Before we just Brexit

You know when you toss a coin or do eeny, meeny, miny, moe and it isn’t until you have your decision made for you that you truly know you feel about it? Well, I think that same effect has just occurred in a large number of people who will not be the only ones forced to bear the consequences.

This EU referendum is advisory and is not legally binding and it is not too late to stop this fiasco, though to ignore it would obviously cause uproar and insult a great part of the electorate. Mind you, I’m insulted that a 52-48 split was ever considered acceptable, either way it might have fallen.

The whole campaign was a travesty of democracy, so perhaps it should be rendered void on grounds of political malfeasance. Brexit voters were fed a pack of non-issues, half-truths and outright lies by Leave campaigners who voiced hardly any unified opinions between them and the Remain campaigners who completely squandered the opportunity to provide information that could have encouraged real understanding and critical thinking. The right-wing Press were despicable and primetime Media was often pretty unhelpful, even on its better days.

You know I already believe that having the EU referendum was a mistake in the first place, both in timing and necessity. Just a four percent difference between the Ins and the Outs is intolerably close and the worst possible outcome, that can only highlight the polarisation in the country and eventually undermine the result. The country is split in two: the losing side is very distressed and the winning side has been scandalously misled. Both sides are more likely to become angrier than accommodating as the days slip into weeks and the full implications surface for scrutiny. Social justice is what a great many Leave voters thought they were choosing but it will soon sink in that they have voted for the opposite; that globalising banks and corporate businesses have not been vanquished; that they have just reinforced the establishment of more elites.

But, to transform the result into deed, Article 50 needs to be invoked and some experts, yes, experts say that we can avoid leaving by just not activating it. There is talk of a second referendum, both as an ask-until-you-get-the-right-answer solution and as a matter of our withdrawal process. And there are stories, everywhere, about people who are only just realising the consequences of their will to Out and are anxiously regretting it.

I think we should let the Tories choose their new leader, as soon as possible and have a General Election. This would have the same effect as a second referendum. Labour could stand on a campaign platform promising that a vote for them is a mandate for voiding the result. The Greens, SNP, Plaid and Sinn Féin could support this and do the same.

The referendum did not include a manifesto, a reasonably detailed plan, a programme on which to vote. The Conservatives and UKIP, from which most Brexiters come, must clarify, both to their voting base and the Remain side, what we are getting. Those from the left, who chose Brexit, would then have the best chance of being able to vote for the direction in which they actually wanted to travel.

This would have to be done fairly swiftly to minimise instabilities and before the notification of Article 50 made it a futile exercise. It would give space for the entire electorate to take a breath, reflect and consider what they want and how best to achieve it. I know some will think this is adding to the risk and that it wouldn’t guarantee that we wouldn’t still leave the EU – and if the decision were still for Brexit, then so be it – but it would give Britain’s people a chance to test their confidence and check their expectations. It seems the more sensible course of action and a more palatable risk than the constitutional, democratic, diplomatic, economic and social crises we are facing right now.

Enough, now. Enough.

With the budgetary fiasco over benefit cuts, the junior doctors’ strikes and the steel crisis, the pressure of overdue revelatory scrutiny has been mounting, suddenly and significantly, on the Government, so that the recent release of the Panama Papers has sent the Tories and their public relations machine into full-on, damage limiting panic mode.

The Conservative Party, its crony affiliates and wannabes really need people’s outrage to be about Cameron’s dad and not the last six years of equivocation, obfuscation and deliberate hindrance of good, sound tax law. They want to cry public envy and ignorance rather than acknowledge that, by bitter experience, it is trust, sincerity and competence that the People find lacking in this government. Dave flails before a one-way mirror, transparent, now, surely, even to the most reluctant eye.

We know the real problem is a lack of integrity and political will and a desire, by those who benefit, to preserve this asymmetrical status quo; that “aggressive avoidance” should be included as evasion and its laws properly enforced; that it would also help, somewhat, if government schemes such as ISAs were not glibly called “avoidance” in the first place.

I’m fed up with being told that someone or some group has done nothing illegal when what has been done, clearly, should be. I’m sick of the hubris and easy hypocrisy that express an intent to integrity and social justice but betray our common interests, casually laying waste all that is good and vital to the cohesion and well-being of Society.

