When we talk BREXIT many seem to hang failures of our political model on BREXIT – or at least that would be their focus point. But the reality is that for us to understand BREXIT drivers we need to understand the political model that we’ve adopted for the last decade or more as the fundamental precursor to BREXIT which is a symptom of this model. It is a model where on the surface Democracy reigns but when you scratch that thin layer at the top you realise that what rules are not Democratic/Liberal values but rather an Illiberal model where Financial values/incentives that have taken over the country at every level – the last leg that continues to move us to this day towards BREXIT, any BREXIT. Now I’ve written many posts on Lobbyist/Special Interest – both national & foreign – that are the main drivers of policy in this country so will not rehash here. That said when I read today about Jeremy Hunt – the one I call The Special One – urging Germany to rethink Saudi arms ban – it truly provides a glaring insight of where we actually are as a nation, how far we’ve come, and where we’re actually heading when we talk of influence on our so called “Democracy” and the kind of international influence we’re seeking. It’s kind of a 180 degrees reversal of where we thought we were just a few years ago; so please do understand when I say that terms like “Disgusting”, “Shameful”, “Repulsive”, “Revolting” are all understatements that don’t even begin to express how this makes me feel. So for the moment if you will please ignore BREXIT as the hot cookie of the day and just focus on what this single piece of news demonstrates. Yes we’ve seen the alt-right nationalists waving the Union Jack under the banner “Taking back Control” and we’ve seen the “cuteish” Union Jack Socks of Nigel Farage, but when we really want to be serious about National Interest you have to consider a couple things;
- We can either opt to align our interests with partners that share the same values, with the closest/interconnected political/economic interests within the EU or we can opt to pursue partnerships based on purely transactional interests at a stage when we’re in a much weaker position at every level outside the EU.
- The idea of us being in full control of our political/economic destiny away from the EU our single main partner with over 40 years of integrated political/economic/social structures/systems is “Fiction” – it’s not in the equation at all – history of foregone empires are in books. In fact we will have less control of our own destiny away from the EU – this is NOT a likely scenario but rather the only/real scenario; and we’re in luck because we don’t even have to wait till the end of March to witness these changes cause they’re happening in slow motion in front of our eyes as of right now. The only difference now as I mentioned previously is that we’ll be driven by the Power of the Purse – and not even a national purse – rather than the Power of Values & Shared Interests.
Finally as I mentioned in many previous posts basing our foreign policy on purely transactional interests has been and continues to be a flawed, simplistic and short sited approach – again driven by financial incentives/interest of a few rather than long term national interest – where we end up paying politically, economically and in terms of national security much more than we gain – so like our approach towards renewable energy in getting smarter on how we go about adjusting our consumption model, we need to adjust our industrial/economic model to focus on viable developmental industries/technologies for the future rather than relying on ones that are purely conflict oriented. This is precisely why we need competent/experienced people to run government departments based on credentials not cowboys/girls that may well be good company or pint-pal’s but are so precious with the level of their “knowledge” we’d rather place them gently in a beautiful box than having them exert themselves in making important consequential decisions that affect us all for generations to come. At the very least we need proper oversight/debate when it comes to issues of strategic interest that may well have long terms implications on our country.
All in all we’re in a big mess so unless we’re able to reverse course now we’ll not really know how far this free-fall will be before hitting the ground.