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.

It all boils down to this.

In or out? That is the question. Should it be that simple? Probably not, but ordinary people persist in seeing the issues as a binary choice. The Politicians do not share this view, because (they think)they know better. Sadly David Cameron seemed not to know better when he posed the choice.

Like it or not, the binary choice storks the national psyche, despite all the infighting about backstops, common standards, customs unions and associate membership, they matter not a jot.

Come the European elections, people will vote in or out and it will be interesting to see if the Brexit Party sweep the board. They will surely win the most votes for an individual party, they may even win an absolute majority of votes cast! What then?

Firstly it will be their worst nightmare come true for the EU. Their parliament, if the UK does not find a parliamentary solution to exit the EU, will be invaded by a large number of Euro-phobes who will do all they can to wreck EU plans. The outcome of the European elections matters as much to the EU as it does to us, so there is an additional motive for the Euro-sceptics to turn out next week.

This would under ordinary circumstances gee up those in power to get a result, but with Mrs. May in charge it seems unlikely.

The consequence may well be that there will be a vote of no-confidence in Mrs. May which could well bring down the Government and hasten in a general election. Farage and co could well form a coalition with the Euro-sceptic side of the conservative party and -yes- daft as it sounds, form the next government.

This European Parliamentary election is much more important than it seems, if the Brexiteers turn out in force, then bye-bye Politics as we have known it. Hello, populism, perhaps a lurch to the right, all the things that reasonable Brexiteers hoped to avoid.

In the last resort, it’s the will of the people, at least of most of the people. It is imperative that we all use our vote. I will vote, I hope you will too.

Borrow now, pay back never?

The world is lurching toward another financial meltdown.  Debt is spiralling out of control with all the superpowers going the same way as Japan.  The USA, China and the Eurozone, are piling up debt which is unsustainable.  Add to that the Trump proposition of turning inward  and starting trade wars and the recipe becomes more poisonous.

There seems a disconnect between the macro economic planners and the ordinary citizen, the man in the street who is still blithely encouraged to max out his credit cards and gamble as wildly as he can.  The idea of responsibility and restraint seem to have vanished from our psyche.  Even the memory of the recent bankers crash seems to have faded with astonishing alacrity.

Low interest rates have been seen as the cure to stimulate damaged economies but of course these measures have encouraged more borrowing and less saving thus exacerbating the debt spiral.

Debt equals hardship, if not now, then certainly when the debt is called in.  This is true for  national as well as personal debt.  When are we going to wake up?  Already we see slow or no growth and productivity stuck in a rut.  Going backwards and digging filthy coal is surely not the answer.

Hence the mass return to populism, the easy buck promise is in the ascendancy.  Trump, Farage, Barron et al, shout for the easy way out, namely, screw your neighbour.

Meanwhile the poor get relatively poorer and the rich richer as the manipulative money engineers continue to hedge and make money out of distressed high streets and edgy currency markets.  For example Bitcoins may be an abstract to most of us but it is yet again a method to help those who have the financial muscle to make hideous amounts of money.  At whose expense?  Somebody like you and me.

The arrogance of learning.

‘Sharing the capital of education.’

From across the pond, we hear of the chaotic White House, of Trump antics that never cease to amaze us, and we um and ah and ridicule this extraordinary man, the POTUS.  Not the sort of extraordinary that I would necessarily admire, but extraordinary for sure.  There is an attractiveness about the extraordinary, the renegade, the iconoclast that appeals to us all.  Robin Hood, Guy Fawkes, and Dick Turpin all live in our folklore and we still celebrate their lives disreputable though they were.

There’s something of Guy Fawkes about Trump, he wants to metaphorically at least, to blow up the establishment, he is clearly self-possessed and obsessed with the mission. He believes that he can create change in his own way and in his own image, and around 38% of Americans believe him.

They don’t believe him because he’s prescient or clever, they believe him because he’s potentially the man who may bring down the status quo.  They believe him because he speaks in generalities (some would say inanities) about making America great again, and creating hundreds and thousands of jobs.  No detail here, just clarion calls to the dispossessed. That 38% of the voting population believes him is a staggering fact, and it may be a low Presidential rating, but it’s a high electoral support bank.

The incidental background about immigration, Mexican walls, and phony trade wars is what the 38% want to hear.  That it is unlikely to make any difference whatsoever, is neither here or there, it’s Mr. Trump’s trumpet they want to hear, and the more he shouts the more they listen.  Any criticism from the traditional media is seen as part of the liberal elite’s perfidy, the denial of the blue collar rights. Let the great revolution come!

Are they right? Well, the educated liberals don’t believe they are, the question is what do they do about it?

Only the French would rally round the smooth Macron, an elitist with liberal visions. In so doing they have claimed the number one spot on the soft power stakes.  Trumpism, on the other hand, does the opposite, and smacks of isolationism and xenophobia. And yet the 38% of American voters are oblivious to the value of soft power or for that matter America’s place in the free world.

It is the arrogance of the educated classes that has alienated the blue collar right wing, capitalism has generated humumgous gaps between the rich and the poor.  The most dreadful gap is not all about money it’s about education and the sooner we all wake up about this the better.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump I fear is bound to flourish.