Across the political spectrum there seems to be a sense of pessimism. Left-wingers think the world is going to hell in a golf-cart because of Trump, centrists think the Labour Party is doomed because of Corbyn, or worse still because Corbyn might win. Centre-rightists are pessimistic because they fear Brexit will go very badly and the Conservative Party will be punished accordingly. Right-wingers fear May will mangle Brexit so badly Britain might as well stay in the EU. They are all worrying unnecessarily. Everything is going to be alright.
In this age of fake news we exist in filter bubbles of our own making. Politically we are in a mass and social media created hyper-reality which ratchets reality to extremes. Algorithms reinforce hysterical reporting. Even supposedly evidence-based data journalists cherry pick data to make their point. Science reporting is bent towards uncontested axioms which are neither true nor in the spirit of scientific discovery. Nobody believes anything reported with conviction. This is a rational response to our prevailing false hyper-reality.
Nothing is as bad as people make out. Trump isn’t about to start a nuclear war, a race war or bring about a society as depicted in the Handmaid’s Tale. The US constitution was well designed by the founding fathers, it will keep this President, as it has others, in check. So will the noisy messy circus that is American democracy keep the show on the road. The US economy is hiring blue-collar Democrat voters, pushing wages up and the middle classes are spending their tax cuts. That is something the left should really fear.
Centre-right Tory MPs should relax, expectations are being pushed so low that when the roof doesn’t cave in after Brexit there will be a relief rally in Tory fortunes. Diabetics will not be dying in the streets, planes will still be flying, supermarkets will still be abundant in imported produce. Economic apocalypse will not happen. This will remove the Brexit uncertainty discount at the polls for Tories. Right-wing Brexiteers will be able to breathe easily that Britain is once again the mistress of her own destiny. With a new leader in place the Tories will be in a position to shape an optimistic narrative delivering a majority government.
Centrists are going to have a more difficult decade. The Labour Party is now a hostile environment for them. Centrists will have the consolation that their greatest fear – a majority Corbyn government – will not be realised. The Tories will benefit from a new leader and the DUP-approved boundary changes going through. This will remove the 40 seat anomaly that tilts general election outcomes unfairly towards the Labour Party.
The 2020s will see Britain basking in the growth promoting sunlight of global free trade. Fiscally the nation will finally be benefiting from a balanced budget, with lower taxes and the dynamism that comes with a super-charged globalised economy. The Conservatives will benefit from a split opposition that keeps them in government for another decade… Happy holidays!
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