12 July 2016

Chaos reigns .............

Whilst I feared that the referendum vote would, at least be close, I certainly didn't see the chaos that has followed on the heels of the Brexit vote. The 'exit stage left' of Boris and Farage simply showed them to be the opportunist politicians that we knew they were. They got the result that they claimed to want and when they had it, they recognised it for the shit-sandwich that it is and beat a hasty retreat. Then Gove, having stabbed his good friend Boris, sought the Leadership of the Tory Party and found out that he was not well liked (how could he have been surprised?) and that left us with a two mare race, May vs Leadsom, to decide who would lead the country into the valley of  death.

Loathsome Leadsom did us all a favour when she seemed to wear her fertility like some sort of qualification when we all know that getting pregnant requires little, if any intelligence. On the other hand, Theresa May's childlessness may (and I stress may) indicate that, like myself, she fears for the future of humanity and decided that the world might not be a great place for the next generation.

Whatever the case, Leadsom, having also taken time to 'sex up' her CV, decided that she would step-aside for the good of the party and the country. What utter bull-shit. Being an opportunist politician,  she saw the opportunity to parley her complete obscurity into some sort of position in the new administration. What surprised me was the disappointment on the faces of her beery-nosed supporters when she decided to 'do the right thing'.

So, Theresa May is now left to sort out the mess left behind by Cameron et al and she will have to do it with little cross-party support given that the Parliamentary Labour Party seems determined to tear itself apart in the most public manner.

Jeremy Corbyn seems a decent man and a conviction politician but, unlike most politicians, he doesn't court the media and that has made him their enemy. It has also made him the enemy of his parliamentary colleagues who see courting the media as an integral part of the job. Not only do they see it as integral to the job, they also see it allowing them to spend more time inside the Westminster bubble and, by extension, less time with the electorate.

This approach stands in stark contrast to Corbyn's approach during the Leadership election when he went out to the country and spoke at local meetings, talking to local people and real voters. As a consequence, membership of the Labour Party grew substantially resulting in Corbyn's election by a huge margin over the other candidates. And, in the face of Angela Eagle's challenge, Corbyn will probably win again, by another significant margin.

But the trials of the Labour Party speak eloquently to the wider problems with our Parliamentary Democracy - it is out of touch with and disconnected from the electorate. Living inside the Westminster bubble isn't real life or anything near it and, whilst living outside the Westminster bubble would not necessarily guarantee a better democratic process, it would increase the chances that it might reflect something better approaching real life.

So, my prescription for Theresa is that her first priority should be to use the proposed renovation of the Houses of Parliament as an excuse to turn them in to a theme park whilst moving Parliament itself to somewhere north of Manchester, to the geographic centre of the United Kingdom. Theresa might also consider creating a 'virtual parliament' where Members vote from their constituency offices, preferably in the presence of their electorate.

An underlying intention of Parliament's relocation would be to expose our parliamentarians, and media, to the standards of infrastructure that most of us experience. That would also be followed by a radical rebalancing of infrastructure expenditure to ensure that most such expenditure is focussed outside the M25. Theresa should also extend 'right to buy' to the private housing sector whilst, at the same time, impose a 50% purchase and 50% sales tax on non-dom owned property in the UK. Empty residential property should also attract a 10 times increase in Council Tax.

Will any of this happen - I doubt it but, when chaos reigns, we can at least dream.