The first duty of government

alternative warBe careful what you read! A quick reading of  J.J Patrick’s book ‘Alternative War’ gives much insight into what’s going on behind the scenes of global politics. The book is not well written, but the message gets through, and it is all rather disturbing. It leads me to some reflections on the current situation in the UK, which is apparently largely oblivious to these machinations.

One of the books main themes is the ongoing Russian project to destabilise and undermine the Western powers, clearly exemplified by, for example, events in Ukraine, cyber warfare, clear influence on the US presidential election and the Brexit campaign. It would seem that one of the Russians’ prime aims is to undermine and ultimately destroy the European Union, thus leaving Russia as the dominant power on the European continent.

That this sort of thing was happening would have been apparent to Prime Minister Cameron, briefed by the intelligence community, when he called a Brexit referendum which could clearly undermine the European Union, weakening both EU and UK, in line with Moscow’s aims.

The use of social media in campaigns, and the ability and willingness of the Russians to exploit them in pursuit of their aims, would also have been familiar to a well-briefed leader. As would the fact that such use of social media and the sources of funds used are easily hidden.

Heedless of the danger, Cameron embarked on that referendum. Cameron also knew, and weakly campaigned on, the fact that the UK would also be economically affected. As we know, the referendum was marginally won by the ‘leave’ side. This was arguably significantly helped by Russian financial and IT interference. There has never been any effective UK investigation into such interference initiated by the May government.

And our security situation became much more precarious with the election of Donald Trump, clearly assisted by Russian interference (Wikileaks), and who has many links with Russia, even if there was ‘no collusion’.

So here we are now, over three years on, still arguing with EU on the form that Brexit will take, probably about to be led by Johnson, whose effectiveness in the Brexit campaign (compared to Cameron/Osborne) and willingness to lie, was probably the other main reason for the Brexit decision.

Now we know in much more detail just how detrimental Brexit will be, both economically and security-wise. Yet, lemming-like, the Conservative Party continues to insist that the dubious Brexit result must stand. We must become poorer and less secure, the people have spoken.

Actually all it seems to be in fear of Nigel Farage, whose suggested links to Russia and sources of money (according to the book) are likely to be well known to the intelligence community.

Possible answers to the current conundrum are clear

  • a new general election,
  • getting the May deal through (or not, hence remaining) via a second referendum where the issues are made crystal clear
  • or revoking Article 50 in the national interest – which is arguably the most sensible thing to do.

But a happy ending is seeming unlikely, which will leave UK adrift from Europe, and in a period of chaos, subject to the machinations of greater powers.

Now, the first duty of government is surely to ensure the ongoing sustenance and security of the people. Has the Conservative government really served us well, in creating this precarious situation?

Featured image of Pr Punch’s history of the Great War by John Bernard Partridge via Wikimedia Commons

The nightmare unfolds

Thus my Brexit Nightmare unfolds, and the EU is informed of UK intention to leave, triggering article 50.

Sensible politicians in UK and EU would by now have got together and found a path forward. But commonsense behaviour is not the order of the day, and right wing nationalistic bigotry sounds off against EU purist fanatics.

In the midst of all this Theresa May, and no doubt many European politicians, hope to find a compromise that will keep the majority happy. But she seems too beholden to the right wingers, does not appear to have built the necessary bridges in Europe, and suffers from the effects of the years of David Cameron slagging off the EU and refusing to constructively engage. All to keep the tories united and in power.

What chance the EU can agree on a solution that is not punitive for both parties, each hoping for jam tomorrow?

Thus the efforts of 40 years, of several generations of politicians, are slowly unravelled in the name of ‘taking back control’, which simply means a bit of power moved from Brussels to London. All fired by concerns of immigration, which everybody forgot to say is the price of a thriving modern economy. And at a time when the great globalisation project on which Brexit was premised is being rolled back.

Thus the UK slowly drifts into a less prosperous future, where the right wing slowly achieves it’s long term aim of undoing the welfare state and national health service. Who will suffer most – the old and the poor,  the turkeys who voted for Christmas. In fact everyone will suffer, as travel and commerce become more bureaucratic, the pound goes down even more and prices go up.

And where is the UK political opposition? Centre left leaders appear to have become irrelevant.

A nightmare indeed. Let’s hope we wake up soon.

Honourable members?

This is not really a political blog, but immersion in the current national soap opera does tend to be a bit all-consuming.

Of particular interest from my perspective is the personal values of our political leaders and how they reflect back to ourselves and society. Members of the UK parliament refer to each other as ‘honourable members’. Are they in reality acting with honour? Let’s just look at a few examples from the current national shambles.Read More »