Defeat is always hard to take, but no more so than when snatched from the jaws of victory.
It was all going so well. After decades of slow, patient effort The Project was drawing close to its successful conclusion. Everything was in place and victory was assured. In baronial halls up and down the land the long tables were set for a celebration and the champagne was on ice.
And then it all suddenly went pear-shaped. Tits up. In the space of a couple of months The Project went from a bankable certainty to a train wreck. How could this possibly have happened?
So confident had the backers of “The Project” – otherwise known as Neo-Liberalism – become, they had only only a year ago renamed it to something more catchy, to the phrase that became their rallying battle cry during the EU Referendum – “Take Back Control”. To lose it all when final victory was so close represents a disaster of the first order.
The Neo-Liberal agenda in the UK has always been about control. The poor brainwashed mugs who voted for it last year thought it meant power for them, but that was never even remotely the case. It was always about giving a small group of the wealthiest in the country total control over all aspects of life in Britain; a modern version of medieval times. Elsewhere in the world the classic model for this is North Korea, where a different version of the same Project has kept an iron grip on the country for some decades now. Closer to home, Saudi Arabia offers a third variant of the same theme. All are marked by total indifference on the part of the ruling class to the wellbeing of their subjects.
The warning signs started in April when Holland’s favourite bouffant racist failed to impress the voters, and was closely followed by the sound defeat of zenophobic nationalism in France. On the other side of the Atlantic the world’s biggest ego was failing to command respect or get anything done. But in Britain the idea that The Project could fail wasn’t to be taken seriously. The Labour Party was unelectable – the Mail, Express and Sun had seen to that, so it still seemed only right to go to the country and ensure Tory dominance for the next 4 decades. Once cemented in power they could do as they pleased to maintain that position indefinitely. Leaving the EU was a key part of the plan; it was essential to remove any means by which absolute power could be challenged, and a hard Brexit would do the job just nicely. It would be a small price to pay for total dominance over every aspect of life in Britain.
So imagine the shock at the election result. Closely followed by fury, a thirst for revenge and then utter frustration at suddenly finding themselves completely powerless to influence events. The situation was even worse than had they simply lost. If Labour had won, a new Government would have had to deal with the catastrophe of Brexit. They would have failed, of course – with so many lies and promises having been made, such a huge collection of contradictions simply isn’t winnable. After a short while another election would be inevitable and the Tories would soon be back in their rightful place, with Brexit conveniently behind them and all the nation’s problems safely blamed on socialism again.
Unfortunately, that isn’t how it turned out. By a delicious turn of fate, the people responsible for the chaos they unleashed on Britain last year now get to run the show. And fail. And lose what’s left of their shabby reputations. Nobody will help them; the DUP are already backing away and there’s nobody else who can remotely be described as friends. The Tory Party is toxic; look what happened to the Liberal Democrats after 5 years of coalition.
So it’s quite easy to imagine the anger and frustration currently being felt by Moggie, Deadwood and the rest of the gang. The main target of their anger is May, whose total ineptitude threw away a safe lead in the polls, but they can do little without further exposing the massive schism running down the middle of the Tory Party and triggering another election, one that Corbyn is quite likely to win. The EU negotiations will soon reveal what a mess the Government has got us into, so who else would want to be associated with that? Far better to stand back and force the present lot to eat their own dog food. The top Brexiteers can do little but seethe while their dreams of unlimited power evaporate. They are terrified of what a potential Corbyn Government might do once in power, in particular forcing them to pay their fair share of taxes, to pay their workers a decent wage and to look after the less fortunate members of society, so rocking the boat just isn’t an option.
My own feelings of schadenfreude go only a small way to compensating for the utter mess the country is still sleepwalking into. The discomfiture of those who so richly deserve it is fun to watch but the pleasure I get from it will pass and the troubles of Britain are only just beginning. Perhaps the country will come to its senses in time to turn the Brexit supertanker around before it hits the reefs ahead, but we need the present incompetents to stay at the helm long enough for the message to percolate through the smokescreen of lies, then dispatch them as quickly as possible and hand over to a team that has the interests of the whole of the country at heart, not just those of a cabal of selfish, preposterously rich, conscience-free individuals.