Time to take action
What an utter fiasco - the Government shut-down in the USA and the Brexit shambles in the UK - I should be surprised - we all should. We should feel outraged at the goings on actually, but it has become the norm and we seem to accept it as inevitable as we slip back into the malaise of a mildly interested observer. I find myself just tutting in utter despair at the juvenility of these grown-ups.
Two of, if not the two leading democratic powers in the world, the USA and the UK are far too busy shooting themselves in their collective feet to be too worried about, or even notice all the other really important goings-on in the world. And be sure - "whilst the cat's attention is away - the mice will play - havoc". And don't be surprised, because they are. The world is missing our collective attention.
Where normally these two nations are two of the main watch-dogs of freedom and justice, they have succumbed to naval gazing; common sense has deserted them and they are utterly consumed with their own self inflicted wounds.
These suposedly erudite politicians who dispense their wisdom and make our laws have been reduced to babbling idiots - perhaps, to be fair, not all of them but a significant number, and perhaps we should ask ourselves - if we chose them, who are the real idiots?
Democracy seems far too like an oil tanker sometimes - frustratingly slow to react. It is like watching an accident in slow motion and we want to shout out - "No - slow down and turn the other way". We should realise that efficient democracy demands foresight and serious forward scenario planning, not unlike a successful business. And we need the people with the acumen, emotional intelligence and life experience to do that. That is our job; to seek out those people and not be duped by the vein and naked ambition of the ego-driven fraudster or just the plain populist, weak and feckless.
Too many conflicting views tied up into a ball of obscurity - a bit like the Gordian knot, so possibly an easy fix?
So when life gets complicated - the best thing to do is "uncomplicate" it.
In the UK we have our issue of "Brexit" - and with, I have to say, a little comforting glee, we look across the pond and see the USA with the issue of "Mr Trump - your chosen President". And even with all the issues of Brexit, I don't think we would want to swap?
To be fearful is a dreadful feeling - The only remedial response to fear is to face it head-on and conquer it.
It is uncanny how these two countries are so conflicted at the same moment in time, both with self-inflicted issues that have paralysed them. The remedy for both is fairly straight forward and simple - but fear and timidity hold back the cure.
The UK voted to leave the EU but it has so divided the people and is the cause of bitter rancour and is a danger to our democracy. So the cure is; we have to accept that no one will be a compleat winner - or loser in this argument, so compromise is the order of the day.
Therefore we should leave the European Union but join the European Free Trade Association.
That solves a whole lot of problems - We leave the EU, so we keep the referendum promise but we keep free trade with Europe including the financial sector. We are free to make our own trade deals internationally, we dramatically reduce the amount of money we pay into Europe and we keep the flow of people coming into this county to help fuel our economy. Of course, we can insist that people entering the UK cannot take out of the country without putting in first, be it health, education and other benefits, which has been a misunderstood cause of concern. And re the European Court of Justice, another bone of contention, we would be a member of the EFTA Court of Justice - yes, it is a bit of a bodge for some but perfectly acceptable in the long term I believe.
With regards Mr Trump - He has consistently demonstrated he is not fit to lead and cannot be trusted. He is unarguably damaging the United States of America and the World by his presence in the White House. So Mr McConnel has a choice; do what is best for his country - either take control of Congress with the Democrats, thus neutering Mr Trump or get rid of him - the GOP may take a short-term hit if they collude with his impeachment or removal from office, but it is unquestionably the right thing to do for the over-all immediate and long-term good and benefit of everyone in the USA, not to mention the rest of the world. Yes - the United States would be stuck with a lame-duck President in the form of Mr Pence for a couple of years until the 2020 Presidential election - but over a period of two years, doing no harm is infinitely better than "daily harming".
Hopefully, one day, we the people will understand - and refuse to settle or be duped by self-interest party's, driven only by a hunger for power, out of greed and ego. We will feel compelled to find and seek out leaders who govern for the good of all people; we will vote for men and women who are principled human beings and have learnt to walk around in other people's shoes, who base their politics on values - and not interest rates or potential sales. People who comprehend the difference between right and wrong, who are in it for what they can give, not make.
We take democracy and peace for granted at our peril. They are like relationships or building muscle or stamina or bringing up a child - they require constant attention. It is our collective duty to strive for these ideals and hold our leaders to account - not just for us - but everyone, particularly those who do not have a voice. We all need to be involved in this process.
Take care, keep well and have a good week. Richard Summers.
Suffolk UK Sunday 20th January 2019