of that pendulum - much to the delight of the legal community - where even the most recognisable terrorists are given token punishments and released back onto the streets. The lawyers pocket their fees but the hapless public pay the price. This laissez-faire style of social governance has some merit but when applied like spread butter across all scenario's then it becomes a dangerous strategic policy and mind-set. If we strive for better governance then not only should our society be more equitably represented in the process of policy making but sheer common sense should be applied by the courts when confronted by smart lawyers without a moral compass and pure evil is facing them across the bench. Let us recognise that pure evil from the outset and treat it with the appropriate severity it deserves.
Back on politics, the spending spree promises of all the party's continues unabated and Bristling Brock still cannot recognise a political hook to hang his hat upon. It is disturbing that the political establishment in its widest sense continue to imagine that these wild and wholly unrealistic spending pledges might sway the electorate. It may come as news to the spin-doctors league, but wild and woolly pledges of this nature do not sway the electorate - and if anyone wants an entertaining example then find a re-run of the Andrew Marr-Matt Hancock interview where the latter tries (but fails with a great stuttering of absent conviction) to explain that all the promised 'new' hospitals are real despite most being mainly re-furbs and upgrades. This is where a new coat of paint is classed in the political world as 'new'. Heaven help us.
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Over the last week the British public have been witness to tv debates between so-called leadership contenders, to extraordinary financial pledges and to manifesto’s bulging with impossible aspirations dressed up as promises.
Perhaps Bristling Brock is not alone in wondering quite what all this theatrical bombast is really designed to achieve. There may well be some who just accept it all at face value, there undoubtedly are some who are so welded to their historical political allegiance that no matter what is said they’ll still vote for that traditional party. And then there’s the rest of us - those that cringe with incredulity that any politician in this pre-election contest would actually imagine their promises carry any sense of conviction and faith. And to BB that poses a question. How many voters out there are now in a position where they cannot in all conscience find a suitable political home to latch onto ? And the rider to that is the notion that many of the electorate will have to vote tactically to strive to keep out of power those that are clearly manic and naive and vote for the lesser of all perceived evils. None of our leadership contenders are appealing. All are so transparently flawed that it borders on shameful that a country like Great Britain can not muster a team of aspirants from across the political spectrum to clearly and honestly declare a position, warts and all, that looks even moderately credible and likely by the electorate. Bristling Brock craves for a political breed to emerge that ranks honesty, truth and straightforwardness as its principal modus operandi - but he sees absolutely no sign of such a breed anywhere. Political homelessness is becoming endemic.
So, the ‘homeless’ are faced with not bothering to vote, spoiling a vote or being forced to endorse that party which represents the least worst option for the country. Quite likely, many will be pushed to vote for the party that purports to offer something on a personal level - like a tax break or some other mildly attractive concession, for sheer want of any reason to vote at all. This must surely rank as one of the least democratic political processes of our time. One of these contenders is going to end up in charge of the country and will achieve that exalted position by default because large swathes of that individuals vote bloc will have been tactically driven rather than by belief, faith and hope in the electorate. That cannot be in any way described as democracy at work.
And yet surrounding this theatre of politics is the reality that political reform, though much needed, will only happen in small, incremental steps - a crumb at a time. The infrastructures within our political establishment are rigidly geared to doing that which they’ve always done before, blind to change, blind to public mood and blind to the very notion of beneficial reforms. The simple evidence to prove that is all around us today with politicians doing their traditional thing by touring the constituencies, grinning excessively and promising far more than any rational person can believe in.
So we politically homeless types are destined to be a species that is forced to wander - and wonder not a little.Add a comment
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