The Election Mix – which idea will win?

Here are some of the prevailing ideas that are held across the UK and there follows ways in which the groups may think and consequently vote. There are so many groups and so many motivations that the traditional tribal lines may well be scrambled. One thing is for sure, The electorate is more conscious of its choices than it has ever been.

I’m working class – I vote labour, I always have, I always will.

I’m a professional manager, I make a few bob – I vote Tory, always will.

I’m retired, I’m struggling a bit with health and lack of wealth – I vote Lib Dem, maybe I’ll change!

I’m an academic, I think we should stay in the EU – I’ll vote Lib Dem.

I’m a thinker – a plague on all their houses I won’t vote at all.

I’m a Scottish national and I want independence- I’ll vote SNP.

I speak Welsh, I’m a farmer – I’ll vote Plaid Cymru.

I’m on benefits, who will look after me best – I’ll vote labour.

I’m old, I want the good old days, – I’ll vote whoever guarantee Brexit.

I’m a student, who wasn’t a socialist at my age? – I’ll vote Labour or maybe Lib Dem.

There are so many profiles. But Brexit has driven a wedge through them all, which makes the upcoming election so unpredictable.  On the surface it seems most people are fed up with the whole political system and want to see the Brexit ‘thing’ come to an end.

The options and prevailing attitudes are, in no particular order:

 I don’t care, and I won’t vote for those wonks in Parliament, who don’t take any notice of what I say.

Let’s get on and vote for resolution respecting democratic choice, vote Tory or Brexit.

I want us to stay on the EU, I want another vote, I didn’t know what I was voting for last time.  I’m confused, I think I’ll vote Labour. But what about Corbyn, McDonald and Co.?

I definitely want to stay in the EU, but can I vote for the Lib Dems?  They never seem to make much of a difference.

I want to leave the EU, let’s vote for Boris, at least he seems to have a plan. The Tory elite are not covering themselves with glory, bunch of clowns, privileged toffs, liars and hypocrites – still, they have a plan

I want to leave the EU without a deal, a clean pair of heals, let’s go let’s vote for Nigel and his Brexit party. However he has no other politics or ideas. A waste of vote?

I want independence for Scotland (Wales) and we’ll stand on our own two feet in the EU.

I want to know who will look after me, that’s what counts, I can’t manage – does anybody care?

Add all these up and what do you get?

Who wins? Which dominant idea will prevail?. 

 Boris Johnson wants Brexit and Government,

Jeremy Corbyn wants Socialism/Marxism (Does he want Government?).

The apart from the Nationalists in Scotland it’s hard to see what will be an alternative dominant idea.

Negativity and no change seldom win arguments, even for the Lib Dems.


Elections and promises.

It is amazing how gullible we all are.  Every election is a competition of who can promise us the most.  It starts at the ideology level, the aspirants as opposed to the social engineers. Low tax for high earners to encourage enterprise, versus fair contributions to make the country more equal.

One political Holy Grail is the NHS.  It is a cup that will never be filled, as exponential demand grows with both medical advances and an aging population.  Add to that the enormity of the social care crisis and we can all see that the future at the very least will be contentious.

One side rants about the apparent immediate take over by private enterprise whilst the other denies it. The abolition of private medicine is an ideal of the social engineers, an anathema to the aspirers.  They believe that choice is a fundamental democratic right!  Even if having that choice is dependent on the ability to pay.

The issues are very muddy whatever your politics, but every political party salesman/woman oversimplifies the choice and option. Yet it is obvious that even the definition of the problem and the possible improvements and long term goals are extremely complex.

It is not a matter of how much money our Government throws at these issues. (I will spend more than you!- I hope I have it to spend- who cares?) The problem is ethical, financial, and practical. It is a choice between say, health care and policing, it is the balancing of resources to deliver a civilised society.

And so we return to the political roots of our political system. The Right, Left, Centre, Nationalist and Green. Add to that the notions of national identity and our place in Europe and the picture gets more and more complex.

The history of British politics remains routed in tribal and class identity.  This may well be blurred by the Brexit conundrum. 

It seems to me that certain larger than life politicians, all populists are thriving on oversimplified promises of which there is little chance of delivery.  The sad thing is our gullibility will let in the political fantasies of the fibbers and downright tricksters of this cynical political age.

We don’t know what we don’t know

I have spent some considerable time researching the ins and outs, truths and lies, and shades of opinion about Brexit. I continue to be astonished by the ignorance that attends arguments on both sides.

