White Lies & Whoppers
There have always been lies in politics. The scale of the lies is what is of most concern. I think we are all accustomed to being manipulated by politicians as they try to get elected or to retain popularity, but it used to feel more like white lies than whoppers. It used to be occasional not habitual. It has become compulsive.
Blair’s insistence on there being Weapons of Mass Destruction in Saddam’s arsenal was full of holes. That was a real whopper, perpetuated by Bush. Blair fell for it hook line and sinker, and it took us into a war on the coat tails of the Americans that few of the population in either country actually wanted. It has led to the spread of random terror that now seems impossible to control. That was probably Blair’s biggest whopper but it was so gargantuan that it caused a haemorrhage of trust from which he can never recover. Now his business interests allow him to travel the world being paid obscene amounts of money for public speaking.
Cameron lauded the “greenest ever government” and constantly spat out the assertion that “we are all in it together”, so he allowed himself to be bullied by the right wing of his party into a referendum that he was arrogantly convinced he would win, but actually he didn’t care one way or another. He was always going to be okay, and those he was in it together with were left with the consequences of a vote that will most likely cripple the country, economically, environmentally, and ethically. Resigning was not the honourable thing to have done. Staying on to continue the fight on behalf of the 48% would have been honourable, trying to get the best out of the bad deal he had created. Now his business interests allow him to travel the world being paid obscene amounts of money for public speaking.
So he resigned and we inherited an unelected leader whose “strong and stable” mantra now looks increasingly laughable. Her term in office began by putting those who had been the main supporters of the Brexit campaign in the ministerial posts closest to the trapdoor, with a pledge to not forget the 48%. She then significantly weakened her own position by arrogantly opting to increase her mandate to drive through our exit, thus forgetting the 48%. In almost losing the gamble and being forced to bribe an even more right wing minority party into supporting her still opaque plans, she also adopted a conciliatory tone with those much farther to the right than she, knowing that the Tory grandees would not sanction yet another leadership vote with the potential for yet another general election. So May is there for the duration of the current administration, and when she leaves after the next election, her business interests will allow her to travel the world being paid obscene amounts of money for public speaking.
The lies that have been, and are currently being peddled through our increasingly State compliant media are staggering. It started with the £350 million a week lie (later openly confirmed as a complete falsehood, but we seem okay with that). We have since had ‘increases in manufacturing’ to the extent that our manufacturing now accounts for 9% of GDP rather than the 10% for the last couple of years and the 25% it had achieved during the 1970s when the country offered real jobs and real futures. Germany’s is 22% and China’s 32% by the way. Not my figures, but from the World Bank. We make and sell weapons to some of the world’s dodgiest regimes. Our automotive manufacture is now entirely the domain of German, Japanese, Indian, and American companies who can pull the plug at any time if Brexit doesn’t suit them. We’ve had an ‘increase in employment’ but will someone please define a job? Take out the near million zero hours contracts and the statistics don’t look nearly so favourable. We have a dominant service industry and nobody seems to be taking seriously the threat to that of our divorce from Europe. What further silent incentives and inducements will May’s government hand out to the multinationals in order to keep their operations in the UK? Our children’s futures are to be in fast food and call centres, providing services to the luckier ones who are in real work or helping them to manage alarming levels of personal debt.
Oh and ‘immigration is coming down’ when it has hardly reduced at all, and immigrants are constantly pilloried in the media for being the core of our economic woes when actually the evidence is entirely to the contrary. The core of our economic woes is an austerity that has caused people in jobs to be forced to experience the indignity of food banks, because the rent they pay eats up to 60% of their income thus rendering the dream of owning their own home unreachable, or to join the increasing number of people sleeping in shop doorways and under bridges. This is Brexit Britain, and we haven’t even left yet. It isn’t much of a future that we are leaving for our children is it? So it’s high time we escalated the fight back.