The Promised Land

The Conservative Party’s long overdue collision with reality is getting ever nearer. As Liz Truss ascends to the throne the country slides into chaos and widespread destitution. Her answer to the many predicaments that compete for our attention is nothing. Nothing at all. All she has is some terribly-delivered cliches and barely coherent lines of regurgitated Thatcherism. She will make Johnson’s reign look like an era of calm stability and statesmanship.

It’s a long cycle but at the end of this clip one of the speakers describes the political consequences of the failure of Brexit. They are talking in stark terms about the foreseen economic failures of Brexit – this in 2018! – and the irony that for many many people this economic reality will come at the end of a long period of austerity – which itself fuelled Brexit. When those sunlit uplands turn out to be sewage-filled rivers – the political consequences will be dire.

The promised land of Britannia Unleashed smells very different today. But what are the consequences for the entire cohort of Conservatives who have created this shambles? It is as he says, a forty-year struggle: “They’ve now won and they’re absolutely terrified.”

As we predicted long before, food will literally rot in the fields.

The festering culture wars are a mask for the economic violence being perpetuated in Britain. As the mantle passes from one dysfunctional Tory government to another we can only stare in disbelief. The surreal absurdism of the leadership rumbles on and on like a mesmerising shit show. ‘Freeports’ are offered up as part of the great ‘levelling up’ programme and Grant Shapps taps into motorists rage against cycling.


As John Harris writes: “Two things now define Britain’s political condition. One is a post-Brexit Conservatism that frequently seems to have only the most tenuous connection to reality, practised by people who tend to get very cross whenever they are reminded of what we actually face. The other is a rising sense of crises that ought to invite convincing answers – not least from the Labour party – but that only highlight the hollowness of Westminster’s discourse.”

I think waiting for the Labour Party in its present condition to provide a coherent set of answers, or a coherent vision for ‘recovery’ is a mistake. When and how will the Conservative’s reap the consequences of the Brexit disaster?

Comments (8)

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  1. Cathie Lloyd says:

    My impression from reasonably politically aware friends in England (Labour supporting/Members) is that they really aren’t aware of the catastrophic situation. Perhaps this is because things are eroding gradually and you sort of get used to them? But there’s a sense among these well educated, middle class liberal professionals of sleep walking into things. I cant get them to engage on what seems to be the real political issues from a Scottish perspective.

    1. Alasdair Macdonald says:

      Perhaps some of these ‘reasonably politically aware friends in England (Labour supporting/Members)’ are relatively affluent and living in the South East, and although they will be financially squeezed, to an extent, they will survive. Labour in England is an English/British nationalist party, and an overtly ‘patriotic’ one led by ‘Two Union Jacks SIR Keir Starmer, whose policy is to ‘Get Brexit Done’. He and, recently, Angela Rayner, and others of the Shadow Cabinet are as adamant as the Tories that ‘they will not allow a second independence referendum’.

      Last week, I cycled around Kent and, outside of times of ‘national celebration’, such as the Trooping of the Colour and Jubilees, I have never seen as many Union Jacks and photographs of the Queen. There were more than I saw in Belfast three years ago on 12, July – Belfast had more flags but many were orange, or red hand of Ulster ones. I shops, the only newspapers usually on sale were The Daily Mail, The Daily Express, The Daily Telegraph, The Sun and the Times. The role of Kent over two world wars is still marked in the many memorials in small villages and larger towns. I have visited England several hundred times in my 74 years and I have family and friends who live and work there, but, increasingly, I feel that I am in ‘another country’.

    2. 220819 says:

      Why on earth would you expect your friends in England to assume a ‘Scottish’ perspective? Surely they have perspectives of their own, which are less catastrophing as ‘ours’.

    3. JP58 says:

      I have lived in Scotland, England (North West) & Wales (& abroad) each for several years.
      My impression from this experience is that people in Wales & Scotland are reasonably aware of what is happening nationally in England but are not so aware of what is happening in other parts of UK.
      People in England are pretty unaware of what happens in Scotland, Wales & NI. This can be primarily understood as media in UK is Anglocentric. I would also have to say that some (not all) people in England were also not particularly interested in what happens elsewhere in UK – something I did not experience in Wales – possibly again media related but the fact that Wales had own Parliament could also be a factor.
      I would also add that on an individual day to day level people are pretty much the same wherever I have lived. Mostly friendly, well meaning but there are always a few idiots.

      1. 220821 says:

        I suspect that one of the reasons some people in England are unaware of what’s happening in other parts of the UK is that they aren’t exposed to the local news reporting from those areas. Whenever I’m abroad, I like to read the local papers to get a feel for the petit récits that animate them. My impression is that people are generally more interested in their more immediate day-to-day, bread-and-butter concerns than in the more imagined/abstract/removed/theoretical issues of political economy, climatology, nationality, etc. As Aristotle remarked, the latter are more the province of the leisured classes.

        And I agree: people everywhere are basically sound, wherever they live and whatever their differences; the theoretical discriminations we make in othering ‘others’ tend to deconstruct when applied in real-life situations.

  2. SleepingDog says:

    I would suggest the culture wars are unwinnable from the Conservative side, requiring them to retreat further and further into a bunker where they dream of wonder weapons and imaginary elite divisions coming to their aid. Push Channel 4 into a corner, and it broadcasts programmes like A Very British Way of Torture:
    although it certainly pulls its punches at this stage (no mention of royal responsibility). I really hope some production house has a multi-series dramadoc on the the history of the British Conservatives and their Tory forerunners up their sleeves. The British Empire never ended, the British Army is still in Kenya, British imperialists still vote Conservative or even Labour (always reliably imperial when in government).

    One phrase from C4’s documentary stays with me: in his suppressed original resignation later, troubleshooting commissioner of police Arthur Young wrote of the British ‘rule of fear’ (that is, state terrorism) in Kenya. The British cover-up operations were immense, and the British public were kept largely in the dark, precisely because what the British were doing would not have been acceptable at the time. Yet today, some British imperialists support the Empire even knowing what a torturing, mass-incarcerating, mass-murdering, mass-thieving, terrorist criminal enterprise it was, and to some extent still is, only with upgraded nuclear weapons.

  3. John Learmonth says:

    And the EU is the land of milk and honey?
    Spain and Italy have youth unemployment at over 25%, in the case of Greece its almost 40%
    The German economy is about to collapse due to its reliance on Russian gas and oil.
    I wonder what the outcome would be if the people’s of Europe were given the democratic choice of whether they chose to be in or out of the EU?
    For better or worse the people of the UK were given the choice and we chose to leave……..get over it, not everybody relies on the Guardian for their worldview.

    1. 220821 says:

      Indeed! My Greek correspondents are bemused by our loyalism to the EU, given the EU’s treatment of the Greek government and people, until I point our that, politically, our liberation from its oppression is a convenient stick with which to beat the UK government

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