Circling the drain

I have posted on political topics quite frequently in the past, but over the past couple of years I find myself increasingly disinclined to do so. I think there are a number of reasons for this, particularly in the case of the UK.

The first of these, obviously, is Brexit. Six years after the referendum and three years after Britain left the EU, people are still going on about it. Interestingly, this is only the case in the UK. Everyone else has moved on and adjusted to the changed reality, but in Britain people are still trying to argue the pros and cons of this increasingly self-evident failure.

Even here, it isn’t as if there is any actual conversation going on. People are still going around in circles, making the same claims and counter-claims, still fighting the same battles over and over again. It’s tiring, it’s boring, and it goes nowhere.

Related to this (I think) is that politics has become a lot more performative. There has always been an element of left-wing thinking that values ideological purity over achieving solutions, but the Conservative party appears to have leapt into a full-on embrace of identity politics. The media doesn’t help and we end up with proposals and policies that can’t work, won’t work, will never be implemented and serve only to send signals to one group of supporters or the other.

And I have better things to do with my time than watch various gangs of trolls attempting to score juvenile points at each other’s expense.

Britain is in a mess and things are not going to improve until those at the top start addressing issues rather than pandering to increasingly paranoid fantasies. But there is hope, as noted by Gerhard Schnyder in his Brexit Impact Tracker earlier this week.

Together with the increasingly deep internal divisions that Chris Grey wrote about last week, there is hope that “Brexit is slowly killing the Conservative Party,” possibly making room for a less nasty, less corrupt, more modern centre-right party. That is something the UK desperately needs.

I have thought for a while now that this needs to happen. The UK Conservative party needs to collapse completely in order to leave the way open for a more moderate party to fill the gaping void in British politics that is doing so much damage to the country.

Sane Conservative says something sane

The Guardian reports that Chris Patten, the former Conservative party chairman is the latest Tory grandee to come out in support of a second Brexit referendum, or People’s vote.

What struck me, though, was this:

The whole sorry shambles began with a decision to call a referendum in order to try to manage the English nationalist right wing of the Conservative party.

I have said it before, but the main problem with the Conservative Party is that most of its members — and a significant proportion of its MPs — are not conservatives. The One-Nation Tories and pragmatists have been largely sidelined by a post-1980s crop of rabid libertarians and English nationalists.

And it’s because the Tories have discovered ideology that Britain is in the mess it is today.