Thursday, 9 February 2017

No point in clinging to the wreckage

Incurable optimism is a problem.  Hoping for at least a semblance of rationality and propriety has been the bane of the Enlightenment and playing by rules of engagement that are manifestly one-sided.  In the last decade, this assumption of reason and rigour has been one of the means by which we have been blighted - the rise of tinpot fascists like May and Trump, and their backers is proof that playing nicely does not end up providing a moral or political advantage.

Aided and abetted by the hapless Corbyn, May has in effect been handed the keys to the kind of suicidal, oligarchic society that has been in Tory minds for the last thirty years.  Historians will see the Cameron period as an aberration, where an outbreak of veneereal disease was a decoy for a far-right takeover that has gone further than anyone could have imagined.  Ken Clarke's comments about Enoch Powell were telling; an intelligent and honourable politician betrayed by a parade of spivs and chancers who would not be able to define moral turpitude if they were even able to spell it.

Every time one of the pseudo-clownish malevolents invokes the Hitlerite phrase "will of the people", egged on by traitors and tax-dodgers such as Rothermere and Murdoch, the social construct dies a little.  David Davis, a man whose self-seeking hubris defines the malevolence and vileness of May's Cabinet, now sabre-rattles at the House of Lords, effectively threatening its future if it discharges its role as a scrutinising and revising chamber - after all, the Commons was railroaded into failing its own elected role.  Patriotism is the refuge of the scoundrel and the charlatan, and Davis has lived down to his reputation.

Where does this leave us?  For those in Scotland and Northern Ireland, the question of loyalty may become pressing relatively quickly.  As a Scottish resident, my idealised outcome would be to be part of a federalised Great Britain that is a key player in European affairs and which is not rooted to an undemocratic, outdated constitutional model, but with devolved powers that reflect those required for a small nation in a global world.  Denmark, Norway and Sweden spring to mind as models.

In reality, the choice will probably be between two Unions.  It is hard not to view the unfolding tragedy in England as a self-inflicted wound, brought on by a sustained democratic deficit and the failure of generations of politicians to address this.  It is hard not to have a residual loyalty to a nation state and want to change it for the better, but all the evidence is that the suburban contempt for Scotland and the desire to create internal enemies means that whatever the future holds the Scots will be demonised for not falling into the suicide queue without a fight.

Eventually, there comes a time where futility is apparent and reality needs to kick in.  The Tories, thanks to the UK's anti-democratic system have one MP in Scotland.  This means that, de facto, however unpromising the candidate, that MP is by default a combination of Governor-General and conduit for national contempt.  The current occupant of the post increasingly resembles a furball, sicked up after much feline effort, but without the charm, intellect or personal skills.  Talking down to the restive natives may have "worked" in the days of Cecil Rhodes, but it is not a model for the crisis of the 21st century.

Whatever the merits of the case that the Scottish Government brought before the Supreme Court regarding the devolved nations' requirement to consent, it marked a further defining moment in the relationship between the Tories and Scotland.  In the context of the cretinous withdrawal from European institutions and revolving-eyed xenophobia, the message that May and Mundell have purveyed is that of permitting power only to be exercised when it does not conflict with the greater will.  They have clearly been studying Goering's strictures on how to run the internal affairs of Germany in the 1930s, and will be rewarded with similar results.

There comes a point where attempting to forestall a collective act of stupidity becomes harmful rather than quixotic.  That may well have been reached - whatever the forthcoming machinations and twists that undermine May's treachery, her Trump obsession and the economic and social fabric - as the breakdown of trust between citizens and state needs to be the focus of political activity in the future.  This is not a partisan issue - but the early days of better nations need to be conducted with an eye on the future rather than attempting to create an idealised yesterday.  Many in Britain will be forced to choose - it is to be hoped by peaceful means - and being positive is not about maintaining fossilised relics or attempting to reconcile a situation that has been broken by the malevolence and lies of a few, and the pursuit of policies that divert attention from the real catastrophes.