The lurking threat to British democracy

A short while ago this blog was discussing Brexit and the right wing of the Conservative Party. In the course of this I mentioned Jacob Ress-Mogg as a potential Prime Minister, and rather soon unless unforeseen events stop it.

Two decades ago Jacob’s father, William, wrote a book, or manifesto, called .”The Sovereign Individual: How to Survive and Thrive during the collapse of the Welfare State”. This tract was co-authored by James Dale Davidson who specialised in advising the rich how to profit from economic catastrophe.

One of the premises of the publication is that liberal democracies operate like criminal cartels, forcing citizens to surrender large portions of their wealth to pay for welfare, hospitals and schools, and that they will consequently fail. The tract suggests a “cognitive elite” should then seize power to create corporate city-states and redesign government to suit their own ends.

This is the political mantra apparently enthusiastically supported by Jacob Rees-Mogg. It explains why Brexit is the first big objective of the extreme Right. Once we are “free” of the EU and its ridiculous protections for the consumer and the undeserving poor, a proper government of the rich and deserving can make Britain a sanctuary for every corrupt creep in the world, and ordinary working Brits can either join the ranks of the blessed or get lost.

I have to point out that this objective is not shared by all conservatives by any means. Traditional conservatives, mostly old and comfortable, will lose out, too, presumably losing their State pension and other benefits offered to the elderly. Few people really want to dismantle the Welfare State, imperfect though it is. But there are those, as everywhere in the world, who would vote for a one-eyed gorilla if it stood for election under the banner of the party of their choice. For those of us who share with Epicurus the ideals of moderation and inclusivity the triumph of the Rees-Moggs of the world would be tantamount to a political coup. We are in that sort of historically recurring era of turmoil.
(part of an article,excerpted from Prospect Magazine, May 2018, by Sonia Burnell)