The Tory Regime – A Government of Paralysis
Nearly two months after the Queen’s Speech, it has become all too clear that the Tory government is already in a state of paralysis. Central precepts of the Queen’s Speech have already been quietly abandoned.
The political earthquake of 2015 reverberated with the rise of multi-party politics in the UK, the decimation of the Labour Party in Scotland, the failure of Austerity Labour to reach disaffected Tories in England and the disillusion of the vast majority of the electorate with status quo politics. This disillusion was given expression in a fragmentation of voting demographics, which, due to the current voting system, was not reflected in the representational pattern in Parliament.
What we have been left with is a Conservative government with a slim majority. Yet, it is not the slim majority (obtained with a rather small percentage of the popular vote), that is the cause of the paralysis of the Tory government. The paralysis lies instead in the internal divisions within the Conservative Party itself.
Already the Tory government is attempting to distract us with international military adventures (of questionable legality) so as to cast the search light of public attention away from itself and its evident failure.
The Human Rights Act, The European Referendum, English Votes For English Laws, Taxes, Fox Hunting… All face Tory rebellions. If the Tory government cannot unite its own party over central planks of its government agenda, then how is it to unite a “One Nation” Britain – a “one” that has already evolved into a “Family of Nations”, a multi-national state or union, subject to continuous negotiation and development?
With the clear Tory failure, less than two months into its tenure in office, and with the struggle in the Labour party over the direction of its party, it is the broad based progressive Anti-Austerity movement which is filling the void of Tory paralysis.
What is also significant is the unity between the parliamentary anti-austerity bloc and the plethora of anti-austerity activists on the streets and across the social networks. This emergent united Left in the UK has also clearly expressed its solidarity with the European-wide anti-austerity movement, most notably with Syriza in Greece and Podemos in Spain.
The Left has become a force in its own right in the UK, no longer unquestionably attached either to the Labour Party or to the many out-dated and ineffectual sectarian parties of the past. Indeed, this new Left, composed significantly of trade unionists and organisers, together with students, activists and members of progressive parties, has risen to fill the void created by Tony Blair’s capitulation to Thatcherism and his subsequent ruination of the Labour Party by his government’s continuity with Neo-Liberalism and his active and personal involvement in American-led illegal wars.
The left-wing candidacy of Jeremy Corbyn for Labour Leader, for instance, finds support not only from the rank and file of the Labour Party and the union movement, but also from the resurgent Left in the UK anti-austerity UK movement itself. Yet, this movement remains beyond the control of the Labour Party as it is organised by citizen’s organisations, the Green Party, SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Labour left.
Yet, the root difficulties of the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” will never be solved simply by reform of the voting system or an enlightened leader in London. The problem is Constitutional, expressed in the contradiction between Cameron’s notion of a “One Nation” Britain and the competing motif of the “Family of Nations.”
Most of the issues upon which the Tories are faltering (even fox-hunting which was blocked by the SNP) are intrinsically linked to their denial of the devolutionary reality of the United Kingdom – but, it does not seem that there has been competent stewardship over this irreversible constitutional transformation. Indeed, the real problem in effect remains a giant elephant in the room – the historically and technically imperial character of the Westminster parliament, which, in conjunction with the Monarchy and the Church, constitutes the British State in the British Isles.
It could easily be imagined a reasonable process by which a new constitutional order could be negotiated between equal democratic nations. Yet, the conditions for such negotiations must include English devolution – with the caveat, moreover, that with three equal parliaments, the union could be renegotiated to dissolve imperial forms of power – with the elimination or privatisation of the Monarchy, the Abolition of the House of Lords, the dis-establishment of the Anglican Church, and the unification of Ireland. Canada and Australia could maintain the Queen as their head of state – yet, it would perhaps be suggested to them they modernise their constitution towards an elected Head of State.
In other words, the new union of equal states, within a sovereign European Union, would no longer require the current order of the British State as it is no longer fit for purpose in a democratic and multi-cultural state of affairs. Indeed, the British State, with its power base in the City of London, hinders the democratic development of the European Union and its work to become sovereign with regards to the United States. Indeed, the latter, in association with its junior partner, the United Kingdom, have effectively governed the European continent through the IMF, NATO and trade agreements, such as the proposed TTIP.
Britain and the United States have in fact enforced compliance of member states, such as Greece, by military intervention, espionage, and financial control (not to mention cultural imperialism). Europe, which is being spied upon by the United States and Great Britain right at this very moment, must instead declare its own independence and build its own sovereignty and freedom of political, economic and military self-direction.
The Tories, wallowing in their paralysis, are merely a symptom of a deep and radical democratic deficiency in the UK, a problem that the wardens of the state, from whatever London-based and thus non-devolved political party, are loathe to address. How long can we ignore an unprecedented constitutional crisis, one that necessitates, at the very least, a new union as the prerequisite event for the establishment of equality between the Nations?
In light of this impasse a vote of no confidence will mandate a new general election, and provide the people with an opportunity to establish a new progressive government which will carry out the long overdue democratic revolution.