IF BREXIT BE THE FOOD OF DISTRACTION, CARRY ON, GIVE THEM EXCESS OF IT, THAT SURFEITING, THEIR INTEREST MAY SICKEN AND SO DIE
With apologies to William Shakespeare – Twelfth Night
I hope I didn’t offend you by misquoting the Bard. On second thoughts – no, I don’t. What IS the matter with folks these days if an idea put into words and print is seen to be something so-o-o upsetting? Get a life.
Nevertheless, some will be unhappy that a spotlight can be directed at the way the business of the nation is enacted and thereby show everyone what theatre that business truly is. And believe me, if you had any doubts, BREXIT is theatre.
Or, put another way: “The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie - deliberate, contrived, and dishonest - but the myth - persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”
- John F. Kennedy | 35th president of the United States | 1917 – 1963
To prove my point just watch and listen to the new Attorney General, the Right Hon. Geoffrey Cox QC MP, working the crowd (aka the party faithful) at the close of the Conservative party conference this week. What a pro!
Before I get rolling let me ask DID YOU KNOW that Parliament begins a working day with prayers? Not a lot of people know that. Not many care, either. According to www.parliament.uk the Speaker’s chaplain usually reads the prayers, thus because the words are written and referred to as ‘prayers’, they become prayers. Reminiscent, I think, of the circular argument: “Why are they called prayers?” Answer, “Because I say so.” And it has to be said, they can make some people feel good. The form of the main prayer is:
"Lord, the God of righteousness and truth, grant to our Queen and her government, to Members of Parliament and all in positions of responsibility, the guidance of your Spirit. May they never lead the nation wrongly through love of power, desire to please, or unworthy ideals but laying aside all private interests and prejudices keep in mind their responsibility to seek to improve the condition of all mankind; so may your kingdom come and your name be hallowed.
I read that members of the public are not allowed into the public galleries during prayers and attendance by MPs is voluntary. Now I’m reflecting on some of the utterances made by MPs after prayers have concluded. All I can say is that this prayer makes me think. Doesn’t it make you think too? How much of the activity by our Members of Parliament is little more than ritual?
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I’m thinking now about an imaginary journey. I want to travel from point “A” to point “B” and I have a map. But, somehow, without me realising it, I have deviated just ever-so slightly from the map and instead of arriving at point “B” at the appointed time, I find myself at point “C”, which was never part of my plan. It happens.
But how did it happen? Could it be that I was given duff information about the route when I was making my life plans? Could it be that I hadn’t noticed that someone had taken me to one side for a short while en route (a teacher, perhaps or a media voice) and had put me on a different path before allowing me on my way again? I can’t be sure about that but it looked like the same route and it took me the same amount of travel time. But when I got there it wasn’t point “B” after all. How very odd.
Wide awake readers will have noted already that the last two paragraphs are allegorical. The journey I’m describing is called ‘Life’. It begins at point “A” (the cradle) and ends wherever it ends (the grave) which might or might not be point “B”. Between “A” and “B” my journey is influenced by my parents, my friends, my education, my choices of what I believe matters, my church, my surroundings, my family, my work, and by what I read, what I see and what I do. What a good thing it is that I decided on the way not to let anybody push ME around. I can confidently say that I Did It My Way but, somehow, I still ended up at point “C” or “D” instead of “B”. Somewhere along the way I deviated. I could-a, should-a, been great – the talk of the town – but all those other folks stopped me. It isn’t MY fault. It never is.
It sounds hollow, doesn’t it? Can you hear the echo?
So, if a Member of Parliament conducts himself, supposedly as your constituency representative, in a manner that depends on his adherence to ritual (and the heavy persuasion of his Party whips), how valuable is he/she to you? I suggest: not a lot.
That has to be worth thinking about.
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“Ban, tax, regulate and intervene some more: Britain’s new modus operandi is grim indeed. The stream of silliness never ends; petty, meddling officialdom, empowered by the most controlling, puritanical government in living memory.
Only fashionable freedoms, such as the ability to get divorced at will, are promoted; unfashionable ones, such as the right to eat whatever we wish or to keep more of our hard-earned cash, are trampled upon in extraordinary fashion. There is ever-more red tape, and the tax-to-GDP ratio has reached its highest level in decades. This is neither real conservatism nor real liberalism: it is mushy, unprincipled, ...” and then the article I was reading faded and I didn’t discover what else was wrong with our government, but ‘mushy and unprincipled’ will do for now.
So wrote Allister Heath in the Daily Telegraph after the Con Party conference this year. Whoda thunk it?
What else was offered to the gathered faithful? Austerity is over! Wow! Was that another abracadabra moment? Just like that. And not a fez in sight. I think I can smell an election coming on. And despite all the wall-to-wall TV camera footage at the conference I still couldn’t spot my constituency MP there. You can never find a minister when you want one, can you?
So, now what should we do? Should we continue to do as we’ve always done? And expect to obtain a different result? Nah, that would be silly. Perhaps it is time to do something different and stop heading for point “B” along with the rest of the crowd. Perhaps now we should head for Point “C” or even point “D”. Perhaps we should be ‘responsible’, ‘independent’, and not follow the crowd. Sheep do that. Or, as Jim Rohn often said: “You can change things. You aren’t a tree.”
How to do that? I suggest we should Find and provide support to a local Independent parliamentary candidate; or BECOME an Independent parliamentary candidate and find local supporters who will beat your drum with you.
BECOME THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD.