The Sound of Drums

Andrea Leadsom’s call for ‘patriotic’ Brexit coverage prompts anger, says the Guardian headline — as we might expect, some would say, they are, after all, one of the ‘Remoaner’ outlets. But, it does leave us with a number of questions that have to be answered.

“It would be helpful if broadcasters were willing to be a bit patriotic. The country took a decision, this government is determined to deliver on that decision.”

From the way she said it, what she meant was that everybody, but especially the media should be more positive about the way in which the government is handling Brexit. We should stop using terms which might suggest that the Government is not doing a good job, or that it has lost this or that round of the Brexit discussions, and simply get behind them. She seems to be regurgitating the “Brexit means Brexit”, and the government is going to deliver on it, a vacuous platitude, at best.

If it is the best she, and the government can do, it is not reassuring. She expects respect and trust for a government that regularly shoots itself in the foot, from absurdly calling a General Election at the beginning of one of the most important negotiations, to failing to cope with the handling of the NHS, the Benefit system, and most recently the Gresham Tower incident, the Tories show that they are not good at crisis management. And Andrea Leadsom expects trust and respect when the Brexit campaign was based on lies and misdirection, and where people are filled with false expectations and hopes, and they are doing nothing that would enable us to give them this trust.

Trust is in very short supply at the moment. Andrea Leadsom has no right to expect it, and she has absolutely no right to wrap support for the actions of a failing government in the cloak of patriotism, suggesting in a sinister way that to disagree is unpatriotic. I am deeply offended by her claim.

There are many things that need to be kept secret for national security, but this is not one of them. It is a discussion which will have an effect on the country. It will have implications for our lives, and it is allegedly being done in our names; what they are doing is, after all because “the country took a decision”. That is you and me, and our neighbours, and our neighbour’s neighbours, everybody who is affected by the negotiations made a decision. Not quite true, but for the purposes of the way democracy works in this country, it sort of holds true.

Their claim goes further. They claim that now that they have their mandate, they can do whatever they like to deliver Brexit when, in fact, people voted for different things, on either side of the debate. But, they don’t care about that, like the Master who had a constant drumming in his head, they have “Strong and stable” and “Brexit means Brexit” drumming in theirs, and it drives them on to something that, in all probability was not what anybody on either side of the debate really wanted.  They don’t want to ask us what we want, what was meant when people voted for Brexit; and they don’t want us to have a choice on what they end up getting for us.

They are Strong and stable government, acting in the best interest of the country, the only True Government that can deliver what the people want … Brexit means Brexit … . But, there is a problem, their motivation isn’t simply what is best for the country. They have an eye on the electorate. This is obvious from the way in which their politicking works. From being a majority in favour of Remain, they turn round, not just to be willing to do what is right, but to wanting to be seen to be the Brexiteers to end all Brexiteers, who have repented of their evil ways, and to prove it, we will try for a Hard Brexit.

They are not patriots wanting what is best for their country, but self seeking and self serving hypocrites, because they want to fend of the far right, and stay in power. They remind me a bit of Donald Trump, people who need their egos stroked to validate their existence; sorry, that just doesn’t work. Validation does not work this way. They fail to understand what government is about, day after day they make decisions that have terrible consequences for people; expecting trust, and support doesn’t work that way.

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