The Plastic Hippo

July 28, 2016

Naked politics

Filed under: Politics,Society,World — theplastichippo @ 1:00 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Ballot paper
It has been five weeks since the great European referendum that was expected, regardless of outcome, to change British and European politics forever. Remarkably, after a month and a longish weekend, there seems to be little evidence of any significant change other than the electorate being offered a rare glimpse of the actual workings of politics.

Obviously the tumultuous events of the referendum and its aftermath brought about a change of Prime Minister, a new Chancellor and a redefinition of Britain`s place in the world but a leaderless nation somehow managed to survive for a couple of weeks without a Prime Minister and for a number of years without a credible opposition. With the “Leave” camp expecting defeat and the unlikely alliance of “Remain” supporters confident of victory, the political mask has slipped now that the public has made its decision. The hysterical predictions of ruin and disaster spewing out from both sides during the referendum campaign certainly had an effect on the result with voters narrowly preferring the side who told the smallest lies. It seems that Cameron`s government was so confident that the “Remain” vote would prevail that no contingency plan was even considered if the nation decided to leave. Similarly, those leading the charge away from Europe were resigned to defeat and found the formulation of an actual exit strategy unnecessary. Caught in the headlights, the only option is to hurl abuse and blame at each other.

Five weeks is an insufficient period to judge which lies were the biggest as nothing has actually changed. Even though only a handful of British souls had ever heard of Article 50 before June 24th, everyone is now an expert on international treaty law and it is becoming clear that nothing will happen until the notice to quit is served upon our European masters/partners (delete as applicable). Then there are at least two years of negotiations and a possible further decade of securing new trade deals with nicer people like Saudi Arabia, Libya and North Korea. In other words…long grass…don`t hold your breath.

The referendum result has proved to be rather useful in dominating the news agenda but now it is time to learn lessons and move on. Not quite dead and buried but certainly on the cusp of being forgotten, the increase in debt, deficit and borrowing are now but a distant memory. Electoral fraud, Leveson, CSA and Chilcot belong in some half-remembered dream where a publicly owned, fully funded NHS was free at the point of need and was not a lucrative asset to be sold to the donors of a certain political party. There, there, don`t worry; the nightmares of education, social care, transport and housing will disappear now that morning has come and we are treated to a dog`s breakfast of not one but two leadership contests.

The outrageous nonsense that was thrown around during the referendum campaign pales into insignificance when compared to the droppings being lobbed by the various factions of both political parties. With the gloves off, the curtains open and any sense of dignity flushed away in the name of ambition, the process of “electing” a new Lord and Lady of the Flies has been and continues to be as disgraceful as it is hilarious. Free from the constraints of honesty and anything approaching self-respect, those that wish to govern us have unleashed an astonishing torrent of falsehoods, insults, crude invective and preposterous allegations aimed not at political opponents but at members of their own political tribe.

The Conservatives confirmed the stereotype by displaying extreme nastiness and impressive cunning. The result is that we are left with a new Prime Minister who probably wanted to leave but campaigned to remain finding herself inside number 10 without anything remotely resembling a clue. In desperation she chants a bizarre mantra in the hope of buying enough time to allow the grass to grow long. Sadly, “brexit means brexit” is meaningless and not just because there is no such word as brexit.

The Labour Party is displaying extreme nastiness and an almost congenital idiocy. Thus we see a leader who probably wanted to leave but campaigned to remain facing an inept challenge based on vitriol and delusional cant. Given the state of the nation and the perils of the rest of the planet, the only available binary choice is between laughing and crying.

Finally abandoning any sense of propriety and throwing any pretence of public service overboard, our ambitious politicians have revealed their true colours. The betrayal, intrigue, back-stabbing and plots are as old as politics but on this rare occasion when our leaders are sufficiently emboldened not to care about public perception, we see the day-to-day viciousness of naked politics revealed in all its unpleasantness.

After a long referendum campaign and the leadership punch-ups and six weeks and a longish weekend of a parliamentary summer recess stretching out until September, a worried voter might just wonder who is looking after the shop as the shopkeepers squabble. Be not afraid; a faceless army unelected Eurocrats will never again interfere with British sovereignty or try to straighten our bananas.

Under TTIP, those jobs belong to a faceless, unelected CEO of a multinational corporate conglomerate. At this point naked politics merges with naked greed.


  1. See what happens when you don’t blog for a few weeks???

    Comment by Tony Martin — July 28, 2016 @ 5:51 pm | Reply

  2. Welcome back Hippo, your country needs you.

    Best wishes

    Comment by BrownhillsBob — July 30, 2016 @ 10:57 am | Reply

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