After one of the most moronic, unedifying campaigns I have ever witnessed British voters are going to the polls on December 12 to choose between a collection of deeply unpopular and flawed political parties with leaders I doubt their mothers would trust.
The Conservatives behind Boris Johnson, a man of absolutely no known principle or conviction other than self-aggrandizement, appear headed for victory on the back of his mantra-like repetition of ‘Get Brexit Done’. Ask the inarticulate Johnson about the weather and his automated reply will be ‘Get Brexit Done’ All the phones at Conservative headquarters are probably programmed to answer any call with that nonsense. It’s worse than hearing Pachelbel’s Canon in every lift in London.
|Boris Johnson shows the chances of 'getting Brexit done' by the end of 2020|
Granted, the Brits are heartily sick of the entire Brexit fiasco, but they are fooling themselves if they think this election will get Brexit done. The devil is truly in the details that will be hammered out in negotiations that will mostly likely extend well beyond Johnson’s mendacious claim of the end of 2020. If he secures a comfortable majority in parliament we can look forward to some rapid Johnson back-peddling on that time table. But he is very practiced at back-peddling and U-turns. Right now he is beholden to the collection of Little England fantasists in his own party who believe that somehow a shrunken, isolated Britain will flourish in a world dominated by large, powerful trading blocs. A rational person would think once or twice about abandoning a tight trading relationship with the UK’s largest partner in order – perhaps – to sign deals independently with countries that have limited trade with the UK. But then, no one ever accused the rabid Brexiteers of thinking rationally. And the Brexiteers’ Holy Grail of an independent trade deal with the United States? Good luck with that one. The UK will be at the complete mercy of a domineering United States. How sad it is to see a once-proud nation reduced to going around the world with a begging bowl.
And Labour? Jesus wept! Yes, the social welfare safety net in Britain is torn and tattered. Sadly, the current Labour Party is dominated by a so-called radical wing whose thinking really hasn’t advanced very far from ideas first proposed by Lenin’s Bolsheviks at the Second Party Congress in 1903 – held in London at what undoubtedly has become hallowed ground by the current Labour leadership. Labour’s answer to the clear social issues facing Britain is to make everyone poorer. Forget Britain as an aspirational, growing economy where everyone – not just hedge-fund managers – has a chance to grow. Labour views the country’s economic pie as fixed, static with the only question being how to divide that shrinking pie into ever smaller pieces. Soak the Rich is a popular concept in many countries until you realize that that same tiny sliver of the population provides a hugely disproportionate share of the country’s taxes – taxes that could pay for needed social programs. By pretending to march forward with their eyes firmly fixed on the rear-view mirror the Labour Party will find that it has lost touch with much of its traditional base.
|Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn trying to figure out the question|
In this environment of deeply damaged, untrustworthy major parties one would like to think that a rational third party might provide a reasonable alternative. Alas, no. The Liberal Democrats were once the great hope of people who had voted Remain in the 2016 referendum. But the party has had a terrible campaign that focused solely on the unrealistic goal of repealing the famous Article 50 setting in motion the great EU divorce. To compound their problems the party said it would agree to form a coalition with Labour in the event of a hung parliament where no one has a clear majority. This terrified many Tory Remainers who decided to hold their noses and stick with the Conservatives rather than risk Labour getting into power through the back door.
The only comic relief of this dreary
campaign has been watching Nigel Farage channel his inner Dirty Harry as he
bangs on about the evils of the European Union. His idea of negotiating a
withdrawal agreement is to take a smoking Magnum 45 into the meeting room and
tell the assembled Brussels bureaucrats to ‘Make My Day, Punk!’ I’m sure he has
a comic career on one of the American cable channels. Or maybe Donald Trump can
find a job for him negotiating with North Korea’s mercurial leader Kim Jong-un.
|At least he makes one laugh laugh and not weep|