It lack a culture of consensus, and has now lost the means of building and developing one.
Because it has a democracy that is managed by a narrow elite who for centuries have put power and wealth before its people.
The Brexit referendum and the increasing ideological polarisation in both main political parties are a sign of this.
Britain is about the only country in Europe with a primitive ‘first past the post’ electoral system rather than a proportional electoral system.
Why has this mess developed only now?
I am sure that few people in England are now really nostalgic for empire, although a great many don’t realise just what a hideous mess it often left behind.
Nationalism and sectarian politics feed on nostalgia like vampires feed on blood.
One outcome of the inability to compromise in Britain, has been the ‘austerity’ economics practised over the last eight years. More than anything else this is what is driving so many people into poverty (20% now below the official poverty line) It degraded health and education services, shutting museums and libraries, causing physical infrastructure to break up and much much more.
Britain does not have a constitution.
It is therefore ruled by antiquated institutions such a the Crown.
The set of laws, rules and yes, that great British favourite, the ‘Gentleman’s Agreement’, that make up what amounts to a constitution has evolved organically over time, but has not developed to reflect a world driven by theological data or a country that is populated by immigration on low wages and benefits.
The system does not cope when politicians that are intransigent and ideological as they are now.
The system is now essentially ‘presidential’, i.e. the Prime Minister has the power and Members of Parliament follow the party line.
There is no expectation that Parliament takes the initiative, so when they have done, as now, there are no rules to call a general election, the ship of state is left drifting and rudderless without the voice of the people been heard, so the elite consensus that managed the binary oppositions starts to fall apart.
Its a country where anyone can call themselves a builder and start selling themselves as such, there are no identity cards so the government does not know who the **** we are.
There is no list of citizens. In fact the citizens are not really citizens at all they are surfs.
There is an electoral register (i.e. who can vote), passports (but if you didn’t travel you wouldn’t have one) and National Insurance numbers, which are about working and tax payments. There has never been a register of British citizens as such so in fact, government does not (or did not) really know who had a right to be here, and who didn’t.
Every country and ethnic identity is racist, that’s part of the human condition, but what is odd about a lot of English racism is that it is not directed so much at black or brown people but at other Europeans .
The ‘wogs begin at Calais’ attitudes, send them to Rwanda.
The EU is seen as a Franco-German plot, targeting Britain.
History shows that It made its wealth on the back of an navy that circumnavigated oceans and seas, which created an empire on the backs of slaves and sugar – a sad truth.
Who owns England?
Behind this simple question lies England’s oldest and best-kept secret.
It’s a secret that goes back to the Domesday Book – and an issue that goes to the heart of many of the biggest problems the country has – affordability of housing, unable to grow enough of its food, not much space left aside for nature.
Rural landowners, meanwhile, are rewarded by the taxpayer for simply owning land through farm subsidies. The Common Agricultural Policy has paid landowners according to the area of land they farm, rather than the public goods they deliver, thereby propping up a system of intensive agriculture that has decimated wildlife and natural habitats.
For most of the 20th century, the aristocracy showed itself remarkably indifferent to the welfare of the nation, After democracy finally shunted aside hereditary lords, they found new means to protect their extravagant riches. For all the modern tales of noble poverty and leaking ancestral homes, their private wealth and influence remain phenomenal.
The British aristocracy’s defining feature is not a noble aspiration to serve the common weal but a desperate desire for self-advancement. They endlessly reinforced their own status and enforced deference on others through ostentatiously exorbitant expenditure on palaces, clothing and jewellery. They laid down a strict set of rules for the rest of society, but lived by a different standard. Such is their sense of entitlement that they believed – and persuaded others to believe – that a hierarchical society with them placed firmly and unassailably at the top was the natural order of things.
The secret of their modern existence is their sheer invisibility.
According to a 2010 report for Country Life, a third of Britain’s land still belongs to the aristocracy.
The financial sector is hailed as the crowning glory of the UK economy. A massive financial sector on the tiny island is making a visible minority filthy rich but as it blooms, everything else withers.
The power of London finance is hurting Britain, to the tune of £4.5tn.
Many people in Britain, it is true, are ambivalent about all this. They rightly fret that the City is a global money-laundering paradise, harming other nations, but (whisper it quietly) they like the hot money and oligarchs it attracts to its shores. There is a trade-off, they think, between doing the right thing and preserving our prosperity.
Underpinning all this is the fallacy of composition, of a trickle down economy, whereby the fortunes of big businesses and big banks are conflated with the fortunes of our whole economy.
This is where the myth of great, finally dies.
As Liza Trust now knows economies, tax systems and cities are nothing like companies, and don’t compete like she might think – scrap TAX ON HIGHT EARNERS.
The finance curse of Quantize Easing shows that too much finance harms your economy, then pursuing more finance through the competitiveness agenda only makes things worse.
There is no trade-off WITH CREDITORS.
Blaming the problems on Brexit and the Ukraine war, or the price of energy, inflation, does not close foodbanks, or stop zero- hours contracts, or attract investment.
Rule of law, a healthy and educated workforce, good infrastructure, access to prosperous, thirsty markets, good inputs and supply chains and economic stability. All these require tax revenues.
The race does not stop when tax rates reach zero.
To prosper, Britain should increase its effective corporate tax rates, at least for financiers and large multinationals, plus a surcharge to cover the roaming members of the billionaire classes who won’t.
By leaving the EU and joining the “competitive” global race England has not only been beggaring others – it has beggaring its selves, too.
In order not to be stuck in ugly race to the bottom, THE COUNTRY NOW NEEDS A MASSIVE RESET.
A good place to start to create a future of largely harmonious multi-cultural society, would be to abolish students debt and start educating its young for free.
I recently heard a Labour Politician advocate that England should create an sovereign wealth funds, Fund. With what? It’s too late now:
There is only one way forward simply step out of the race, unilaterally by appealing not just to national self-interest, by mobilise the biggest constituency of all its people and put finance back in its rightful place: Serving Britain’s people, not served by them.
Tragically we are watching a country of Plenty turning to poverty for the sake of short-term profit.
That last word, unilaterally, is key.
All human comments appreciated. All like clicks and abuse chucked in the bin