The referendum was a triumph for the democratic process, yet there is something about that process that has become tainted. Those that administer the system seem to be obsessed with demonstrating how we voters may be categorised and so understood; that may be good for predicting future plebiscites and elections but it is clearly divisive.
We now are suffering recriminations...the young against the old, the south against the north and the high immigrant areas against the low. Principle example is Scotland and, as I mentioned in my last Oddity article, it has caused those with an agenda to attempt to seek political advantage.
I do not believe that we should have recorded, let alone issued, a demographic breakdown of the votes. There should have been just one nationwide result for stay and leave...a single record of the overall voice of the subjects of this kingdom of ours. We should stop fuelling divisiveness in the name of justifying our democracy...we should speak with one voice, loud and clear.
Now that David Cameron has done the decent thing, it would be churlish to criticise his leadership...the man did his best, yet was he fully equipped for the role? Was he, unbeknown to us, too reliant on others to fill gaps in his background? Was it this reliance on others that caused him to be too trusting of the vacuous authority that stems from the EU? Have we given too much credence to professional politicians rather than rely on the experience of a well-formed life of maturity? Do we expect our would-be leaders to know it all yet show amazement when they seem to stagger blindly into a situation the village idiot would avoid?
Boris Johnson taking over as prime minister would have raised no eyebrows, yet he is no more qualified for the job than the man he would be replacing. He, too, is of a privileged background and enjoyed an education few of us could aspire to, before studying politics at one of our best universities. However, what has he done? His CV may glow with political and administrative glory, but like Cameron, what has he done in his life? He has no calluses on his hands, no understanding of hunger and no deprivation beyond the late arrival of his tuck box in the prep-school dorm. Unlike those that rebelled in the referendum against the political elite, he knows neither hunger nor redundancy, joblessness nor pulling in the belt...put bluntly, while Boris is quite able to appear to be worthy, I fear that it is an act that disguises his similarity to the present incumbent. We do not need more of the same....this has been a major decision and we should look to revising our whole political conception on the road forward.
Since drafting this article and whilst in the process of refining it, Boris has decided not to stand; perhaps he has come to realise that the country needs somebody more ordinary, more in tune with the raft people that voted against the political elite and self-serving career politicians. Whatever his reasons, he has made the best decision for the country.
Theresa May would deserve the top job. Her background is one that could have applied to lots of her fellow country folk. She ploughed a path toward earning a living that did not foresee political high office and has adapted to her role with aplomb. It would be indeed ironic that a referendum on the European Union could again catapult a woman into the top job, given that our last woman prime minister was ousted by her party because of her suspicions about the European project. Yet Theresa May never had Maggie’s courage to stand up and be counted on the subject; she was of the Remain camp and is not fervently anti-EU so, in my opinion, has forfeited her opportunity. However, she will be a steadying hand on the new PM’s tiller.
Step forward Dr Liam Fox who has advocated Brexit wholeheartedly. He is Scottish by birth, of council house upbringing and with an education that was not paid for. He studied at Glasgow University to become qualified in medicine and work as a GP. He may not have those calluses on his hands but only because by dint of his own efforts, he trod a different path. He has a couple of blots in his copybook, like many of us...oh that I had but a couple! One was over his expenses during the scandal period, yet sometimes a poacher is the best gamekeeper to do something about a system that still requires revision and bring MP’s expenses more in line with those enjoyed by the vast majority.
Those of us that have made mistakes in our lives and have been held to account know that carrying a handicap often stops us getting carried away with overblown self-belief. While Miss Pinchmouth would not see Fox as her type of Scot, he nonetheless is and we need to bring the Scottish national strength back into the mainstream UK fold. Fox has had a well-rounded education and a sound working background. He is now MP for North Somerset and maybe some of the qualities that we yokels possess may have equipped the Somerset-based Bellstone Fox to lead a unified country to better times.
I ignored two candidates in first writing this article because I did not believe either would run; one seemed to have accepted life in the shadow of Boris while the other, although perfectly capable, did not seem to have sufficient political experience for the top job...but neither did Maggie. Yet Maggie was head and shoulders above the rest as it turned out. Andrea Leadsom could be another Thatcher, the PM the country needs in this new era. However, I do not believe she will garner support among her colleagues, despite her credentials. Nonetheless, she will have a significant role to play in the government of this country in the wider world.
I always thought Michael Gove would make a good PM. His parliamentary record speaks for itself. He would have been the intellectual support that Boris needed. Now he has a bigger role to play...supporting his country as it rediscovers its place on the world stage. Like Liam Fox he is Scottish by birth so has that blood coursing through his veins and the birthright to reunite our kingdom. However, while Gove would never cite his origins for political advantage, perhaps because in the Conservative Party he might not have seen them as an advantage, the most certainly are now. Michael Gove can be no more ordinary than any of us. He was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth...he is Mr Average, Mr Anybody and how more ordinary can anybody be than to be born to a young unmarried mother and given up for adoption? His adoptive parents, the Goves, saw merit in their chosen son and bestowed a private education upon him. Yet, for the youngster, this was his luck of the draw and not because of any silver spoon.
I believe this man has qualities far beyond the norm and I look forward to his victory...he could be your son or mine...how more ordinary could that be?