Robin Yassin-Kassab

British Political Breakdown: An Explanation

with 5 comments

An explanation for why British politics is in such a mess:

In 2016 Prime Minister David Cameron gave the right wing of the Tory Party what it wanted – a referendum on British membership of the EU. He expected the result to be an overwhelming vote to stay in the EU, because leaving was clearly such a bad idea. Tragically, however, this coincided with Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the opposition Labour Party. Corbyn – a fossilised teenager from the early 70s, a propagandist for Assad and Putin, and a conspiracy theorist – had opposed EU membership for decades. This meant that the Labour leadership failed to oppose Brexit, and that therefore no substantive criticism of this far right idea was made from the left. It also coincided with years of anti-migration rhetoric from all major English parties and from almost all media. Therefore 52% of people voted to leave the EU.

From that point on, Britain became ungovernable. This is because people had been promised things which were impossible – for instance, that immigration would be dramatically reduced while the economy would continue to grow. Or that British trade would increase while barriers were put up to trade with Britain’s neighbours and closest partners.

Those who promised to deliver these things were, by definition, liars and fantasists. Boris Johnson’s lies – about parties during lockdowns more than about more serious things – finally became too much for the electorate, and therefore for the Tory Party. So in came Truss, a fantasist like Johnson but less charismatic and much less intelligent. She radically cut taxes for the rich at a time of economic crisis, pretended there would be growth as fuel prices rocketed and trade with the world shrank, and implied that Britain could keep on borrowing money even after the huge debts incurred by Covid. The markets responded, the IMF rebuked Britain, people’s mortgages and debts shot up.

So she’s gone. Probably the Tories will lose the next election badly – though it’s still a while away. Labour under Keir Starmer will be more sensible, but won’t dare to explain that Brexit-related magical thinking is at the root of the problem. Therefore Britain will continue to become poorer and less relevant on the world stage.

(Scotland, by the way, didn’t vote for Brexit, and was left cold by both the Farage-Boris-Brexit phenomenon and the Corbyn phenomenon. That’s one reason why I hope for Scottish independence. Failing that, I hope the UK as a whole manages to grow out of this unpleasant myth-based stage of its political life. I am not optimistic, not for Britain or for the world. As our crisis grows to unbearable size, so we bury our heads in ideology and nightmare.)


Written by Robin Yassin-Kassab

October 21, 2022 at 3:59 pm

Posted in Scotland, UK

5 Responses

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  1. Your point about the ungovernable nature of the UK after the referendum is well made. However you are bit harsh on Corbyn. While he undoubtedly opposed much of the developments in EEC/EU from the Tony Benn perspective, as leader he did campaign in favour of remaining, however lukewarm. How could it be anything other than lukewarm? But the British position on the EU always veered between lukewarm and hostile, so he was hardly an outlier. Genuine enthusiasm for the EU only appeared among the remain-voting public after the vote to Leave. Tory hostility to the EU was almost across the board, while the likes of Blair spent most of his time lecturing his European colleagues on their “statist” fantasies while pushing endless market reforms of the European economies, and Gordon Brown famously signed the Lisbon Treaty with no media present; all running a mile from the euro-hostile Murdoch press.

    You probably think Corbyn is pro-Assad and pro-Putin because he is viscerallly anti-NATO. Fair enough, but Corbyn opposed the Iraq war which was a monstrous war crime, unlike many of the Labour right-wingers who now rejoice at the “centrist” Starmer leadership. Corbyn also supports Palestinian national self determination, a far cry from Blair’s refusal to condemn the endless Israeli bombings of Gaza and incursions into the West Bank. No doubt Starmer’s policies will be so much closer to those of Blair than to those of Corbyn.

    Fergus Hurley

    October 21, 2022 at 4:30 pm

    • Very recently Corbyn gave an interview in which he expressed his view – again – that it was wrong to give the Ukrainians weapons to defend themselves against imperialist invasion, even after we know that Russia has been shooting civilians in the head, raping them, etc. Who did Corbyn give the interview to? Al-Mayadeen – a Beirut based channel owned by family members of the Assad regime, and one which supports the genocide in Syria. This is only the latest of a long list of reasons why I know that Corbyn is an Assadist. I don’t just ‘think’ it.

      Robin Yassin-Kassab

      October 23, 2022 at 10:20 am

  2. Oh for sure; brexit was always going to be bad news. I mean, how can you leave the biggest trading bloc in the World, which is right on your doorstep, and not have problems? It was sheer lunacy to listen to those snake oil salesmen, bojo the Bozo and farage and gove, lying turds and I always new we would enter into a period of pain which will last for decades. We must re-join the EU as soon as possible, with all its imperfections. The UK should fight from within the EU to eradicate these imperfections and stop the untrammelled activities of unelected figures within the echelons of the EU.

    Mr. Frank MUGFORD.

    October 21, 2022 at 4:46 pm

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