January 4, 2017

State of the modern Brexit nation

State of the modern Brexit nation

Six months after the country’s momentous decision to leave the European Union, Peter Bingle assesses the state of modern Brexit Britain.

So how is modern Brexit Britain in January 2017? Despite the prophecies of doom and despair during the EU campaign the economy seems in pretty good shape and consumer confidence is high. The Chancellor expects a turbulent time over the next few years but there are many in his own party who think he is being needlessly pessimistic. Perhaps in a post-truth world it really doesn’t matter.

Public opinion is troubled. They are in a rebellious mood. Having destroyed Valhalla in 2016 they show no signs of reverting to servitude and obedience. Gone are the days of deference. They want to have a say in determining their own future. Many politicians continue to misunderstand their own constituents. They will pay the ultimate sacrifice at the next election.

The liberal metropolitan elite – once brilliantly described by Howard Becker as ‘moral entrepreneurs’ – are on the defensive. For them populism is both offensive and dangerous. Their privileged position (combined with a breathtaking hypocrisy) is under attack like never before but they have the means and the power to protect their positions for as long as possible.

The established church is in a bad place. Faced with the threat of secularisation the Church of England’s response was to itself become secular. Bishops feel uneasy talking about matters religious and therefore lecture their increasingly small flock about pay day loans and the failings of government. Is this now the time to finally separate church and state? The alternative would seem to be irrelevance.

The British public love the Queen. Of this there is no doubt. She is regarded with a powerful mixture of affection, admiration and respect. Love for the Queen, however, is very different from love for Monarchy. The Queen’s illness has caused many people to think for the first time about a modern Britain without her. Will rebellious anti-establishment Britain ever come to love let alone respect Charles III? Will the ghost of Diana haunt his reign? Perhaps the monarchy isn’t as secure as it seems today…

The Rule of Law is no longer a given in Modern Britain. When senior judges rule in a way that offends the media they are subjected not just to criticism but personal abuse which even extends to their sexuality. Gilbert’s Lord Chancellor once famously said: ‘The law is the true embodiment of everything that is excellent. It has no kind of fault or flaw and I my Lords embody the law.’ In modern Britain is this still the case?

The Body Politic is in a state of decay. It is not just the Palace of Westminster which is on the verge of collapsing. So too is the public’s respect for the political class. Never since universal suffrage was introduced has there been such a schism between politicians and the electorate. The Labour Party in Scotland paid a heavy price for ignoring their supporters. Is the same going to happen in the North of England? More generally and crucially Brexit will force MPs to listen to their constituents. If they don’t I fear what will happen next. The omens are not good.

At the heart of modern Britain’s problems is the lack of an accepted moral code. Morality is no longer absolute but relative. The difference between right and wrong has become blurred. Without order there is chaos and during a period of profound change such as Brexit it is all the more critical for a sense of morality and goodness to exist. As of January 2017 there are no promising signs.

So Britain is in a challenging position. The people want change. Servitude is no longer acceptable. They want their place at the table. At the moment, the mood, whilst rebellious, is nonetheless optimistic. If the liberal metropolitan elite do not respect the new reality, however, that mood may become malign and angry.

Behind the pomp and circumstance of Elgar’s music there is a wistfulness and poignancy for a bygone age. I now understand why. Rapid and profound change is terrifying, particularly when there is no morality to underpin it. This is modern Brexit Britain.

4.67 avg. rating (92% score) - 15 votes
Peter Bingle
Peter is the Founder of Terrapin Communications. With a career in politics and communications that has spanned almost four decades, he is one of the country's leading public affairs practitioners. His career has seen him advise many top companies, including McDonald’s, HSBC, L’Oreal, Permira, Motorola, Camelot, Rolls Royce & Kellogg's.
  • Nockian

    No article ? Maybe it’s spread to comment central ?

