Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Creating a failed state in the United Kingdom

There are parallels between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn that their adulating sycophants would not wish made.  The alleged Prime Minister and the absentee Leader of the Opposition are both immensely skilled in pretending to adopt positions that they do not actually hold, in maintaining a facade of pseudo-democracy and in a stitch-up of a political system that is manifestly so unfit for purpose that they cannot even trust the semi-elected Parliament in case it frustrates their ends.

May's transition to the risible cross between Margaret Thatcher and Nigel Farage has been completed this week by what has been portrayed as a united Tory Party.  As sager commentators such as Matthew Parris observe this is a long game, and the remaining sentient and decent Tories are probably well-advised in allowing the constant parade of charlatans and half-wits their heads.  

The tragedy is that these are no longer the backwoods Midlands troglodytes ranting in favour of Imperial Preference from the rostrum before returning back to their monobrowed half-timbered semi-detacheds, but the Ministers who have been selected for the process of disembowelling the UK economy and destroying the UK itself.  To imagine that a corrupt and disgraced hypocrite such as Liam Fox would be lining up to sell out the country is multiplied by the clearly semi-sentience of David Davis and the scrofulous cant of Boris Johnson to create a machine that combines the worst aspects of North Korea with a xenophobia which is straight out of the 1930s textbook.

May is presiding over this, revealing that the bile she attracted as the most illiberal Home Secretary since Charles Clarke is a mere prelude to authoritarianism, lies and the tearing-up of the constitutional protections that have made Britain bearable to live in.  She does not give credence to the idea of legitimate government, preferring the sense of entitlement that characterised the Tory party through the 1980s and 1990s.  As a global disgrace she is at least demonstrating that the UK can compete with Trump and Putin.

Meanwhile Corbyn's visibility is one of the mysteries that surpasses that of the Holy Trinity.  Apparently he has taken to Twitter today not to excoriate the Tories for their callous "bumps in the road" casualties of Brexit, those who will lose jobs, homes and livelihoods in the service of a delusion, but to promote a Labour film festival.  As with May, he was a prisoner of a party with policies before the referendum that he disagreed with, and he is not providing any challenge to a government whose ravages to the public finances, the constitution and the rule of law would inspire Robert Mugabe.  Absent without leave, explanation or respect for the wider electorate - the people who might vote him in.  Much more comfortable retreating to the same 1980s narrative that propels May, I fear.

No accountable government and an invisible Opposition indicate a failed state which may require external intervention to stabilise before being dismembered into functional units.  To listen to the inadequate and mendacious David Mundell, the alleged Scottish Secretary, airbrush the commitments that the Tories (especially May) made to Scotland after her coup out of history, while waiting for Northern Ireland's first legal challenge to the legitimacy of the process does not suggest a government with a programme, or one that is fit for office.  They are not governing to promote the rights of the citizens across the country, and there is a credible case that the state will unravel as its legitimacy disappears.

There are signs of hope and challenge - the legal case against a further diminution of the rights of Parliament, a by-election in the liar's lair of Witney and the evidence that the UK could break up under the strain of being unable to accommodate a government whose legitimacy was always questionable and is now non-existent.  Opposition needs to have a leadership and a cause, for those of us who are still prepared to fight.  Yet picking battles may mean that the corpse of the UK is May's legacy, allowing the nostalgic lunatics a free run in the English shires while creating a modern democracy in those parts of the British Isles that do not already have one.

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