Monday 15 October 2018

Chequers deal, Norway deal, Canada +? Why I don't care.

Some commentators claim that we’re on the brink of the biggest constitutional crisis since Lloyd George’s People’s Budget and I find I’m not holding my breath with excitement.

The reason is simple.  I don’t really care what kind of deal the negotiators come up with, because I know that any deal that can be salvaged from the mess (and I rather suspect that after the heightened  brinkmanship of the final  couple of days something will be produced which Mrs May and the Express and Sun will hail as a triumph and the government will pootle on for a few more months) will be no-where  near as good as the deal we already have and could continue to have by staying in the EU.

So the minutiae of details that emerge from the leaks, and the punditry of the politicians and commentators, just washes over me.  I have made up my mind – in fact it has never changed -  and so will get on with my life.

I suspect that much the same can be said of the average man and woman who have voted for Leave.  They “made up their minds” back in 2016, gave the establishment the kick in the solar plexus they felt it deserved, don’t want to know the details and probably don’t really care what option is chosen provided it is called Brexit.  They’ll leave the details to bigwigs who care about these things.

These similar attitudes of mind give me a useful insight into the way “normal” politics operates.  Most people see their party allegiance, or lack of it, as a given.  “We are Labour, always have been and always will be,” says one tribe  in a threatening sort of way.  “We’re Conservative,” says another with a slightly superior expression. “  (One of my friends says it as though it were as given as her blood group.)   A tiny remnant says “We’re Liberal.”  Bless.

The point is not that they don’t care, but they have lives to live, mortgages or rents to pay, relationships to establish or maintain, children to educate, mouths to feed, holidays to fix, parent to look after etc.,  and they leave it to the anoraks to fix the details.

This is an attitude which we anoraks find difficult to comprehend, and for Liberal anoraks, is infuriating.  But the present frantic hoo-ha in the Westminster bubble and attendant media, and to which I am indifferent, has given me an understanding.

I firmly believe, along with the distinguished company of Aristotle, that we are all political animals, and will continue to try to raise awareness of the best solution to the problem, which is a Free Vote in parliament.  David Davis has given unexpected, though unintended, credence to this view by calling upon his former cabinet colleagues to “respect our constitution,” which makes great play of the sovereignty of parliament.  
Failing that, go for a “People’s Vote.”   Good luck to the marchers on Saturday.

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