Monday 20 May 2013

The Eyes Have It

When I turned out on the rugby field at scrum half and up against a pack of forwards who were more aggressive than was necessary, the ability to be swivel eyed and adopt unpredictable responses was an advantage.  Get your retaliation in first is our family motto.

But our politics today is less ordered and more violent than some grim struggle on a muddy field between men who are sworn enemies for eighty minutes before the bar opens.  Although reports from the Palace of Westminster suggest that their violence both of speech and person is often a feature of the activity in the bars.

So when there are complaints about swivel eyed loons wanting the UK to leave the EU there is an instinctive reaction to be on their side.  This is one of the great political questions of the decade.  There are others but not many. 

The EU debate is about our future for the rest of the century as a political entity and as either a democracy or an element in a quasi-imperial structure.  Down at Westminster essentially many of them have given up on democracy and see their chief task on getting the right deal out of Europe.

The difficulty is that their “right deal” is not my right deal nor of many other people and groups in the Atlantic Isles.  I choose the words “Atlantic Isles” with care because the various groups in that geographical area have a need for mutual support because of all the related interests.

In this case, Westminster is too often more of a liability than an asset.  Historically, many of the issues that have arisen around the Atlantic Isles are traceable back to London’s obsessions with money, power and global activity.  There have been some passages of time when The City’s influence has been reduced but not many.

Moreover the EU now is not what many people think it is, is not the same as it was only a handful of years ago and is quite different to forty years ago.  What we signed up for in the 1970’s was a Europe that we saw from the 1950’s.  We did not think much about what was going to be needed in the 1980’s and beyond.

Clearly, there can be many different views and perspectives.  There will be those for whom self interest is paramount, now it seems the governing consideration.  There will be others with ideologies and theoretical notions about what might be.  There are some trying to take a practical view.

Many of them will be merrily forecasting and predicting on ideas and data from one bit of the past or another.  At the moment in the Conservative Party it seems to be from the 1980’s.  In the Labour Party is seems to be from the time that Blairism was rampant around 2000.  That does not make it any better.

As a great many people have become cynical and distrusting there is a feeling to support a policy of “a plague on all your houses” which accounts for the surge in the voting for UKIP.  The allegation is that UKIP does not know what it is doing and has a mish mash of conflicting policies.

Probably, the critics are right.  The trouble is that to many that as the other parties are in an even worse state and UKIP as such represents the best of a bad job.  As for other elements when it was announced that there were 14,000 treaties and obligations to be renegotiated if the UK was divided this seemed to many to be a very good reason for it to happen.

At the moment it feels that we are playing behind a badly beaten pack with a line of threes that can’t tackle or pass; a full back with butter fingers and uphill and against the wind and rain on a filthy mud heap in a place where the local brewery is one of the worst in the region.

This is all going to end badly.

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