THE POLITICS OF LIFE
Apart from fumbling through a mediocre degree in Politics and History many, many moons ago, and a brief dalliance with the Young Liberals when I was both young and liberal, I am not much of a political creature. Still, I would–until very recently–routinely follow the news and could identify the faces of those in government as well as naming the key opposition players. Moreover, I voted whenever that stiff, little card popped through my letterbox because I didn’t want to take this hundred-year-old right for granted. Greater women than I had fought and died for my right to bimble up to the local church and mark my X casually on some ballot paper or other. Besides, whatever you think of those people in government, it’s still better to live in a country where your opinion is sought out every five years or so, than a country where such freedoms are but an illusion.
THIS THING CALLED BREXIT
But then came 2016. And David Cameron’s ill-conceived pledge to hold a referendum on our place in Europe so long as we could just find it in our hearts to vote Tory for one last time. So we did. And there was. And now we have Brexit. And in the continuing debacle that has followed Mr Cameron scuttling off the very ship which he shot a hole into (just as fast as his ratty little feet could carry him) everything has changed. Or at least it has for me.
Brexit means Brexit, we are told. That apparently is what the British public wanted. Except Brexit clearly hasn’t meant Brexit at all. It has meant promise-making, then breaking, in-fighting and name-calling and ship-jumping and endless votes which result in a return to that depressing square marked ‘One’. If you ask me, it seems to be getting clearer and clearer that nobody really knows what Brexit might mean.
And in a way, that’s still okay, because it really is a leap into the unknown, so there are going to be mistakes and confusion and probably some dead-ends and wrong turns along the way. But any of those can only happen once we do SOMETHING, anything, anything at all!
Or perhaps what I mean when I say ‘that’s OK’ is that it would still be OK if our politicians had the honesty to admit that none of them are exactly sure what’s going to happen next, so…please bear with us while we muddle through until normal service can once again be resumed. I would prefer that to the endless posturing and claim-making (outlandish and otherwise) all of which are then shouted down by everyone else (who presumably have crystal balls, so sure are they that Plan X, Y or Z won’t work). Hear, hear. Rhubarb, rhubarb. Etc etc.
THE END OF OZ
My feelings on the last 3 years? Frustrated. Disillusioned. And increasingly fed up.
But most of all I am disappointed to have discovered that our politicians are as clueless as the rest of us on the whole issue of what Brexit will entail. Have they always been this indecisive? I really did used to think that the politicians in charge knew more than me. They had access to information that I didn’t have and had the kinds of brains that could then do justice to that information, or so I assumed. That’s why they ran the country and I ran a motorcycle training company. But suddenly it’s like getting to the end of the Yellow Brick Road and discovering that the Wizard of Oz is actually just some geezer behind a curtain pulling levers and making strange noises. And who do you vote for after you realise that?
DOES IT REALLY MATTER?
Corbyn or Cameron, May or Miliband, I’m struggling to care anymore. I don’t feel strongly whether my Johnson is a Boris or a Melanie or a Diana. I’m not fussed If we Hunt for a Fox or an Eagle out there. I feel like they’re all the same (and I know they’re probably not and I’m being unfair) but while our politicians are trying to out-shout and outsmart each other, nothing is getting done and I suspect we have become something of a laughing stock to the rest of the world.
We’re not a revolutionary country, I get that. We like our change slow and gradual. But sometimes, as anyone who has suffered a personal calamity or tragedy will testify, life just tips you out of your comfortable little rut or groove and forces you down an altogether bumpier track. You can rail against it all you like but in the end that just wastes precious energy which is needed for more important things like clinging on and coming up with a plan as to what the hell to do next.
I know a little about this as my mother had a catastrophic stroke two years ago throwing family life as we knew it into a state of complete flux. It was scary…how do we cope? It was sad…things are never going to be the same again. But then time presses on and after a while you adapt and realise that now there is just a new type of normal.
WHAT COLOUR IS THE FUTURE?
So whoever ends up wielding the power to make these great future decisions for our country, I say let’s just get on with it so we can all finally settle in to whatever that new type of normal is going to be. Let’s get the Brexit Shit-Storm moving because we can’t come out the other side until we’ve gone through it. Red. Blue. Yellow. I don’t think it’s going to make a whole lot of difference in the long run. So who knows….the future’s bright, the future’s….orange? Right?