Brexit: Making sense of the UK and the Bipolar Brassiere
Take an S and the final E off the word Brassiere (an undergarment supporting the breasts) and you get Brasier, the maiden name of Theresa May, the British Prime Minister who spent two and a half years negotiating with the European Union without creating a consensus in her own Parliament.
In general, in my columns, I do not do political assassination pieces and try to find the other side of the person in focus. In Theresa May's case, I am certain that she would be an excellent host of a sophisticated dinner with a nice, tasty, crusty, aromatic English pie with the right amount of cheese sneakily added in the dough mix for the pastry, served with some fresh vegetables cooked to perfection, a silky, heavy gravy yet with a curious twist of something special, some excellently chosen fine wines before she wows the table with an exquisitely decadent French gateau oozing with raspberry jelly topped with molten 70 per cent cocoa chocolate. That, with an intelligent, lively and interesting rendition of the season's cricket.
However, what really gets my goat with Theresa May is her sheer and unadulterated arrogance and the utter stupidity of her strategy. Let us face it, when she was Home Secretary (Minister of Internal Affairs) she became famous for the repeated one-line policy justification when asked a question. Fair enough, because when you find yourself as a POS in these Positions of (Public) Service, you are given two lessons: first, to have your bag packed by the door because you might have to leave tomorrow morning and secondly, to respond to interviewers' questions by turning everything into up to three concise answers and bring all the questions back to these, the backbone of your message.
In Theresa May's case, it is disappointingly one single phrase, such as "a strong and stable Britain under a Conservative government", or "We are leaving the European Union on March 29th" or "It's my deal or no deal". It is getting shorter. Perhaps next week it will be the word "Cornflakes". So Mrs. May, what is the alternative to your deal on Brexit? "Cornflakes". Hmmm...Which brings me round to the analogy of the Bipolar Brassiere, one painted black, the other, white with no seven shades of... in between.
The point is not whether Theresa May has the negotiating skills to master her brief at this point in time - she has not and never has had. She is reasonable material for a junior ministerial level in which one has to toe the line and utter the right sounds at the right time, without having to think much, speak much or appear much in public. What happens when someone like that does, is the cringingly embarrassing dance routine.
The point is whether the British Government or indeed its entire political class has any idea of what Brexit is all about, and here it is, lock, stock and barrel:
The European Union is the fruit of a Germany endemically needing Lebensraum for its industries because the Germans are regimentally well organized and hard-working and disciplined and always have been, their technology is sound and their machines work. Ask any driver of a Mercedes taxi whose car has been running 24 hours a day for 20-plus years without the need for a revision. It is also the fruit of a France and Belgium scared sh*tless that the Germans will invade again. So much for the origins.
And today, the European Union is the fruit of a load of ninnies who in the 1990s went too far, too fast, creating something in a decade which should have taken centuries as thousand-year-old economies and societies with their socio-economic-societal vectors were hurriedly patched together to form what is after all clearly a neo-liberal project, Fortress Europa. That entity which went gallivanting across the globe drawing lines on maps, forcing people to leave their families and be carted off across the oceans in a sea of excrement to become slaves for the rest of their lives while their families starved to death back home. They destroyed entire nations, committed genocide, stole resources then declared that the inhabitants of the lands they destroyed were "illegal immigrants".
On the other hand, diatribe over and back to today, Europe and the European Project is part of the process of cultural globalization in which common standard operating practices are used for accounting (OK except for the Germans but they are...sort of...über Alles, so to speak), in which common rules apply to guarantee minimum levels of security and well-being, in which development projects are implemented with common funds and in which Universities pool their knowledge, people are free to work and travel across some invisible line called a "frontier".
It is far from perfect but when you form a block you have to take the rough with the smooth and you cannot have things all ways to your own selfish advantage all the time. If you don't like it, vote against it. This is 2019, not the nineteen-twenties when you just invade someone, shoot the natives in the whites of the eyes and civilize them with the Bible and the Bullet, elevating the secondary power group to a state of primacy so that it needs the invader to remain in power, and in so doing, totally destroy the status quo. It's called Divide and Rule, something the British have always excelled at. They're not so hot when the chickens come home to roost.
And now let us focus on Britain and Brexit. We finally see what the United Kingdom is: a collection of peoples, almost micro-states sewn together under a common reference, the Monarchy (which does its job very well). Open the can of worms and what happens? Something like Brexit.
