Have you ever watched an episode of BBC Question time?
If the answer is no, then it is time to make a change. For those of you who answered yes, you will be aware that is represents our current state of political affairs perfectly.
The big topic for debate every single week is obviously Brexit. There is an occasional smattering of Trump and other topics, but by in large it is always Brexit. I watched it religiously. I am gutted when it isn’t on every Thursday night (Why does a political show need to take a break when politics doesn’t?)
The reason I watch it religiously is because it feeds my inner cynic. The part of me that needs proof that everything is fucked. Question Time delivers that on a weekly basis.
Question Time Cynics
Each week there are five or six panelists sat along a curved table. If they are politicians, they throw out the platitudes of their party’s position. Unless of course you are Nigel Farage who then answers that everything is the EU’s fault or because of the corrupt career politicians who do not understand working people (says the 20 years in politics making a career out of it politician…) or that Brexit can simply be solved by going on WTO terms. Those are his three answers to everything.
But it is the audience who are the stars of the show. And not for good reasons. They are meant to be politically informed individuals. That is why they apply to go on the show. And yet it is the exact same comments and questions every fucking week.
“The person there in the glasses”
We voted to leave, so just get on with it!
If you guys can’t sort it out then give it back to the people
You leave voters didn’t know what you were voting for!
Remoaners are thwarting the will of the British people
And so on..
Brexit has caused these sorts of remarks to become common place. The 52/48 divide is obvious every week. The issue is that the two positions espoused weekly aren’t even the sensible options when thought out to the end. They are just the easy answers people can repeat constantly. Like Farage who has never hard to difficult answer to a question in his life. These people are the Question Time Cynics. They want someone to run with the easy answer or they will sulk and shout profanities at them.
Both those calling for No Deal or a Second Referendum have the answers the country needs. Truth is my cynical side can sum up both sides of the debate as follows:
“We want a Second Referendum!”
We have another vote with “Remain and Reform” answer and “Leave in some form” answer on the ballot. They argue for this because they want to remain in the EU.
Problem – They believe they can reform it from within. Ever stood in a room with 27 stubborn people with their own agendas? Ever had them unanimously agree on anything?
One persuade will persuade seven people to their side, another person will get eight people. Another six with a few struggles in the middle. Then you try to find a compromise which is fucked up by the three people who just want to be difficult.
Now blow that up to Twenty-seven countries in the EU trying to agree on reform. Not going to happen substantially enough to satisfy the British (add even more countries and that’s why the UN in screwed). So that solution is short term at best.
Brexit on World-TradeOrganisation Terms
On the other side of the argument is that Britain should just leave on WTO terms. These terms were designed to help stabilise collapsing economies. They are a patchwork of rules that pale in comparison to a genuine trade agreement. They are not designed for the fifth largest economy in the World to trade on.
However, there is a vocal portion of the Brexit side that wants us to leave without a deal because it appears to be an easy and quick solution. It doesn’t take any commitment or effort for them to demand that. It just means we are out of the EU as soon as possible.
Damn the Consequences
The reason I gather they believed that it would be easy to get a deal originally was because we are Britain. And because we are Britain and we are British, that the world will give us what we want. That is why you often hear claims that the car industry in Germany or the wine industry in France or the chocolate makers in Belgium would force their governments to give us exactly what we wanted. I guess that whole concept came from the fact that at one point, our empire ruled a quarter of the World.
Therefore, we believed we can still demand it all and they will just give it to us. The EU will give us everything we want without the cost of membership. Even the Labour Party said they want the same arrangement we have now without having to pay. Because who has ever joined a gym used their equipment, then quit the gym and still expected to be allowed to use their equipment?
Because we are British
But now you may have noticed that the EU hasn’t given us everything our own way just because we are British. No, instead they have played a hard negotiation as you might expect from a set of mature 27 nations. It is almost like they have their own agendas…
So that has resulted in the Brexit lot demanding we leave without a deal. The reason they feel we can do this is for the same reason… we are Britain. We can snap our fingers and trade deals (that take years to negotiate) will appear from thin air.
We are screwed
Both sides in the debate are petulant and short-sighted. Both sides are incompetent and are unwilling to put the hard sweat and bloody work into achieving a proper exit from the EU.
That is why it is so easy to be a cynic right now. All I have just done is criticise without giving a solution that is viable. That is what the Question Time audience do every week. That is what the politicians in each of these camps do.
Easy slogans with no real answers
I voted remain because it was the easy option. I always knew what a vote for leave meant. It meant leaving every aspect of the European Union, including the Customs Union, the Single Market, the EU Commission, Parliament and all the rest. That is still the basic definition of Leave.
But that doesn’t mean you have to leave without a deal to achieve that.
No Deal is leaving one house with all your furniture and belongings and moving into a new house that is completely bare with nothing but a few notes in your wallet.
What should have happened…
A sensible deal could have been negotiated if Theresa May and her incompetent Government hadn’t been in charge (I am not saying Corbyn or Labour would have been better). Theresa May allowed the negotiations with the EU to be split into two stages. The withdrawal agreement and then the Free Trade Agreement. That is the root of all the issues we are currently facing.
The Government should have negotiated our withdrawal from the EU in tandem with a free trade agreement. Whilst that was going on, we should have remained in the EU under the current system for as long as it took. That means that we could easily settle our debts with the EU without committing to further projects and membership, thereby getting rid of the divorce bill, exited all the aspects of the EU and transitioned smoothly into our new relationship under the agreed deal.
The reason that approach was not followed was because our politicians felt they had to exit the EU as fast as possible following the Referendum.
Was it ever truly possible?
The Cameron Government did no preparation for the scenario that Leave might win the Referendum. Etonian arrogance maybe? But left May without much to stand on. Except she then chose not to do any real preparation before she triggered Article 50 the following March.
Because of this incompetence, the negotiation stages were split into two which gave ridiculous amounts of oxygen to both the No Dealers and those demanding a Second Referendum. Miss step after miss step has led to the calamity we are facing.
The danger of all this incompetence?
Everyone becomes a cynic. Everyone believes the democratic system is fucked because incompetence leads to failure. Failure is painted as a betrayal. The betrayal is used by those with designed on this nation that I prefer not to imagine such as the bigoted bitch, Ann Widdecombe (she wants us gays to be cured by science now because the pray away the gay clearly doesn’t work).
So being a cynic is easy but it might become the norm for most of us thanks to this Brexit fiasco caused by the total incompetence of our government and politicians.
Just look at Question Time