Brexit’s legacy – authoritarian leader to ‘take back control’
By TruePublica: There has always been a danger about electing leaders like Theresa May. It appears that wherever there has been some sort of conflict between the job she was entrusted to do and her own political future, she has chosen the latter. This much we have witnessed since her awful handling of Brexit.
The Home Office was an indication of just how nasty she could be. She abolished two-year work visas traditionally applied to foreign students at the end of their degrees. Then clamped down heavily on ancestral visas for the kids and grandkids of expats, and then applied the £35,000 “minimum salary” threshold for continued visa renewal. They were desperate measures. None more so than the Windrush scandal that Amber Rudd took a bullet for. Her handling of the police force was a national disgrace as we are now witnessing almost daily with bodies piling up on the streets of cities up and down the country.
Let’s not forget the unveiling of one of the biggest scandals in political history that the mainstream media did not go to town on – that of the 360-degree architecture of illegal state mass surveillance that the East German Stasi would have blushed at, that May helped to build in secret.
It is predicted that by 2020, Britain will be a classed as a ‘techno Stasi-state’ because the general public turned a blind eye and effectively waved through the legitimisation of authoritarian decrees such as the Investigatory Powers Act and others that they simply did not understand.
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One should not forget that openness and participation are antidotes to surveillance and control.
And like Trump followed Obama because Obama did nothing to make ordinary people’s lives better, there’s a distinct threat about what is coming down the road as a direct result of Theresa May and Brexit.
The evidence is in plain sight.
The Hansard Society was formed in 1944 to promote parliamentary democracy. It first subscribers were Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee and is named after the Hansard Parliamentary Record, which publishes the proceedings of the British parliament.
More than 60 years on, the Hansard Society is understood to be universally recognised as the independent and non-partisan authority on Parliament and democracy and here is what a recent study by Hansard said:
63 per cent agreed that “Britain’s system of government is rigged to the advantage of the rich and powerful”.
56 per cent of respondents said they believed Britain was in decline.
75 per cent of the public had no confidence in MPs’ handling of Brexit, and overall they were more likely to have faith in the banks to “act in the public interest”. Yes – banks!
The overall picture was one of people generally engaged in politics but with little faith in their ability to shape matters, with 47% saying they felt they had no influence at all over the national direction.
Before the Brexit vote, 76 per cent of people supported more issues being put to the public in referendums, but this has now slumped to just over half.
The proportion who said the system of governing the country needed “a lot” or “a great deal” of improvement now sits at 77 per cent – the highest level ever recorded.
The conclusion from the Hansard report is that the system of governing Britain and the people in parliament is worse now than in the aftermath of the MPs’ expenses scandal.
“The public is pessimistic about the country’s problems and their solution, with sizeable numbers willing to entertain radical political changes as a result.”
This rising ‘anti-system sentiment’, as Hansard puts it, makes it quite clear that British people, in fact, two-thirds – think there are no longer any clear solutions to the big issues facing the country today. Its findings report that 75% of people think the main political parties are so divided within themselves they cannot serve the best interests of the country any more with less than one in three believing that political parties no longer act in the public interest.
“These Audit results paint a stark picture of public attitudes to our system of governing, and our politicians and parties. Unless something changes, and there is comprehensive reform of the culture and practice of representative politics, we are storing up some of the key ingredients of a potentially toxic recipe for the future of British politics.”
The legacy of David Cameron was his short-sighted, inept reading of the nation by offering a referendum on EU membership in the first place. The government then either failed to read the scale of foreign intervention into that referendum or deliberately looked the other way. Hundreds of millions of dollars, way more than official campaign levels of expenditure permitted was then poured into dragging the Brexit result over the line. The evidence for that is now very well documented even if the authorities are doing little about it.
Theresa May’s legacy will be recorded as nothing short of her abject failure to lead at every level possible. The result is inevitable. Already the economy is in decline. Inward investment in Britain has all but collapsed, the country is forever divided – locked in a battle that no-one can ever win.
The latest delay to Brexit with the EU’s ‘flextension’ offer is pushing the limits of the people’s patience and tolerance. In the meantime, the crisis of daily life for millions continues whilst the government is paralysed by itself and unable to do anything at all. The immediate future for Britain is not clear and so the list of companies leaving is growing by the day.
The suspicion of politicians, if coupled with a post-Brexit economic downturn, would be “fertile ground for a far-right populist surge” said Hope Not Hate – the group that monitors extremism.
Authoritarianism is where the people now see a way forward. More than half want someone to take control, bypass parliament and make decisions. Leaving aside the arguments on both sides of the Brexit divide, in reality, its legacy is an extremely dangerous path whether Britain leaves or not.
The FT even ran an article on authoritarian systems and concluded – “Of course, another way to ensure popular support for your authoritarian regime is by playing up nationalist sentiment. We are more tolerant of our home-grown bullies if we think we need them to fight our enemies abroad – as even democratic America has demonstrated in recent years.” And nationalism has rapidly risen in Britain in just the last three years.
Britain did not actually become a democracy until the Representation of the People Acts of 1918 and in little more than one hundred years, it looks set to come to be a democracy in name only as the UK is poised to make another huge mistake and follow America into what is slowly turning into a police state. Britain’s next leader will use Theresa May’s state surveillance architecture to crack down on those it deems as dissenters, which the state is already doing in the background.
Is this what the nationalist movement of Leave.EU, ERG and the radical right in the Tory party meant by taking back control?