Wednesday, 12 December 2018

MAY'S BRITAIN... Part One: 'Moderation' Island

"The Conservatives must not be a single issue party. We are a party of the whole nation - moderate, pragmatic, mainstream; committed to reuniting our country and building a country that works for everyone; the agenda I set out in my first speech outside this front door; delivering the Brexit people voted for; building a country that works for everyone." - Theresa May, Downing Street, London, 12 December 2018, c. 08:50am
What's 'moderate' about enabling more homelessness and food banks in Britain? What is 'moderate' about 14 million being in poverty? More than one in five of the population. What is 'moderate', fair or reasonable about building an economy around a powerful constituency of multiple-home owning rentiers as opposed to tenants of social or private housing, the young or anyone who audaciously just wants to own one home?

As in the 1980s and 1990s, what is 'moderate' about flogging off the public realm and its public goods and utilities that are good and have utility for the public?

I would be impressed if anyone could persuade me of Theresa May's wise 'moderation' in leading Britain towards an absurd Brexit countdown, when she has indulged the "No Deal" fantasies of the "European Research" Group ultras every step of the way. Despite failing to win a majority in June 2017 for a "Hard Brexit". Despite the inevitable realpolitik of the UK being one country ranged against 27 kicking in. Terry Hall, Neville Staple and Lynval Golding had it right 37 winters ago, but could they ever have imagined the rise of such grotesque Thatcher sprogs as Boris Alexander de Pfeffel Johnson, Priti Patel and Jacob Rees-Mogg?

As Philip Alston of the United Nations reported in November, this government's domestic austerity programme is 'patently unjust and contrary to British values'. This government's foreign policy programme is shambolic and is fashioning a new, enfeebled, disgruntled Little Britain - or is that England? Cameron and May's Brexit will go down in history as the most ill-advised foreign policy since Blair's Iraq War of 2003, or even Eden's Suez Crisis of 1956. Our international self-belittlement is thoroughly interlinked with austerity: the mendacious, 'necessary' and national suffering visited upon us over the past eight years.

12 December 2018
Newcastle upon Tyne