Exit from Brexit: Defending the British people
The British ostrich has its head in the sand, its owner being three monkeys which see no truth, hear no truth and speak no truth. Theresa May is all four.
One presumes that Theresa May is intelligent, because she was chosen by her party after a considerable vetting process to lead the Conservatives and stand for office as Prime Minister. Intelligence requires academic ability alongside emotional intelligence, the ability to consider and understand different points of view and to accompany trends over time. Being Prime Minister requires striking a chord with her people, whether or not they voted for her or her Party, and it means taking responsible decisions which cater for the interest of The People in a general sense and certainly not do a ridiculous tightrope routine in public, trying to stay in power at whatever cost.
Does Theresa May have what it takes?
Looking at how Theresa May has handled the Brexit dossier, one which this time she has not (yet) lost, and given that this time everyone can see for themselves that she has to take full responsibility for her strategy (rather than making dubious decisions then allowing someone else to be the fall guy for her, without admitting responsibility, the most cynical and cowardly act ever seen in British politics), one may question, without wishing to be impertinent, whether Theresa May has any emotional intelligence at all.
Before that fateful day in 2016, when just over half those who voted in the First Referendum fell victim to blood red decisions based upon the 2015 migrant crisis, utter nonsense and a tissue of lies peddled by the Leave campaign (which has since been described as illegal, and the First Referendum as fraudulet), Theresa May said, in public at least, that she was in favour of remaining in the European Union. This was the position of the majority of Members of Parliament because this group of people is privy to information, studies and statistics which the average person in the street does not understand.
However, after the First Referendum gave Leave the majority (just) she has reiterated time and time again, as she tends to do on many an occasion, a single soundbite which she repeats ad nauseam, as if she was trying to convince herself it was true. It goes along the lines that the people gave a "clear mandate" to leave the European Union in a Referendum, so that is what she shall do, having arbitrarily chosen the date of March 29th to do so.
Less than 52 per cent in a matter of such monumental national importance in a consultative referendum, with decisions swayed by lies, is not a clear mandate in anyone's book. It could be better described as one of Cameron's nightmares, alongside his foreign policy disaster in Libya, where NATO aircraft took the side of terrorists on their own lists of proscribed groups meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign State, describing children as "legitimate targets" and strafing civilian structures with military hardware, leaving the country a failed State and crawling with extremists. Sterling job, what?
May's Peter's Principle Pinnacle
And so whatever qualities Theresa May has, and let us be honest, she must have a few, somewhere, emotional intelligence is not one of them. Her strategy, if one can call it that, was to negotiate with the European Union for two and a half years with her cards pressed close to her chest, before deciding to have a meaningful vote on what she had already signed with the other 27 Member-States in the EU, and eventually losing by a whopping majority, a study in abject humiliation and failure. Some say they feel sorry for the Prime Minister but as Prime Minister she is liable to be held to account on her decisions, and decisions based upon sheer arrogance and utter idiocy underline the fact that she reached her Peter's Principle Pinnacle at the Home Office way down the political pecking order.
Had she adopted a more emotionally intelligent stance, following through step by step, informing the Opposition Parties what she was doing, she might have had a better chance of success. This would have involved understanding that she was negotiating a (ridiculous) deal (that was bound to fail) on behalf of all the British people, including Scotland and Northern Ireland which rejected Brexit, and the more instructed and educated English and Welsh who based their decisions on the facts rather than idiotic diatribes such as "It's them French innit?", stupid statements about Moslems wanting to take over the UK or even references to fish and chips.
Showing emotional intelligence, she could have been honest and stated from the beginning that Brexit was a pie-in-the-sky chimera, a Quixotesque dream which was the nirvana of the Nationalist far right (their pockets already lined with gold and their fortunes in offshores - nobody tell them that under new EU regulations, offshore stashes will be taxed in the EU and those Great British Gentlemen crowing about how patriotic they are will actually have to pay their takes back home like everyone else, unless of course the UK leaves the EU on March 29) and the hard left which dislikes the neo-liberal project that the EU has become.
Theresa May - treason?
