Thursday, 2 June 2016
Brexit is the only way to reconnect our politics
Ben Kelly of The Sceptic Isle is less than impressed by the "mediocre and disheartening" Brexit debate. I am less than enthused myself. It has largely been a private battle between old enmities in a vote that nobody really wanted and few understand. The public have heaved a collective "meh".
But there have been two debates. The one between people on the internet which has been detailed and far reaching and then the prone in the parallel universe that is our media which is only just waking up to the fact that things are not as straightforward as they may appear.
We have seen countless explainers of "Essential things you need to know about Brexit" which largely contain nothing we actually need to know about it. If this referendum has revealed anything it is the extraordinary ignorance of the media and our politicians. But then that's actually nothing new to us bloggers.
More acutely we have seen how the media could not be less interested. It has lost its curiosity and investigative skill. They trade almost entirely in hackneyed soundbytes and offer no real insight. They largely ignore any sources from outside of the bubble and have the chutzpah to suggest we need them for a healthy democracy. They are completely lacking any self-awareness as to just how bad they are.
It is little wonder then that the media complain that traditional titles are declining. They offer nothing you would part with money for. The only reason I have had cause to refer to the media in this whole campaign is largely to see how bad it it is. It's more a benchmark than a source of information.
And since our politicians are so hopelessly reliant on the media and sources of prestige they are none the wiser either. If you want to keep a secret from a politician or journalist, publish it on a blog. It's the one guaranteed way it will never be read by them. The only way to get them to recognise new ideas is to rebrand them and disguise them as though they came from within the bubble. Only when they have peer approval will anything be acknowledged in their reality.
But this is actually instructive as to why we are having this referendum. In most areas policy is the product of public debate between the media, the preferred academics and the politicians. If you ain't in the bubble you don't exist. Consequently we routinely get bad policy designed to appease a public sentiment which exists only in the minds of news editors. They are responsible for the disconnect between the governors and the governed.
It is from there we find a smouldering resentment of the political classes, and the widely held view that our politicians do not answer to us. They don't. They dance to the mood music within the bubble which has no bearing on what any of us actually thinks.
And this is why we are pushing to leave the EU. Not as an end in itself but to achieve revolution in domestic politics. To break the deadlock and shatter the cosy consensus. This is why there is so much establishment resistance to Brexit. These people are happy with the arrangement and enjoy the privileges of it. But it's also why a remain vote doesn't solve anything.
If we vote to remain that resentment is only fanned even more as the establishment will have thwarted a democratic revolution and will gleefully rub our noses in it. And though we have been promised jobs, prosperity and security if we remain, nobody will be held to account when they do not materialise. Things will go on as before with an ever more remote political class with no ideas of its own.
It's actually quite telling that the Vote Leave campaign, itself a product of this dismal little bubble, would adopt Ukip's ridiculous "points based immigration" mantra. It has no ideas of its own. It doesn't matter that it's actually a bad idea. They use it because it is their only idea. The fact that it has been defeated time and again in public debate seems not to concern them.
If we remain in the EU we will see that gulf of mistrust widening, not least after one of the most dishonest political campaigns in living memory. The bubble will seek to continue with its own myopic fixations while politics becomes increasingly an exercise in Bicycle Shed Syndrome. They have already surrendered vital powers that make much our our government redundant. The result of this can only be ever more resentment.
And since they have ruled out leaving the EU, the only thing that can break the deadlock, we will see them grasping at ever more risible proposals to re-engage the public. They cannot solve the problem because they do not understand what is at the heart of it. That is yet another reason why we must leave. A system this broken is incapable of reforming itself. It must be forced and Brexit is the obvious solution. It's the one peaceful external impetus that could force a factory reset on our politics, bringing about the largest political restructuring since the war.
And we really do need this. This blog has outlined in detail how the EU is a cul-de-sac, a relic which cannot reform to meet the challenges of the internet world. It is an ideological construct of another era built of spurious ideas which cannot relate to to the world as we find it. We are told we should stay in and reform the EU but to reform it we have to challenge the very ideas on which it stands.
That is why the EU is never going to reform. It exists for the centralisation and accumulation of power and it is built on the idea of all the power in the hands of an unelected few in the belief this will prevent war. Personally I cannot imagine anything more likely to produce the very opposite result. Chaos, disunity, decay and collapse.
Put simply, the power has been taken from the people. Their representatives are just as powerless. They are little more than clueless apologists who can no longer put the brakes on bad ideas. That is why our system now festers. It's self-reinforcing bubble mentality cannot entertain that it is the problem. Their egos will never permit them to realise that they cannot solve the problem they have created and they will not step aside. That is why we must take it from them. Brexit is the only way to lance the boil.
If we want politics to function again and a revitalised media then it must be centred on the exercise of power. That cannot happen if the power lies elsewhere. We have politicians pulling at the levers of power but the levers are not connected to anything. That is why our votes are meaningless. The only thing the government is right about is that this is the most important vote for a generation. And that's a clue right there. What they are actually saying is that the rest of the time, your votes are not important. And they would very much like to keep it that way. That is why we must leave.