It seems to me that the most important issues to understand are the cultural issues that drive the factions, this way or that. There is growing support for the belief that future financial modelling can mean whatever the modeller wants it to mean.

I enumerate some of the dominant ideas on both sides of the fence,

1 Leave:

We are the only country in Europe who have never been invaded. (Since mediaeval times.) Consequently we need to keep our independence and do our own thing.  We won the war so we are better soldiers etc. and we don’t need these less than reliable neighbours telling what to do. We led the world from the middle ages and our influence remains strong, far and wide.  If we stay in Europe we will lose our voice.

Keep control of our borders, keep our NHS etc. for us the Brits!

The EU is a vast bureaucracy, with a bunch of petty bureaucrats from tin pot places like Belgium and Luxembourg telling us what to do.

We have the best judicial system in the world, we don’t want judges in Brussels or Strasbourg making decisions beyond our control.

2 Stay:

EU is second biggest trading block in the world, over 50% of our exports rely on the EU.  Imports likewise.  Free trade with such a huge trading block underpins our prosperity and to leave would be absolute folly and result in huge detriment to our financial and wealth prospects.  Many thousands of jobs will be lost.

The EU has been the biggest and most lasting influence for peace in Europe for the last half century or more.  To fragment such an edifice of solidarity and mutual support is madness.

The cooperation in non- trade matters, as in science and education is phenomenal and gives member states huge advantages both as lead contributors and supporters.

3 Don’t knows:

I’d like the benefits of being in the EU but I like the idea of being a free agent in the world. In fact I have very little idea of what I want, nor in many cases do I care.

These illustrations are far from exhaustive, but I can see the appeal of the first two.  For the third ‘Ignorance is bliss’.

You could summarise (with some trepidation) Leave: Living in the past.  Stay: Fear of change, comfort in status quo.

The snag is these dominant ideas are very narrow.  Yes they are easy to assimilate, but they really are less than half the story.    Neither argument addresses key issues such as the economic instability of the Euro, the implications for NATO, or indeed what is going on in the rest of the world. 

The electorate is virtually equally divided (give or take 4%) and that voting opinion is founded on these much oversimplified dominant ideas.

Taking the Brexit issue in isolation, the prospects are that politicians will hammer home these oversimplified arguments and polarise the Leavers and the Remainers. 

The prospect for the next election is bleak. And whatever you believe, the winner will be ignorance, delivering oversimplified ideas and promises which no one will be able to execute or deliver.

Understanding Brexit 3.

Whilst all the Brits are arguing about Brexit, it seems that there are only two sides of the conflict, it all boils down to ‘stay’ or ‘leave’.  Not many people are asking;  What is it we are staying with, or leaving?  What are the aims of the EU and what does the future hold for the EU? What are the lessons to learn from our actual experience?

We all agree that the EU has evolved from the EEC.   A trading alliance has evolved into a political federated group of nations.

The aims of a federal Europe are peace and prosperity for its member states. Its history has certainly delivered a relatively peaceful period in mainland Europe, though conflicts have continued on the European perimeters, particularly on the Eastern fringes.  The EU has survived a number of issues but has shown itself hesitant and unsure about its collective defence.  This has been exacerbated by the eccentric USA leadership and the NATO alliance.

The Eurozone quarterly economic growth was confirmed at 0.2 percent in the second quarter of 2019, slowing from a 0.4 percent expansion in the previous period. UK performance is slightly ahead at 0.3 percent. Germany’s gross domestic product shrank while Italy’s economy stagnated, Spain’s GDP growth slowed and the French economy expanded at the same pace as in the first quarter.

Most countries in the EU were meant to pass certain minimum standards before joining the Euro currency. Sadly, political enthusiasm got the better of the establishment with the consequent disaster for the PIGS.  Looking forward Italy for example has 130% of GDP as debt, Greece at 182%,Portugal 123% Belgium 105%,  this is not sustainable and it is hard to see how the European Central Bank will keep the Euro from an early crash.

The UK pays a net figure into the EU each year.  This figure is £9bn.

This made up of an allocated budget contribution of £17Bn less a rebate of $4bn plus and inward grant to UK’s least prosperous areas of $4bn, (such as Wales and the Cornwall).

The UK’s budget net contribution is about £9bn, but this varies year on year and is forecast to grow.

Boris Johnsons original red bus claim that £350mn a week could be spent on the NHS was an exaggeration of 100% , the real figure we pay to the EU net per week is closer to half that amount.

This 9bn per annum is by no means a reflection of the costs or benefits of being a member of the EU.

