Still not prepared to join the Little Englanders

Well no readers of this blog site will be surprised at that heading of course.

I’ve pretty much always looked upon myself as being a European and am not for changing that view. I’m probably a tad more EUish than Jim Hancock but his latest blog posting on the matter is pretty much blob on for me. Go on have a read of it via the link below:-

jimhancock.co.uk/hancocks-half-page/

One thing that has long concerned me is the links between Trumpism and Brexit and how the major payers in both have openly interacted in their joint promotion of their own forms of anarchy. Johnson was putting Trump up for a Nobel Peace Prize not long ago, Farage saw himself as Trump’s ally and of course Trump was a big Brexit backer. But behind these bizarre leading characters there were others who worked for or advised both campaigns.

Brexiteers and Trumpians are cut from the same cloth

Both Trumpism and Brexit have been very successful attempts to tap into the anger of those who feel that US and UK societies have left them behind. At the same time these political campaigns have exploited the very same people in a process which certainly in Brexit terms has always been aimed at making the rich richer and poor poorer. That you can manipulate voters to become enthusiastic backers of a process from which they can only be the losers is remarkable but it has simply been built upon what the right wing press have been peddling for many years. Setting the EU up to be blamed for all the UK’s ills enabled the establishment, the wealthy and those in power to always have a believable scape goat which many voters were willing to accept as being ‘their’ problem.

But hey I lost I must ‘suck it up’ so Brexiteers tell me as they celebrate all their winnings. Except that, of course, there are no winnings as there was never going to be!

But more than anything what Brexit has shown in spades is that our political system is very much not fit for purpose. A Tory Party taken over by UKIP, a Labour Party riven with splits and unable/unwilling to act as an Official Opposition, a Lib Dem Party which failed to get its message across, an electoral system which virtually always delivers governments (and Conservative ones at that) with less than 50% elector backing.

We are still in the mire, despite leaving the EU, as our political system will always prioritise those on middle incomes and the wealthy at the expense of the poor. The poor/poorly educated will continue to be exploited and be left behind despite ‘levelling up’ rhetoric and our right wing press will continue to feed them fake stories about who to blame. Leaving the EU has lanced no boil at all, it has just confirmed that fake news is a very powerful tool in the hands of unscrupulous politicians.

H L Mencken wrote that for every complex question there is an obvious answer that is clear, simple and wrong.

H L Mencken wrote that for every complex question there is an obvious answer that is clear, simple and wrong.

And you know, probably never has a more true word been spoken especially if you look at our troubled times in 2016.

Remember the simple answers that the Brexiters poured all over the UK electorate to manipulate them into voting to leave the EU?

Remember the simplistic answers Trump gave the US electors to get them to vote for him?

Or how about ‘Brexit means Brexit’, just about the only thing of note our Prime Minister has had to say about the result and dire consequences of the EU Referendum. Trouble is that off the cuff phrase is not clear, obvious or simple but it certainly is wrong headed!

Daily we are bombarded with simple solutions to the most complex of problems. Sadly, some of us actually do think that there are such simple, obvious and clear answers. Indeed, we don’t even bother to think about why, or at whose behest we are being sent the simple solutions that fit with our preconceived prejudices.

We don’t know the solutions the vast majority of the time because we don’t have all the information required to make clear headed judgements on hugely complex matters of public policy. On that basis isn’t it nice when some media outlet or politician after power saves us the bother of thinking it all through.

Democracy only works well if the vast majority of the electorate has a reasoned understanding as to the consequences of their votes. Democracy does not work at all well when those in power or who seek to be in power, together with a media on their payroll, seek to convince us of simple, obvious and clear solutions. Such solutions will invariably be wrong, misleading or down right dangerous.

The solution? Be informed, question any information you get from the media and popularist politicians. Better still stop taking the ‘advice’ of biased media outlets.

With Thanks to Bob for reminding me of Mencken’s quote.

BBC, Farage and Berlin – Dark days indeed as the UK turns its back on those who have nothing

I was utterly disgusted to hear the comments of Farage, the new darling of the BBC, today. To try to make political capital on the back of the appalling Berlin terrorist attack is bad enough but to attempt to pin the blame for the attack on Merkel was utterly shameful.

I may not share Merkel’s general political views but she was brave enough and had enough human compassion to take the lead in helping refugees from the middle east. Compare that with the UK government all but turning its back on fellow human beings.

Goodness me what is happening in the UK these days when our political leaders help create and sustain wars in the middle east whilst sitting back and doing so little to assist with the human suffering that is a direct consequence?

And what on earth is going on within the BBC when they give huge profile day in day out to a man like Farage? He’s not even an MP yet his every utterance is treated as though he speaks for the UK. I have long been a supporter of the BBC but after its appalling coverage of the EU Referendum and now its love in with man who in my view stands firmly against traditional British values of tolerance, helping our fellow man and woman in distress and common decency I have to say I have had it with the BBC.

These are dark days indeed. Days when our elected leaders are weak and driven by the opinions of an out of control right wing press. Days when we as an country care little for those with nothing and when we allow our government to run the NHS into the ground. Days when our government deliberately under-funds care for the elderly whilst throwing huge amounts of money on weapons of war.

And you know this dangerous malaise is not just festering within our fascist leaning government and its UKIPian wing. It’s got a home within other political parties as well all be it often couched in less obviously strident language, but sadly it is there.

I really do fear where the path that we are daily treading is taking us.