Friday, 15 July 2016

Myopia not confined to Labour`s PLP

As last week`s Leader pointed out, the country has discovered that there was as "little plan for Brexit" as there was "for a post-invasion reconstruction of Iraq", so what`s new (The Iraq War and its aftermath,8th July, 2016)? Joined-up thinking isn`t exactly the forte of our current crop of politicians, with the prime minister`s decision to announce both his future resignation and, practically simultaneously, a referendum on the EU, the prime example.
     Corbyn`s opponents in the PLP are equally culpable; it`s little wonder that, as George Eaton informs us, his allies believe the petulant MPs "have not learned" the lesson of their previous defeat (Politics,8th July, 2016). Even if Corbyn`s percentage of the vote goes down, and as they apparently hope, "repeated challenges" can be made, how can they possibly think this will increase the chances of unifying the party, or winning an early election?
 Far better to stick with him this year, and rather than dismiss his policies as unelectable, explain as one, how fairness can be injected into our society, and much-needed transformation can be achieved. A start could be made with the true cost of Trident, and its relevance in a post-Cold War world!

Prior to the forthcoming vote in Parliament, on spending £100-150bn on renewing Trident, could the Guardian please email the last three paragraphs of Mary Dejevsky`s article to every MP (Will Nato`s warmer words prevent a new cold war?11/07/16)? Perhaps then a decent debate could take place, and the inevitable result ensue? The cold war is over, and as the Nato secretary-general said, it "should remain history".

Of course, Jonathan Freedland is right when he sees the similarity of myopia in the leadership of Blair and Cameron, especially over their "lopsided view of Britain`s place in the world", concentrating too much on being close to America , and too little on our relationship with Europe (Cameron really was the true heir to Blair: both were totally reckless, 09/07/16). Sadly, Cameron still displays the same short sightedness, wanting Britain to be America`s best friend and taking position at the "top table", even if it means over-spending on defence at a time when expenditure is badly needed elsewhere.. There is no other explanation for his government`s insistence on spending probably a hundred billion on the renewal of Trident. The threat of Russia, yet again, will be exaggerated, as if the Cold War had never gone away.
   History, it is often said, repeats itself, but only because politicians lack the courage to prevent it.

History is allowed to repeat itself, largely because politicians lack the original and daring thoughts needed to introduce change, so why Simon Jenkins is so optimistic, following Brexit, is baffling (Ignore the prophets of doom. Brexit will be good for Britain, 07/07/16). There may well be "a great evacuation", and leaders may change, but will policies and attitudes? Did the huge expenses` scandal significantly alter the behaviour of our politicians? The economic crisis of 2008, brought about largely by the greed of the banks, was followed by a massive £375bn of quantitative easing given to the banks to kick-start the economy, and now Brexit has, in Jenkins`s words, led to the Bank of England "pumping money into the economy, or at least into the banks". Putting so much faith in the economic sagacity of bankers, whose raison d`etre appears to be profits and bonuses, has to be a mistake.
 As many lies were told by politicians in the lead up to the referendum as in the preparation for the Iraq War. Of course, social democracy and capitalism need "hitting over the head from time to time", but there is little or no empirical evidence to suggest that causes anything other than short-term pain, which is generally passed down to those least able to endure it! A new prime minister there may be, but it is difficult to see her ending the "ugly, uncontrolled greed" which has dominated society in the 21st century.



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