Wednesday 27 November 2019

Electionwatch: the dangers of being bored - a warning from Pericles

Sitting on Boris Johnson’s desk in 10 Downing Street is supposed to be a bust of the ancient Greek statesman and orator Pericles, allegedly Johnson’s hero. Pericles once said: ‘Just because you’re not interested in politics, it doesn’t mean politics won’t be interested in you.’ Or as he might have put it if he was alive today: ‘Just because you’re bored with Brexit, it doesn’t mean Brexit has lost interest in you.’

The Brexiters have devoted enormous energy to trying to silence any debate about the merits of leaving the EU. Hardly surprising, because there are none. First, there was the ‘will of the people’. The referendum had ‘settled’ the issue and no questions must be asked. Now it’s: ‘I’m bored with Brexit. I just want it over.’ A foolish sentiment (see my post of 20 November) that Johnson and the Conservatives are exploiting ruthlessly.

But if Johnson ‘gets Brexit done’, only today we’ve had warnings that it could cut car manufacturing in the UK by more than a third, that the NHS could face a huge rise in the prices charged to it by American drugs companies as Brexit Britain scrabbles desperately for a trade deal with Trump, that investors and talented individuals are shunning the UK.

So you may be bored by Brexit, but if Johnson wins the election, Brexit will be very interested in you. Gobbling up your job, your public services, your rights and those of your children and grandchildren, your savings etc. Do vote wisely.

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