The Cons have become utterly desperate that connections are not made between their false economy mentality, their infantile understanding of the world and their casual disregard for the society they govern. They, who make the people vulnerable to snapping under the unwarranted pressure of carrying every kind of burden but power; they, whose aggressive, cynical and paranoid worldview is based on marketing feudal fancy.

What, exactly, has this sneaky, embarrassing and wholly inept government done to benefit the country and the wider world, for the list of socio-economic disasters they preside over, domestic and international, is shocking and interminably long. This is a governing party in such a state – again – that they feel they actually have to use “compassionate” as a prefix to Conservatism. We’ve had six years of this particular nonsense. As if the Thatcher and Blair years were not lessons, enough.

David Cameron needs to go, yes: he has become the story and all that he berates and preaches on is finally coming back to bite him. But, though his resignation would be a most gleeful event, it would be as insufficient as IDS’ if it is not accompanied by those of the rest of his goons because Cameron is merely the frontman for this persistent neoliberal rubbish.

Six years of making personal gains, at every opportunity, by use of patronising lip service and reckless governance are more than enough for our country. I’d cancel this stupid EU referendum that serves up little more than a circular national identity crisis and replace it with a general election on the 23rd of June. Not because Call Me’s dad might have saved himself some tax or because Dave owes his immense wealth and privilege to luck but because Cameron is a terrible PM, leading a merry mob of we’re-in-it-for-us malfeasants who are drowning, now, in hypocrisy, so deep and so wide, that their collective surrender to comeuppance would be, at last, a decent, thoughtful act.

Another five years?

These last twenty-four hours I’ve found my entire mundane self alternating between shutdown and panic. My personal circumstances and resources; my health and general well-being have been run ragged by the Coalition and dire lack of a decent Opposition and, such is my dependency, now, on reserves of adrenaline just to cope with a normal day that I don’t know if I can sustain myself and keep going like this for another five years. And worse: I’m still actually one of the lucky ones. My heart is breaking for those worse off than me.

It’s as though we were all just involved in a terrible accident for I can’t believe my country actually meant to vote for this outcome; actually wanted this. You see, I’ve heard about the negative perceptions of Ed, fear of the SNP’s gargantuan tail and a persistent, faulty belief in the Labour is the incompetent party narrative until the journalician class were quite blue in their self-fulfilling, prophesying faces. Or should that be proselytising… I’m really struggling, though, to believe that more of the electorate actually actively and consciously wanted this result than wanted it five years ago. Even if true, it can be only half of the story at most.

It seems just as likely to me that sufficient of us managed to vote to our detriment quite by mistake, whether by head or heart, simply because of the tactical and wasted vote conundrums and the glacial opportunity for change in safe and marginal seats that our First Past the Post system invokes. (Not that I’m convinced that proportional representation is necessarily the solution, either, long-term but that’s for other posts.)

From the ludicrous to the tedious, I’ve heard and seen all manner of crap these last few hours. Like that the Labour Party moved too far to the Left. What the f***? Or that because we declined the Alternative Vote that we simply don’t want electoral reform, even though The Powers That Be know it was turned down largely because it was a really rubbish offer. From Jim Murphy on default denial with his deluded romantic show must go on act to Nick Clegg at his exhausted and hurt feelings best to how can Labour sneak another Blairite in… It’s like muzak for muggles.

‘They’ don’t listen and they don’t learn. And I despair. I feel ill and enraged and bored and frazzled and contemptuous and… Just so sad. So desperately effing sad.

It’s a slim Conservative majority that may not yet hold, I know but it has supplied a mandate to govern, nonetheless and it occurs in an already dangerous climate of paranoia and hysteria and in an already severely weakened political environment. The Tories will take the piss in any circumstance so I fully expect them to run amok now they have caught a small whiff of permission. I’ve come close to throwing up at the thought of free-to-roam Cons and I’ve felt like giving up entirely as I’ve listened to the insultingly oversimplified and misguided analyses of what passes for more serious journalism and news broadcasting, these days. The stuff that’s worth reading and listening to is so astute and so too-damned-late-seeming that it physically hurts.

Now, as the political classes pretend to still have souls to search for, we’re being told that election battles and political arguments can only be won from the centre ground. That anything to the left of prescriptive mainstream thought is ‘radical’. But that old centre ground trope is being used to contain our hopes and manage our imagination and I just can’t face doing battle with that mentality for another five years.

