A ‘Reverse Greenland‘ sounds like something from a Nordic Kama Sutra. It is instead the unlikely proposition that Scotland stay in the EU and in the UK.
But as the Brexit consequences unfold before us, the connection between the unmuzzled right’s Europhobia and their economic project is also becoming more obvious.
It’s not just Sir Philip Green’s reputation that is ripped apart – it is Zero Hours deregulated poverty-wage Britain, and with women giving birth in the toilet at Mike Ashley’s Sport Direct and routine humiliation all part of the management handbook, what is your new government’s response?
The Prime Minister’s response is to appoint George Freeman, who is on the record arguing that people working in new firms should have NO employment rights.
The Mirror reports: “MP George Freeman , made head of Mrs May’s policy board last week, also believes people working in new firms should have no employment rights, possibly including maternity pay, paid leave and minimum wage .”
The connection between our departure from European treaties and regulations isn’t being made clear enough through our media, but will soon become transparent as the Britannia Unchained agenda emerges.
As Labour flounder, wheeling out Owen Smith (a sort of Tim Fallon-lite as The Candidate) the Liberals are’ back’. Nick Clegg is, we’re told ‘back’. So too is Paddy Ashdown, yes, really.
Amid the idiocy and confusion two old tropes have been resurrected. Ming the Meaningless has tried to breath new life into that hoary old notion of Federalism and now the re-tread of SDP / Third Wayism is being dusted down. Full Federalism, like the Full Monty or the Full English is an unpleasant unpalatable experience that’s hard to keep down.
As Andrew Tickell suggested earlier this month, this ‘isn’t going to happen’, but that’s not really the point, it can still prove a useful distraction for a few weeks over the summer:
“In any moment of crisis, on any occasion when Unionists encounter what they perceive as the grim slide to Scottish self-government – the F word begins ricocheting through the airwaves. You may remember it was Gordon Brown who smuggled it into the 2014 referendum debate. The former PM’s constitutional fantasies were uniformed and polished by the three now fallen UK leaders.”
Tickell concludes: “Doomed talk of UK federalism by powerless peers can only represent an adolescent twinge in a political world that now demands that Scots put aside childish things, and choose.” But perhaps more important a development has emerged between the anointment of St Theresa and the Memorial service for New Labour (same caterer, roast for May served as cold cuts for Tony’s service).
This time branded More United it is a mawkish nod to Jo Cox’s speech. It’s a sort of maudlin evocation to a Nicer Politics that, no doubt will champion Europe, dialogue, good manners, PR and General Middleness. Logos, day-time TV and celebrity endorsement will be involved. Dan Snow and Simon Schama have already pledged their backing.
Desperate and confused Labour and Tory MPs may shuffle over, sensing a Comfort Zone. SDP 2.0.
Yes as the world buckles under extremism and 1000 chickens come home to roost this is a classic Ukanian response.
“We are more united than divided. So let’s unite and change Britain” is only a David Cameron Downing Street ‘humm’ away from “We’re all in this together”.
This isn’t about left or right. This is about a common, internet generation purpose to make the UK a more progressive country. #moreunited
— Caroline CriadoPerez (@CCriadoPerez) July 24, 2016
There’s a sort of queasy pooterish about this. As crisis looms and institutions falter, the notions of Federalism or a new Third Way are responses that represent a failure of imagination. Yes there is a need to de-toxify the political dialogue, but this is not done by wishing away reality. The fissures in our society are very real and can’t be removed by a Union Jack love-heart.
This is an empty form of redemptionalism.
A Reverse Greenland is the same as all this posturing, an infantile attempt to wish-away explicit contradictions of our predicament...”Moreover it is continuous, it stretches in to the future and the past, there is something in it that persists, as in a living creature’... But in a time of great rupture and upheaval clinging to the hazy notions of past and continuity is understandable but as dangerous as the toxic tribalism it is a response to.