Britain in Chaos
Matthew JAMISON | 05.06.2017 | OPINION

Britain in Chaos

With four days left to go before British voters head to the polls yet another terror attack has occurred, this time in the capital city London. This is the second terror attack in the space of two weeks. Something very strange has been going on during this British General Election. For the first time in living memory during what seems like this never ending Western «war on terror» terror attacks have occurred during a General Election campaign. There were no terror attacks during the 2005, 2010 and 2015 General Elections, but then a political leader like Jeremy Corbyn was not in the mix during those elections. And just as with the Manchester bombing on May 22, so much of the information about the attack simply does not make sense or add up.

I know the London Bridge area well. I find it astonishing that the attackers drove along London Bridge mowing people down; then abandoned the vehicle near Southwark Cathedral; found time to run through Borough Market on a rampage stabbing people as many as 10 or 15 times; then ran down to the Wheatsheaf pub were they were shot dead by armed police – all in the space of 8 minutes. They covered quite a lot of ground and caused a terrible amount of damage in the space of 8 minutes and from the time when the 999 emergency call was put in the police responded very, very quickly. 

As with the last terror attack in Manchester that occurred during the election campaign, campaigning has now been temporarily suspended just as the polls have been tightening against the ruling Conservative Party of Theresa May. Just before the Manchester bombing the polls had already begun to tighten and the Conservative Party manifesto launch was marred in chaos thanks to Theresa May's ridiculous, immature, lightweight Chief of Staff Nick Timothy's absurd and cruel idea to introduce a «Dementia Tax». It has been the most dreadful campaign for Theresa May and her team. What started off looking like a Coronation with a landslide has become a bitter fight to the death, quite literally, between the Tories and Labour. Mrs. May has been exposed for the intellectual and political lightweight she is as well as the cold, calculating, callous politician she is while the team of advisors around her are quite clearly rank amateurs, too young, lacking real world experience, way out of their depth and psychologically far too combative and conflict driven for their own good.

Despite the best efforts of her image makers to launch a personality cult around the Prime Minister as a «strong & stable» leader she has in fact demonstrated what a weak, oscillating, untrustworthy coward she is. Mrs. May was for Remain during the EU Referendum Campaign though was hedging her bets by being completely invisible during the plebiscite. Since the result she has become the biggest cheerleader for the hardest of hardest of Brexits though she had no courage of her convictions to come out for Leave during the 2016 Referendum. During the Referendum Campaign she called for leaving the European Convention on Human Rights yet her 2017 Manifesto states the UK will remain a signatory to the ECHR for the duration of the next Parliament.

Mrs. May attempted to delay the Hinkley Point C venture only to let it go ahead without any real changes from the original deal. She attempted to raise National Insurance contributions for the self-employed in violation of the 2015 Conservative Party manifesto commitment and then climbed down when the outcry rightly made her think twice. On social care, she is all over the place. Then there is of course her famous, repeated declarations that there would be no early General Election. Yet here we are in the midst of yet another election two years on from the last one and one year on from the ghastly EU Referendum. As the polls have narrowed from an extraordinary Tory lead of between 20-22% to as little as between 1-4% British people have started to realise that the Empress Mrs. May perhaps really does not actually have any clothes. 

The Tories, like ferrets in a sack, have begun to turn on each other. The Chancellor Philip Hammond has reportedly been advising Cabinet colleagues to keep notes of their abusive encounters with Mrs. May's vile attack dogs, otherwise known as her co-Chiefs of Staff Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill. The unprecedented campaign to discredit and demonise Jeremy Corbyn has been thoroughly horrible, but it seems to have backfired on Mrs. May and her allies in the media with Labour's support in the opinion polls continuing to climb and the Tories continuing to drop despite attack after attack on Mr. Corbyn and the disruption that the Manchester bombing and now London terror attack has caused to national campaigning.

Just before the Manchester bombing there was a full frontal attack on Mr. Corbyn in the days leading up to it with the media regurgitating Mr. Corbyn's associations with the political wing of the IRA – Sinn Fein – from all the way back in the 1980s. What the Tory supporting British media failed to point out was that successive British Governments such as Edward Heath's; Margaret Thatcher's and John Major's maintained open lines of communication directly with the IRA and were talking to representatives of the IRA (behind the scenes) throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Furthermore the British Government of David Cameron with Theresa May as Home Secretary continued to grant amnesties to wanted «on-the-run» suspected IRA terrorists which had started under the Labour Government of Tony Blair. So, as usual the world famous English two faced hypocrisy has been very much on display regarding this issue.

Now, just before the London terror attack Mr. Corbyn was coming under fire for, heaven forbid, preferring to avoid having to launch a nuclear weapon in cold blooded revenge in the event of some hypothetical, fantasy nuclear war. Watching so many people in that BBC Question Time audience getting so worked up and animated about a fantasy hypothetical situation about whether Jeremy Corbyn would push a button in revenge for a nuclear attack thus retaliating with the destruction of millions upon millions of lives and planetary damage was quite disturbing and revealing that some people's mind-sets see everything through the prism of and are conditioned heavily by conflict, confrontation, war and aggression.

But remember this is Britain we are talking about. A country that has invaded, occupied and colonised roughly 178 countries – that is most of the members of the UN - during its «glorious» history. There of plenty of people willing to push such a button. I think it is refreshing we have someone in Jeremy Corbyn who is more thoughtful about the consequences and how to avoid ever getting into such a situation. Or, as one wise young lady in the audience put it: «I do not understand why everyone in this room is so keen on killing millions of people with a nuclear bomb. I think it is worth moving on from that particular debate because we are talking about murdering people.» There is actually no need for Britain to maintain such a horrendously expensive weapon of mass destruction. 

There are too many countries in the world in possession of nuclear weapons. The strategic doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction or more precisely MAD can be maintained with only the USA, Russia, China and France as nuclear states. One nuclear state in North America. One in the European Union. One in Eurasia. One in Asia. That is enough. The sky will not fall in and the MAD equilibrium would not be affected if the UK stopped wasting so much money on weapons of mass destruction which it hopefully god forbid would never have to use. And UK defence would not be affected. Germany and the rest of the EU shelter under the American/NATO nuclear umbrella. Article 5 of the NATO Treaty quite clearly states an attack on one member state will be regarded as an attack on all NATO member states. This whole issue of Trident is such a red herring. Mr. Corbyn is rightly sceptical of the continuing maintenance of a horrendously expensive British nuclear weapon when the money could be better spent on pressing domestic priorities such as health, education, infrastructure, pensions et al. There really is no need for Britain to possess nuclear weapons and frankly it cannot afford them. It is simply a vanity project to maintain the veneer of pretensions to Great Power status.

Yet whoever wins on Thursday, it will really not make much of a difference. No matter who is in charge whether it be a Tory Government or a Labour Government the institutional, economic, social and political rot in Britain runs too deep and cannot be corrected without major, radical reform which will never happen, and with the UK's impending exit from the European Union it will only get worse, not better. When it comes to the UK it is simply a question of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Thankfully for the rest of the world, apart from some ripples in the EU and the Western Alliance, what happens in Britain has very little significance beyond the British Isles.

Tags: UK 

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