A Way To Cool Politics
A week has passed since the black dawn of last Friday when we heard that the rich and powerful Right Wing media who really ‘run’ this ‘democratic’ country (run it ragged, despite them being unelected), along with the self-obsessed, short-sighted British Conservative Party, chasing after hate fueled UKIP votes, had together ‘succeeded’ in cultivating a so-called ‘Brexit’ as a result of the EU referendum.
The political system seems to be in meltdown and the economy in crisis too. Hate crimes and racism have soared in the immediate aftermath of the result, and the country’s position on the world stage appears to have significantly slipped. It’s a demeaning, embarrassing and extremely costly mistake, the ill-effects of which are just beginning to dawn and to accumulate.
Clearly, despite the performance of passion fueling the ‘Leave’ campaign, no-one on either side of the argument, no-one who was supposed to be in charge and managing and governing the country actually had, nor has, a plan ready to deal with the most tumultuous political, social and economic change to hit the country in living memory.
This is what happens however, when all of our most informed and experienced politicians and parties, rather than cultivating and providing the vision, leadership, reform and renewal required of a so-called ‘leading nation’ allow themselves instead to be led by small-minded, ignorant, far Right politics and politicians who were not long ago considered laughable mavericks and unelectable jokers.
Most insulting of all, no one in The British Conservative Party has yet assumed any responsibility for what has happened, nor apologised to the country, the EU or the wider world. The Prime Minster resigned almost immediately, but as with every move made by David Cameron it came across as a quick-thinking, self-serving manouever rather than a noble statesmanlike gesture.
The truth is that the country is full of young people, of informed, open-minded, educated, intelligent, liberal minded, fair-minded, tolerant and truly “decent” (a word grossly misused this week by UKIP’s Nigel Farage) people; people who did NOT vote for ‘Brexit’ but who do NOT have powerful representative media to propagate and proliferate their relatively modest voices and quietly held beliefs.
What is most valuable and most strong about the Left – its compassion, its hopeful aspiration to a better society, its belief in peoples’ better nature, and its determination to mitigate the most inhuman and unfair excesses of Capitalists – also makes it weak. It can’t help but show its soft underbelly to the cold hard face of the Right and it must, by definition ‘tolerate’ the Right while the Right, it often seems, would be happy to wash the Left off the face of the earth if it could.
Despite the shambolic way in which recent events have been conducted they have not, as yet, done any harm to Right wing power in the country but have only extended and amplified it at the expense of the Left, giving the Right increased confidence as racism rises and UKIP prepare to take more votes and possibly parliamentary seats from Labour, and as harder right Tories come into the frame of a competition to be the next Tory Leader and Prime Minister.
Labour looks to be in meltdown itself, and yet, ‘hope springs eternal’ wherever possibility and change are evidently in motion and in progress. Jeremy Corbyn’s grassroots Labour movement is important and significant because, not only does it keep a tight grip on fundamentally Labour values (not Blairite ‘triangulations’ of Capitalist and Conservative values and policies), but also because it attracts young people to actively participate in Politics, and it is from young people and new people drawn into Politics that the future of ‘Democracy’ must surely come.
The Democracy we presently have sits clumsily amid the Internet age, and we need to make decisions that really reform and renew our Democratic system so that it becomes truly regionalised, in fact holistically inclusive, and no-longer based on Shires or competing sides of a ‘House’. All these terrestrial and territorial; all these ‘Terran’ parameters inherited from a now distant age and society, need to be supplanted with new mechanisms of representation, new parties, new voting systems, new voices.
One simple and short exclamation stood out among the millions of cries and outbursts this week. Posted from Germany it simply said: “Britain stopped being cool today.” This means that, despite all the Tory party’s fixation n Britain as a business, ‘Britain PLC’, Britain as ‘open for business’ and despite David Cameron’s previous job as a PR man, the Conservative Party and UKIP and the Right Wing press have between them ruined the ‘Brand’ of Britain.
‘Cool’ after all, is an important, profound and far-reaching value for late 20th and 21st century society, and so perhaps cool politics is what we want and what we need right now. The wave of young people being ‘politicised’ have every right now to protest at the gross misrepresentation of Britain that current events have produced, and to DEMAND wholesale reforms that could yet -even at this extremely unpromising, dark and fearsome moment- lead to an improved and enhanced (rather than a grossly abused and destroyed) social, political and economic future.
The poet and artist in you suggests that we start by reading Walt Whitman.