Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Little England on its last legs

When feeling optimistic, you can imagine that we are living in the last days of the ancien regime.  Whereas in earlier times, soothsayers and self-styled prophets would crawl out of the woodwork, we now have media phenomena such as the Poujadist Nigel Farage and his merry band of people for whom the Conservatives are not sufficiently knuckle-dragging (a concept which takes some getting used to, given the craven performance of Dave and his merry bunch of apparatchiks).

There have been two gambles on nationalism this year - the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics.  Now that these have come and gone, the hollowness at the heart of England is only too apparent.

England feels like a country that has lost any sense of purpose; now there is nothing left but for the dog-whistle issues of immigration, Europe and insecurity to be paraded before the public.  A corrupt and incompetent political system, unrepresentative, unaccountable and undemocratic alienates most people, who can watch slack-jawed as the plutocrats suck their pensions and social provision dry, while the merry band of outsourcers remove any form of accountability or responsibility from politicians and officials.

The petty-minded and ignorant attempt to blame everything on Europe means that even when there is some point to complaint, for example around the bloated and insulated Commission, the mere fact that it is an English politician leading the charge diminishes the impact to molecular level.  Given that the Commission appears to be the last vestige of neo-liberal idiocy within the Union is ironic, but that would be too difficult a concept for the backwoods Tory cretinocracy to grasp.

The monarchy will survive, for the time being.  However the residual affection is not enough to withstand more scandal, or the recognition that the feudal nature of the constitution is not tenable as the United Kingdom moves towards federalism.  The Established Church is doing its level best to disestablish itself, which would be no bad thing.

Still, when UKIP think that Michael Gove is a serious potential partner, we can only hope that this is surrealism gone mad.  The tumbrils will be out in force with Leveson, the by-elections and the recognition that the absence of a Plan A for the economy has gone on too long.  There is a little chink of light that the exploiters and the hypocrites who live in a mythical 1950s state may find themselves swept aside by anger, and a recognition that England is a backwater which needs to assess where it stands in a world where its superiority complex has become a laughing-stock.

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