Thursday, 1 June 2017

Bile and decency in politics

When I watched the recent live TV debate pitching Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party in the UK, against Theresa May, the Prime Minister, I felt deeply troubled by the attitude of a section of the audience, which was hostile to the PM in particular.
     What motivates the TV producers and presenters to select these attendees? Is it a desire to humiliate our politicians? Do I detect prejudice in them, a desire to provoke hatred and bile in voters? Many in the audience hated with passion and seemed to have lost the capacity to think logically. Small wonder, given that the program presenters were equally keen to adopt a negative stance. They hammer home the prediction that Brexit will be disastrous. Is this not false reporting?
     Corbyn is an old style grand-slamming, fundamentally weak politician who has always been anti-establishment. Until recently, he has never held any position of importance, and is totally incapable of serving the country as its CEO. This factor has to be of prime importance, irrespective of his likable personality, since in his vain naivety he would happily take it.
     In my humble view, his only credible role was as a true radical. Now, he has the chance to introduce full democracy, by continuing as the Labour leader. He can best do this by acting in accordance with the votes cast by the majority of his constituents. If all the other MPs in the Labour party follow his lead, changes could be profound. Otherwise, if a fluke of fortune elects him to be Prime Minister, he will come across as a spendthrift ditherer, nice but dim, like Tim Farron.
     Now to Theresa May, who seized her chance to replace David Cameron and was rapidly elected by her MPs. Since then a number of them have tried to undermine her, hence the obvious need for another election.
     During the debate, she was often heckled and jeered by opposition supporters. She immediately stopped and listened, in polite decency. This trend is uncommon in politicians, and she would have been better off ignoring them.
     During the many years she was Home Secretary, she was criticized for not having got immigration down, but it wasn’t for the lack of trying. What is forgotten is the key role played by the Libdems, junior partners in the coalition at the time, who blocked or watered down many of her proposals. The only reason they did this was to remind voters they were still there, in the wings of power.
     The man who often loudly claimed responsibility was the deputy PM, Nick Clegg, whose wife is a Spanish Human Rights lawyer, and he probably expected to go to the EU as his career progressed.
     Theresa May is so polite she refrains from indulging in the bedlam associated with politics. In fact, I don’t think she likes it much, standing on a soapbox and competing with others. I don’t blame her, after hearing their vacuous commitments and snide remarks.
     There are Brits amongst us who are determined to give away control of Britain’s sovereignty to the unelected, elite and pampered bureaucrats in Brussels, and are strident in their demands that we have a soft Brexit.
     Heaven help us if the voters choose any other party than the Conservatives, in enough numbers to put Brexit in danger. This outcome would be based on domestic concerns like the overbloated, forever underfunded NHS, whether fuel allowances should be paid to wealthy pensioners, school meals for all kids (what!), penalizing the wealthy, the burdens of an ageing population and countless other squabbles, like independence for Scotland. All of these presented by nonentities pitching for glory.
     It would be a kick in the teeth for the country. President Donald Trump is spot on about false reporting.