Anarchist or Liberal? – BALKAN NEWS MAGAZINE


I have often wondered how to describe my political leanings, but I suppose, much of what I think is due to what I am. The trouble is, I no longer believe that anyone can successfully govern our lives with any political certainty, and I view the various manifesto’s and promises, as a surfeit of half baked optimistic claptrap. Maybe, that is the hippy in me talking, but, on the other hand….”  The Editor

Listening to the British Prime Minister today, it seems that everything in her garden is rosy, whilst opposition leader Jeremy Corbyne, in his manifesto speech, believes that nationalization and a return to the past, should unquestionably cause the trains to run on time, and make all our lives considerably better. Well, there are no clear winners there, and reluctantly I would put both their racing odds as 10 to1, and expect both horses to come in completely knackered, at 4.30 in the afternoon!


I suppose any well organized housewife manages to to work with some sort of budget for the usual household expenses, plus a little put aside for emergencies. Countries are a bit like that, because more or less they cannot always rely on a running overdraft – to plug their unpredictable finances – nor can they rely on their better half, to come up with the extra dosh when the gas bill arrives. Administration finance has to rely on either selling government bonds, or taxing its citizens.

This is when the problems begin, and  the past aggressively intercedes, where it really does not belong. Almost at once, it becomes the politics of those who have, versus those who have not – which then collide – and where old animosities begin to get in the way. But it also describes a kind of blindness, and an ignorance of post modern British history, and the blighted landscapes of the once industrialized nation it supposedly represents.


The fossilized coal pit and steel towns of Wales, the West Midlands, or the North East; the ghostly reminders of a once thriving industrial economy and proud manufacturing industry, now sit side by side with the picturesque remains of a long forgotten industrial revolution. Today, row upon row of coal pit and steel workers’ houses still remain, their inhabitants once gainfully employed in the grime and heat of the pit face or at the furnace, who now roam the streets – bewildered and obscured – all yesterdays men and women. But, what about them?

We are all told that lower taxes will encourage business to expand in these blighted areas, that it will create jobs for the unemployed, or unemployable, and opportunities for all those forced to remain in these long forgotten communities. But, is it true? Once a part of our industrial folk law; of lovers meeting at the factory gates, and passion by the old canal, what has happened to the British working man and woman, and what about their real future?


Reinvented by sneering technocrats in suits, and turned into tedious statistics, it isn’t long before vague promises are made, for a new and enlightened Great Britain; to be closely followed by the Wiley knowing smirks of politicians. Whereupon, as if by some self endowed right, the platitudes and clichés tumble out of their expressionless faces. Embellished and engendered by glib, and well practiced tongue’s, and designed for an otherwise disillusioned and lost electorate, they say – “Why not vote Conservative, we are well organized, and care about the unemployed,” which is, unfortunately, not really true!

There are two countries in Britain, the have and have not’s. It has always been so, mainly with one bunch sneering at the other, and there was never a really  inclusive society. But, there were huge changes when the European Union had its hand on the tiller. Rarely do we hear what these changes were, and what they did for the ordinary people in the UK, but it will be the basis of a future article from me.

Brexit is not about ordinary people, but about an elite whose thoughts are mainly absorbed with cash and more cash, whose power has been restored during the referendum by guile and errors of truth, and for which you should expect very little thanks in return. Let us hope there will shortly be a factory opening near you, and a job to match their promises.

Patrick Brigham