If I didn’t do my job I would lose my job. And if you didn’t do your job you would lose your job too, right? Well Boris Johnson is not doing his job. He was elected to do one thing: to decisively end this farce. Whether his failure is due to cowardice, incompetence, stupidity or deviousness it doesn’t really matter. He had one job – get Brexit done – he hasn’t.
Not only has Johnson failed but there does not seem to be any prospect of succeeding in the immediate future. In 2019 he said he ‘would rather die in a ditch‘ than extend the deadline, then he extended the deadline. Then he gave a ‘deadline’ of June 2020, then mid October 2020. Now he has extended it again. This is the last straw. It is no longer possible for even the most forgiving critic to take a charitable view of his conduct. HE. CAN’T. DO. THE. JOB.
Lets put this in perspective. From Nelson Mandela leaving prison to becoming South Africa’s president took 4 years and 86 days. It’s now four and a half years since we voted for independence – but still we are bound by EU judgements and regulations. That’s right, and apartheid state in Africa managed the transition to an independent democracy faster than the UK under the Tories!
I will quickly recap why Brexit is desirable. I will write this bit in blue so you can skip it if you don’t need reminding. Basically there are two arguments for us becoming an independent democracy again; one geographical and one historical:
Geographical. India, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Greenland are independent democracies (they can democratically amend their laws re goods, services, labour or capital) consequently they all have higher growth and lower unemployment than the Eurozone. EU member states are not independent democracies, hence their decline.
Historical. In the 40 years before the UK joined the EU we confronted fascism, set up the NHS, set up the welfare state, set up the green belt, passed the Race Relations Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Clean Air Act, rebuilt our shattered cities, decriminalised homosexuality and abolished the death penalty. We had higher GDP growth, higher wages, lower unemployment, lower inequality, lower debt, less pollution and balanced trade. Our achievements in the 40 years after we joined are not comparable – so we should revert to the pre-EU system.
Here are a few graphs to back that up. This is the graph showing GDP growth constantly rising before we joined and constantly declining afterwards. Since we joined the EU, GDP growth has more than halved.
This is the graph showing the progressive collapse of our trade balance after joining. Membership of the block has resulted in us having a bigger trade deficit with the EU per head of population that the USA has with China.
This graph shows long term wages as a percentage of GDP. Before we joined (1973) they were going up, afterwards they were 10% lower. The chances are you are getting paid the same you were a decade ago. The age of membership was the age of low pay.
What the above incontestably demonstrates is that there is a correlation between democratic oversight and prosperity – a political system where the maximum number of people have the maximum amount or oversight over the maximum amount of power is superior to one where a small number of people decide things in secret. I will substantiate this with a further proof even though I don’t need to: Democracy involves a larger number of stupid people in decision making than theocracy, bureaucracy, plutocracy or autocracy, but it still achieves better outcomes. Why? Because it involves more scrutiny of more power by more people.
I will walk the reader through this so there can be no possible misunderstanding: if us becoming an independent democracy will make us better off … and any deal with the EU will involve following their rules … then it necessarily follows that seeking a deal with the EU is an act of self harm. Nothing the EU could offer us is more desirable than us democratically governing ourselves, so to even negotiate with them is to fail. You negotiate how to join a club, not how to leave. To negotiate is to NOT leave. To see this as a technical process is to NOT leave. To ‘harmonise’ or ‘align ‘ or have a ‘level playing field’ is to NOT leave.
The UK has been arguing the toss with the EU since Cameron’s Bloomberg speech of 2013. Years have been wasted, testing to destruction the notion that we can achieve democratic independence via technical deliberations. And yet still, even now Boris seems to think that given a little more time, just around the corner, there is a deal to be had. This is fanciful. His brain is stuck stuck stuck in a parallel universe of square circles in which we can leave with a deal! Two things so obviously mutually exclusive one has to wonder where he has been the last four years. The world can see that ‘leaving with a deal‘ is an oxymoron; why can’t the Prime Minister?
So what should be done? The only correct course of action is the same now as it was in 2016. Parliament should recognise that the supreme authority (the electorate) has handed down its judgement, and issue it’s own declaration of independence; which needn’t say much more than this:
1, Land and sea borders as per 1973.
2, External rules and judgements advisory only.
3, That’s it.
…Then we leave the technicalities to dance a waltz around that. We could call this the ‘Gandhi Method’ or the ‘Jefferson Method’ it doesn’t really matter; basically you get the generalities right and then deal with the particulars. But no, it looks like we’re stuck with the ‘Boris Method’ which seems to involve having everything arse about face and trying to tinker our way to democratic independence … er … with the agreement of people who will never ever agree to such a thing.
To not understand this automatically disqualifies Johnson from any claim to be worthy of leadership. And yet he bumbles on hobnobbing with people pathologically opposed to democratic self-rule. The EU treat us with scorn, they demand that we play by their rules that they make up as they go along, and still the Tories sit at the table politely wittering on about constructive engagement. Anyone with a scintilla of intelligence or self-respect would have called time on this bullshit years ago. The tragedy of Johnson is that he could (and should) have been the most revolutionary PM since Attlee, and all he had to do to achieve it was – nothing! But no, hypnotised by the idea of a FTA he couldn’t resist persevering with a national psychodrama hard-wired to end badly.
There are three types of Tory: those who are bad (May) those who are incompetent (Johnson) and those who are bad and incompetent (Cameron and Major). It is time for Brexiteers to disabuse ourselves of the notion that the Tories were ever on our side. They are not failing by accident. Yes Labour probably would have done worse but that is a conjectural statement, the Conservatives applied for the job, promised to do the job, got the job, and then didn’t do it.
The Tories are the oldest political party in the world and have enjoyed a near-total monopoly of power for half a century. By finishing them Brexiteers can send a clear message to politicians everywhere that however established you are, however used you are to holding power, if you cross us then there is no way back. It is time for Brexiteers to decisively turn against the Tory party.