democracy, English-language posts

the one thing both sides can agree on

In the UK (if it’s still appropriate to call it that…..) there’s an incredible amount of bad feeling, division, distrust, resentment and anger going on right now, and when people are this angry at each other they tend to focus on their differences (which they use as insults to yell at each other).  I’d like to suggest that, understandable though this anger and shouting is, it would be more useful to try to find something that both Leavers and Remainers can agree on.

“Whaaaaat?” I hear you say, “there’s nothing at all that those moronic Leavers/Remainers (delete as applicable) could say that I could possibly agree on!”

But I think there is. I think the Leavers and the Remainers are actually both very likely to agree with the following statement:

“We are being fucked over by the politicians”

Now, let’s be absolutely clear that Leavers and Remainers will be in disagreement about all the other people they think are also contributing to this fucking-over:

– The Leavers will, in addition to the politicians, also blame immigrants, EU bureaucrats, and lefty-liberal tossers;
– The Remainers will, in addition to the politicians, also blame the working class, the global elite, and Islamophobic racist Neo-nazis.

These are all good and valid and important points that we will need to thrash out eventually, but for now I think we need to focus what both sides CAN agree on: despite our differences, we are in agreement that we are being fucked over by the politicians.

We desperately need to hold on to that one kernel of agreement, for two reasons:

1) because it’s the only thing that we agree on – other than that we’re just trying to rip each other apart, so if we want to not live in a society of constant bitter conflict (racist marches starting at one end of town, anti-racist marches starting at the other, meeting in the middle every weekend until we finally collapse into civil war) we need to cling to this.

2) because it so happens that this one kernel of agreement contains the answer: if we’re being fucked over by the politicians then we need new politicians, and indeed a new political system, one that we can start to learn to trust and believe in. THEN, and only then, can we start the long arduous process of thrashing out the issues that we disagree on.

So we all need to temporarily stop yelling at each other and instead start shouting really loud to demand constitutional reform as our inherent right as a democratic electorate, so that we can oust this shitty self-serving backstabbing political elite and instead elect our own politicians who we choose, who are accountable to us the voters, and who will represent our views in an actual representative democracy instead of the facile pretense of one we have right now.

Caroline Lucas, the UK’s one Green Party MP, pretty much says the same thing here, though she swears a little less. (Full disclosure: I am a member of the Green party).

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