Tuesday, 20 July 2021

The Long and Winding Brexit

Thinking is clouded, actions ill-conceived. There's a deal of talk about the new boy in town. Perhaps the whole country is under his spell? Or else he runs through it like some sort of uncharted river.

Another upstart, obviously and ideally it would be better all round if we simply pretended that he did not exist, much as we attempted to do with cousin Long Covid. But he's been around a while now, gathering in his host of 'disciples,' establishing his boundaries! Dare we hope he's toilet trained, because something's beginning to hum? Damn him, he's got one hand on the wheel! Whisper it... 'the whole country is suffering from Long Brexit!'

Sadly, and with monotonous regularity, once and once again, our chums in government have been found wanting! It must come as little surprise to find them again floundering, woefully beyond salvation! Bloated with disinterest and incompetence, pockets bulging! But to many still it comes as a surprise, indeed so surprising do they find it that even the merest concept cannot be properly comprehended. Imagine, one knows they are self-serving through misappropriation of the facts, yet one is again and again reassured that they are not. Is it that one so wants to believe, or is it that one is endlessly deceived into doing so? Or is it that one is afraid to think independently, or to dare believe what one, deep down in the gut, has long since secretly known to be irrefutable? When did so very many take their eyes off the ball? Or have we travelled the more scenic route?

In too many ways now has this become not unlike resorting to plugging one's ears and loudly humming? 'The king is not naked, the king is not naked! The smell is of roses!'

Picking through the debris it can be difficult to piece together all the parts. Perhaps it is no longer possible- by design- to reliably apportion each action to its consequences. Rather like a battlefield, we cannot be sure which tank breached which defences first, which wrought the greater carnage. Maybe it is a book deal in the waiting? Undoubtedly, the closer that 'abomination' may, through slight of fact, be painted instead as 'honour' the more tainted it becomes. But, what if there never was any honour in the first instance? Where then, far beyond sight of salvation, may we again search it out?

Quite when was pretence at honour first sacrificed upon the alter of avarice? Research the governmental timeline- jot down one's findings upon an AO sheet (write small!) and the bubble diagram 'blooms' like bacteria- prorogation of parliament is quickly subsumed, swamped under weight of countless other historical misdeeds! The process appears terrifyingly organic, yet it is not. Not so much dead-ends as 'gated' driveways?

"It is what it is!" a neighbour shrugged. "Who could have done better?" an inlaw deflected. Such muddled thinking! Orwell would have had a field day! Yet, still it should be fiercely confronted at every turn. There are the facts, and then there are the words that the corporate editors- self censoring according to practised rote- have rearranged upon the page, figurative or otherwise. "It's not!," and, without hesitation "Anyone!" we must retort.

Juxtapose fiction with fact. Search behind the shiny slogans. 'Levelling Up?' And quite how will this act be cutting through to the gig economy? How will 'Levelling Up' balance food and rent, upon £8.91 an hour? How will it calculate Universal Credit against the manipulated-market-rate for a private leaky-roof over one's head?

'Take back control!' came the war cry! Who better suited to have weaponised the salty waters of the island state than Michael Gove, but did we? Did we, take back control? Quite how are those fishermen and fisherwomen now celebrating this (well, it's not even a pyrrhic) victory? Wonder instead, what the environmentalists and the oceanographers (those discarded 'experts!') thought, watching the BBC et al hosting Fiona-Bruce-'balanced' 'discussions' upon whether every one of those idle trawlers should once again be sent forth to plunder the waves? Since when has democracy best been served by setting angry-Cons against informed environmentalists, before a conservative (with a small 'c') audience? Is one permitted to question whether it might be better for everyone, in the long run, if, in future, experts are invited to relay their scientific rationale? For Christ's sake don't reduce it to some sort of public voting panel game! "The people of this country have had enough of experts." Mr Gove pouted. He and his ilk have been packing in their alternatives ever since. We know that, when the wind is at its fairest, still their best remains abysmal, yet we're being encouraged to get behind 'our team!' If only we'd slowed down for long enough to reason that simply scouring the ocean floors, over ever wider terrain, really wasn't going to offer any sort of viable future! The oceans have moved on... on rather they haven't!

Watch the ministers (or their spokespeople) pick off the betrayed one at a time, behind a Daily Mail screen of rustling headlines. 'Divide and rule' is the general rule of thumb but can we now depend upon the fishing industries to again, and quite so soon, fall obediently into line behind this expertise-averse government? If the corporate MSM lead the march will the populace, sleepily nod through the Australian Trade Deal, pocket the 52p per person along with a 'healthy' ingestion of previously-banned farming antibiotics and turn a blind eye to a regression to greater animal suffering? "A cap on tariff-free imports for 15 years!" straight from the mouth of Honest-John Johnson. The NFU and British farmers- Guardians (not) of the Countryside- are said to be unhappy! Really, you could not make it up! My ememy's enemy is my friend? Are we now reduced to such pitifully slender pickings?

