‘Ignorance is bliss’ is a phrase coined by Thomas Gray in his Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College; a poem in which he nostalgically reminisces about the bliss of youth with its carefree days of playfulness unmarred by the dark realities of adult life and the responsibilities thereof (and there are suggestions that the voting age should be lowered even further – but I digress). In fact, never mind the foregoing digression, it would appear that present day politicians are to a man – regardless of age and sex – still in the bliss of youth and consequently have yet to reach the dark realities of adulthood; but yet again I digress.
It has been reported that Theresa May, on hearing the results of the recent general election, felt that she had a responsibility for the future, for the country. In respect of her actions where that is concerned not only has she fooled me, she has fooled the country. I often think that if politicians could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of their problems, they would never be able to ever sit down again. Politicians would do well to remember that rank does not confer power and privileges, but only responsibility. They should also remember that you cannot evade the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.
It has been said that the ultimate ignorance must be a rejection about which one knows nothing. Where politicians and their careers are concerned, it would seem all they require is ignorance and confidence – not forgetting the ability to lie to the public – and success is theirs. One of my criticisms of politicians is not just that they are ignorant but that they know so many things that just aren’t so; another is that it is not that I feel politicians do not care, but that I feel they do not want to care, possibly due to the fact they appear more interested in themselves and their public personae.
If Theresa May – and her fellow politicians – felt any responsibility to the country which she – and, presumably, they (cabinet responsibility?) – professes to serve and love, she would remember the result of the 2016 referendum on the question of membership of the European Union. It should be remembered that while the vote produced a clear majority, it was close (52% for v. 48% against). Not only that, it was fought based on falsehoods from both sides. As a result it behoves all politicians to seek a solution to Brexit that satisfies both ‘Leavers’ and ‘Remainers’. Unfortunately our politicians seem hell bent on concentrating on what are perceived as the main requirements of the public; namely, ending freedom of movement. securing our borders and the return of sovereignty – in the process forgetting there are other equally important matters if trade with the European Union is to continue.
This last aspect means that, once again, politicians are high-jacking a wish of the electorate by imposing their reading of the result – one based on the media summation of that decision. One has to ask just where is the ‘conversation’ by the politicians with an electorate that they are supposed to serve? Should not a conversation be an exchange of thoughts rather than, as politicians would have us to believe, do as they say?
Peter HItchens, writing in the Mail on Sunday, presents an argument for EFTA/EEA (albeit a tad simplisticly). Bearing in mind his potential readership, if they can be bothered, this may result in a tsunami of letters to the respective Members of Parliament reminding them that the green bench on which they place their arse (and have done for far too long) may well be a thing of the past. Now that scenario would be a form of direct democracy!
One can dream, can one not?