Following a pause for breath due to the killing of Labour MP Jo Cox, the gloves are off again. Thankfully there’s only a few days to go now until this entire sorry mess of an EU referendum campaign is over. Neither side has any claim to the moral high ground, neither has any claim to deceny, honesty, or truth. Whoever wins on Thursday, British democracy is the big loser. One side has slung racist smears scaremongering on immigration, the other has threatened economic armageddon. One side’s fantasy figures are matched only by the nightmare numbers of the other side. Where one side has treated the public as fools, the other have treated them like idiots. Both sides have lied, misrepresented reality, and diseembled as they mendaciously mud-wrestled in the gutter. And this they tell us is the politics of the Mother of Parliaments. There’s obviously a swear word missing between Mother and of.
We’ve witnessed the ludicrous sight of Conservative politicians who have been presiding over a vicious and ideologically motivated austerity which has eviscerated the poor, the chronically ill, and the disabled, pretending to be the champions of the poor. It’s the Sherrif of Nottingham telling us he’s really Robin Hood. It’s as sickening to watch Iain Duncan Smith cry crocodile tears about the NHS as it is nauseating to listen to George Osborne preach about how he’s seeking to protect the poor. It’s as hypocritical of the leave campaign to claim that it’s not trying to play on racist fears as it is sanctimonious of the remain campaign to swear blind that it’s not trying to make political capital out of the murder of Jo Cox.
After a few days of swinging to Leave, the polls now appear to be swinging back to Remain, but only someone with access to a Tardis would care to predict the result on Thursday. It could go either way. Whatever happens on the day however, there is one certainty. We’re now in a United Kingdom which doesn’t have a functioning opposition as the Labour party has been all but invisible as it’s far more preoccupied with its internal divisions, and now we don’t have a functioning governing party either as the Tories inflict wounds on one another that are going to take decades to heal, if they ever do.
British politics are now a synonym for dysfunction. We’ve got dysfunctional politics in a dysfunctioning state and the only thing that functions efficiently is the way in which the low paid and the poor get ripped off while the rich continue to aggrandise themselves and their wealth. The British state might be bugger all use for helping you if you’re long term sick or disabled, but at least Philip Green took delivery of a new private jet this weekend.
The mud slingers and the strangers to truth on both sides of the EU referendum campaign are the same hissing venomous serpents crawling in the tangled undergrowth of lies who told us that the Scottish referendum was divisive and unnecessary. As they ramp up the fear and compete to out-lie one another with increasingly ridiculous childish nightmares instead of principles and policies, public faith in the political system is scarred and battered.
Whoever wins on Thursday, one side in this pathetic spectacle of lies and deceit is going to take the result as vindication of its deception and dissembling. The only consolation is that the squalid squabbles within the Conservative party have left it unfit to govern, even though it will struggle on in am embittered aftermath. What we do know is that feelings have been raised to such a pitch that nothing is going to be resolved on Thursday, neither side is going to achieve the victory it requires to send the other side packing. For the foreseeable future the politics of England will revolve around the question of the EU and the fallout from a bitter and angry referendum.
Davie Cameron only called this vote in the first place as a means of settling internal disputes within the Tory party. We might not know who is going to win on Thursday but we already know that he’s failed spectacularly in laying to rest the Tory party’s internal demons. All he’s succeeded in doing with it is to spread the rancour far and wide. This referendum was only ever about saving Davie’s career in the first place. If Leave wins by a narrow majority on Thursday Davie’s career is toast. If Remain wins by a narrow majority then the sniping from the Tory back benches is only going to continue as the Conservative right licks its wounds and pointless political vandalism becomes a substitute for governance.
Meanwhile Labour is preoccupied with its internal warfare between Blairites and Corbynites. It’s been paralysed during this EU referendum, incapable of speaking truth unto power because it’s implicated in the crimes of power itself. The Blairites think that morality is the same as getting elected.
While all this is going on Scotland will get to look on from the sidelines, ignored and forgotten as Labour and the Tories rip themselves apart in a quest for power that neither knows what to do with once it gets it.
I’m sick of this farce that passes for the politics of the supposed big boys and girls of Westminster. Chimpanzees throwing poo are engaged in more subtle and nuanced political strategies than this mob. Democracy lies bleeding and bruised in abusive propaganda. Truth is a stranger to the lips of politicians and a media that is complicit in their lies instead of holding them to account. This entire campaign, on both sides, has been conducted with all the moral fibre and basic human decency of Attila the Hun on a cocktail of viagra and crack, and I only wish to all the gods that neither side could win.
Maybe Thursday’s events will be the trigger for another indyref. Maybe they won’t. But irrespective of the outcome of the EU referendum this entire shoddy exercise in mendacious deceit only confirms the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of Westminster and its political parties. The edifice is rotten, the foundations are on sand, it’s only a matter of time before it comes crashing down. Even if there is no trigger for a second indyref on Thursday, the EU referendum campaign has brought us a bit closer to a United Kingdom that Scotland has no place in and wants no part of.
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