The peoples of the United Kingdom have been fed decades of ridicule by a mass media bordering on the hysterically absurd, which presents evidence of the level "someone heard someone else who thinks she heard someone say at the hairdressers' " and being a good-natured but gullible bunch, half of them fell hook, line and sinker for the utter nonsense and sh*tfaced lies peddled as the truth by toffs and toffs' friends about how much more money the UK would have if it did not belong to the European Union.
The reality is quite simple, and let us use an analogy. A family thinks about selling its historic home, a mansion set deep in the leafy Surrey countryside. They call the family together (seventeen of them) and have a vote. Just over half, nine of them, are swayed by the discourse of the Prodigal Son, a trader of intelligent bathrooms called Justin Thyme, who claims that the family will make billions from the sale because the land can be developed into housing estates.
Little do they know that prospectors have discovered oil deep beneath the property and that other prospectors suspect that part of the estate is rich in shale gas. The whole area is about to be drilled to the core and have the living daylights fracked out of it.
The family starts to have second thoughts about whether it is such a good idea to sell the property, and the younger ones coming along, now eligible to vote, want to retain this pearl in the English countryside and open it to schools to use as an eco-park or Biosphere. Three of the elders have since passed away, so a family vote today would go the other way, eleven in favor of remaining in charge of the property and six against, with two of the six now over 85 and with three of the next generation aged 17.
Justin Thyme said "No, we said we will sell, so sell we shall". In fact he said it 376 times in just four days in a series of interviews.
Back to the real world. This is where the Peoples of the United Kingdom stand today, faced with the reality of what Brexit means. It means losing any voice within the EU, it means paying to do business with a block where today they do it for free, so it means continuing to accept EU norms, paying for it and with no voice in return to change anything. It means paying more for imports, which means rising prices. It means fewer exports, so it means growing unemployment. It means the positive employment figures peddled today by the Government (it also depends on how you cook the figures) reflect the UK inside the EU. Wait till the UK comes out and see what happens, however the figures are cooked.
It means fewer opportunities for the young, it means fewer University exchange programs, it means the closing of research centers in the UK employing, today, thousands of people, it means panic among insurers, among banks, it means a drain of business, cash and opportunities for generations to come, it means the UK falling apart at the seams as a bunch of elitists talk of cloud cuckoo land without having a clue what they are doing.
Now for those who really want to know what Brexit means, Google up millions made by shorting the Pound (about those who made tens of millions out of Brexit while the people were sold lies, using them like guinea pigs) and Google up 2019 EU tax law on offshore funds (under which those who have their cash offshore to avoid paying taxes will have to declare and pay tax on their stash, in their own countries).
To conclude, it is incredible that anyone, including and especially the Prime Minister, could even be considering that a No Deal Exit is on the cards less than a week before the UK might leave. It is equally incredible that the Prime Minister and Parliament can refuse a second referendum when it is clear that the first referendum was illegally managed, was flawed, was based on lies and when people had no idea what they were voting for.
Democracy would dictate that the people are given a second chance, because it is evident that Parliament is a failed medieval project, or at best one belonging to the Early Modern Historical period. Given that official polls place REMAIN at over 60% and LEAVE at under 40% (the gap widens by the day), perhaps the Prime Minister, her Government and Parliament should try following Democracy. They will not, because they know that a second referendum = no Brexit.
It is by now clear that Brexit was fixed, the people were duped and the Government does not want to practise any form of democracy. A flawed vote taken in 2016 does not reflect the reality today.
Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey works in the area of teaching, consultancy, coaching, translation, revision of texts, copy-writing and journalism. Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru since 2002, and now Co-Editor of the English version, he contributes regularly to several other publications in Portuguese and English. He has worked in the printed and online media, in daily, weekly, monthly and yearly magazines and newspapers. A firm believer in multilateralism as a political approach and multiculturalism as a means to bring people and peoples together, he is Official Media Partner of UN Women, fighting for gender equality and Media Partner with Humane Society International, promoting animal rights. His hobbies include sports, in which he takes a keen interest, traveling, networking to protect the rights of LGBTQI communities and victims of gender violence, and cataloging disappearing languages, cultures and traditions around the world. A keen cook, he enjoys trying out different cuisines and regards cooking and sharing as a means to understand cultures and bring people together.
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