Watching celebrity mastermind this weekend John Pienaar, Deputy Political Editor for the BBC, who prior to questions on his general knowledge round, said “having covered politics (as a journalist) for 35 years, 2 or 3 years ago you’d thought you’d seen everything….” Now he’s seen things he’s never seen almost every week. Asked to elaborate more by John Humphrey’s, the successor to the unforgettable Magnus Magnusson, host of Mastermind, BBC’s long running brainiac show, Pienaar says “the condition of the Prime Minister’s Office, the condition of the Government, the condition of the opposition, the state of public opinion, the next thing that’s going to happen, the amount that’s at stake,….more is at stake at this time in our politics easily more than at any time since World War 2,..…because of Brexit, also because of something that is going on around the world, of which Brexit maybe conceivably be a part. In this country we haven’t seen anything like this, and we really don’t know where we are going”.
This is the BBC’s Deputy Political Editor speaking, being asked on his day off by John Humphrys one of the highest paid award winning BBC journalist’s ever, what do you make of the current state of play in politics today and John Pienaar spills the beans on what he really thinks on the quiz show we all know and love….which has the effect of reinforcing the expert knowledge the contestants have. He confirms what we secretly know within ourselves and maybe not admitting it to ourselves, that based on recent events that the Government don’t know we were are really going.
I put to you that this analysis has been on the horizon for several years now, but is rarely disclosed by those in the establishment and has led to a false sense of security, and even though we sense things are steadily getting worse. If you are still in work it is likely that you are bathing in a degree of comfort that modern society provides, and are satisfied with your lot in life or worse still making do with your situation. If you want to be really cynical most of us just accept that this is just the way things are and we are unable to affect the status quo. This depends on whether you are a glass half empty or glass half full type of person. Which are you? Most I suspect are the glass half empty type, even though they may claim to be glass half full.
Glass half empty is what belies the British psyche. Unless we have been born into money, most of us subconsciously play this game in the land of social climbing. It is inherent within many a organisational culture. This is why we have so much inertia and self interest in our society. It’s one of the reasons for a lack of productivity in industry; its the reason for gross inequality between the haves and have nots. The new order are trying to get a piece of the pie and the old order have been trying to hang on to the reigns of power. Invariably as the new order make gains, they start to imitate the old order and slowly but surely start to look, act and feel like the old order. But the horse has bolted; technology has literally enabled everyone to be as informed as their political masters. Now more than ever there more options because of the new knowledge economies that exist. So if you are Glass half full, you will be able to see through whatever local, national or global crisis is current or being presented as such.
Think about it like this, where the political discourse has been about how embedded we become with the alternative right and left political philosophies of the supremacy of the market versus the degree of state funded intervention; the model of supporting privatisation as the most efficient way to run public services and stimulate ongoing growth, could always be justified and sufficient for the public, whilst there was continued growth. But after a decade of austerity into the mix, the realisation of impact of the government underwriting the banking crisis of 2008, making the taxpayer the bearer of entire the financial burden for the greed of the financial houses went far beyond what the electorate voted for. It turned out to be state funded intervention for the private sector with no payback. Business as usual for the haves. In time, this was always going the break the back of any faith the public (The have nots) had in the complicated highfalutin economy theory and the yarns the politicians tried to spin yet and yet again.
Once the public realised that the faith they put in the UK government, was repaid with a failure to protect pensions, cuts to social care for an ageing population, forcing the next generation to take student loans to go to university, with false promises of an improvement to their economic life chances. The resulting broken housing market. An economy that has been losing momentum, productivity levels below that of the competition, the government deficit reduction targets of Cameron and Osbourne with manifesto promises have been recalculated with forecasts of no growth for more than 20 years; no security in employment with zero hours contracts, and welfare reform reducing benefits to the poor are all the signals you need to suggest something is seriously wrong is already here.
Add your thoughts on Brexit?. I’ll leave that to John Pienaar, the Deputy Political Editor of the BBC. The saving grace is that there are always solutions. We who breathe are forced to find them. No point in getting anxious, because that won’t help. Being clear on the subtext will. Having your own plan for yourself, your family, your community, your organisation will. Its come to that. Because if we don’t take responsibility to find out where we are going; the government is not going to do it for us.