Thursday, 7 July 2016

One Party State?

The internal division in the Labour Party means that we effectively have a one party state right now. I suspect we all assume that will not last, but what if it does? We've seen what happens when you have a right wing one party state in Germany, and in Italy, in the 1930s. We've also seen what happens when you have an extreme, left wing one party state in Russia and China.

It's not attractive.

Yesterday I went to the Remain campaign rally in Sheffield, outside the town hall. There were only a few hundred people, well, it was a working day and a working day had been chosen because  of the scheduled council meeting which I attended - more of that later. I listened attentively to the speeches at the rally, all love and reconciliation, which should have appealed to me.

It's true, we won't win the argument by calling our friends and relatives stupid, or by accusing them of being racists, for all that there are some stupid people and some racists in our society. However, the notion that we should all cave in, unite in brotherly love and just accept the best negotiated settlement we can get with Europe is defeatist at best, catastrophic at worst.

The Remain campaign, and I'm not referring here to the hard working volunteers, but to the people who ran it and set the strategy did a truly appalling job. It was all about fear of economic collapse, and the warnings may well prove to be right. Construction funds are suspended, even Barclays shares were suspended briefly, the pound continues to fall, the Footsie 250 is dire and Mark Carney is printing money, relaxing regulation on the banks to encourage lending, I'll say that again, relaxing regulation on the banks (remember what happened last time) and getting as close as he dare to saying I told you so.

Be that as it may, what the Remain campaign failed to do was to point out the benefits of EU membership, and some people do actually want to vote positively, which is why they flocked to BoJo and Gove's put the great back into Britain propaganda and their implausible lies and undeliverable promises.

So what are the benefits of the EU? In fact they are manifold, if not always obvious. We're told the EU is undemocratic that its run by un-elected bureaucrats. False, its more bureaucratic than we are by miles, it offers proportional representation so minorities get represented too! Like the 48% who voted Remain and unlike the winner takes all system we have here, or the unelected Lords.

The EU has given us human rights, workers rights, the right of abode in countries we might like to retire to, or work in, or study in, citizenship, in effect, in twenty seven other countries, reciprocal healthcare, easier trade conditions with twenty seven other countries and negotiating power with the rest of the world. Without mentioning the myriad projects with universities and infrastructure projects in poorer regions etc. (Like Wales!)

Its all very well saying we're the fifth largest economy, but its mostly financial services and what do people really think will happen to financial services after we leave? Come on people its not rocket science. We will become the fifth largest economy and falling, because not only will financial services drift to places like Frankfurt and maybe even Dublin, but it becomes a question of scale. Obama was right, more important to deal with the other twenty seven than us. A positive campaign on what the EU does for us and what it protects us from would have been nice.

Which brings me to the council meeting I attended. Several of the questions were about 'what is the council going to do about replacing lost EU funding?', the first of these was about lost EU funding for medical research at our local universities. We were told that nationwide European universities are already pulling out of joint projects with British universities due to the uncertainty about our future. In every case the council answered that it doesn't have any money, cannot help and its up to central government.

I tell you, that £350 million BoJo and Gove lied about is going to be met with more demands upon it up and down this country than you can possibly imagine. By the way did you know that 20% of doctors here are from the EU and that North Middlesex Hospital just received a damning report for not having enough doctors. If Leadsome, or whoever, does build more hospitals, as promised in Brexit propaganda, where the hell they'll get the staff from I don't know.

Can anyone really think Andreal Leadsome can unite the country, let alone Gove? The Remain campaign have started to do her work for her if yesterday's speeches are anything to go by. One party state? Did anyone see Tory MPs Anne Marie Trevelyan and Anne Marie Morris interviewed on the box the other night about who they were backing for Tory leader. All bubbly and bouncy as if it were a jolly jape. No, it's disgusting and UK politics has reached an all time low. We don't want an un-elected opportunist Prime Minister, but their euphoria is understandable, they're politicians in the one party state.

Certainly Jo Cox was a different animal and I think some of the MPs around her may have shared her values, but on the whole our politicians are awful and by leaving the EU we hand them incredible new powers over us. Add a one party state to the equation and its the stuff of nightmares.

So what can you do? Well in order to reap the benefits of the new reality, in the 1930s people in Italy and Germany rushed to join the party. They didn't all want war or genocide they just wanted to reap the benefits of the new wave of optimism. So you could all rush to join the conservatives. They were in favour of the Iraq war too.

However, if you don't want a one party state, and you do want an opposition, or even a government, that's middle of the road, something for everyone, common sense, a party that stood against the Iraq war and still stands FOR the EU you'd better all rush off and join the Liberal Party, that or emigrate while you still can.

Malcolm Snook is published on Nook , Kobo and Amazon

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