‘They’ are going to bamboozle us again, now. Just like they framed the arguments to position us leading up to the election, they’re now busy framing our understanding of went wrong and why and lining up the teeny tiny field of discourse within which the next set of perceptions and expectations can be managed, such as the true nature of the Tory beast and the new party leaders they want us to prefer. We’re not even to get a small break in which to weep, to absorb, to mourn; to restore or muster strength; to gather ourselves to fight neoliberalism for another five years. Nope. They are going to cut the democratic deficit in half and save us the time and trouble. A long-term democratic plan, if you will.

Now, as political parties naval gaze and worry about themselves more than us again, we must be the Opposition. Again. Now, as the Media fails to inform us of something in time to do anything about it, we must be the messengers. Again. Now, as we are steamrollered with yet more false flags, we must be the watchers. Again. Now, when we need a bright and trustworthy media, we must be the source. Again. It’s exhausting. Just the thought is exhausting. I know I say that Democracy is messy and a work in progress and that it requires engagement and active participation but this is getting ridiculous. It’s like we’ve actually been abandoned.

‘red line’

How much for that there red line?
Some buy yourself a (comes with handy ladder)
fine and dandy time?
A redefine?
A redesign?
Is this a line that you might drop a little bit
or lift a lot?
And are you talking red like wine
or pick the shade and shift by trade?

Oh: your ‘red line’ is non-negotiable
Like an unequivocally weighed and
bona fide principle?
Like cast in stone with polished shine
or one those Big Society British values
or a pledge writ large and smugly signed?
Well, show me yours; I’ll show you mine…

Oh, Ed

Oh, Ed
you do my head in
now you’ve said
no deal
no vote by vote
no pacts
no coalition
irrespective of the fact
you know we can’t afford
another five years more
of Callme’s Cons and, too,
despite that you’re still Tory-Lite;
a hold your nose and settle for.

But you have set your sights
on Scottish Labour’s fight and, Ed,
while I appreciate your plight, it pales
beside the millions you would leave
to struggle on just for the want of
a progressive left-wing bloc
and the Union you mock as though
not all our nations should belong
together, after all. And I’m appalled
that you would put your party first
before the interests of a tired, poor
and angry population.

It’s infuriating how entrenched you are
in tribal politics and that you have
the nerve to pot and kettle with
the nationalists as if our future happens
only by the measure of their gift.

And yet I swear I heard you say
the other day that Britain was and is
and definitely could do so much better
than all this.

Oh, Ed, how fragile do you think
the UK is that if a sixth of Parliament
be SNP, endangers our democracy
when actually the biggest threat is
politics as usual and the disrespect
it shows to the Electorate who haven’t
even voted yet.

Coz, Ed, do you know what? You’ll do
just what the bloody hell we damned well
tell you when the ballot counting stops.

We, the People

Dear readers,

I first posted ‘We, the People‘ in March, 2013. In light of the approaching United Kingdom General Election and because this weekend is May Day Bank Holiday, traditionally synonymous with International Labour Day, it felt appropriate to mark Beltane by reposting this chant. I hope it resonates, wither you dwell.

Yours, in Light, in Hope, in Humanity, in Solidarity,

J  xXx

*~*
We, the People, we are the Nation,
The Soul of the Land in manifestation.
We are the stewards of all she bestows,
We are the yesterday, glued to tomorrow.

We are the Temple, the priests and the flock.
We are the method; the vehicles; the stock.
We are the warriors, artists and scribes,
The teachers, the healers, protectors and guides.

We are the source of the outcome we seek:
The Light and the Strength and the Hope that we need.
We are the draughtsmen and builders of Will.
We are the answer; the cure for our ills.

For we are the Soul and the hand of our fate
And we are the banners and trumpets of State.
Albion’s creatures in Sovereignty’s land:
We are the People – we are the Command.

[See also ‘Beltane‘ for last year’s offering]

Oh, shut up, LibDems

Oh, shut up, Lib Dems.
Every time you open your
wish-divining,
cloying, climbing,
tool-defining,
principle-defying mouths
to bleat conceit absurd,
blood heats
at your right raw nerve
to speak another word.