So it turns out that the British Parliament has kicked Brexit further down the road, this time under the guise of a general election. And before anyone starts squealing about who is to blame for this, remember the Conservative Party has been in power since the Brexit vote. First Cameron, then May, and then de Pfeffel Johnson. And at no point during all this time has the Conservative Party been a minority party in Parliament. Quite the reverse, not only have they had a majority, and the overwhelming loyalty of the mainstream media, but they have in fact be running the UK government on behalf of the Queen. If Brexit hasn’t happened on their watch, it can only really be one of a few reasons that I can think of.
Perhaps the Conservative Party just isn’t really trying that hard, because they are more focussed on which of their various cabals gets the whip-hand. After all, this game of hot potato Tory central office is playing with No 10 is becoming a little farcical. Is this the first or second government that the British people have had foisted on them by Smith Square without having a general election in the last decade. Should somebody be putting the call into the UN for election monitors?
But on the positive side, this most recent anti-democratic debacle has been an object lesson in the sort of arrogance that is bred at Eton and then nurtured at Oxford. It has taken de Pfeffel Johnson a full three months to remember that we are supposedly living in a “democracy”, and that it is not just up to the Tory party to decide who gets to administrate the exploitation and oppression of the 99%.
Another reason that the Conservatives have been unable to deliver on a referendum that they called for and framed the terms of might be that they are simply intellectually incapable of delivering it. After all, they did spend a lot of money on their educations, and admitting that they have no idea of what they are doing would be a very bitter pill to swallow in public. But that may well be me just being mean.
Of course, perhaps Brexit hasn’t been achieved because it was never really about Britain leaving the EU. There is an argument that the original campaign for a referendum to be held was used by the neo-liberal establishment and the mainstream media as a lever for widening cracks in a Labour Party that was moving towards socialism and away from neo-liberalism, while at the same time placating the crackpots in the Conservative Party that were fracturing the establishment consensus as they moved to the far-right.
If that were the case, then it would explain why the Conservative Party has found it so difficult to negotiate an international treaty that delivers greater institutional racism dressed up as equality, better protection for the 1% to exploit the 99% while presenting it as opportunity, and less democracy disguised as more democracy.
The fact is, that it may well have always been an impossible task because the original referendum was left as vague as possible precisely so that it could be used to rile racists, assure exploiters, comfort the fearful and bamboozle the electorate. To put it bluntly, trying to find consensus around a document that is built on and with contradicting positions is never going to be possible for the very fact that it is self-contradicting.
I would argue, that one of the most damning pieces of evidence for this being the case is the speed with which the establishment has tried to shift blame to the Labour Party when this started to become apparent. Both the Conservative Party front bench and it’s house-trained media have been so quick to blame anyone other than themselves they have overlooked the fact that Corbyn et al. neither has a majority in Parliament, nor a role in government. Put simply it is like blaming the supporters when a football team loses a match. A football team that incidentally had turned up a with polo pony and no idea what football is.
But I digress. In a culture of full disclosure it is probably worth mentioning that I don’t have a particularly popular position on Brexit. I really don’t care whether we are part of the EU or not. I care whether the people living in this country have political and economic equality. I care whether the actions of the people in this country harm or threaten the lives of people in other countries. I care whether the people living here are collectively part of the solution to the climate crisis, or part of the problem. I care whether the people living in this country get access to all of the information available and have equal power in any debate and any decisions that will affect their lives and their impact on the lives of others.
In short, I don’t care whether that is through Brussels or Westminster, or a series of multi- or uni- lateral co-operative agreements. I don’t even care if that is done through a confederation of freely associated collectivised communities. I care whether we live in an equal and sustainable civilisation, and that we get there quickly.
The problem for me with how the Brexit debate has panned out, is that I can see nothing in the history books that demonstrates that either Brussels or Westminster can deliver the kind of future I want to see. In fact, the historic direction of travel of both institutions has been quite the opposite, they have been in large part actively pursuing policies that put the profits of the few before the well being of the many. I am not a huge believer in the capacity of the political processes and institutions in the UK to even acknowledge the views of the people living on these islands, let alone have their best interests at heart.
However, this general election is different for one key reason. For the first time in centuries, we the people of these islands have the chance to tell the 1% whether we are happy for their exploitation and oppression to continue, or whether we demand a real change. We now have the opportunity to tell them that although we are happy for them to be part of that change, that does not mean that they get to play a disproportionate role in it as they did before. We will all take part, sharing the burdens and benefits equally, in the creation of a social model based on equality, democracy and sustainability, with or without them.
Another way has always been possible, the only real question was whether the systems of government we currently have was going to be capable of delivering it. I guess we will all find out soon enough.