It is entirely plausible that Alexander de Pfeffel Johnson is a serial liar, habitual inciter to hate crimes and participant in criminal activity – a power-hungry, narcissistic sociopath with whom you can place absolutely zero-reliance on literally anything he says and does. He was by far the worst and most corrupt Mayor of London; the least effective and poorly regarded Foreign Secretary; and his premiership has unravelled as incompetent and divisive in the one week he has had to engage with parliament. These descriptors of de Pfeffel are far more credible than any alternative explanation of Johnson’s behaviour and performance since he realised he could make more money slagging off and lying about Europe than he had previously as – according to his Dad and family – a generally pro-EU enthusiast.
It is a matter of fact and law that the Brexit vote in the 2016 UK referendum on EU membership amounted to no more than 26% of the resident population and was obtained after the biggest electoral fraud in contemporary UK history, with significant foreign interference. 74% of the 2016 UK never assented to leaving the EU, and there has been a consistent, significant and increasing majority of ‘Remainers’ and those broadly comfortable with the status quo throughout this decade. The assault on democracy is solely from de Pfeffel and his LEAVE-elite allies, petrified of a second referendum or of parliament asserting its sovereignty over major decisions on the future of the UK.
How can this most deeply unattractive Old Etonian toff, his buddies and financial backers now be in pole positions to destroy the UK – our better values, primary institutions and probably our territorial integrity – in order to enrich themselves, prop up the rotten Trump edifice in the US, and deal serious damage to our continent’s ‘civilisation’ and to less-advantaged communities in our country?
This blog has consistently aired three related factors in our shared ‘has it really come to this’ despair.
I argued the ‘representative democracy in terminal decline’ thesis in the May 2016 blog “Is the EU referendum a signifier of democracy in terminal decline?” (so before the referendum itself). This bemoaned the use of populist binary referendum where the two sides default to ‘loud-mouthed, bigoted, populism’ rather than honest, humble recognition of complexity, and a commitment to consensus-building deliberative exchange to address difficult and wicked issues.
Combined with voter apathy and the resultant potential of the system to empower loud-mouthed bigots like Trump and Johnson on a modest minority of preferences, the blog forecast the election of Trump and a Leave binary capture of the referendum. 2016, therefore, marked a major milestone in the end of democracy as a positive form for political decision-making and implementation.
Sadly, since those toxic landmarks, and despite this most divisive of times, the DNVs (did not votes) have continued to win every election. Most recently, around 70% of adults were DNVs in 2019 local elections (12% unregistered and 58% not being bothered); and over 2/3 were similarly absent from the EU parliamentary vote. The primacy of DNVs builds on the 2015 GE analysis in ‘How Cameron stole the election and destroyed the country’.
The detachment of voters from the electoral process – much of it, like registration difficulties and arrangements for EU residents, explicitly part of the loud-mouthed bigots’ toolkit – is why the country can destroy itself on the basis of a fraudulent 26% vaguely anti-EU vote in 2016; and why the Tories can apoplectically turn to Alexander de Pfeffel Johnson in the face of the Brexit Party’s attraction of a mere 11% of voters in the Euro-elections.
The second argument has been the willingness of the far right and their backers to act in what is effectively a coup against democratic institutions. The coup character of 2019 UK has been recently popularised in the ‘#stopthecoup’ rallying cry against de Pfeffel’s attempt to suspend Parliament to prevent the UKs primary democratic institution determining the outcome of the most important negotiations the UK has conducted since the end of World War Two.
However, again, this blog announced the coup in a late-2016 trilogy around Trump’s election – by which time the illegality of the referendum as part of a more concerted deep far-right international plot was becoming evident.
It is difficult to pinpoint precisely the coup-masters and their mix of metropolitan and offshore tax haven HQs, but we all know they are there. The stunning reporting of Cadwaller and other brave journalists (some tragically murdered by the covert armed cadres of those sympathetic to the coup-masters), the suppression of their reportage by state broadcasters like BBC & Russia Today, prove it.
The combination of democratic apathy by the population and coup-appetite by the far right makes the third point of the UK as a new type of ‘failed state’. Again this has been given recent currency in debates on the character of the de Pfeffel Johnson administration – but was first introduced substantively in the June 2017 blog ‘GE17 – democratic renewal or a further indicator of the UK as a failed state?’. Besides the DNV thesis, this bemoaned May’s rejection in the round by that election but clinging onto a meaningless ‘Brexit means Brexit’ priority by bunging the DUP – a minority party acting against the expressed wishes of their Northern Ireland population – a bit of moolah.
The ‘failing state’ was explored further as I contemplated where to spend March 29th2019 if UK left the EU on that date. “The demise of the practical operations of government functions”… ”facing serious problems that threaten their internal coherence”…with “no institution with the authority to negotiate, represent and enforce the results of their negotiations”…”acting in a wholly unreliable way” seemed a reasonable portrait of May’s Government, let alone de Pfeffel’s.
Of course, my blog does not have an omnipresence for anticipating the major shifts in UK and global political economy. It appears to have been wrong about Trump being a Manchurian candidate; about the annihilation of Corbyn’s Labour at GE2017; and perhaps about JC being a deep plant by the far right tasked to destroy Labour from within (although he does a fantastic impression when he gets out of his allotment). And it takes absolutely no pride in being right about the terminal decline of representative democracy, the coup, and the UK becoming a new type of advanced failed state.
So it is with considerable reluctance and humility that I predict the low level civil war that has pervaded the UK since June 2016 – with its doubling of hate crime and increasingly ‘hostile environments’ for responsible contributing citizens and visitors who happen to not be white little-Englanders and the street violence of Farageists, Christopher Yaxley-Lennon (like de Pfeffel masquerading someone else – in this case Tommy Robinson) and their lackeys– will escalate seriously through any impending general election and Brexit outcome. The far right and its goons are the antithesis of the civilising Europe that has been the dominant construct since we joined the EU, and are all too willing to place themselves above (in de Pfeffel, Patel, Gove, Farage and their allies case) and beyond (in extremist and sometimes fatal violence) the law.
I do, however, stand by this blog’s prediction of 2014 that “the most probable Cameron/Clegg legacy [will be] break-up of the UK, detachment from the civilising influence of ‘Europe’, and supremacy of a nasty, intolerant, ‘little Englander’ parochialism [that] will lead Northern Ireland and Scotland to follow Gibraltar out of the UK family at some stage in the 2020s.” And I do hope that this is part of a wider meltdown of nation states as the primary entity for determining global and citizen futures.
An independent Scotland, a united Ireland, and perhaps an England and Wales as a confederation of powerful city states participating in and benefitting from a civilising, progressive European Union, seems to me to be a reasonable starting point for visioning the alternative to the little-Englander dystopias manipulated by their far-right, non-dom financial masters. I am sad we shall have to win a civil war to deliver this.
If there is one thing de Pfeffel Johnson’s administration has achieved in its short, sorry existence, it is to clarify the choices before us. We now just have to make that choice and stick with it with the ferocity and single-mindedness of the evil ranged against us…