We can be pretty sure about how much cash we put in, but it’s difficult to be sure about how much, if anything, comes back in economic benefits.

So overall we paid in £8.9 billion more than we got back. 

The Treasury figures show payments the EU makes directly to the private sector, such as research grants. In 2016, these were worth an estimated £2.3 billion, so including them could reduce our net contribution further still.

The money we get back will be spent on things the government may or may not choose to fund upon leaving the EU. It’s not enough to look at the net contribution in isolation because what we get back isn’t fully under our control.

A membership fee isn’t the same as the total economic cost or benefit of EU membership.

Being in the EU costs money but does it also create trade, jobs and investment that are worth more?

We can be pretty sure about how much cash we put in, but it’s difficult to be sure about how much, if anything, comes back in economic benefits.


What do you think Brexit means?

–The European Union has developed from a trading bloc concept post second world war to the political union institution of today. It started as a trading proposal and then developed into a political union. The treaty of Lisbon 2007 replaced the EU’s key treaties — the 1957 Treaty of Rome primarily and conceptually a trading agreement, and the treaties of Maastricht (1992), Amsterdam (1996) and Nice (2000) Each step following on from the treaty of Rome has moved closer and closer to a federal Europe. Indeed the treaty of Lisbon is the accepted foundation of a Federal European Constitution.

The idea of a political and eventually a federal Europe has above all been the most effective way of keeping the peace in Europe, and in many ways expanding the idea of democracy to former communist and totalitarian states. This has undoubtedly been an enormous boon to the peaceful advance of Europe as a whole. The other benefits are that Europe has a much stronger voice in world affairs and much more clout when it comes to both soft and hard influence.

The Lisbon treaty has laid down the primacy of the European institutions over, (though shared in some limited issues), national sovereign governments. The European Union’s exclusive decision making encompasses the customs union, competition rules, monetary policy over euro members, common fisheries policy, commercial and international policies. This effectively means that the EU centre has primacy over all things regarding the internal market including, social policy, territorial cohesion, agriculture and fisheries, environment, consumer protection, transport trans-European network energy, freedom security and justice, public health.
Individual states are left with a much modified freedom of legislation. The greatest change has been the introduction of the Euro as a common currency, a massive operation that was implemented in a political euphoria that resulted in catastrophic economic consequences for the PIGS, (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain). Portugal has been the first to begin recovery from this catastrophic politically motivated financial change. The desire to spread the economic unity of a single currency remains one of the most intransigent issues which the EU faces. There are eleven currencies in the EU presently and all except two, UK and Denmark are bound to accept the Euro as their currency. The European Central Bank will therefore hold sway and all the member states who will eventually have to accede to fiscal union, i.e. The ECB will have the last word on budgets and thus austerity or expansion.

There are rules which govern the translation of national currencies to the Euro. Hopefully lessons of the past (Greece et al) will be learned. This is where many Euro sceptics shy away from the Federation idea, clearly to have a currency union will require the surrender of national decision making (sovereignty).

The other argument that is a worry to some, is the overall primacy of the EU in commercial policy. In the interests of the common customs union and other trading matters, the EU is defensive as well as enterprising. The EU whilst protecting its internal market, restricts access to other external markets and insists on unity of trading principles from all its members. Membership restricts members’ ability to exploit their individual specialist skills or knowledge – another Euro sceptic objection. Defence and Food industries (agriculture and fisheries) are two which are particularly sensitive to non-European opportunity.

Whilst the Pound Sterling remains outside the Euro, and the UK dominates the defence scene in Europe (which is quickly changing), the issues of international defence relationships are also vexed questions, particularly to the UK, which with France, is a permanent member of the Security Council. . The relationships of NATO and with the United States are confused with the EU aspiring to flex its own muscles on the world stage. Good or bad? Probably the former in the longer term, but there are serious issues with some member states who seem not prepared to invest in defence but still want the collective protection.

Many of the European states are keen to accept the democratic ideal, though several still have autocratic and populist aspirations. Here membership of the EU is an undoubted force for progressive good. However, the cumbersome nature of many national ideas is also a hindrance to unity and deftness to respond speedily in a very dangerous world. The strong will need to surrender their leadership international roles and be more sensitive to consensus politics. Leadership of the EU is now vested in France and Germany, how long will that be comfortable for the smaller nations.

