I feel nearly sorry for British MPs right now. After all, future historians are unlikely to speak of them in glowing terms, whatever the future of the country turns out to be. Of particular disappointment is that the mainstream political parties have each distinguished themselves by patently trying and bizzarely, succeeding in behaving worse than others. And I’m definitely not alone in hating the polarising language that parliamentarians have universally adopted, predictably guaranteeing that any (pretence of) debate is locked into a mutual us shouting over them slanging match.
Every conceivable person in government and in the Commons is telling the PM what she should/has to/MUST DO. Meanwhile, the EU is telling the PM “we could tweak a couple of things to help you pass through this Parliament, but nein, désolés, we’re not undoing two years of hard work with you”, some German folks send a love letter to the country in The Times and even the Queen is moved to make a couple of gentle reminders on the virtue of collaborative efforts. Which is why I feel entirely justified to add my plea to MPs to put aside their own political futures and think a little more strategically, with a longer term focus than their next term of offce. Hardly an original thought but let me elaborate just a little.
My point is that Brexit is now a problem that needs to be solved (it has been for a long time – Britain’s relations with the rest of Europe, and with the rest of the world come to that, have long been a subject for soul-searching for this island nation). It’s an issue – aka a fantastic opportunity to be harnessed, a tragedy in the making or, dare I suggest it, possibly something in the middle – that needs addressing.
So if you’re an MP with a business background, how are you going to secure the interests of Britanniaship Enterprise and work towards her future prosperity? What is your corporate strategy for the next few years and your key priorities for the coming financial year? If you have a medical background, what are your recommendations for the currently generally healthy UK adult (on a global scale)? Any advice on how to keep them healthy come to mind, like recommending a fitness regime or keeping an eye on the effects of unhelpful genetic predispositions? If you’re a lawyer by training, you’ll definitely be able to help codify the very many new legal frameworks that are going to be needed, whatever the scenario. If you’re a scientist, let’s have some of that scientific method please, including some guidance on how to use data. If you’ve ever been a teacher, how about explaining and educating your fellow MPs about useful stuff they might like to know about? If you’re a diplomat, a historian, a philosopher, a sociologist, you have something useful to say about what’s happening.
If you have none of this knowledge or master none of these skills, then for pity’s sake, at least just stop shouting and do your best.