Since the referendum I’ve considered the whole sad process of Brexit to be a Death March. Whether you had feelings on it either way and however passionately your feelings about where you belonged nationally and internationally one question only should have been researched and answered before any vote was offered: was delivery of it even plausible?
It isn’t. To be more specific, it isn’t possible to negotiate new deals on all the complexities of modern life and contemporary trading within a two year time gap, even when everyone is in a state of pleasant agreeableness. Naturally they weren’t in that state at all. The quantity and inflexibility of so many agendas grinding at each other within political parties, between the EU and the UK, between various parts of the UK and its neighbour, Ireland – not to mention the power jockeying of individuals – all these things would add years to such an attempt on their own merits. The sheer scale of disruption and the complete absorption of the civil service and the government into this one effort would be, and is, far too expensive in financial, social and human terms to be worth even trying it. Nobody could deliver it, regardless of their intentions.
The most revealing thing about the current situation and that of the USA, experiencing its own kind of Brexit as current governance shatters much of its civil estate into angry little bits, is what a magnificent lack of vision and lack of competence is on offer throughout various levels of government and politics.
Maybot chugs along. Corbyn has all the charisma of a dead sheep. Meanwhile the USA chooses Trump. I’d like to say it was all down to sense and policy and honest deliverables but it’s all down to whether or not you can ignite people’s passions and get them to stand with you. Having seen that this is true (and it’s not exactly news) why the hell did nobody with actual brains and policies find a figurehead and make a pitch that stirred the various internal organs of the UK population with a fire for, oh, I don’t know, a national identity based on kindness, fairness, tolerance but not of intolerance, intelligence, generosity, magnanimity, perspicacity, principle, honour, humour and compassion? Surely someone’s policies and goals could be honestly written within these terms and embodied by a human being with slightly more grasp on connectivity than people comparable to machines and ex-animals?
We plebs need something wonderful to rally behind and not all these pathetic exclusionary whiners on the far right and far left who’ve managed to figure out how to use the very worst way of uniting people in a tribal scrapping frenzy by yanking their fear chain and playing into their narcissism. It’s a feeling thing. You have to engineer that first.
Britain should not be tied to a place but a feeling, very specific feelings that have learned from past mistakes (so, not located in anybody’s genes or colour or gender or location) and have a lot to offer the world, generous with all that is most valuable and protective of all. When we feel great and secure and happy, we create the best things. It’s not rocket science and you can still smite the wrongdoers of the world and exclude them from your borders.
The unsuitability for purpose of the present party systems of election and governance is beyond question. They’re simply too inflexible, unrepresentative and too staid. What they will evolve into has not yet appeared and isn’t even on the horizon. The interim period is very interesting, in that unhappy way.
I’m a Skiffy writer, so I like to imagine a future where there is no human governance. There is AI. Like The Culture, everyone is provided for in terms of their survival and basic comforts, according to where they live. Universal pay, regardless of what you do. A lot of competitive things from sports to gardening to anything you can compete at, but no pressure to join in. Free education and healthcare. E-sports as standard. Games galore. Believe what you like but you can’t force it on others.
Well, as I write that I realise there’s a problem. It sounds too good. Too peaceful. It doesn’t deal with human tendencies to tribalism and our enjoyment of our own aggression unless you add in a huge robot police force and surveillance.
On the other hand it sounds OK compared to bloody Brexit.