Monday, 20 November 2017


Angry? That doesn’t begin to describe how most of us are feeling. We are not close to doing a deal with the EU - will probably fail to do so -  and we’re strategically at odds with each other as to what we even want Britain to be like. To help us we have a vile cocktail of brexiteers, remainers, alt-righters, Marxists, Liberals, pundits, EU bureaucrats, Merkel, Macron, the rest of the 27 - several of whom are imploding politically.

It’s like being on US Airways 1549 - no engines, too low, New York City below, and a crash landing in the Hudson our best option. But no one is flying the plane let alone our having a Sully on the flight deck.

We have to start by asking what we are, where we are, what we’re striving for, how we can achieve it, how long that will take and what legacy we want to leave. Let’s ignore (as a given) that this is a mess, a debacle and a cock-up. Like it or not the referendum gave us this hand of cards (like Northern Ireland being out of the World Cup through a mistaken penalty - everyone agrees it was an error - but they are out of the World Cup and we are out of the EU.)

Forget Lord Kerr, author of Article 50, who’s popped up 18 months after the referendum saying “it’s not irrevocable” making the remain-ideologues believe Kerr, prayer and procrastination may save us. They won’t; so move on.

How do we as an independent entity make our lives happy, lucrative and fun? Let’s focus on the long list of what we are great at: from innovation (world number 1 in patents) to the arts to finance to technology to tourism to lots more. Currently business is waiting for the politicians. It needs to be more pro-active. I am not advocating addlebrained Boris euphoria - “jolly good country Britain yeeha!” We need a dose of rational self-belief and a plan to make the most of where we excel.

In a world as messy and conflicted as this, working within the straitjackets of existing party “alliances”, behaving as though everything’s normal, is ridiculous. We need a new party, like they have in France, where the rules are re-written. The talent that will solve our problem does not sit on either front bench right now but sits everywhere. Imagine Ruth Davidson, Hillary Benn, David Miliband, Yvette Cooper, Jesse Norman, Tom Tugendhat and a few others working together and you get the idea of what good government might look like. Not like this…

Have I turned into a brexiteer? No but almost anything’s better than being a wait-and-see-er. We can’t go on like this; we can’t allow ourselves to drift into disaster; our political parties are past their sell-by date and our respect and confidence. Our grandchildren born and unborn deserve better.

Don’t just be angry; do something. E-mail your MP constantly. Write to no.10; be a nuisance.

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