Oh, and apparently we are going to miss those overseas workers after all. Oops! Never mind, eh? If we can forget £350 million a week I'm sure we can overlook this trifling inexpert miscalculation. Thank the lord above that we've grasped back control from those overbearing EU bureaucrats, and their Working-Time Directive mumbo-jumbo! It's nothing really. Nothing, when compared to 350,000,000, merely an additional 100,000! A tiny fraction, but it also happens to be the same small total of haulage drivers the UK now finds itself short of 'getting back to normal!' Praise be to the inexperts! Perhaps that's why we so needed to shake ourselves free of the EU. Working unencumbered, we can simply mark our own mathematics, to "Give drivers and operators flexibility" to lengthen the working day from 9 to 10 hours. Solved! Temporarily, of course, we are encouraged to understand. As needs must! Temporarily, of course.

Far be it for me to again whisper, "Wasn't it this sort of corner cutting that enabled the country to house more than 600,000 people in unsafe tower blocks?" The Labour Party has compliantly estimated this figure to be 56,000 which, far from reassuring the public, should instead throw up the implication that we haven't got the first clue as to how many individuals are affected! Hardly a First World Problem, is it?

Lining up all the little duckies, the fishermen, the farmers, the haulage drivers... Martin Niemoller put it so eloquently when he penned, 'First they came for the socialists...' Hints at Sir Kier's (not so) Labour Party, maybe?

Imagine the accumulated bodies, piled so very high, select a suitably sweltering wave of sunshine, preferably adjacent to a site of outstanding natural beauty- a river bank- so as to attract the more abhorrent species, humanity excluded for once. Nurture that stench! Had corporate media set its sights upon exercising some of that oft-lauded 'freedom,' and rather fewer column inches upon 'diligent house keeping,' just maybe the waft of such self-serving corruption and distain might then have blighted such dishonourable goals. But it didn't! Nor will it, or can it, in its present form. Imagine the corruption that might blossom in such a climate! "Ladies and gentlemen, I give you..." If one was charged with compiling a cabal, so driven as to hasten the planet onward to its death, then cast your eyes around the globe! Compare and contrast! ... and then weep!

Whilst Global (Little) Britain festers, uninterruptedly sewing a most abhorrent toxicity- countless £millions so that Israel may 'Build a New Apartheid!' (B'tselem, Israeli Center for Human Rights)- or sending forth its winged horse (Pegasus) to educate the dissenters, why not also reduce (I dunno) foreign aid? Only temporarily, you must again understand. Only temporarily!

I wonder if the planet finally is actually dying upon 'our watch,' humanity's part therein and henceforth? Or if it has been hastened in that direction, upon 'our watch?' Displaced by the pointless panel shows, its demise might just as well be playing out in an unlit backroom cupboard. Of course, it is irrefutably somewhat of an inconvenience, it is going to get to the point where even the mind-numbingly gullible are going to start to notice that something's afoot! Shuffle those carbon-offset cards yet again, see if we can't flatter to deceive. Ask Fiona, ask Emma, ask Andrew Neil, get another of Rupert's hacks to deflect, why don't we?

The Guardian- Britain's leading Liberal newspaper (ha ha!)- tends to shed those journalist who speak out of turn. Observe- although not so much care of the Observer anymore- former heroic colleague Julian Assange cast out towards the US nets. Not unsurprisingly the untethered journalism's- those still free to operate- significantly better, significantly, but the outlets tend to be less lauded by the rest of the corporate MSM. Whatever could be happening there? Why, it's almost as if those awkward facts are suddenly somewhat inconvenient. Again (I dunno) maybe we could ask someone like Baron Walney (John Woodcock)- 'Independent' Advisor on Political Violence and Disruption- to dig around for a bit of balance? Independent, please note! Independent, of course he is! Whatever was I thinking there? Go on, John, you put that Greta Thunberg back in her box! And those damn Marxists at Extinction Rebellion, Amnesty and BLM! Do we think these types've even bothered to appreciate the logistics involved with getting all those manual workers affordably across the Atlantic? Raise another glass, another statue to our 'proud' colonial past! Another flying horse required? Only countries with impeccable human rights records need apply- and who better to draw that line? Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah!

Whisper it again?, "Search out Jonathan Cook, Nathan J Robinson (not the Australian one), Dawn Foster (RIP), Nafeez Ahmed- check their thoughts on the efficacy of the Guardian, the UK's single remaining Liberal Newspaper, err...

Meanwhile, it is being argued that the Amazon Rainforest- once thought to be the lungs of the planet- afire care of Bolsanaro, is now emitting more Co2 than it is absorbing. But, if we can just align enough of those solar-fans, so that COP26 can see their ways to the table, maybe we can pluck another future date from the never-never calendar, offset some of that rising smoke. It would be decidedly unsporting if the Globe didn't at least acknowledge humanity's ingenuity. Damned unsporting if it didn't at least wait until after the projected dates!

