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UK turmoil: will the “decent people” bring our nightmare to an end?

July 9, 2016

So all the men have slunk away or been kicked into touch, and we are left with two women who would be Prime Minister of the UK. And the responsibility for selecting the person who will be tasked with for pulling us out of our worst crisis since the Second World War falls upon 160,000 members of the Conservative Party. In other words, a quarter of one percent of the population.

If I was going to characterise this tiny elite, I would describe them as latte-sipping, wine-imbibing, gin-and-tonic-swilling, dinner-party-hosting, middle-class, prosperous folk mostly concentrated in the South of England. Nigel Farage’s “decent people”, in other words. Many of them are relatively elderly. Some are deeply reactionary – those who haven’t defected to Farage’s party, that is.

Actually I haven’t really got a clue who these people are. A few hints are to be found in the attendees of the annual party conference, and in the interviews of ladies drinking coffee in country town high streets. Then there are the young ones who seem to grab most media attention – braying, bullying Tory Boys. Yes, I know I’m being unfair. There are good, sensible and sincere people in every party. But one thing’s for sure: the voters in this election are not my tribe. I have never voted Conservative.

As if the horror of Brexit was not enough, we now have to endure two months of non-stop coverage of an election in which I, and fifty-nine million other people with a stake in Britain’s future, have no say. In addition, we face the prospect of a Labour leadership contest in which Jeremy Corbyn – assuming he resigns and stands again – uses his supporters to kick sand in the faces of those beastly, Blair-loving MPs who dared who dared to defy the will of the proletariat. Enemies of the people. Well, enemies of the hundred and fifty thousand people who support Corbyn anyway.

Corbyn doesn’t speak for me, any more than do Theresa May or Andrea Leadsom. And in case you think that makes me a supporter of UKIP, who are also having a leadership contest, I would rather eat a cyanide sandwich than associate myself with that rabble.

I did consider paying my three pounds to become a member of the Labour party with the express intention of voting against Corbyn, or any other member of his benighted shadow cabinet. I’m sure he’s a decent and principled person, but he reminds me of the goat that was supposed to be dinner for a tiger in a Russian zoo, and ended up making friends with him – for a while. The epitome of someone not in control of his own destiny.

Anyway, I couldn’t sign up to such a ridiculous piece of political manipulation. I don’t want to be anybody’s fifth columnist. Since I can’t bring myself to support the Greens, the Liberal Democrats or the Monster Raving Loony Party, I guess that makes me truly non-aligned for the first time in my life.

So who would I vote for, should the political establishment be graceful enough to give me the opportunity? The Dalai Lama, perhaps. The Archbishop of Canterbury. Sir David Attenborough. Mary Beard. Brian Cox. David Beckham even. Yes, I know – this is getting ridiculous. But are they not “decent people”?

If you think I’m raving, you may be right. I do feel as though I’m in the middle of some awful nightmare. I just want to wake up and for all the nonsense that has transpired since June 24th to be revealed as a dream.

But it isn’t just a nightmare, is it? This country, my country, has suddenly turned into a cauldron of witch-hunters, liars, political ideologues and racist xenophobes. It’s as if something has polluted the water supply and driven us insane.

Yet away from the front pages of the newspapers, we’re soothed by the prozac of summer. The Welsh football team sweeps away our memories of the brain-frozen England team. Andy Murray is in a Wimbledon final again. And we’re all thinking about our holidays, even though just about anywhere we go beyond our borders will cost us at least 20% more than we thought it would two weeks ago. The dawn chorus still rings out at sunrise, and my friendly robin still comes to visit me in the morning.

Best perhaps, to focus on the eternals of life – love, hope and friendship. Our capacity for doing good. Tolerance, generosity and kindness. They may be in short supply at the moment. But sooner or later we’ll leave the asylum and settle down to a new normal.

I welcome the prospect of another woman prime minister. But to be honest, I don’t care if our next leader is man, woman or Klingon. Whoever gets the job needs to bring with them a large capacity for common sense. Right now we’ve landed on a ledge halfway down a cliff. Will she throw us down a rope or kick us, screaming, onto the rocks below?


From → Politics, UK

  1. Step 60 permalink

    Steve, I usually enjoy your comments, but this is just a rant. Calm down, have a gin and tonic and enjoy whatever summer we’re going to get this year. When was there a political party that was not controlled by a small and self-selecting membership? Democracy starts when they put out their personalities and politics to be judged – and we’ve already got a government whose trade ministers seem pretty busy hopping off to India and other places setting up post-Brexit deals.

    • Thanks for your comments Robert. You’re right. It is a bit of a rant! Perhaps I should have started with a rant alert. I have tried to be a voice of reason throughout the whole Brexit saga while my making my views pretty clear. But that nonsense over Leadsom’s comments about Theresa May sent me over the edge a little bit. The prospect of two months of petty point-scoring is not a happy one.

      I won’t be hitting the gin, unfortunately. I lost my appetite for Shaitan’s temptation after a decade in Saudi Arabia. No doubt you will understand why!

      Do keep visiting. I’ll try and be more temperate next time….

  2. Abdullah Wallace permalink

    A great rantlet — once again you’ve invaded my mind and described what I feel. And it IS about feelings. An emotional response (fear and anger) from those of us who care
    to the self-centred idiocies we have been experiencing recently is all that is possible — for now.

  3. Thanks Abdullah. I keep telling myself it’s time to move on, to be constructive and to work from now. But every so often something happens that brings me back to the anger I felt on the morning of the result. I shall have to try harder!!!

  4. Heather permalink

    Hi Steve, I’ve just read this after reading the news and the situation has already changed again it seems. I can’t keep up! Good rant 🙂

  5. It sure has changed! At least we can now focus on next steps….. S

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