One of the great planks of the European idea is freedom of movement and this was one of the emotive issues when the UK held its in/out referendum. The awareness of the good of immigration, has since dawned on the British public, and perhaps this has become a lesser-issue for many, but not for all. Control of our borders is a cry not only of the UK but many EU countries in the light of mass migration from the Middle East and Africa. This issue is not going to go away and seemingly will affect all nations for the foreseeable future.

The European Court of Justice is clearly an important pillar of European integration, there is much confusion in the minds of many that the Court is involved in minor admin, (e.g. the price and shape of bananas) and whilst no doubt the Brussels community is a humungous beurocracy the Court plays an essential role in the furtherance of judicial rules across the EU.

In this blog I have tried to draw attention to some of the pros and cons of the European dilemma. Not the British dilemma, which courts division, the breakup of the union, and much risk besides. One thing is for certain that if the UK leaves the EU it will have a detrimental effect both in the UK and the EU. There will be a shrinkage of the EU economy, and the UK which currently makes up 17% of the EU economy,will certainly find, at least in the short term, some very difficult issues in the financial services and agricultural industries in particular.

The possibility of the reunification of Ireland is a problem that nobody wants to face, yet it may be the only answer to the Irish problem. That would prove a detrimental financial blow to the Republic of Ireland and there is no real support there for such a move. The UK on the other hand, could foresee the unification of Ireland as a boon, since Northern Ireland has a substantial fiscal deficit running into billions of pounds/euros.

Scotland also may opt to have another vote for cessation from the Union, which if granted in the earlier days of withdrawal from the EU, could swing away and cause a huge uproar in constitutional and legal affairs in the UK. The Welsh who have the greatest fiscal deficit (per head of population) may well agitate for independence, but reality makes such an aspiration unlikely to succeed.

So there are great risks on both the EU and UK sides. Whist there have been many divisive shrieks from both sides of the Brexit arguments, no one can prophesy the future with any certainty.

In sketching the threats and opportunities that face us all, I hope some will be given food for thought.

Trust me, I’m a politician!

Boris Johnson’s recent escapades with the constitution have illustrated that populists are innovators, as well as threats to democracy, as we know it. Johnson, I suppose would argue that he is strenuously trying to deliver the Brexit the majority of Brits voted for, and was thus supporting the democratic majority. Well he has a point, I suppose, particularly in the absence of leadership. Since David Cameron handed in his badge and washed his hands of the whole matter there has been a palpable lack of leadership from any quarter.
The dilemma that faces Boris is that Parliament is determined to thwart ‘Boris the populist leader’ from delivering a Brexit that they fear will be bad for the UK and incidentally, wreck traditional political party structures. There will be no perfect deal, some are therefore for a deal and some are for leaving without a deal. It is worth saying that no one really knows what will be the actual outcome under any scenario. Some want to stay where we are, which we know is fairly comfortable, but with many issues round the corner.
The more interesting question is; Is any leader better than none? Boris maybe a bounder and an unorthodox politician, certainly an opportunist, but he does give the aura of confidence and by association leadership. By standing for the majority simple view, he is easy to understand and has a clear and popular message.
His attempt to thwart Parliament, was an attempt to exploit the Brexit election result and place him as the leader and figurehead of the Brexit majority which crosses all party lines. This idea, is extremely innovative and extremely high risk. Will he succeed? Only time will tell.
Whilst the whole country is wrapped in awe of the political shenanigans, the economy seems to treading water, but there are danger signs out there. Very low inflation and high employment, especially high or mass low paid employment, is a sure recipe for a downward lurch. What’s missing is investment, not in process, but in new innovative products. Risk, is avoided by a stagnant body politic, and corporate investment is aimed more at process innovation which will simply reduce labour demand. If the UK does find itself in a disadvantageous import export situation, there will be even more effort to reduce costs and labour content. In other words, increased efficiency has the cost of reducing labour, and the present corporate modus is to reward shareholders rather than reinvest in product innovation, which has longer term rewards.
Iconoclasts like Boris Johnson have something to teach us, unpalatable though that maybe, we have to risk much if we are to achieve a longer balanced prosperity. The unorthodox is in itself the foundation of innovation.

The Government we deserve!

I’ve been away ten days watching from a distance the shenanigans going on in the UK. It would be amusing if it were not tragic.  The union is in great peril and the ‘Great’ in Great Britain is all but lost.

One of the most extraordinary profiles to arise is the paradoxically whimsy for self-government, which flies in the face of the idea of being a member state of the European Union. (Distant regulator, unelected Government vs Home Rule) Yet the Scottish Nationalist Party and Plaid Cymru both claim to want to remain in the EU.

