Politics in the UK has become a very British farce, with a revolving cast of characters trying to outdo each other in fits of rash irresponsibility.
London , United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland - 5 Apr 2018 - Ghassan Matar
50 years ago, humanity was bombarded about visions of the 21st century. The year 2000 was portrayed as a magical number, a period where communication would unite the world. Arthur C. Clarke predicted that biological evolution will all but cease and instead, we’ll give birth to a new kind of evolution: technological and mechanical evolution.
Other predictions went further, including a peaceful world, longer life spans, higher living standards, female leaders, short work week, golden age of agriculture, increased freedoms, video conferencing (walkie talkie seeing), higher colleague grads and slowing population growth.
Some of these predictions came true, female leaders, video conferencing and higher graduates, although the latter was a typical case of quantity over quality.
One thing that wasn't predicted was the mental state of those who would rise up to lead our nation and determine our future and the future of our children. In the 80s, towards the end of the Thatcher era, the Prime Minister was widely perceived to have become crazed and grandiose. Later, the baton was handed to Tony Blair whose grasp on reality began slipping culminating in statements that were 'palpably absurd'. Blair was described by various neuropsychologist as being a ‘plausible psychopath’ with a ‘devious personality’ bordering on the deranged.
But both these individuals pale in comparison to the nonsensical behaviour of our unelected Prime Minister Theresa May, her Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and her Defence Secretary Gavin Williams, whom have in a period of one week, wrecked the standing of the United Kingdom throughout the world, made a mockery of justice and endangered the lives of every person in the United Kingdom by picking a fight with a thermo-nuclear armed superpower on a pack of delusional lies that from the onset, defied belief and were plain nonsense, even to the untrained eye.
This is in addition to the farcical Brexit negotiations that have made Britain the laughing stock of the European community.
In fact, the entirely of Westminster has been left wanting, with the exception of Jeremy Corbyn who has demonstrated statesmanship, leadership, logic and sanity by simply using common sense. Unsurprisingly, Jeremy Corbin became the victim of a vicious smear campaign aimed at demonising and accusing him of being anti-Semitic by the same people that were quick to accuse and punish Russia before any evidence had been presented or verified.
Britain had for a very long time been a “logical and serious” country. Britain’s political system and leaders in particular were something to be admired: they were rational, reliable and reasonable. Britain was the stereotypical home of the stiff upper lip and, above all, responsible government, with Westminster “the mother of all parliaments”. Other countries might veer into populist rabble-rousing or ideological excess, but Britain would always remain pragmatic and mature.
Not anymore. Politics in the UK has become a very British farce, with a revolving cast of characters trying to outdo each other in fits of rash irresponsibility: Theresa May’s “strong and stable” will now join the long list of ironic British euphemisms. Political leaders have washed their hands of any need to be sensible, placing the country on a rollercoaster that seems increasingly out of control.
This descent into volatility, especially with the Skripal case has shocked the world: the British are normally “stoic, resilient, and pragmatic”, noted a recent column in Italy’s Corriere della Sera titled almost pityingly (and in English) “Good luck, my friends”. “The pragmatic Brits of the past are no more,” lamented Germany’s Die Welt, while at the weekend Zurich’s Tages-Anzeiger called Britain “Europe’s laughing stock”. Even before the Skripal lies, Britain’s allies were wary of dealing with Boris Johnson. President Donald Trump's government did not want to deal with British Foreign Secretary because "they thought he was a joke." "The French thought Boris is totally unreliable, the Germans thought he was a liar and the Italians thought he was dangerous,". How right they were.
So what now? Boris Johnson should be sacked immediately as Britain’s foreign secretary over his response to the Skripal poisoning for deliberately misleading the world after he stated he had been told in “categorical” terms by Porton Down scientists that there was “no doubt” Russia was the source of the nerve agent used in the Salisbury poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia.
Every member of the house of commons who stood up and encouraged the Prime Minister to damage Britain’s standing in the world should step down or be expelled by their parties. These individuals have no right to sit on the benches and are a danger to our country and our fragile democracy.
As far as Theresa May and her cabinet; it is difficult to see how she can undo the damage caused by the hype over the Skripal affair and the damage she has caused to Britain and her allies in their relationship with the Russian Federation. It is doubtful that any foreign government including Britain's closest allies will trust her or her cabinet ever again.
Britain has no divine right to be one of the richest or most powerful countries in the world. There are no easy answers to Britain’s predicaments, and it will take courage to engage in public debate with realism rather than pandering, to seek consensus not partisan advantage. But serious times require serious people. It’s time for British politicians to take responsibility, before it’s too late, it’s time for those who lied, spun and endangered us, to go into the dustbin of history.