Shh! Shh! just so that the adults may concentrate whilst dividing up our depleted resources. Whisper it again, "Regulation of the UK's waterways has been cut deep into the bone!" So often, though corporate editors dutifully seek to distract, we are surely obligated to, at the very least, attempt to observe the winding course. And, if it should come to light, it should still concern us that such a vital resource as water now finds itself almost denuded of regulation. 'Build back better!' barked from the podium, sent forth to dazzle. Oh look, another slogan! Nightclubs, you say? Party, party!

So, 'Building Back (so much) Better!' almost silently so as not to alarm, those rivers are now, often, conveyors of raw sewage- thousands upon thousands of illegal 'spills transforming that holy landscape. That it barely appears to warrant mention should concern us, should perhaps concern us more than the fact of its perpetual re-enactment! On one hand we have the inalienable truth that our rivers run through our fibre like a lifeblood yet, upon our watch, so too now can an excess of excrement! Search, because it does not warrant mention in any governmental slogan- and we learn that the Environment Agency has had its funding slashed by two-thirds. And, along this quieter waterway, we learn also that, under the radar, 100% of the UK's rivers have silently and swiftly acquired the designation, 'polluted!' Search further and watch the target dates for addressing the issues slide about on the never-ending calendar, care of Honest John Johnson.

Bright lights, fireworks, 'breaking!' care of the BBC et all, 'Southern Water has been fined £90 million!' Shut up! The old chestnut, self regulation, we are invited to conclude, is working just fine, after all, albeit nearly six years in arrears, just eight-and-a-half thousand discharges too late. The system 'works,' somewhat rustily, we are misinformed. But, turn one more stone and the greater (and truer) truth reveals that still corporate water manages to evade the yet greater charges (and fines) of, and for, failing to meet "'strict' (sic) standards on discharging water." Why should we not conclude that it has not been, all along, business as usual, basic policy?

Where's BBC Laura (parliamentary re-tweeter par excellence!) when her country needs her- hint: that's not really why she's there- surely not off hob-nobbing with alternative managerial material? "Meet the new boss Same as the old boss," sort of thing? Are we being 'fooled (yet and yet) again?' Those prepared to accept, even seeking refuge behind, absolute vacuity must have been almost replete when New Labour's Margaret Beckett actually uttered the approximation, "Kier wants Britain to be the very best country it can be," when queried for just the tiniest smidgen of policy. The precise wording is not worthy of a search and so I have not bothered, likely the BBC! Perhaps Laura (parliamentary re-tweeter par excellence!) has got some ideas? Perhaps we should be told which of our politicians has aspirations for a 'worse Britain!' Something to share with the grandchildren, Margaret?

Shocker! don't you think? All those illegal sewage discharges? One wonders why the NFU and the farmers- guardians of the countryside?- haven't made more of a fuss. Another stone turned and we learn that that's because they're actually even worse! Feigned shock! In fact, so bad is farming's contribution (it has to be 'ironic,' right?) to the annihilation of England's green and pleasant land that the stones (desperate to be turned) are not even there to be found! On average factory chicken or cattle farms can now 'expect' to be inspected just once every 280 years! Imagine the run-off that might accumulate in such a timeframe. So, phosphates too, running through Little Britain's bloodlines. Prosecutions to date numbering at precisely zero! Such is the state of affairs, under those noble guardians, that, thanks to current non-regulation, in excess of 40'000 factory farms no longer even require a permit. Levelling which way? Building back how?

Or we could (very) simply just shut up and let Little Philip ask the awkward questions... Go on, then Phil... Go on... Any thoughts, Eamonn? Really, it's only through the diligence of concerned bathers and other citizens that this trifling amount is known, although still not actually widely shared. Additionally there are the 'acute' instances, the one-offs. Of course, funding at 66% down, should anyone even bother to note the countless fish, belly-up at the surface, a curious stench wafting across the landscape, by the time the Environment Agency's pencilled in a visit the source is likely in the clear. Not me, guv! Well, at least we've brought something down, even if it is only the rivers' oxygen levels! Little acorns and all that...

Maybe, just maybe- or definitely, - it's time we re-jigged this broken system, so that journalists are able to operate free from corporate editorial-mandate? Give some heft to the much banded about term, 'Free Press!' Ever considered that it doesn't really mean 'Free Press?' It actually means entirely the opposite, 'Owned Press!' Free to be owned! And boy, is it ever? Whilst bigging up those fictitious revolutionary threats it appears we've been conned into misdiagnosing far, far too much for any nation with aspirations of grandeur!

Just a final thought: If Home Secretary Patel is so intent upon 'redirecting' all those refugees (which the UK absolutely had no part whatsoever in creating, honest guv) what rights, if any, do they have, regarding drowning in unpolluted waters? A future judgement for the European Court of Human Rights, or will we again be hoping to make our own rules, Mr Gove?

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