Thursday 17 January 2019

Why are the British political class such reckless gamblers?


When David Cameron promised an EU referendum in order to stop the flow of Tory party MPs and voters defecting to UKIP he knew that he was gambling the entire future of the UK in return for a bit of short-term party political advantage, but he did it anyway because he was blindly confident that he was going to win.

We all know what happened next, and it's pretty obvious why. It's because David Cameron was a crap gambler.

In 2014 he agreed to a Scottish independence referendum and then watched on in horror as the SNP turned the thing into a massive 9 month long grassroots campaign that brought the Yes vote a hell of a lot closer than anyone was expecting.

So Cameron's strategy for his EU referendum gamble was to squeeze the whole thing into as short a time span as possible in order to keep the debate as quick and ill-informed as possible.

What Cameron failed to factor in when he compressed the debate like this was that unlike the Scottish independence referendum where the mainstream media and Westminster establishment class were firmly on his side, in his EU referendum the right-wing propaganda rags and half of his own MPs were agitating for Brexit.

Cameron lost because he was too stupid to understand that he was playing a completely different game to the last one, and that the rushed campaign he organised ended up massively favouring the loudest and most dishonest players, and gave little time and space for actual experts to be heard.

And what made it even worse is that Cameron didn't bother to compel the Brexiteers to compose a Brexit manifesto to which they could be held should he lose, or even draw up the skeleton of a contingency plan in case people didn't vote the way he told them to.

Cameron was such a reckless gambler that he didn't even realise that he rigged his own game against himself, and outright refused to even consider the possibility that he might lose.


So we're all clear about how how David Cameron gambled away Britain's future in 2016, so let's move forward to 2019 where we have Remainer politicians like Vince Cable agitating for another referendum.

It's absolutely clear that another referendum is simply another roll of the dice. The Tory party is still full of Brexiteer ideologues, the right-wing propaganda rags will still promote Brexit to their audience of millions, and public opinion has barely shifted against Brexit despite 30 months of untrustworthy and brazenly incompetent Brexit floundering from Theresa May and the Tory government.

Additionally we have to consider the Electoral Commission that allowed the 2016 referendum to turn into an orgy of fear-mongering (from both sides), outright lying, and financial cheating. They've not been reformed at all, they have no extra powers than they had before to properly punish the liars and cheaters.

And then we have to consider the most risky element of all from a Remain perspective, the fact that if Theresa May remains in power then she'll have the power to decide the options on the ballot paper, the wording of the options, and the timing of the ballot.

Anyone who imagines she wouldn't use these crucial decisions to maximise Tory party political advantage clearly knows nothing about what the Tory party is, or how it operates.

So the Remainers who are calling for another referendum can see how badly loaded the dice are likely to be if Theresa May gets to run the game, but somehow they still want to play, and they still refuse to consider the dire consequences if they lose.

If they lose their gamble with the nation's future then they will have created an inescapable double-mandate for Brexit, and what's worse is that they'll have left the Tories in charge to administer it.

We all saw how the Tories dealt with the 2008 economic crisis that was triggered by the reckless gambling of their banker mates. They loaded all of the economic burdens on poor and ordinary people through austerity dogma, wage repression, severe social security cuts, public service cuts, and privatisation mania. Meanwhile they protected the wealth of the the mega-rich and even showered the bankers who caused the crisis in the first place with tax cuts and handouts!

Does anyone honestly believe that the Tories wouldn't take exactly the same approach with a Brexit economic crisis?

Does anyone honestly believe that a double-mandate for Brexit wouldn't be used as an excuse for more austerity dogma and wage repression for the masses, and more tax cuts and handouts for the mega rich?

So if the lives and livelihoods of millions are at stake like this, why are the Remainers so desperate to roll the dice again with the Tories still in charge?

The only possible answer is that they're too arrogant to believe in the possibility that they could lose.

"This time we'll make the stupid plebs see sense", "this time they'll vote the way we tell them to", "this time we'll save them from their own stupidity""this time we'll defeat the combined force of the right-wing propaganda rags with our earnest facts and statistics and unbelievably cringeworthy trampoline jumping escapades".

Another referendum is likely to happen sooner or later, but it's an extraordinarily risky gamble without first removing the Tories who created this entire Brexit mess in the first place, and without scrapping Theresa May's malicious threat of deliberately triggering a "no deal" economic meltdown into the dustbin of history where it belongs.

If these people absolutely insist on playing with loaded dice and then lose, then they'll be even more responsible than David Cameron was for having delivered the ensuing Tory carnage.


In answer to the question I asked at the top of this article, there are many reasons that the British political class are such reckless gamblers that they'd even play with loaded dice without accepting the possibility that they might actually lose.

One of the main reasons is arrogance. They believe in their own righteousness so much that they can't comprehend that there isn't much room for righteousness in a game of dice.

Another reason that gamblers gamble is that it's exciting. The political class love being in campaign mode, appearing on the telly, speaking in front of crowds, the breathless excitement of uncertainty, the adoration of their supporters.

But probably the main reason is that e ery ast one of them is financially insulated from true hardship. They've got hefty parliamentary salaries and gold-plated pensions to fall back on if it all goes wrong.

All the Westminster establishment class have got to lose if their gamble goes wrong is personal pride. They can just say "oops" if it all goes wrong then retire to put their trotters up like David Cameron. Meanwhile it's millions of ordinary people up and down the country who will be the ones who pay the actual costs of suffering, and job losses, and food inflation, and hardship, and death.

The main reason they're so addicted to gambling is that it'll always be ordinary people like you and me who have to pay down their gambling debts when it all goes wrong. And who would say no to free bets 
at the casino with other people's money?

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