A guest post by Samuel Miller
This isn’t going to end well you know. Brexit that is. I mean. We are aware that there never was an exit strategy. A plan for removing the UK from the EU. Right? That everything done (or not done) in the past two years has been on the hoof?
So far as anyone can see, politics in the UK is currently in a state of complete chaos. Not threatening to become. Not descending into. But actually there. The two major parties which effectively form the traditional binary choice of the UK’s population for the big chair of government? Both are hopelessly divided on policies, agendas, futures and ideologies. Each party sunk in a swamp of leadership backstabbery and each leadership hopelessly trying to convince their parliamentary memberships, their wider party memberships and their voter base that:
a. They represent something to everyone within those groups
b. That they have a successful vision for the UK going forward through this galactofeck
c. That their respective visions are anywhere near credible or achievable
d. That they’re capable of uniting all of society around their respective leadership and getting said populations out of the shitstorm that they themselves brought about
In order? They don’t. They don’t. They aren’t and they can’t.
To say that both parties don’t have their troubles to seek on infighting, ideological division and delivery is another one of them understatement thingies. Each leadership hasn’t a hope in hell of delivering what their respective parties, memberships and support desire most.
Brexit has exposed the real divisions and issues which lie at the very core of UK politics and wider society. The traditional practice of socially divisive politics and manipulation of popular narrative has ensured that the sixty six million people inhabiting these islands don’t exactly sing from the same hymn sheet. (still shrugging) So, yes. A confusing and unpredictable mess at best. Given that this is probably one of the most critical and pivotal points in recent history to the populations on these islands? The political behemoths of the UK state are effectively holding a chimps’ tea party.
Who knew(?) that decades exercising short-termist dog whistle politics would have long term seismic ramifications. What happens when the leaderships don’t/won’t/can’t deliver what their memberships, or the wider populations, want, need or even expect through this crisis period? I’m guessing the response will be loud, messy and all over the place. In my experience, most folk don’t appreciate being misled for decades. Makes them grumpy. Just so you know.
Back to the issue on hand though. Widely held opinion (and I’d include mine here) is that UK gov’s initiation of the EU ref and their subsequent handling of both phases of the negotiating period with the EU, have been and continue to be, inept, ignorant, disingenuous and ultimately disastrous. (That’s me being polite by the by)
Let me be crystal clear on what I think Brexit means here. There is no good Brexit. Deal or no deal. This IS going to hurt. A LOT! Budgets are going to contract radically and people are going to do without. If you thought the past ten years of austerity legislation were pretty dire? Then you’re about to discover whole new definitions of the word.
The cost of brexit to date, (that’s just the last two years negotiating period), has been in the region of £23bn per annum. A 2.1% contraction of the economy, or about £900 per household to you and me. Worth repeating. This is just the negotiating period.
Currently we’re staring at either a blind Brexit deal or a no deal scenario. Just what do you think either of those will do to national budgets and home finances over the coming years readers? Y’know, given the veritable fiesta that’s been the past decade of austerity legislation.
Well? Let’s have a look at what some other folk think of a range of Brexit scenarios. And no, you really don’t have to be an expert in macro economics to understand that the outlook doesn’t look particularly shiny.
To be fair, you could fill digital pages with links and opinion like that and a LOT worse. Long story short? Less to go round, really does mean exactly what it says on the tin. This is going to hit everything and everyone for years to come. When the money is gone. It’s gone. And it WILL, under any of the linked scenarios, be some time before it returns.
So. Some simple questions. Do you think Scotland’s devolved government have the powers and the budget control necessary to mitigate (ooooh, my favourite f***ing word) any of that? I mean, they’re going to try. Mainly because that’s who they are and what they do. But do you think any devolved Scottish government could mitigate this kind of economic damage?
Could you, for instance, see Ruth Davidson, whose heid office party brought this shit show to our door, even trying? Do you think the people who drove this epic bout of idiocy even care about collateral damage to the populations of these islands? The agreements they’ve endangered? The settlements they’ve ridden roughshod over? The people they’ve put in harms way for their own self interest?
In Scotland, we may soon have the opportunity to limit the damage of this biblical bout of political self harm through the simple application of pen to ballot paper. An action which would fully empower a Scottish government and provide them with the necessary tools to deflect most of the oncoming hardship threatening our population, our economy and our politics. We can have that option if we really want it. We can then begin the process of repairing the damage already done. We can begin to build something that puts care of and service to, the people back into a government we get to choose and a practice of politics we get to define. Something worth passing on to future generations. Something better than mountainous debt, a democratic deficit, social inequality, party tribalism and a lack of hope or personal investment.
Or we could pass on that opportunity and continue to allow others to make our decisions for us. They’ve clearly done such a bang up job to date.
It’s up to you.