Monthly Archives: December 2018

It’s not about #Brexit, you know

Two articles in the UK Sunday press illustrate where we at, but not yet where we going. Oh, and the arguments are not wholly absent from Irish affairs either.

The more measured piece is by Andrew Marr, for The Sunday Times. Knowing his audience there, the headline is:

This contest isn’t about Theresa, but Margaret

Except, after a superficial historic overview, he defines that in harsh ideological terms:

… the Thatcher era is important for another reason. Many of those most intellectually committed to Brexit want it to happen not simply for itself but because they see it as the second phase of the Thatcher revolution — Thatcher 2.0. […]

If you think Britain needs a further bout of Thatcherite radicalism, then Brexit is the necessary — but, of course, not sufficient — first step. People don’t talk much about this in case it frightens the horses, but their real aim is a different kind of Britain.

That ‘different kind of Britain’ is

a lower-tax, further deregulated society […] about tax, the role of the state, regulation and the whole shebang.

Which is why, for a brief moment, the ultras floated the ‘Singapore model’ as their intent. Until they wised up to what that meant for the wider British populace.

Similarly, on the other side of the aisle, in The Observer, we find Nick Cohen writing one of the most vicious (and enjoyable — to me, because it is an honest appraisal) of what is adrift with Labour and its (lack of) political direction and leadership:

Why are Labour’s leaders so quiet on Europe? Maybe it’s the lure of disaster

He kicks off with what seems an outrageous assertion:

… let me offer a suggestion: you cannot understand British politics until you grasp that the [Labour] party has been taken over by men (and the occasional woman) who spent their lives around the fag ends of the 20th-century Marxist-Leninist movement.

It’s not that Labour now has a communist programme. Revolutionary socialism is as dead as any idea can be. Rather, Labour has inherited the mental deformations of the Leninist style of doing business: the leadership personality cult, the love of conspiracy theory, the robotic denunciations of opponents, and most critically for our current crisis, the ineradicable fantasy that the worse conditions for the masses become, the brighter the prospects of the far left are. Disaster socialism is its alternative to disaster capitalism.

Allow me not to gloze that piece any further: it’s not behind any pay-wall, and free for all-comers. Definitely worth the trip.

So there, folks, could be the future — and, either way, it stinks.

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