The Welsh Assembly is conceivably the most useless instrument of government yet conceived elected as it was by the tiniest majority 20 years ago.  A majority I believe of around 6000 souls out of 29% of the electorate who bothered to turn out.  Since then the Assembly in Cardiff has grown like topsy and has become the world’s leading exponent of kicking the can down the road.

The Scottish Parliament is rather more full blown, but is still wary of making difficult choices about fiscal issues and consistently bang on about independence and the delights of being subservient to Brussels rather than London.

Westminster is clearly full of essentially do-gooders, who in most part are no more switched on than their constituents, once elected they believe they have a responsibility for the wealth and welfare of their constituents.  Unfortunately their constituents don’t see that.  MP’s are often seen as self-important bureaucrats who are essentially looking after themselves.

The political parties have shown themselves to be crumbling towers of Babel where no one understands the electorate or what drives their constituents.  The constituents, or voters, are for the most part entirely ignorant of matters economic and political and who were given a referendum choice which no one understood then and no one understands now.

Our two/three party system which is entirely class based, ‘workers’ often ‘out of work, workers’ used to vote labour, and those with a few bob used to vote Tory, those who thought they knew better voted Liberal.  All their supporters were self-centred, and in the most part knew nothing of geo-politics, economics or indeed about anything outside their narrow sphere.  So we evolved to this shambles.

Enter Boris Johnson, egocentric clown, character and comedian.  Prime Minister?  Well maybe, a clown is what we’ve got and that’s what we probably deserve. Is”

Welsh independence, crazier than Brexit!

In my blog entitled Lurching toward the destruction of the Union, I noted that both Scotland and Wales depend on Central Government at Westminster for substantial funding to sustain the national standard of living.  The distribution of these funds is as per Barnett formula which, for whatever reason, favours Scotland above Wales.  I deliberately did not delve into thing Northern Irish since that whole scene including the backstop are essentially incomprehensible.

I repeat the main premise of my argument that:

 1 Both Scotland £133.0 Bn and Wales £61.5 Bn do not earn GDP anywhere near that of the UK which is the sixth biggest in the World. It is certainly much lower in Wales and is drastically lower than the South East of England including London.  Wales has 23% of its population living in poverty.  Average wages in most of Wales excluding the three conurbations of Cardiff, Swansea and Wrexham are less than £20,000 per annum.

2 Wales has a net fiscal deficit of £9.1 Bn. This is the key issue and I have yet to hear a reasoned response, or proposal to solve this gap, from any of the nationalist independent parties.

3 Currently all the devolved regions of the UK depend on hand outs from central government at Westminster, thus enjoying their existing standards of living. This distribution was entirely dependent on the Barnett formula but this has been adjusted over time in the favour of Scotland and Northern Ireland and to the detriment of Wales.

4 Without the wealth of metropolitan England, Wales (and the other devolved entities) would be substantially poorer.

5 Handouts to the poorer parts of the UK by the EU are of course funded by the UK’s net contribution to the EU.  The EU were always net gainers from UK membership.

What is it then, that the independence movement of Wales want?  The labour Government that has ruled Wales on devolved matters for 20 years has overseen a gradual decline in the Welsh economy compared with the rest of the UK. What Wales is known for, apart from certain sporting excellence, is fragmented industry with 99% of businesses described as ‘small’. Indeed the Labour Assembly Government is known best for what it has not done – like cancelled the vital M4 relief road.  Kicking the can down the road is the key talent of the Welsh assembly, with neither government nor opposition showing any leadership or innovative intent.

Does Plaid Cymru want complete separation? Or more devolved power over taxation? Trading affairs (being free to join or leave trading-blocks outside the British Isles)? Lawn and Order? How would the independent nations handle defence? Immigration? Do they fully recognise that independence will make Wales, perhaps, by 15% poorer, at best!

If devolution is taken further should the devolved governments or assemblies have representatives in Central UK government?

If Wales and Scotland become devolved or closer to independence then surely the English Assembly cannot be far away.  Would an English Assembly carry more clout with Central ‘Federal Westminster Government’ than the nationalist entities? After all the majority of income will still be from South East England.

Do they want to become individual nations in a federation of the British Isles?

The great affection for Scottish and Welsh cultures is a marvellous thing and to be cherished.  Certainly, most would agree, that this truly the business of provincial government. 

