Thursday, 30 June 2016

No honour among thieves ...

The well-known saying "No honour among thieves" never surprised me one bit. Perhaps, moving forward, one could substitute the word politicians for thieves and be equally correct. And it is not just politicians in Cyprus, or the UK, but around the world. Self-serving and mendacious, I am constantly outraged by the fact that men and women of honour seem to have disappeared from the political scene.

UK politicians are in the news now, because of the pre-BREXIT and post-BREXIT shenanigans, and their EU counterparts are not far behind. The leadership campaigns and manoeverings have just begun, and the knives are being sharpened ... ready to plunge into the back of those they have pledged to support. Michael Gove immediately springs to mind, as do the majority of the parliamentary Labour Party. How many more backstabbings will there be?

The ill-judged referendum will be regretted for years to come, and mainly by our children and their children. Nigel Farage has twisted the knife by his unbelievable comments to the EU parliament and this may have an effect on future negotiations with them. And everywhere one looks there is racial tension and fear, with the flames fanned by the use of social media. I have lost count of the Facebook groups and comments that have sprung up to make the situation far worse, so much so that Ann has asked me not to read them anymore.

I suspect that some almighty fudge will be agreed, probably behind closed doors, which will gain the UK the fabled access to the European market, but this will come at the cost of free movement of people and capital. The economic costs to both Europe and the UK are too enormous to contemplate for there not to be a deal, whilst the political realities dictate that both sides must save face. Never have economics and politics been such important bedfellows. But what is important is the effect this will have on the people. Political commentators tend to focus on the so-called Westminster Village, and its increasingly out-of-touch inhabitants (which, of course, includes all the journalists and commentators), whereas the people are more concerned about what will happen to them and the communities in which they live.

Many people on both sides of the divide are probably regretting their vote, or the fact that they did not vote, or the fact that they did not think about the possible consequences of what they had done. "Too late" is the cry from those who are celebrating (at least for the time being) the result, and they are democratically correct. But the end result is months and years away and I suspect that some deal cobbled together will ameliorate the worst of the possible effects.

The poor old Labour Party may, in the words of Private Fraser from Dad's Army, indeed be doomed. Corbyn will not go, as he has the support of the Labour Party activists in the country (not to mention the union barons), and he has lost the confidence of the vast majority of his MPs. A rerun of the leadership contest will probably lead to the same situation. It must be about this time that the Conservatives are regretting having proposed a fixed-term parliament. Otherwise they would hold a snap General Election, with the probability that they would win a massive majority and UKIP would come second - Labour would disappear off the map for generations. In fact the party that espoused remaining in the EU (but not the Liberal Democrats) would carry the day. And as for Sturgeon, words fail me ...

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