Thursday, 25 February 2016
BREXIT AND BORIS JOHNSON: THE AFFABLE FACE OF AMBITION [OPINION]
Amid the vast collection of political and social catastrophes thrust upon us by this Conservative government in what's unbelievably been only ten months, I admit I wasn't concerned about Britain exiting the European Union. Much like the issue of Scottish independence, I simply never believed it would happen. Whatever sham of democracy was held up and dangled before the Scottish people, I simply knew the government of Great Britain (and the former British Empire) would not just "give back" virtually half its territory and resources, least of all under a Tory led government. If you think of it through the eyes of a cold shrewd tactician playing a board-game like Risk, it's the equivalent of deliberately losing, throwing away your cards. And that is how they see it, make no mistake.
Similarly, I never really believed Britain would exit the E.U; I thought even its discussion was merely to satisfy the emerging xenophobic element within our country. Those poor fools who cling to ridiculous belief that all our problems are caused by foreigners, benefit cheats and lazy people (nothing at all to do with the elites who've stolen all the wealth), and that life would be so much better without the oppressive "dictatorial" voice of Brussels ruining our quintessentially British society. I cannot hide my contempt for such naivety. In what way have our government not got enough power? David Cameron's government have broken every promise they ever made, sold off half the state, and destroyed the lives of thousands upon thousands of the most vulnerable in our country, all in less than a year. What on Earth could possibly make anyone honestly believe these Tory tycoons will make life better for us, or fairer? If ever there was a government already believing it's accountable to no-one, who can throw any pre-conceived rule-book out the window, it's these guys. Thank heavens they are still currently accountable to another political body; certainly with regard to pesky issues like human rights, workers' rights, religious freedoms, and environmental/economic policies. The political coup by this Conservative party has been swifter, bolder, and more ruthless than anyone could have predicted, so God help us all if they're truly left to do as they like. In fact, in a Tory Britain of the future, I'm not sure I'd even be fee to share these thoughts and opinions.
However, it's not the pros and cons of "Brexit" I'd like to discuss - it's that I believe yet another carefully planned political manipulation and borderline subterfuge has taken place, one I'm convinced will reverse everything predicted. In the same way the political media machine went into overdrive in the eleventh hour to manipulate the 2015 General Election, the likelihood of Brexit has now dramatically increased virtually overnight, and not because of newly revealed information or a tide of anti European sentiment, national pride etc. No, I believe it's quite possible we will exit from Europe - but mostly down to the astute political aspirations and machinations of one man: Boris Johnson.
This jumping aboard the Brexit bandwagon is little more than a clear bid by the affable blonde buffoon to be the next leader of the Conservative party, and in all probability, our next Prime Minister. It is well known that a good majority of hard-line Tories are in favour of us leaving the E.U, and David Cameron's vested interest in seeing big business/finance get their way (and Britain staying in) is rumoured to be splitting the party in two. Normally I would welcome such news, but whereas the Tories would also be typically closing ranks to present a united front, even a decisive split in the party doesn't phase them now - not in the new age of "one-horse-race" UK politics. Boris Johnson has stepped up to lead this rebellion having shown little advocacy for the Brexit campaign until now; on the contrary, having championed the multiculturalism of London, the importance of our economy and trade ties, our love of freedom... yadah yadah yadah. In other words, he's practically u-turned at a time of critical weakness for David Cameron simply to make a name for himself, and to be seen as the viable "alternative".
That timing is of great significance. Osborne and Cameron are deeply unpopular (with good reason), and if there's one thing the men behind the curtain know, it's that when cracks in an old wall start to show, a new lick of paint will temporarily disguise them. Putting a new face on the Tory party to publicly "relent" on the most deplorable of their recent legislations would actually be a pretty smart move right now. Boris Johnson is a (somewhat) beloved clown, and as the U.S have shown us in recent months - there's really no limit to how far a blonde fop famous for making a twerp of himself on telly can go. Such is the world we live in. The popularity of celebrity culture and reality TV is far greater than that of politics, so merging of the two makes the latter far more palatable for the gormless/easily led in society.
The truth is, even I like Boris Johnson. Well, I say "like", what I mean is he amuses me. I even read his book on Winston Churchill recently, and he's quite an entertaining writer. First and foremost, he's a man who became famous not for political skill, but for being the veritable bumbling buffoon of the established political/gentry class. It was endearing, and he certainly seemed harmless enough. I still maintain it was his hosting of the BBC's "Have I Got News For You" that actually catapulted him to becoming Mayor of London: an office I doubt in his wildest dreams he'd ever thought he'd realistically occupy. Again, that is the new way of things. A well-known recognisable face and character the population feel they know personally are far more effectual tools than ethics or genuine ability - that sure worked for Boris.
However, that is why I believe the man to be so dangerous. I've said it for some time. He is the affable/friendly face of a deeply oppressive regime, able to distract the masses from the horrors his party enforce - with tomfoolery and a bumbling, Hugh Grant-like Britishness. In short, he's one of the best weapons and propaganda machines an inhumanly boring and uninspiring Conservative party currently have at their disposal. Worse still, he doesn't really stand for anything other than his own ambition and being in the spotlight - he'll be very easily manoeuvred by the "Dark Lords" and Tory heavyweights, simply to retain their favour in his climb to power.
Some of history's most inhumane leaders are said to have been kind, warm and charming in person (Adolf Hitler being the first that springs to mind). Of course, that's exactly how they get to where they are, and is how they're able to manipulate populations to close their eyes and ears to evil done in their name. I really can't imagine anyone better than Boris Johnson with that aim in mind. (If Mr Bean tells us we're off to invade another country, it couldn't possibly be for ignoble reasons, right?)
One particular detail really sticks in my craw. In a recent article in The Guardian by Michael White (that echoes many of these sentiments), the author flippantly mentions that Boris Johnson currently earns a yearly salary of £275,000 for his column in The Telegraph. That is of course before his salary as Mayor of London, or before any of the fees brought in by public appearances and endorsements (for which he will have an agent, like any other "celebrity"). Also before the great wealth and "old money" his family are already blessed to have. That just disgusts me. We have a country and economy falling apart, where all but the elite are squeezed, and the least fortunate are literally being starved and killed off. The average citizen only earns about £25,000 for working full-time as a slave to the system, just to survive, and here's a guy who earns over ten times that for his less important, "part-time" job, peddling Tory propaganda. Eg: he's about as out of touch with real issues facing real people as you will ever find, and lacks any notion of empathy whatsoever (like the rest of his ilk).
For all the many many Tory slights, I wonder what Jeremy Corbyn would do with such extravagant wealth? For God's sake, his followers clubbed together to reimburse him for a push-bike, and he donated the money to charity! Perhaps he'd see to it so the grotesquely wealthy are made to "make do" for a little bit, and not continue fleecing average people? Perhaps he'd demand that the pot be distributed a little more fairly?
That is of course, why he terrifies them so much.