Prob­lems in pol­i­tics lie much deeper than just Brexit

Hinckley Times - - LETTERS -

THE present cri­sis in Bri­tish pol­i­tics was in­evitable. It has man­i­fested it­self in the Brexit de­ba­cle but the prob­lem lies far deeper. The loss of the great­est em­pire in his­tory and the loss of sta­tus as the great­est ever in­dus­trial and trad­ing power were only mit­i­gated by a vic­tory in 1945 at de­bil­i­tat­ing cost.

Des­per­ate to cling on to world power sta­tus as the USA and the SU dom­i­nated the post­war stage, Bri­tain ac­quired the atomic bomb and threw its lesser weight about in for­eign the­atres while in­dus­trial in­vest­ment at home fal­tered, caus­ing even­tu­ally a se­ries of eco­nomic crises lead­ing to a re­luc­tant ac­knowl­edge­ment that mem­ber­ship of the Com­mon Mar­ket was vi­tal. Re­luc­tance is the key word.

Never a mem­ber for ide­al­is­tic or in­ter­na­tion­al­ist rea­sons, the coun­try has ever since demon­strated a wide streak of cyn­i­cism, re­sent­ful­ness and pre­pared­ness to be­lieve the worst about the French and the Ger­mans, ably ex­ploited by the Goebbe­lesque skills of the gut­ter press so beloved by its xeno­pho­bic read­er­ship. Nos­tal­gia for the great days of rul­ing the waves, the adu­la­tion for pomp and monar­chy, the be­lief in Bri­tish ex­cep­tion­al­ism, even in the face of fail­ure, are symp­toms of an in­abil­ity to ac­cept the sta­tus of or­di­nar­i­ness with which pre­vi­ous im­pe­rial pow­ers such as Hol­land, Bel­gium, Por­tu­gal and Spain long ago came to terms.

Now we have to wit­ness the hu­mil­i­at­ing sight of a stiff PM do­ing dad-danc­ing in South Africa on a mis­sion to se­cure un­nec­es­sary trade deals, a coun­try which al­ready builds Volk­swa­gen cars and ex­ports them back to Ger­many via EX­IST­ING trade ar­range­ments which Great Bri­tain, as an EU mem­ber, co-ne­go­ti­ated! In the eyes of the world which once re­spected this coun­try for its many great at­tributes, we are a sorry sight in­deed, led by tenth-rate people with non­sen­si­cal and dan­ger­ous ideas about what our fu­ture should be. John Payne

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.