Boris Johnson, former Court Jester to the British Conservative Party, is now Prime Minister thanks to the votes of fewer than 160,000 geriatrics for whom the pressing matters of the day are a repeal on the fox-hunting ban and a desire to see Spitfires flying once more over the White Cliffs of Dover.
We live in a world of infotainment where the road to political success comprises mainly telling pathetically obvious lies to the simple-minded while being as entertaining as possible. Hence Johnson, who failed as a journalist (but succeeded as a purveyor of lies) and who failed catastrophically during his short stint as Britain’s Foreign Secretary, merely needed to follow the Trump Playbook and his ascent to the pinnacle of power in Britain was assured. Admittedly Boris the Clown doesn’t have Trump’s whining self-pity nor Trump’s sycophantic obsequious servility around “strong” men like Duterte, Putin, and Xi. But he does have Trump’s ability to tell infantile lies with conviction, and that’s all you need these days.
As a result, just as the USA has self-harmed irrecoverably, so too the UK will self-harm irrecoverably as it shortly crashes out of the most successful trading bloc in history. Although Brexit was sold to the gullible on the grounds that not only would it be easy and cost-free but in fact it would boost the British economy, Brexiteers now concede that a major recession will in fact occur, but not to worry — eventually Britain will be better off. And if it turns out in fact never to be better off, well then, it’s no doubt all the fault of the European Union because, well, it’s got to be someone’s fault and it surely can’t be the fault of all the Brexit liars and their credulous followers.
Meanwhile Italy is about to manufacture a home-made economic meltdown by spending far more than it has while already in massive debt, Hungary is increasingly a neofascist state under its oberfuhrer Victor Orban, Poland is retreating into theocratic demagoggery under the guiding hand of the malignant Jarosław Kaczyński, Marine Le Pen will almost certainly become the next Presidente of France, and even Germany is seeing a huge increase in neofascist violence encouraged by the slimy morons of Alternatif fur Deutschland.
We can be permitted to wonder how on Earth so much absurd self-harm is being perpetrated. We used to worry about being attacked by the USSR but the real threat turns out to be ourselves, albeit with a generous amount of help from Russia, which has funded Le Pen, the Brexit campaign, and various other populist/nationalist groups around Europe as well as providing an endless stream of misinformation across the Internet.
It’s enough to make you consider the possibility that as a species we’re rather dull-witted, gullible, and easily manipulated by the unscrupulous.
Let’s look a little closer.
Boris the Clown and the other charlatans of Brexit claim they are “carrying out the will of the people.” There are many ways in which this claim is entirely without merit.
First of all, few if any Brexit voters thought they were voting for economic collapse, the loss of millions of jobs, the loss of Britain’s status in the world (it’s now a laughing stock), a significant reduction in services by the NHS as it loses funding and personnel (37% of nursing staff and 24% of doctors are foreigners, most of whom don’t plan to remain in the UK after Brexit because of the huge increase in racist violence and the clear message that they are no longer wanted), and a collapse of the UK currency.
Secondly, Brexit was sold on a package of lies. People who have been tricked have not exercised a legitimate choice.
Thirdly, only 37% of the British population voted for Brexit and all polls (and all by-elections) indicate that an actual majority is firmly against leaving the EU, especially now the true costs are becoming apparent. Parliament itself is firmly against crashing out of the EU with no negotiated deal but Boris the Clown plans to suspend Parliament in order to ensure it can’t thwart his theatrics. Apparently getting rid of Parliament is what “democracy” means these days.
Finally, whoever said “the will of the people” was the right thing to follow blindly?
This is a particularly pertinent point because Boris the Clown desperately wants to be seen as Winston Churchill 2.0. It’s salutary to remember, therefore, that Churchill’s greatness came not from slavishly following “the will of the people” which back then would have been to negotiate terms with Hitler and accept almost any agreement whatsoever if it seemed to offer the chance of avoiding war, but rather to ignore “the will of the people.” Churchill, almost alone among politicians and public alike, realized that more appeasement would not ultimately deliver safety and so he chose to stand up to Nazi aggression. But it was, at the time, an extremely unpopular action.
Poor old Boris the Clown, so desperate to be liked that he’ll say anything to anyone in order to get a round of applause, would never be capable of such fortitude.
Churchill also was patient and cunning. He knew he couldn’t sway the great American public so he worked on Roosevelt and took what he could get, namely the lease-lend agreement that enabled Britain to build up some semblance of martial capacity. Boris the Clown, on the other hand, stupidly blusters and postures and paints himself into a corner before even beginning, thus ensuring total failure of any potential negotiation with the European Union, an organization he appears to believe should exist solely to enable him to lie and posture without consequence.
Britain will most likely crash out of the European Union on October 31st and watch its currency and economy collapse. This will, of course, all be the fault of the EU. Millions of jobs will be lost in the following decade and this again will all be the fault of the EU. Climate change will cause more extreme weather events, which will over-tax the UK’s under-funded services, and this too will all be the fault of the EU. The NHS will be utterly unable to meet people’s needs and this (yes, you guessed it,) will all be the fault of the EU. Indeed, when a Brexit supporter wakes one morning to discover unsightly pimples on his face, this will of course also be the fault of the EU.
In short, the UK will perform massive self-harm and learn nothing whatsoever from the experience. Brexiteers will cling to their fantasy-world lies, most Brits will passively accept whatever happens to them, and the clever people with a bit of cash will leave for whatever countries remain that are less enthusiastic about indulging in chopping off their own metaphorical limbs.
And it will all be the fault of the European Union. Because, let’s face it, we can’t blame the liars and the charlatans and the supremely gullible and intellectually indolent voters who made it all possible, could we?