Since the EU referendum in June, Westminster politicians have been fond of telling us how they “must listen to the will of the British people” with regards to the referendum result. This claim overlooks the fact that Scotland, Northern Ireland and many cities in England voted to remain, and now these parts of the country are being ignored to pander to anti-immigration and anti-European sentiments – all of which have been whipped up by lazy thinking politicians who are interested in nothing less than consolidating and/or extending their power.
But what about those parts of the country that voted to remain? Don’t they matter? Apparently not. 52-48 is not a landslide by anyone’s definition. Remember when Nigel Farage told everyone that if the result was close in favour of remain, he’d demand a second referendum? Make no mistake, had Remain won by a similar margin, the mass media would have tirelessly promoted his demands for a second referendum. All must prostrate themselves at the feet of The Grand Farage.
What this claim also reveals to us the fact that Westminster politicians suffer from a form of selective hearing loss when it comes to other, more pressing demands from the British people. A properly funded National Health Service, more social housing, proper jobs, decent wages, a progressive tax system, nationalization of the railways and proper functioning public services are all things that the British people want, but to which Westminster routinely turns a deaf ear. Yet, apparently, when it comes to Brexit or ‘pulling up the drawbridge’, these politicians have suddenly regained their hearing. Funny that.
Before the referendum we were told that this was “the most important moment” for the British people. What? It was more important than people having somewhere clean and decent to live? Really?
Democracy’s a bitch. That’s what the Labour Party’s right-wing is currently getting to grips with. Having changed the rules to elect a new leader, the Blairite postmodernists are now crying foul because Jeremy ‘Juggernaut’ Corbyn’s campaign is leaving the rest of the field in the dust.
The rules were changed, mainly because of pressure from the Tories and their media allies to end the Labour Party’s relationship with the unions, and when the Tory press says “jump”, the Labour leadership not only asks “how high”, it adds “can I kiss your boots too, sir”?
So far this leadership election has reminded us of the following:
- The Westminster elites are contemptuous of democracy and the people they’re elected (or appointed) to serve. John Mann’s call for Harriet Harman to suspend the leadership election is the latest example. Mann is a right-winger who once worked for the right-wing Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union led by the right-wing Ken Jackson. Need I say more?
- The last thing the Tory government wants is a strong opposition. It prefers a weak or non-existent opposition, such as that under the current leadership. You can have any opposition party you like as long as it’s right-wing party posing as a centrist party. Even Francoist Spain had token opposition parties that lent a democratic veneer to the authoritarian regime.
- The lack of tolerance on the part of the neoliberal consensus (Labour-Tory-Lib Dem-UKIP) for dissenting points of view
- There’s a preference on the part of the Tories, the Labour right and their media allies for a revisionist take on history, which has been coupled with a morbid obsession with selectivized moments from the past. For example, the claim that a Corbyn leadership would be just like Michael Foot’s leadership of the party in 1983, and the constant referencing of “the longest suicide note in history”. It is interesting, though not surprising, that the Labour right and the Tories both do this. Neither party is fresh and each copies the other in the hope that no one will notice.
- Soundbite politics and presentationalism are no longer viable. Voters pay attention to someone that has a message and speaks with conviction and passion. Many people, especially those who have never really engaged with politics, are starting to see through the superficial crap from Labour and the Conservatives.
- According to the mainstream media, the Labour leadership, and the Tory government, anyone who opposes austerity, cuts to public services, wage freezes, the selling off the NHS, fracking, neoliberalism and corruption in public office (Hello, Dave) is an “extreme left-winger”. This term was once used to refer to real left-wingers rather than liberals, social democrats and the unaligned. It’s yet another reminder of how far to the right public discourse has been pushed over the last 35+ years.
Politics is too important to leave to career politicians. Take politics back from Westminster!