Friday, 10 March 2017

POLITICS – dangerous but VERY interesting right now

Although I'm a Lefty (a libertarian one, mind), I do like Theresa May. She has very British teeth; a pleasing mix of yellow, grey and black. They are  so impressive she deserves a cameo role as a pop-up Brit on Family Guy.

More importantly, her smile has a worked a kind of magic in recent times as she's outlined bits of her Brexit strategy. In particular her elegant threat to get tough on trade if the EU doesn’t play nicely in negotiations has been accompanied by warning flashes of her fangs.

As for her recent shoulder-heaving guffaws during Prime Minister's Questions ... that was spectacular, and marked her out as a winner, frankly. 

Politics sure are interesting and entertaining just now – as well as scary. With Trump and all his ramifications, plus Brexit, it’s good to see the world’s two leading English-speaking nations causing such shock waves. And I must confess to having enjoyed all the discomfort and huffing and puffing of the snooty, and quite intolerant, left-liberal types in this country over what’s been happening to politics. 

Regarding President Trump, who knows what plotting is going on behind closed doors across the pond? Trump has colourfully, publicly and emphatically criticised the US intelligence agencies. Given his new job, that’s a potential game-changer.

But let’s ignore all the procedural stuff for now; all the claims and denials about Trump; his intemperate tweets; and his spats with various luvvies and the media. What will, sooner or later, finish him is the belief held by many sane, morally-upright and intelligent people in the USA that The Donald lacks the personal dignity and temperament to be President. It’s a view shared by many senior and experienced people in politics, the law, and the secret services.

Barack Obama has reminded millions of people in the recent past of just how important dignity, eloquence and personal grace are in a leader.

Having Trump as President is fraught with instability and danger, of course, especially with so much bubbling potential for armed conflict – on Europe’s Baltic borders, in the South China Sea and in the Middle East.

Just where is the world heading politically? It's an important question.

Politics is vital for the survival of humanity. Wild beasts can get by without politics, and so can angels, but mankind cannot. Politics stops us ripping each other apart – though it hasn’t exactly seemed like that in recent times.

How politics has traditionally worked in the West is by using various forms of representative liberal democracy to deliver freedom under the law within nations to citizens.

But, quite apart from the Trump effect, many people feel that model is no longer fit for purpose. We live in a globalised world made politically and socially dysfunctional by terrorism, a rise in tyrannical leaders, massive migration, rampant capitalism, growing inequalities and climate change.

On our own shores, we face great uncertainties in the Brexit negotiations. It will take more than the power of Theresa May’s smile to resolve everything. It isn’t even clear if the European Union will exist for much longer in its current forms and levels – if right-wingers do well in elections later this year within member nations.

Everywhere, the people, the voters, are unhappy. Not just with the old-fashioned system of ’democratic’ politics which allows each person just one tiny moment of freedom every few years to vote in elections. The rest of the time, certainly for most people in West, the way we live and work results in profound alienation. Why should most people be expected to travel to a workplace five-days-a-week just to survive? Why are we over-producing and over-consuming in such a way? Why are there so many street beggars and rough sleepers? 

I’m not sure what system exactly can replace the old politics but I feel we need to focus on: working for the common good; ensuring everyone gets enough cultural and family time; and recognising the essential dignity of all human beings across the world

The situation is so worrying that I’m considering making a modest contribution to getting us all out if this mess by founding a new political movement – the Humane, Intelligent, Libertarian Left (HILL). Anyone up for the ascent?