Many a political commentator have remarked upon the profound and, potentially devastating,
impact that Brexit is having on the Conservative Party of the United Kingdom. Some talk of the party
fracturing is, of course, hyperbolic, but it is undeniable that the division between Leave and Remain
Tories appeared to produce a significant rift.
Until recent legislation enacted at Westminster aiming to thwart a ‘no-deal’ Brexit was passed, Tory MPs were faced with a dilemma; risk breaking the parliamentary element of the party or lose a significant proportion of future votes. This could have been a pivotal moment in British political history. At least, that is how it may have appeared. However, with politics there is always a third option; procrastination. The Brexit can has been kicked down the road from Westminster to Brussels and back again. Weeks, months and years passed by. MPs have debated and broadcasters have filled programmes and time-slots with endless rhetoric
and challenges over the validity, or value, of the referendum result. As a consequence, virtually
every British person is fed-up to the back teeth with the subject.
Time has also appeared to have an effect on MPs. Since the referendum result was announced,
harder opinions held by MPs on the ‘leave’ side have gradually started to soften. Meetings have
been held by rivals ‘in the spirit of co-operation’ and compromises are being suggested. It is difficult
to determine what, and how much of what, is going on is genuine. I say that because politicians
don’t always act on the basis of deeply held beliefs; far from it, by definition, a ‘political act’ is one
which is carried out in order to improve status or power. As such, some politicians will only speak
with confidence if they think that the message resonates with the audience listening at that
As a consequence of this, it is difficult to determine whether the positions of individuals
and groups (or, indeed, the whole situation itself) has been manipulated in order to mislead, thwart
democracy or engineer a more convenient outcome. Bear in mind that throughout the process, Brits
have been reminded of the philosophical debate held between the value of decisions made through
democratic processes versus decisions made by ‘experts’ (particularly when the former are
considered ignorant and the latter well-informed).
Be it contrived or not, many Brits have lost trust in their political system. After all, the Leave vote
was, by many, a reaction to years of (what appears as) distain for common folk by the establishment. For decades, politicians ignored and poured scorn on the wishes of people. The current situation further contributes to the impression is that (particularly working class) voters are often seen as just an inconvenience that has to be managed.
The Conservatives have been in power for 9 years and, despite their title, during that time they do not seem to have sought to ‘conserve’ much. Following on from the legacy of previous administrations the UK continues to witness:
- Family values degraded;
- Established cultures shunned;
- Spiritual identity eroded;
- Social cohesion fracturing;
- Identity politics deferred to;
- National security compromised;
- Dissenters shamed and censored; and
- Cowardice praised.
All adding to people’s feeling of powerlessness and lack of hope.
Of course, the situation is not a uniquely British problem. The whole of Western society is similarly affected to some degree. Whilst Western society’s disproportionately affluent elderly and aging population may have bred a generation of lazy and entitled millennials, Europeans do retain a number of amiable qualities. They
are, for example, extremely tolerant and agreeable (according to statistics the United Kingdom is
one of the least racist and most tolerant of all countries). Furthermore, their Christian background
influences their forgiving nature and willingness to accept strangers. Unfortunately, such qualities
came as a convenient and irresistible solution to the leftist political, media and academic classes
who occupy a steadfast support for a ‘global Europe’.
Once upon a time the West maintained position by invasion or by invitation; now Britain and Europe
appear to be maintaining economic power by human displacement (the method may have changed,
but the objective may not have). One could understand why the neo-liberal ideal of a federal
European super-power might provide some short-term economic relief to Union members. One
might accept the motivations of corporate greed and why a Conservative may be attracted to the
availability of cheap labour. One might also explain how a growing population can help prop up a
failing economy, maintain house prices and prevent a decrease in GDP. Nevertheless, what is
incomprehensible is why, in doing so, they would knowingly damage the wellbeing and future of
their own citizens.
Unfortunately, we have witnessed quite clearly that ‘the voice of the people’ carries little weight
against big business, gravy-train politicians, the corporate fat-cats and the fawners. It has, however,
sparked a realisation; an awakening in ordinary people. Have the political classes recognised this
though? Will they begin to act upon peoples’ concerns? Or will they double-down and become even
more tyrannical in their pursuit of their global vision for Europe?
Resolving the Brexit crisis will not repair the damage already done or prevent any damage yet to
come. There are some overarching issues that need to be addressed quickly, openly and honestly by
politicians Europe-wide. Immigration policies, for example, must now be transparent and have
public support. Unless the Conservative Party take the lead in this process in Britain they face a
diminished and fragile future. The spat over Brexit is the least of their worries.