I must admit I’m quite interested in the Brexit Party. Not really for the obvious, but because they are talking about their desire to reform our system. The trouble is, all the heat and noise is currently surrounding the Brexit process, where the question I’d like to ask is “how do you wish to reform the system?”.
Because I write this blog free of noise, however, I can, at least, say how I would wish to reform the system. Actually I am quite open on how it happens, but my end result is to have politicians who will collaborate with each other, to work to achieve a particular goal, even if they don’t totally see eye to eye. Politicians who are able to take a broad directive from people, and fill in the details responsibly, even if they don’t necessarily think that the directive is a good idea. I mean, it goes further than that – how the head of state fits into the representational system, how the Prime Minister fits into the representational system, the representational system itself – but in the interests of finishing this post today…
I spent my life doing that as a consultant. My primary goal was to help the client achieve their goal, regardless of whether I agreed with their goal or not. Frankly, I expect the same of a politician, I don’t think I’m being unreasonable. So, in the sense that I am able to define them in a few lines, my requirements are simple.
Unfortunately I think that this might require a new generation of politicians. I don’t want somebody who feels that their role is to make decisions on my behalf. I can quite happily make my own decisions, thanks. At least to the point where I issue a broad instruction. I want somebody who is then able to take my instruction and to work out how to implement it, to put flesh onto the bone, so that we end up with a society in which we feel we are taking part. I fear that the “not being in charge” part of this is an anathema to some of today’s politicians.
Incidentally, I heard Nigel Farage this morning about how he sees the goal of the Brexit Party, in the first instance at least, as delivering a WTO Brexit. I would like to see a deal (in fact I think May’s biggest mistake here was not to portray herself as a broker – it was always ludicrous for her to talk about “red lines” when the two sices were the UK Parliament and the EU Brexit Negotiator – but that again is just a politician thinking they are a Field Marshal, which exemplifies my point), but I have to accept that he is probably right. Nobody can agree on a deal which *is* acceptable, so I think that probably the only way forward is to strip the relationship down to its bare bones and to start trying to rebuild it, over time, along some kind of consensual line. I’m in no doubt that’s what’ll happen anyway, on Brexit + 1 day – whatever we agree with the EU now (which might well be nothing), people will immediately try to build a little bit more onto it. That’ll become more urgent on both sides as we realise how were all impactd. With WTO, it’s not so much the trade aspect that bothers me, but more of the surrounding infrastructure – guaranteeing the safety of medicines, protecting the standard of goods, protecting workers etc. – which I think have been beneficial to us. At best, it’ll be costly in terms of time and money to replicate these structures.