There’s always a curious mood lingering in the air around the dawn of a new year. As if all it takes to wash away the malignant stench of a period drenched with unbridled misery is a simple switch in the number appearing atop your calendar. Irrational it may be, but many of us can’t help but feel our spirits enhanced by an apparently inexplicable hint of optimism as the clock finally ticks past the last few moments of December.
Obviously that’s bollocks. Real life just doesn’t work that way and every little morsel of hope you had for a brighter future was the result of intoxication. Nothing has changed, the Christmas merriment is now firmly consigned to the past and you’re about to embark on the most potently agonising hangover you’ve ever experienced.
Though in truth, the country has been mired in the bleary eyed aftermath of a seismic, referendum induced stupor ever since June 24th 2016. There’s been proclamations of progress, with dubious insistence of a renewed national unity being spewed out at regular intervals in a not at all transparent bid to dupe us into thinking we’ve crawled our way back onto the wagon, but reality has a tendency to stay so far away from the government’s narrative it’s on the other side of the galaxy. We’re not back on the wagon -we haven’t even managed to wrench our head from the vomit encrusted toilet bowl.
Which is precisely why Theresa May and her ever dwindling cluster of hapless stooges are doing absolutely anything they can to direct your attention elsewhere.
However we’ve come to expect such cowardice from the incumbent administration by now. It’s a move straight out of the crumbling government playbook – you can oversee the most wretched omnishambles imaginable but, if you can convince the bemused populace that a mysterious yet remarkably convenient bogeyman is lurking in the shadows cultivating unimaginable strife, they’ll be far too sidetracked to notice until it’s too late.
The problem with this being not just that it’s successful, but that that it doesn’t even seem to matter. Accountability is dead, murdered in its sleep by apathetic acceptance.
Take this pitiful nugget of astonishing deceit for instance:
I mean just look at it. What can you really say? You’d think that in the wake of the referendum we’d be less accepting of obvious falsehoods, treating their proponents with suitable disdain and ensuring that they’re unceremoniously held to account as their smears against reality are eviscerated right in front of their eyes.
Of course apparently outmoded concepts such as ensuring that public officials are held to a higher standards of ethics than a gaudy drivel infused gossip mag, within which well known human beings are ruthlessly investigated for the temerity to possess excess cellulite, is little more than an idealist’s naive fantasy. Sure there’ll be howls of consternation on social media, and perhaps even smatterings of it in the press – but nothing tangible will happen. Iain Duncan Smith will continue as normal, lining his pockets with his taxpayer funded salary and churning out whatever line gets Iain Duncan Smith ahead in the game, with any relation to the truth being pure coincidence and, most likely, completely accidental.
The people who find themselves out of work and at the job centre however? Well, they’re not so lucky. But fortunately for Iain they’ll have no real means of recourse, existing in his realm as little more than a mere faceless statistic which can be explained away in a handy soundbite or the laziest sophistry imaginable. Out of sight, out of mind right?
That’s ultimately the underlying tragedy of modern Britain – that we’ve been so beaten into submission by conniving and disreputable politicians it’s become the norm. The declaration that a politician has deceived the public they claim to serve generally isn’t delivered with any degree of justified disgust, rather a wry smile and and a thousand yard stare – gazing off into the distance as if scanning the horizon for the faintest glimmer of logic required to make sense of our predicament.
So here we are – locked in a seemingly eternal purgatory awaiting our fate. Brexit isn’t just round the corner anymore, it’s haphazardly attempting to pull up on our driveway having smashed through the picket fence like that drunken uncle you hope sleeps through every Christmas. Will it be the sunlit uplands promised by Andrea Leadsom? The wondrous utopia exclusively featuring nothing but considerable upsides championed by David Davis?
Of course not, but that won’t stop them from attempting to sell you such a delusion; right up until the point where their safety net of plausible deniability finally gives way. Yet what will you do about it? What recourse will you really have? Are you happy with your taxes funding the cynicism of these charlatans and their ill advised capers?
I don’t imagine you are, but if there’s to be anything even vaguely resembling a positive change upon these shores holding such chancers to their words has got to be the first step.
Sleepwalking through mire just isn’t an option anymore – not when the edge of the abyss lies but a few steps ahead.Follow @grahamlithgow