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JOHN CHUCKMAN Says:
December 15, 2019 at 09:16
This is a good summary of forces set in motion by Britain’s election of Boris Johnson, a summary coming from Craig Murray, a writer worth reading.
It seems almost beyond understanding that a man like Boris Johnson, caught various times recently lying and misrepresenting things – a man even with an instance of a police call concerning domestic violence at his girlfriend’s flat not long before the election – and a man with a long record of schoolboy crassness and name-calling, should be given a mandate.
But you have only to look at the United States to see a comparable example in Donald Trump, a man who should actually embarrass America with his bellowing crassness.
Our Western “democracies” are so feeble.
With 43.6 % of the people’s votes, Johnson is aid to have a” landslide” victory. Donald Trump actually received a minority of 46.4 % of the people’s votes.
Such are the outcomes of our custom-tailored democratic institutions.
In Johnson’s case, I believe two major circumstances worked for his “landslide.”
First, Britain was bone-achingly tired of more than three years of previous government leaders’ words and schemes over BREXIT. For all that time, you could not look at a newspaper without seeing articles and reports on the subject.
It was an extremely complex, technical subject demanding more time and effort to grasp than most people could possibly give, the very reason the earlier Conservative leader, David Cameron, should never have held such a referendum.
Tiresome to say the least. Johnson simply threatened to be done with it all, one way or another.
Second, over much the same period – although four years instead of three – Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party has been under almost constant assault by special interests.
Also a very long, wearying effort. Corbyn, essentially a decent man of traditional liberal and progressive values, was called names and challenged regularly by outlandish accusations. We saw even the direct interference in British politics of several political leaders from another state, Israel.
Corbyn’s sense fairness and balance were not wanted in that part of the world. Intensely so.
He survived the assault but was weakened, and many would say he failed to stand up to accusers as forcefully as he should have. Even supporters do tire of that kind of response.
Both men have set their efforts for major, society-changing efforts, destructive efforts in the view of many observers, yet they do so without even that fundamental democratic concept of clean and fair support from a majority.
Donald Trump literally threatens the stability of the much of the world’s trade and economy with tariffs and a massive sanction regime and telling both friend and opponents how they should be conducting their affairs. And that is all apart from his many military threats and open support for coups and the theft of other countries’ resources.
Boris Johnson displays many similar views and attitudes. He is Donald Trump with an Eton accent and a boyish smile instead of a grimly-set jaw. The traditional “special relationship” between Britain and the United States is about to be given a whole new meaning.
John Pretty says:
December 15, 2019 at 07:54
Whenever I read Craig Murray these days I quickly remind myself that probably his sole agenda is the foundation of a Scottish republic and most all of his energies are directed towards that aim.
And that’s fine. Like Murray I was born in England and have one Scottish parent and one English parent. If I now lived in Scotland as Murray does I might well too vote for independence (though not necessarily for a Scottish republic). But I cannot help now but view his writing as slanted to reflect his political ambition.
The writing on his blog is often peppered with a visceral hatred of the United Kingdom and the monarchy. Murray’s open contempt for the United Kingdom has in fact reduced my enthusiasm for Scottish independence, but not removed it altogether.
I spoke to my (Scottish) mother on Thursday. I don’t know her personal views on independence for Scotland, but she reminded me that support for independence has generally stood at only around 45% (I think Murray would dispute this figure, but it cannot be too far wide of the mark in my opinion) and that the Scottish people benefit from free higher education and provision of healthcare for the elderly. Privileges that the average Englishman can only dream of. In speaking to relatives in Scotland I find mixed views on the issue. Some are for independence and some against. It’s not as cut and dried as Murray would like it to be.
I don’t care for Johnson and I voted remain. However, in taking part in the vote I now believe that I legitimised the result. And those wishing to leave the European Union won the vote. As George Galloway – correctly in my view – pointed out some time ago, Corbyn made a fatal error for Labour in failing to guarantee Brexit.
And as Scotland is (whether Murray likes it or not) still currently a part of the United Kingdom it will have to leave along with the rest of the country when the time comes. Despite voting to remain I do not share the fatalism of many remain voters. There is much wrong with the European Union. A friend who works as a translator in the European Parliament has confirmed this view.
I don’t care for Johnson, and I would not vote Conservative, but I think it is far too early to say whether or not his administration will prove a successful one in the eyes of the electorate.
Sadly, this Conservative victory is not good news for Julian Assange who may have fared better with Corbyn as PM. Corbyn had expressed some support for Assange and may have freed him. It is the Conservative British government that is holding Julian on behalf of the Americans and not the state and in my opinion it is to them that supporters of Julian must direct their energies.
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