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Member since: 2001
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On both the left and the right, I've never despaired more at British politicians

Excellent article that sums up many of my own feelings about how dreadful British politics is right now.


British politics reminds me of a Land Rover stuck in a field: the wheels are spinning, mud is flying everywhere, but there seems to be no possibility of moving forward. Theresa May somehow manages to be both reckless and cautious Ė which is almost impressive until you remember that she canít even get two dozen of her own party, sitting at the same cabinet table, to agree what the Brexit end-state should be. Instead, the Tory party indulges itself in therapeutic infighting and preparations for the next leadership race. It has learned absolutely nothing from the referendum campaign, which was seen through the psychodrama of Dave vs Boris, a rivalry dating back to their school days. (I suppose itís part of a grand British tradition that the EU referendum was lost on the playing fields of Eton.)

Not that Labour is any more inspirational. Its tactic seems to be, to borrow a phrase from Johnson, to wait for ďthe ball to come loose from the back of the scrumĒ. In other words: hang on for a Corbyn government. But that isnít good enough. There might be four years of this parliament left to run, and all the indications are that the economy will get worse, wages will stay stagnant, homelessness will continue to rise, prisons will remain dangerously overcrowded, the transport network will continue to crumble, the NHS will gasp desperately for more money and we still wonít build enough bloody houses. This is no time to tend to the allotment and wait for your turn to come.

With noble exceptions such as Anna Soubry, most Tory MPs are keeping quiet about the disaster they think is coming because they are afraid of their voters. The bulk of Labourís parliamentary party is keeping quiet about still thinking Jeremy Corbyn is hopeless because they are afraid of their activists. Corbyn himself talks relentlessly about a ďjobs-first BrexitĒ to disguise the fact heís fine with pretty much any kind of Brexit. (He knows that, unlike him, the majority of Labour members, as well as Labour voters, are pro-European.) May pretends that Liam Fox is the best choice for the job of trade secretary, when the truth is that his globe-trotting pointlessness represents nothing more than appeasement. And if Rees-Mogg enters the next Tory leadership race as the favourite, how many of his colleagues in parliament will have the courage to say to the swooning Conservative grassroots: weíve seen him up close and youíre making a big mistake?

Iíve been writing about politics for seven years now, and itís double that since I first became politically active thanks to the disastrous Iraq War. In that time, Iíve never felt so depressed about my country and the quality of the people who want to lead it. Previous governments in my adult lifetime have been variously wrong, and cruel, and misguided, and deluded, and complacent. But I canít remember a time when Britainís problems seemed so large and the politicians confronting them felt so small.

Because the agricultural labour market is messed up

You try finding these jobs in your local job centre over here. There are Brits who will happily do this work, but the employers have set things up for cheap migrant labour.

Which makes it even more annoying that the political mass debate about immigration in the UK is all geared towards blaming migrants for absolutely everything, but never about asking questions about the people who demand migrants do this sort of work on the cheap.
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