I’m giving up politics

I checked Twitter this morning, to find that the man who plunged the UK into its greatest international crisis since WW2 is now Foreign Secretary, and that a man who had to resign from Defence and was somehow not jailed for appalling leaking, is in charge of International Trade.

What both these appointment tell me is that for people in the game — and it is a game — nothing they do has consequences. Destroy our relationship with the continent? Never mind. Bring a mate along to top-secret meetings? Not to worry. Welcome back into the fold.

And that is the end of whatever remnants of trust I had in our political system. Our politics now is exactly like the banking crisis: gambling with other people’s lives, with no real consequences for the gamblers. The chumminess of Cameron’s final PMQ demonstrates perfectly how totally disconnected these people’s lives are from reality.

Following all this over the last fortnight has brought me nothing but pain, fury and despair. It’s cost me time, and achieved nothing. And I now realise that since there is nothing I can do about it, the only sane response is to ignore it all and get on with my own life. So from now on I am going to be making a positive effort to ignore every aspect of politics. They are all contemptible, Tory and Labour … with a very few exceptions, who are systematically hunted down and eliminated — because they don’t belong.


So with this blog-post I stick two fingers up to every politician in the UK, and leave them to their privileged game — knowing that they will destroy lives but that there’s nothing I can do about it and it’s useless to try. For msyelf, I return to sanity: programming, dinosaurs, music. Good things.

(I will be blocking Twitter for at least a little while, since that has been the immmediate source of most of the madness.)

10 responses to “I’m giving up politics

  1. Daniel Do Binau

    Good for you Mike. Living in the similarly awful political climate of Denmark, I reached exactly the same conclusion as you around last year, when we voted into office the most horrible government in my lifetime so far.

    I have never regretted my decision, and every time a piece of news does manage to sneak by my wall of purposeful ignorance, I am confirmed that I made the right choice.

  2. This is actually a brilliantly evil move on May’s part. She’s stuck every one of the leading Tory Leavers with the consequences of their own actions, while simultaneously forcing Boris to shut up (collective cabinet responsibility requires him to), forcing him to abandon his lucrative Telegraph column writing (ditto), all the while removing all responsibility for anything that might actually be significant from his department and surrounding him with the most exquisitely trained liars and persuaders in the Civil Service to keep him under control. (I mean, seriously, these guys make Boris look like the utter amateur he is.)

    The appointment of Leadsom to a post in which she’s required to talk to the farmers whose subsidies she has at various times talked about wanting to gut and also talked about reclaiming from the vacuous £350m/wk is truly evil too.

    My only real worry is David Davis, who while extremely sane for a Leaver appears not to understand that trade these days consists of more than shipping widgets about the place, and that non-tariff barriers are utterly crucial and indeed the reason for almost all the regulation Leavers like him so disparage. However, again, he’s getting a lot of civil servants to kepe him under control, and a clown car containing Boris to keep undue attention off him.

    Meanwhile, Theresa May gets a Leaver-shaped shield for all their unfortunate decisions and gets to stick the inevitable economic disaster on them: the consequences may well be dire enough that the next election will see parties running on an In/Out platform, which will reorient them in precisely the way needed for the future (since it is clear that this is where the fault-lines in our society now lie: the unions are more or less extinct and May just stole half their manifesto, though whether she’ll *stick* to that is another matter entirely.)

    Interesting times, and I guess we’ll reconstruct a research base and a smaller City of London once we rejoin the EU again in ten years or so :(

  3. Well, Nix, that is an encouragingly positive perspective.

    But I’m sticking by my decision to stay out of it.

  4. In Boris’ defense, he wasn’t the only one responsible for the mess… That’s not much of a defense. All the senior Tories were either campaigning for exit or ineffective at arguing that the UK shouldn’t shoot itself in the face – you’ve got to staff your cabinet with *somebody*.

  5. I feel your pain, even from the cut-off continent, but please do not give up. If the sane people give up, the tricksters have won.

  6. The tricksters have won. That’s the whole point.

  7. Phillip Lord

    What is sad to me is not that the tricksters have won, but that we have forgotten what politics is for. We listen to reports of cabinet reshuffles and worry about who is going to do what. But, politics should be about peoples every day life, it should be our education, it should be about whether we are happy, and well fed.

    One of the many reasons that remain lost, is, I think, because all the arguments were statistics, GDPs and return on investment. One of the most positive things to come out of the vote was, I think, that many people were voting in hope of a better world, engaging in politics, and trying to reclaim it for themselves. I have to feel that this is a good thing; if democracy is to be meaningful, we cannot maintain the gulf between the real world and the government that we have now.

    It’s also a dangerous time. We made the wrong choice here. If, heaven forbid, Trump gets elected, then the wrong choice will have be made there too.

    So, don’t give up on politics. But, redefine politics. Think about what you can get involved in, what you can do and what you can change. And there are things you can change. If we all look for these things, then perhaps some good will come out of this after all.

  8. Phillip, I could not agree more with your first paragraph.

    I could hardly disagree more with your second. The fact that Leave won despite all the facts being against it speaks a profound and depressing ignorance in the bulk of our population. Not just an ignorance of the specific facts in this case, but if you like a spirit of wilful ignorance, best captured by Gove’s appalling (and as it turned out accurate) assertion that “The people of this country have had enough of experts”. I find it impossible to see anything at all positive in that.

    Finally, your good advice: “think about what you can get involved in, what you can do and what you can change.” The problem is, I have thought about this, and the answer is: nothing. That’s why it’s better to give up, instead of smashing my head repeatedly against a wall.

  9. Pingback: On using nuclear deterrents | The Reinvigorated Programmer

  10. Pingback: Politics: the end | The Reinvigorated Programmer

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