    Central banks don’t work any better than any other kind of soviet style producer. They produce too many tractors when we need more ploughs. This is because banking isn’t independent, it isn’t laissez faire capitalism that is being practised, but the soviet style economics of central planning. It is not, per se, the fault of the central banks, anymore than it was the fault of the Russian tractor factories for under/ over producing as a result of state diktat. Unfortunately we have a mixed economy, which is 50% socialistic and has been expanding for several decades-most of us now give over 60% of our earnings to government directly (it’s probably a bit more depending on inflation and inflexible tax bands).

    The answer is to get the state out of commerce, then the central banks will either survive or collapse within a laissez faire banking system, but first we must begin to accept the truth, that we cannot continue to sustain such a gargantuan welfare system and its associated government. If we want to produce more, we need to be taxed less, we must save not spend.

  • ratcatcher11

    If everyone saved and did not spend there would be a massive worldwide slump, so it is obvious there has to be spending. Making things for sale is thus important, services alone cannot sustain an economy. One of the biggest problems is Keynsian economics that are basically tax, print and spend socialist policies. We do not need the government to build a railway we need a private company to build the railway which will compete with air travel fairly, not by taxing air travel to make it it less profitable. Thus the governments air taxes should be scrapped and private companies encouraged to re open rail lines closed by Beeching. This is the development we need not government spending 90 billion of money on an HS2 line built from somewhere to nowhere and never stops to pick up passengers.

  • Debs

    Expansion of economies cannot go on forever no matter what so called monetary policy is. You dont need to be an economics expert to realise it.

    All I know is governments and banks seem to be constantly coming up with schemes to leave we the lowly tax payer with less of our money.Forget about the trumpeted tax cuts ,everything else is going up accordingly except real wages of course. Dont even mention the Green scam or the cheap labour scam.

    Bail ins and cashless society are two more scams I have seen trailed in various media outlets over the past few years. Gradually our hard earned money is being prised away from us to fritter away on who knows what.

    They wonder why Trump got elected.

  • Nockian

    The market will raise rates eventually, regardless of wether the central bank wishes it or not. The problem is that we have all become mesmerised at central bank control, when, in reality, at this stage they have little at all. They cannot raise rates to normal, because, firstly, we don’t know what normal looks like (it could already be normal) and secondly any increases will create an avalanche effect-let’s face it, no one but the wealthiest wants to bring down countries governments through a collapse in public spending leading to actual anarchy on our streets.

    The bogey man of fractional reserve is a myth that has permeated libertarian consciousness, in a free market banks would have to take risk or they would, by any definition, not be free market. Banks are not currently lending to private individuals because capital requirements are already so high-they have become zombified businesses that look like they function, but are like the shops we set up as kids with funny money and plastic fruit. The market is broken as far as banks are concerned, they are no longer part of it.

    Fixing the problem cannot begin by looking at the central bank, nor the main banks. It’s far too late to consider than anything can be done at this stage, we are so far beyond normal that we aren’t looking at a functioning banking system at all. It would be like bleeding the radiators to solve a broken boiler.

    The problem we have is at its heart a simple one. It’s the problem that labour refused to accept when the banks blew up. We have an unsustainable welfare system and an over sized government. We have to tackle our public spending first of all and I see little sign that any current, nor perspective government is prepared to give the public the awful news about the reality.

    Even the great Tory saviours have flunked out of the monetary boiler rooms. The situation is dire, there is no fuel left, we have been ripping up the ships timbers to maintain the illusion of tranquil sailing progress, but eventually the ship will sink for lack of substance. There is no monetary policy that can save us, all we are going to get is an ever growing war on cash, savers and anyone who tries to make a profit. We are going to end up in the late stages of a soviet style melt down whilst spinning mirrors to pretend it isn’t happening.

    We all know what’s going on, we can offer solutions, make sympathetic noises and talk up any temporary progress, but the reality of the situation is now apparent. We have to do what every debtor must eventually conclude; that our spending has unfortunaly exceeded our earning capacity and all those red letters mean some drastic rethinking is required. We are going to reach the end of the road, not by a sudden explosion, but the drift into monetary authoritarianism which will result in ever greater protectionism and falling living standards. We are in great danger of losing the West to the East and ending up as country cousins of a world of declining freedoms and the rise mysticism.

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