Brand Britain – A global reputation in flames
TruePublica Editor: What a dreadful week for Britain on the international stage. Brand Britain, once held in high esteem for its history, fortitude, culture, rule of law and traditions has gone from triumph to tragedy in the blink of an eye. A global opinion poll for the BBC saw the UK ranked the third most positively viewed nation in the world (behind Germany and Canada) in 2013 and 2014, in the wake of its hosting of the 2012 Olympics.
Throughout most of the 1990s, Cool Britannia – a period of increased pride in the culture of the country was celebrated. The political battleground of the day was fought over centrism. This was a time when the political outlook involved acceptance of a balance of social equality while opposing political changes which would result in a significant shift of society strongly to either the left or the right. Any politician on the fringes in those days were unpopular.
In a YouGov poll in 2015, membership of the EU ranked alongside issues with transport as most concerning – way behind the economy, health and education. And one year before the 2007 financial crash other polls showed there was overwhelming support for EU membership.
In 2016, the EU referendum was offered. 17.4 million people voted to leave the EU, 16.1 million voted to remain. David Cameron walked. In March 2017 Theresa May pushed the Article 50 button without a plan. Even then, most politicians, economists and political commentators were quite restrained in their language no matter how strongly they felt.
Within 18 months a society level chasm had appeared. Today, chaos now reigns the land. Centrism fell into that chasm. So did anything resembling moderate views.
Boris Johnson’s behaviour is without doubt historic. He pitted his government against the monarchy. Then did the same against the judiciary and lost. Extreme voices are making extraordinary demands to have the Supreme Court dismantled amid accusations of treason. Next, he will pit the government against the people.
Boris Johnson has now shown himself capable of ignoring anything at all to do with the institutions that uphold both society and democracy. He has shown that his insatiable and voracious drive for power at all costs, will be exactly that – at all costs. By the time the snap election is over – Britain’s international reputation will be in tatters.
The announcement at the Labour Party conference to abolish private schools may well be popular with Labour voters, but the reality is that this simply smacks of a retaliatory move adding to the culture war that the Tories brought when they came to power. And this culture war is tearing Britain apart at the seams. This new culture war is not just about diversity versus traditional values, it is now about everything.
Most people I’ve spoken to are channelling their new found anger through their hardening stance on Brexit. Facts and any sense of logic have been thrown out of the window. Broken promises over the EU referendum result and actually delivering Brexit itself is driving a wedge through our most basic belief systems. Even those who pretend that they are simply not interested are angry about it. All this is being encouraged by the disgraceful behaviour of a British Prime Minister – a known liar, a law-breaker and with the latest allegations emerging – is politically corrupt.
An election is approaching. There can be no doubt at all in anyone’s mind about how the Conservative party will fight it. They will literally burn anything to the ground that stands in its way.
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Remember ‘strong and stable’ anyone?
The institutions and structures that made up Britain’s liberal democracy since its emergence from the Second World War that created a strong and stable country are now all fair game. The very notion of inclusion, tolerance and our once famous sense of fair play has gone up in smoke in the name of this new culture war. The Tories brought us this hell. Universal Credit, Windrush, hostile environments, austerity, rampant privatisation – the list of its policies that have attacked all things moral is never-ending.
As we head towards October 31st, the ‘do or die’ date, more finger-pointing and accusations of betrayal and treachery will be spat at anyone attempting to moderate the unedifying spectacle of a parliamentary system surrounded by fires. The government is attacking the courts, deceiving the monarchy, dividing society and leading the country into unchartered waters, where there are many known unknowns.
Currently, Britain has an unelected populist leader who will stop at nothing to grip the seat of power and as from his return to parliament yesterday, the Conservative party are now more united than ever in their hatred towards Labour, towards ordinary working people, the middle classes and moderate attitudes. Their inflammatory language is a green light to the far-right and they know it. Tactical voting will be the order of the day – an attempt to get the least worst option between a no-deal Brexit and a second referendum.
Now that the National Crime Agency has also given a green light for dodgy foreign cash to pour into British politics you can expect the descent of democracy, currently circling the plughole to disappear into the darkness. The current trajectory on almost every count is now negative with no sign of sunny uplands.