by John Ward
I CAN HARDLY BEAR TO WATCH FOR THE NEXT ATTEMPT OF THE POLITICAL CLASS TO GET IT EVEN HALF RIGHT
Returning briefly to last night’s study of purposeful incompetence compensated for by cunning guile, there is an insurance commercial on UK television at the moment. It has a claim in the ad which manages to be both ingenious and disingenuous at the same time:
‘We pay out on 100% of valid claims’
It’s a corker, is it not? Staying strictly with one’s feet on reality here, the claim says that the insurance company is exactly the same as every other insurance company, in the sense that it dismisses claims involving central heating systems allegedly stolen by polar bears. To be fair, the campaign does suggest that the company is better than the UK Department of Work & Pensions, which welches on all claims regardless of validity, humanity, legality and many other words with that suffix. But the DWP is a unique organisation, and a world leader in embezzlement, whose Mission Statement is “to draw a line in 1952 and let everyone born later go forage in the hedgerows for all we care”.
However, the impression given in the TV ads is of a company that always pays out. In truth, it will have the same negotiators, legal responsibility advisers and nasty-assed accountants as every other insurance outfit: those functionaries who work out their sociopathy problems in the community, as opposed to the Cuckoo’s Nest.
The campaign is trying to create an aura of what I would call ersatz trust. The job of almost every elected politician in the West is to do the exact same thing. What makes our epoch more interesting than most is that more and more generally apolitical (and most decidedly non-activist) voters in the UK and elsewhere are getting better and better at spotting the ersatz thing.
Trust – or rather, lack of it – is moving rapidly to the centre of politics. It was always there, but in the UK we should try and be thankful to the Eunicorns of Brussels for their sole contribution to our British culture: they have finally made it clear that the vast majority of UK politicians are loyal to themselves, their ideologies and their wallets. Most of them have no loyalty at all to the desire of ordinary Brits to be allowed to earn a decent living, think what they like, and vote out sheisters.
There are now eleven members of The Independent Group (or TIG) in the House of Commons. Another Labour MP and three Conservatives joined today. Forgive me, but my view as a marketing communications bloke is that – were they to ask for my help – I would run screaming to a secret address with all speed.
I have various reasons for saying that. The primary one is that I share absolutely none of their aims or base-metal values, but there are many others. High on that list would be the obvious fact that (with the exception of Heidi Allen, who is at least fanciable) they’re all electoral antimatter in the current environment, none of them have charisma, and they’re all blind to the calumny of Brussels.
In short, there’s too much ideology and zero leadership.
They seem convinced that they have found a gap in the market, but in reality there is no market in the gap.
It is as if, in the middle of a scandal about the dangers of toxic detergents, a small competitor to Lever Brothers and Proctor & Gamble were to launch the world’s first gas washing machine additive, call it Zyklon B….and then do the test market in Golders Green and Didsbury.
“There is a vacuum in the centre of British politics,” said one of Ocean’s Eleven earlier this week. Launching a vacuous symptom of the problem into that vacuum is hugely unlikely to produce any kind of political oxygen.
But specifically, the lack of trust in leadership goes well beyond what I would call The Second XI. In fact, all the main Parties display this in spades.
Vince Cable admits in private he is near to his sell-by date as leader of the LibDems, but anyway, he has shown himself to be a double-standards trougher in his complete dismissal of the rights of the 2016 referendum Brexit voters. Theresa May purports to honour that vote, but uses it largely as a stick with which to hit Labour’s Remain consensus….while her every action suggests that she and those Leftlib Remainers are on exactly the same page. Jeremy Corbyn harries and scores points, but he doesn’t lead: his Old Labour IS instincts are those of Tony Benn, but he hides these behind accusations of bungling by the Tories. He knows full well it is subterfuge (involving complicity in a coup d’état) not bungling, but won’t say so because, if he did, he would lose his job in short order.
Again – as with the Eleventh Hour TIGs – there is only blind ideology rather than leadership foresight. The vast majority of these jokers want a deal at almost any price, and the Brussels Bigots know that.
Is there anyone likely to emerge with the pragmatism and vision to change all this at the next UK General Election?
As I write, many Brits genuinely hoping for a Sovereign Brexit and go-for-it trade policies have their hopes pinned on Nigel Farage. Were he to form some kind of electoral alliance with Boris Johnson, they would see this as a dream ticket.
I don’t share their optimism. Farage is narrow and Johnson is a scattergun. Both re strong supporters of the globalist City. The Tory Party has a few deserters, but not many: the ERG are nowhere near the stage of wanting to jump ship. So apart from some grassroots organisers, Boris wouldn’t be bringing a lot to the Party. As always, the undemocratic nature of FPTP remains a giant Beechers Brook that ambitious politicians have been trying to jump since the days of Randolph Churchill. All have failed.
The courageous Tory Brexiteer Steve Baker is an interesting prospect, but he has a very unformed profile. Kate Hoey probably carries with her more goodwill than any MP in the land, but she is too old – and not steeped in leadership ambitions.
The problem with this ‘job’ that somebody needs to fill is that all the candidates are pint pots to be poured into a gallon can of worms….and nobody has the time to grow into the position.
For there remains in Britain (and in the US) the Great Divide…..this Grand Canyon between the global perspective wishful thinkers on the one side, and the devolutionary independence nationalist empiricists on the other.
I think the Gilets Jaunes are lighting the way. But such movements cannot remain as ethereally virtual Clouds of thinking forever.
It is as difficult as ever to see a way through it.