As the end of 2018 approaches, the old adage of living in interesting times seems more apt than ever. Nothing in UK politics seems to make sense any more. So when I was looking for the origins of the phrase “we live in interesting times” , I had that sad, ironic, I should be laughing but I’m actually dying feeling when I saw from wikipedia that there are claims that it originates from an ancient Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times”. I wonder if our current PM knows this.
Politicians, particularly those in our current UK Government, and particularly our current Prime Minister Theresa May, keep banging on about delivering a Brexit that “the people” voted for. But no-one voted for what is happening just now. During the referendum no-one had sight of a draft deal, so no-one really actually had any idea of what a deal would actually entail. That hasn’t really changed in the past two years until the last couple of weeks.
There were of course some vacuous, totally inaccurate slogans on buses and proclamations that the Brexit negotiation would be the easiest trade deal in history ever. There was never any plan to leave, just some vague, jingoist nonsense about reclaiming – laws and sovereignty – neither of which we had actually lost.
“We, the people” are now caught up in a type of circular hell that even Dante couldn’t have imagined.
What history will make of this, I have no idea. However what is clear to me is that to enact a plan you first need to have a plan. That plan should be critiqued, debated in a democratic way. The complexities and implications of trade negotiations should be transparent and not swept under the carpet by very rich (mainly white) people who can afford to carry on living the way the live whilst “we, the people” have to live in chaos and economic uncertainty for the next decade or more. Historic international peace treaties such as the Good Friday Agreement can’t be ignored,
All I know just now is that I feel even more invisible than normal. Democracy is failing me and I don’t know what to do. But maybe one day some historian in the future will discover this little post will maybe get a sense of my hopelessness and despair.
I’ve been struggling to write this blog post today, and now I have just seen this article in The Guardian. Thank you Ivan Rodgers for putting into words some of what I have been feeling.