It can be contended that this up surge in nationalism is more driven by cultural influence than economic reality.  No doubt, central government, as it now is, is overly focussed on the GDP generating regions (who could not excuse them?).  One could not argue, that the Scots and the Welsh have a point as they strive to affirm their tribal identity.  However it is an enormous and disproportional step to leap toward independence from The Union of the United Kingdom.

Devolution has let the cat out of the bag.  Devolution for the West Country, the North East and North West seem just aspirations too. Where do you stop?

Love your tribe, love your nation, but love our union as well.   

Who will change their mind?

Changing your mind, implies you may have been wrong in the first place.

 It may mean that certain issues have come to light, and that these have changes the premise of the original proposition.  This is easier for technical or situational issues.  This is the easiest to do, but even in these situations, people often hang on to old hypothesis or ideas despite the new proven facts.

Changing your mind may be the result of; ‘well, if she/he says so, it must be right/wrong,’.  Clearly most of us accept the influence of individuals or institutions dear to our hearts.   Needless to say such influencers can be good, e.g. Martin Luther King, or bad, Hitler.  Nevertheless there are influencers in the world who do change massive human beliefs such as Xi of China. Comfort comes to individuals in belonging to the tribe, ‘If the tribe accepts, it’s OK for me.’  These are very hard circumstances in which to voice an alternative view.

 Changing your mind, to most of us, implies a weakness, and to admit that weakness is difficult. Is it a weakness or a strength to have the ability to re-assess our ideas, which may be well entrenched, or even have deep seated cultural attachments.

Change, namely adopting a new mind-set, is something that individually and collectively does not sit comfortably or naturally with any of us.  Nurture it seems very much outweighs nature.  The idea of social mobility, if seen in this context, is much easier to promulgate than practise.

In the UK we are being asked to make our mind up about leaving the European Union where we have been members for over 40years.  The ideas, which are being tested have been found to be exceedingly complicated.  Dominant ideas, include the hardest tribal fixed idea is, that being British is good and all that this entails, (World wars which Britain won, Royalty, unwritten constitution, mother of parliaments, freedom of the press, etc., etc..) Most of all the loss of sovereignty.  This dominant idea transcends political loyalty.  All sectors of the UK community espouse these ideas.  They are being asked to revert to a Great Britain which has been and to a lesser extent still is, a substantial influencer in global trade and policy.

The alternative idea is the European collective moving execrably to a federal Europe.  A beacon for peace, a massive trading block and a highly sophisticated political machine than can be a major influence in world politics.  Freedom of movement and unification of financial rules and fiscal unity will surely come. Ultimately the wealth of the EU will be shared thru’ enterprise and innovation throughout the territories as national economies are integrated.

Both visions have their points but each is dominated still be the echoes of the world wars. Germany and France lost, Great Britain won.  So what? You might say, but these are the dominant ideas behind the ‘remainers’ and the ‘leavers’.   You could postulate that as the younger generation grows so will the history of GB fade, you could argue for either dominant idea, but because of the political ineptitude of David Cameron, we have to make our mind up now.

The people voted narrowly to leave, Parliament (a mix of eccentrics with their own set of ideas) has been unable to accommodate the EU’s demands for separation. We now find ourselves back in the battle for, leaving without a deal, a review of the original vote, or a plebiscite to approve a leaving agreement terms.

In this morass of complex ideas, it seems that the voters have lost their faith in any of the political parties.  

There is no conclusion here, only oversimplification on one side, and a mixed and incoherent babble from the other.  It is likely but not certain that the majority will side with the simplest idea, because that is the one we can all understand, and maybe some will change their minds, even in desperation. c

88% can’t be wrong – can they?

A recent survey showed that whilst it is a close run thing on Brexit choices, a huge majority in the UK have lost faith in Parliament and those who sit there as members.

This exemplifies the move toward populism and self centred materialism. It is though an inescapable dilemma. Who knows best? Our elected representatives, or the collective ‘me’.

Dangerous times, me thinks, Trump and now Johnson flouting constitutional precedents and making wild and vulgar promises they cannot hope to even pretend to keep. Shabby, is a good word that comes to mind.

How shabby are we, us, me? Should we put our trust in our elected representatives?

With the chaos we now face, should we listen a bit harder to those with whom, we have to date, disagreed?

Good politics, I used to believe, included the art of compromise. If we are not careful, we shall be plunged into a world of bombast and populism where he who shouts loudest will be ‘The Man’.

How to build a bridge betwee Parliament and the people remains the issue of today and everyday. Both sides need to listen to each other, only then, will we be able to return to respect for good governance and respect for constitutional precedent.

In the next ten weeks the UK, we will have to decide.