Saturday, 1 April 2017

UK, USA Going to Hell In A Handbasket

Hell in a handbasket
What do Brexit and the clown-car pileup better known as the Trump administration have in common? Anyone? It's all at the behest of a nasty-minded bunch of xenophobic paranoiacs. Well we're reaping what we've sown, the chickens are coming home to roost, people. This is the state of play.

Brexit is a mess

We were promised control of our own borders, to be rid of EU jurisdiction over our laws and courts, and that, despite leaving the Union we'd be safe as houses, we'd have trade agreements coming out of our ears. Except that, despite these mad promises, none of this is happening. Remember how we were supposed to be taking back control of our own destiny? Not gonna 'appen, innit? You know why? The other 27 member states have to agree first.

The Tory plan since the days of Thatcher (let no one tell you otherwise) was to turn this country into a low wage tax haven. EU says forget trading with them if we do that.

You know that shedload of money that was supposed to be flowing to the NHS? The battle-bus was only declaring the amount of money going to the EU. Silly people! Whatever made you think the Brexit Brigade were going to transfer all that moolah to the NHS? You'll be wanting free prescriptions, next. Try to die quietly, the Tories are too busy not giving a damn to help you.

Oh, and you know how Ireland was going to remain part of the Union while leaving the back door open for trade with the EU? That's gone belly up, too. It looks as though I'll be seeing a united Ireland in my lifetime — achieved without a whiff of violence. Tory incompence and outright ignorant stupidity can be good for something. Blind pig finds acorn, etc.

This is what happens when you listen to what right-wingers say instead of carefully checking out what they're saying to make sure it's true. Many people I know are too thick, lazy, or both to do that. They lied to us and even though many of us are waking up to that fact they still seem to think that invoking the spirit of Dunkirk will somehow pull the nation together to make this work. Erm, no. We're going to see prices rise as we end up on the WTO because we don't have a preferential trade deal. Liam Fox has signed us up to CETA but that doesn't mean anything if it doesn't get ratified. Even if it does, the minefield known as ISDS awaits. Does the right have any value at this point?

Trump is failing and flailing

No amount of right-wing jingoism is going to convince the world that America is run by a sane and competent administration. In two months Donald Trump has turned his back on the world — and America's place in it — and concentrated on being mean to Muslims and removing healthcare from millions of Americans. I never saw either Bush go after members of their own party the way Trump does. His scandal-ridden administration lurches from one disaster to another and shrugs it off as though nothing happened.

Trump appointee Rex Tillerson, who has Hillary Clinton's old job, doesn't like talking to people any more than he has to. And the Vice President Mike Pence won't talk to or dine with women alone in case he grabs them by the you-know-what, or something. Oh, and lookee here: former defense secretary Mike Flynn has been refused immunity vis-a-vis the ongoing investigations into his involvement with the Russians. I can't wait to see who he throws under the proverbial bus to save his own skin. Butter the popcorn, people, this is going to be fun.

America used to be a beacon of freedom. The president is supposed to be the leader of the free world. In this administration, though, the press had better toe the line or errant journalists will be labeled terrorists and treated as such. You know how every scandal has -gate added to the name? It's because a journalist met with a whistle-blower to gain details of a plot to bug the opposition during an election. These days that journalist would be facing prison  — or the whistleblower would be locked up. What First Amendment? Free press, my rear. Speaking of which, Trump is already sending out begging letters, the contents of which bear re-posting:

They want money. To post. The best first quarter report. Who are they getting to write this — Michael Crichton? I mean, surely to goodness they have staff to do this. Oh, wait, they can't be bothered to recruit any, or something. Apparently it's all about Dan Bannon gleefully "deconstructing" the state by hiring numbnuts to do a lousy job till the whole thing collapses. Well, in the process thereof he's dishonoured his country and made it a global laughingstock. Tell me again what value the right has these days.

What can we do?

You'd expect the powers that be to intervene more but they're standing aside with their arms folded, shaking their heads, and preparing to usher neoliberalism back in as the only sane option. And progressives will help them to do it because the stupid see-saw game blinds them from seeing there are other ways to work. Politics is not a zero-sum game: there's always a solution and always more than one option. What we can do is remind each other of that fact. Meanwhile, the right needs to grow up and learn to take responsibility instead of wallowing in make believe and wishful thinking.

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