It’s silly season. I reviewed the news this morning and nothing jumped out as requiring comment, in itself. At the same time the whole news agenda appeared to be part of a continuum that was deeply depressing.
Boris Johnson appears to have lied about new funding for the NHS. The £1.8 billion he’s announced was already the property of NHS Trusts: they’d just not previously been allowed to spend it. The ‘new money’ claim looks like a distortion of the truth.
The claim that Johnson is working to get a deal with the EU is clearly news to them. They think that claim is another distortion of the truth.
The possibility that the government is planning to simply ignore parliament in its dash for Brexit looks to be high. A crisis is being manufactured where none is needed, and none should exist since parliament is sovereign.
The cost of UK government borrowing hit a record low as investors fled from shares in the light of Brexit risk. For once the markets have this right: they know that the country is nowhere near ready for a No Deal departure from the EU.
They’re also worried that Trump is creating trouble without reason with China.
And that he is promoting internal racial, social and political tension in the US for his own political gain.
It’s a claim I could replicate many times over around the world. Start with Brazil and just keep moving onwards.
All round what is clear is that we face a common enemy. That enemy to wellbeing, peace and good order is populist politicians manufacturing crises.
The economic downturn that is now a very real risk is not much about fundamentals. Most has been created by Trump.
Brexit fits the same bill. It is a wholly unnecessary crisis created solely to cause disruption.
The increased risk of racism in the US, the UK, the Netherlands and in so many other places is not because that tension has risen of its own accord: it has been politically manufactured.
And dogmatism is creating real risks of national and international violence, again by choice, where negotiation might be so much more successful.
This is not by chance. This is all by conscious decision. There are those who want discord. That is because they wish to exploit it for their own gain.
Naomi Klein spotted the trend and called it disaster capitalism, but it is so much more than that now. Many of those promoting the current wave of what they call ‘creative destruction’ are not capitalists as such. Most of them would not know one end of a business from another. They are instead best called revolutionaries. And the revolution is against democracy itself.
Johnson makes that clear, daily at present. He has no time at all for Parliament, or accountability.
Trump holds Congress and many of those in it in contempt. How else can so many of his comments be interpreted?
The populist revolution wants to sweep away checks and balances. In their place it wants control by a few, for a few, whatever the cost.
This is the revolution we are seeing. It is real. It is phenomenally dangerous. It requires concerted action to challenge it. And we’re not seeing any awareness of that amongst politicians stuck in their old ways.
And that may be the biggest reason to worry.