Scotland’s Brexit

Mostly the media commentary about Brexit is conjecture. However as far as Scotland is concerned there is a fact that should not be ignored. The devolved government in Holyrood was set up by a UK Act of Parliament and could just as easily be done away by the MPs at Westminster as Pete Wishart MP writes. The Tories have a majority there and Theresa May could get rid of the thorn of the Scottish Parliament if she judged that to be in her interests vis a vis Brexit. That would leave Scotland unable to influence or decide its own future.

Brexit at the moment is all politics, nothing decided and all to play for so Nicola Sturgeon’s Brexit plan is part of the political chess game she is playing with the UK government. So are her visits to European leaders and to Dublin. By giving Scotland such a high profile on the Brexit scene she is hoping to make any foul play by Theresa May more difficult to carry out. To date her reasonable and practicable ideas and plans have found much favour and will be hard to ignore. What is more she is keeping alive the sense of destiny that grips many Scots at the present time.

Commentators saying she will not achieve what she would like are probably right but better to play for high stakes than tamely give in to a lifetime of Tory rule direct from Westminster.

For a very detailed look at the Scottish parliaments powers and the fact that in UN terms the UK is defined as two countries read the Grouse Beater.

Brexit Casual

I am appalled by the casualness of Brexit from Cameron’s initial blunder to the schoolboy antics of the Brexit ministers.

Brexit whichever side you are on is the most momentous event in the history of Britain for several centuries. It completely alters our post war situation in the global framework. It will take years to complete and  may well have side effects across Europe.

And yet every politician involved right from the start has treated it in much the same way as they would play Monopoly. Not a single one of them is confronting the appalling situation the UK finds itself in. Likewise the Main Stream Media are one and all  acting on their own paltry agendas including apparently the BBC.

History will come  to regard 2016 as the zenith of of madness in a dangerous world, the culmination of years of self-indulgence by the British political elite.

Brexit and Metric System

So far I have not seen any mention of this. Surely now we are to leave the EU we can also return to our beloved system of measurement, namely inches, feet, yards, furlongs and miles for length, pounds and ounces for weight and degrees Fahrenheit. Can we get rid of this foreign piffle as soon as possible?

It might be going too far but if we are to truly recreate the glory days of the Empire should we not lose the dreadful decimalised currency and re-instate pound shillings and pence?

Demagogues as Leaders

Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn and Donald Trump are all part of the same phenomenon, the disruption of the status quo. The number of  voters who are unsatisfied with the way they are treated by the system has reached a critical mass and the result has confounded pollsters and pundits alike.

It is unfortunate that the people who have exploited this revolution have proved to be inadequate at least and in the some cases demagogues of the worst kind.

Trump and Brexit

This may be a muddled post but it is now a muddled world. The hegemony of the last few decades has started to fray at the edges, probably no more than that. But once a dam wall has been breached a flood is likely. So too Trump and Brexit may represent the breach.

The ruling elite of the uber rich, the large global corporations and their political hangers-on have for too long ignored or been ignorant of the mass of their populations seeing their prosperity and their prospects stagnate. One should remember that these people are not just the old working class but also many in the middle class.Their frustrations and resentments have been exploited by public figures largely for their own ends. Boris Johnson is a classic example of somebody grasping for power on the backs of the disaffected. But Trump is the same only he has succeeded. For all the public record of his statements we actually have no idea what he believes in, let alone what he will do over the next four years.

The reaction to this muddle has also been apparently muddled. Why has the English Press so insanely and viciously attacked the Judges ruling on Parliament and Brexit? It does not make sense as Brexit is part of the breakdown of  the old order. Unless the Press Barons see an opportunity for more power which we can’t see.

Nothing in the future is predictable in this sea of uncertainty. However This turmoil is unlikely to solve the problems of the Trump and Brexit supporters nor will it solve the refugee crises and the growing problems of youth unemployment. It is likely to lead to further disruption in the EU and the Middle East as populist parties take advantage of the situation in forthcoming elections and conflicting loyalties and policies add to the troubles in Syria and North Africa.

Much will be written and many soothsayers will predict our future but uncertainty will be the only certainty.

Brexit

I have not posted to my blog for months. Instead I have sat back appalled by events.

However It seems to me that those little Englanders who voted for us to  leave the EU under the illusion that England could once again be Great Britannia have actually put the final nails in the coffin of that pipedream. They will find that while the UK could delude itself that it was somehow special while part of the European Union once on its own they will find that England has suddenly become part of a offshore island of little consequence to the giants of world finance. Having to renegotiate from a weak position all the EU treaties we presently take for granted will take years and will at every turn demonstrate how insignificant trade with England will have become. Perhaps at last the little Englander world view will be dead.

Meanwhile Tory Prime Minister, Theresa May, who was a Remain supporter has capitulated to the extreme EU sceptics in her party. In a parliamentary democracy, there should be no such thing as a binding referendum, certainly not on something which has the potential to sweep away 300 years of history and leave England on its own in an increasingly hostile world. It should be parliament that decides the way ahead, taking into account the marginal majority of the referendum voters. Instead May has compounded the facile, lazy way in which Cameron brought about the referendum by cow towing to the vociferous hardliners in her party in a populist fashion worthy of all the worst populist parties in Europe. The Conservative party has become overnight virtually indistinguishable from UKIP.

Neo-Liberalism

The Poor Had No Lawyers by Andy Wightman and The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein catalogue the steady usurpation of power and wealth by the uber rich. I believe we are living through a particular explosion of that process. Klein highlights the method of taking advantage of crises by neo-liberals. The 2008 crisis gave a perfect opportunity to the Cameron-Osborne Tory government to do just that and to hasten the transference of power and state assets to the top 1%.

The continued existence of tax havens and the failure to catch tax dodging, the asset stripping and disruption of the NHS, TTIP, the privatising of the probation service and prisons are but a few examples of what is being done.