Brinkmanship & Boredom – BALKAN NEWS MAGAZINE

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The Immortal words of Norman Throades – known fondly as the ‘Bard of Berkshire’ – will forever ring in the ears of present day, and often bewildered Brexiteers. As we patriotically watch the BBC Parliament Channel, at Prime Ministers Question Time, and in order to absorb the reassuring words of dear Theresa. But, how close to reality is it really?

So much like the ‘Theater of The Absurd,’ and in particular ‘Waiting for Godot,’ by Irish playwright Samuel Beckett, one wonders if anything will finally turn up, or are the representatives of our noble nation in fact a bunch of ham actors, and out of work film extras.

Sticking religiously to the script, the familier mantra about ‘getting a good deal,’ still echo’s around the Houses of Parliament, to a crescendo of patriotic and Tory avowal.  Almost as though Parliament is trapped in Dr Who’s Tardis, one wonders if the House of Commons is presently floating around in some distant galaxy, or trapped in a deceptive political time warp?

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But does the question which Norman Throades quite rightly asks – in his scintillating 19th Century poem – simply relate to political perspectives? Or, to put it in layman’s terms, do our worthy UK political representative actually know what is going on in the real world? Because, having recently watched this program for a whole afternoon, for me at least, the British Parliament can only be described as an entertaining, inward looking mutual admiration society.

Mainly comprising elegant and amusing accusations – followed of course by often inaccurate, but confident rebuttals – the real question is, is the present cabinet running out of dialogue, or are we all running out of patience?

There was a time when the general public was quite rightly regarded as gullible, ignorant if not foolish, and that – for want of any outside propaganda seeping through – what was reported in the British newspapers or announced on TV by pompous cabinet ministers, was both truthful and reassuring. But not so today.

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Ever since the referendum, that bloody man Trump, Farage and ‘The Fat Boy of Peckham,’ Boris Johnson, have littered the media with their contempt for the truth. These days we are becoming familier with expressions like alternative facts, fake news, and out of date – or hidden true government statistics – all of which is calculated to disguise the truth.

I often imagine that, somewhere in the middle of the English Channel, there is a giant invisible filter, its sole purpose being to distort, and to turn almost any legitimate EU reportage on its head. Or, an enormous cracked mirror, which only shows the British voter, a warped, and back to front reflection of the truth, where ministers even accuse their opponents of being traitors, if they stand against them in any way. This is hardly democratic, is it?

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In a normal society, lies are tolerated, but never truly accepted.  And so, I can’t help believing that the present British cabinet, either wants you to believe it’s questionable Brexit propaganda, or may actually believe in it themselves. These days there now seem to be two truths: carefully reported Brussels truth, or heavily filtered and often corrupted Brexit truth. So, perhaps it is high time for a change, and rather like anything which is split, the present UK government obviously needs to be replaced.

Gavin Coleman