I know that I said, I'd do by best to avoid inflammatory political discussions, but this one's pretty major.
So, the inevitable has happened, parliament has voted overwhelmingly to pass article 50 and now we can move on with the talks for the UK's exit from the EU. Brexit will be happening.
The closest analogy I can think of of is someone dying of a long-term illness. We know that they are dying and that they will soon die, but still when they die it is still such a huge and painful shock. Don't get me wrong this isn't the death yet, that will come when Brexit is finalised, but this is certainly the confirmation of the diagnosis. Sorry to have to tell you this, but it is Brexit...
With the inevitability of Brexit, however long it takes, comes the inevitability of a Scottish independence vote and this time it will, I believe, be overwhelmingly FOR independence. Perhaps the one thing that kept prudent Scottish voters against independence the first time, was the desirable status-quo. The union was strong, the UK was a solid member of the EU, it seemed that choosing chaos, even if that meant independence was not as desirable as maintaining something that seemed well-developed and long-lasting.
That now has completely gone, the only certainty is right-wing Tory rule from London, and ask any Scot if they'd like that! I can see a 80% or higher voting for independence next time.
Labour or any opposition party (outside of the SNP in Scotland and only in Scotland, they are ignored at Westminster and in England generally) have failed to enliven the remain position. Any mention of Labour is liable to be a negative one by the media and it also has an unfortunate tendency of covering over any Tory or Brexiteer nonsense that should have been properly analysed instead, pure coincidence I'm sure! For example, today we hear all about Labour's problems - Corbyn failing to hold his party together - not a strong enough leader (whatever that means) - bloggers posting that they wouldn't vote Labour right now, lots of hand-wringing about what an opposition part should be doing, and on and on. Dozens of stories.
That the Conservatives have hired a Daily Mail journalist as their new chief spokesman, gets only a cursory mention and not one that goes into any detail. Now, the Daily Mail isn't Breitbart you might think, we're not nearly as bad as those terrible Yanks, but this bizarre attitude of "it's not so bad here, compared to X" seems like delusional ignorance. Yet it goes on time after time, Trump is a gift for the Tory government as the British people seem more motivated by his insane ramblings than our own politics. Where are all those young people that marched Monday night, in demonstrations organised that day over Trump's immigration ban executive order, when their own parliament quietly cuts it's own throat and throws their futures away?
However, misdirection is what has got the Tories in power, so they're not going to stop now. Why talk about your own policies when you can simply point at the opposition and the media dutifully follow.
Tory party spokesman quoted on the BBC on the night of the vote:
Forty seven Labour MP's voting against the article 50 Bill shows Labour can’t speak for themselves, let alone speak for the country. They’re hopelessly divided and can’t even agree whether they should back the Bill to implement the decision taken by the public to leave the EU.
What we do know is that they aren’t interested in controlling our own laws or immigration and are completely out of touch with ordinary working people.
What has this to do with anything? Why is the BBC quoting this? Mentioning Corbyn's failure to unite a Labour party that were split (by his three-line whip) between following the party and serving their constituents (many of them representing areas that voted Remain) is highlighting and normalising the denigration of the opposition, is that what parliamentary democracy is about? You can disagree with your opposition but the attacks aren't meant to be personal or dismissive. Indeed, there's actually nothing here about why this is a bad thing. What, not everyone in the party totally agrees with what they've been told to do? GOOD, that's the point of democracy and now you're meant to all discuss this and come to some sensible conclusion by using logical reason while bearing in mind your electoral responsibilities, i.e. there is a moral obligation to think how what is decided will effect people in general or in specific cases. To merely dismiss your opposition only helps increase the public's disaffectedness with politics (i.e. they're all the same; corrupt and useless, why bother getting involved?), which is obviously not what an incompetent governments wants at all! No sir!
Have no doubt, UK politics is in utter disarray presently, with no general idea of what is wanted or where they are going. The WILL OF THE PEOPLE cretins like David Davis parrot day after day, the will of some of the people during an advisory referendum. As A.C. Grayling says,
[T]he nature of representative democracy, in which MP's are meant not to be simple messenger boys and girls reporting their constituents’ sentiments, but informed and rational agents acting on their behalf in their best interests by getting the facts and examining them carefully, seems to have been forgotten by MP's, and not known by the public.
So, what's so bad? Maybe the end of EU membership, the end of the UK, and the end of parliamentary sovereignty, isn't so bad. It's not like anyone's going to do anything about it anyway. Everyone return to work, pay your taxes, nothing to see here. That's what the people in power want you to do, if you're not looking, not caring, then it's easy for them to line their pockets and walk away from the bonfire they started (like Cameron and Osborne did). It's high time we started holding politicians to account. A lot of people who voted Leave did so to show their dissatisfaction with the current administration and more precisely with the style of politics we have now. It was certainly easier than getting off their arses and doing anything thoughtful about it, but then what are the choices if all you can see are the limitations that the various bureaucratic governments (Tory then New Labour then Tory again) have laid out for you. Basically, it works like, if you're on their side and you play their game, you'll be alright chum. With the added bonus of class and racial social limitations (and gender and sexuality too!) but we're not meant to mention that because it might look like we're complaining and my mate has a big house and he left school with no education, so that's alright isn't it? I mean, he's got a big telly and a wife and kids, what else do you need in life? It's all fine here, I've changed my mind, Brexit is great because there's nothing else for it anyway. You don't need fairness, you've got a telly.
Capitalism. Ending all hopes and dreams since the industrial revolution.
Bear patiently, my heart; you have suffered through heavier things ...