Following her policy, she appears to be oblivious of the effects of a No-Deal Brexit, although it beggars belief that she seriously takes this as an option. If she does, then she is totally incompetent and should be tried for treason. She also appears to ignore the fact that any form of Brexit, whether it be No Deal, Her Deal or anything else, cannot be good for the UK. The argument could be whether the UK should have joined in the first place because back then, we could see what the project would morph into, and indeed this kicked in, in the 1990s with Eurospeak soundbites and everyone getting carried away with The Big Project, ignoring thousands of years of social and economic historical vectors.
But once you have joined the club, your economy becomes tied to those of the other Member States, you do half your trade or more with these States for free, you link your security services, Universities, police authorities, healthcare workers, professionals, sharing dreams, ideals, ideas and goals and lives with partners. You gain some and you lose some in the process and like any healthy relationship, you give and take. Only a fool thinks you can take all and give nothing in return.
Theresa May seems not to understand this, or if she does, not to care about the consequences of where she is leading her people. If you have to pay for what you once had for free, and if doing alternative deals with other countries costs more, which is the case, then any alternative to what the UK has today is worse, including the much-vaunted WTO option (more expensive). When you pay to do business, your exports become uncompetitive because there is a knock-on effect with the costs. Selling elsewhere incurs something called transportation costs. Fewer sales equals fewer jobs, equals higher unemployment, equals communities ruined, equals higher crime rates, equals higher social payments, equals less money and fewer resources available for public services such as healthcare and policing.
It is basic arithmetic, not rocket science. One can forgive the noble citizens north of Tring for their contribution to Englishness, one cannot forgive an entire nation for becoming a racist sh*thole and one certainly cannot understand or forgive a Prime Minister who takes the wrong side and presses ahead fully aware, or stupid enough not to grasp, that she is leading her country into abject disaster.
Referendum - It's called Democracy, try it some time
With any Brexit deal being the same as jumping off a cliff, the only sensible and Democratic way forward is to understand where the British people are, at this moment in time. It is amazing that it takes a Russian internet newspaper and a writer who for the last four decades has been a sporadic visitor of a few days every now and then to the UK, to tell the British Prime Minister where her people are, emotionally, politically and internationally. Today in 2019, the English and Welsh people do not want Brexit, I repeat, THEY DO NOT WANT BREXIT. They understand that in the First Referendum they were misinformed, lied to and cajoled by a bunch of toffs who could not care less about the people and who spray their hands with alcohol after shaking hands with a "pleb", then rub it on the back of their pants for the next 45 minutes.
People want a Second Referendum, this time based on the arguments, the facts and the possibility to shape the future of their country for their children and grandchildren. Saying that the people voted in 2016 and the decision has been made is like the ostrich and the three monkeys, paragons of absurdity and ridicule which will be the political epitaph of Theresa May who has precisely one month to save her country, show some interest in her people, and scrap Brexit as an idea, but one that is simply not doable.
It requires, in two words, common sense and nothing more.
It saddens me greatly to see the United Kingdom face a turbulent future, the potential break-up on the Union (why should Scotland remain in the Union when not one single constituency voted to Leave the EU? And Northern Ireland as a whole also voted to Remain). What saddens me, although I do not live in the UK and have never worked there, is the fact that jobs will be lost, livelihoods will be lost and families will suffer. First unemployment, then we know how difficult it is to get back into employment, then hopelessness, then crime and marginalization as communities implode. What saddens me more is that in one generation's time, people will be comparing the UK pre-Brexit and post-Brexit, speaking of the worsened times, using Brexit as some kind of temporal benchmark in the most negative way possible.
Someone, somewhere has to talk sense. If my words fail to make a difference, then at least I know I tried to help. Let this piece be my political epitaph.
Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey works in the area of teaching, consultancy, coaching, translation, revision of texts, copy-writing and journalism. Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru since 2002, and now Co-Editor of the English version, he contributes regularly to several other publications in Portuguese and English. He has worked in the printed and online media, in daily, weekly, monthly and yearly magazines and newspapers. A firm believer in multilateralism as a political approach and multiculturalism as a means to bring people and peoples together, he is Official Media Partner of UN Women, fighting for gender equality and Media Partner with Humane Society International, promoting animal rights. His hobbies include sports, in which he takes a keen interest, traveling, networking to protect the rights of LGBTQI communities and victims of gender violence, and cataloging disappearing languages, cultures and traditions around the world. A keen cook, he enjoys trying out different cuisines and regards cooking and sharing as a means to understand cultures and bring people together.