Thursday, 8 June 2017

'Anglo-Saxon embarrassment' in El Pais

The Anglo-Saxons have ceased to be, if ever they were, a democratic example for the world

by John Carlin in El Pais
OF the ancient democracies. so admirable in their scientific progress, so dominant linguistically, but today the United Kingdom and the United States are presenting a ridiculous front before the world.  For Donald Trump we don't have enough adjectives; the absurd reality is greater than any possibility of parody. The political spectacle that presents itself by the British is not so grotesque but it's equally confusing.  The Anglo-Saxons have lost, for sometime now, the democratic example for the world.
It's the same for both the 'labourista', Jeremy Corbyn, as it is for the 'conservadora', Theresa May, the principle candidates in the British elections this Thursday.  The result for me is that its impossible for me to vote for either of the two.  Both are stuck in the past:  Corbyn in his revolutionary dreams of Cuba, sandinistas, chavanistas;  May in an imaginary Golden Imperial  época in which classes know their place in the world, the rich eat cucumber sandwiches, the poor, steak and kidney pie, and the Europeans have no contamination over Old Albion with its 'Spanish tapas'; Rioja wine; panettone, prosecco y leaving out cultural influences.
The journalist writes:
'May se presenta, sin querer, como una estricta directora de colegio; Corbyn como un despistado profesor de geografía. '
'[Mrs] May, without wanting to, looks like a strict college director,  Corbyn looks like a clueless profesor of geography.'

But, in the end, [Mrs] May is frightened of the schoolchildren under her control, lets say - the electorate, and Corbyn has no more than a minimum idea of how to impose order in the class or help his pupils pass their exams.'

Both promise, of course, prosperity and equality; May based on cuts, Corbyn for more public spending. Few believe them. Partly because they do not convince as leaders, but mainly because neither has offered any concrete idea on how they plan to get the country out of the colossal mess it has gotten in with the vote in favour of Brexit in last year's referendum.

Talking about what they are going to do with pensions or public health when they do not offer any plans on how the hell the UK is going to leave the European Union without the economy collapsing makes no sense. If there is no money in the public coffers all talk about future prosperity or equality is pure smoke.
The banality of the British election campaign is a result of the deficiencies of May and Corbyn but, to be minimally fair to them, the decision of their English compatriots to leave the European Union has put them both in an impossible situation. They repeat the usual electoral mantras, try to project optimism, but the two know -May more clearly, because it has more information- that there is little to do: the future of the United Kingdom outside Europe is poor, irrelevant and obscure.

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