Sunday, June 15, 2008
There's a curious symmetry about the day's big political stories. David Davis, by resigning, and the Irish by voting against the European constitution have both taken populist stands against political establishments. (Davis's position may not be intrinsically populist in that the Britsih seems to favour 42 days detention, but the way he has taken it has, at a stroke, made him a popular hero, as he intended.) I don't have strong feelings about either position. Brown's 42 days was a stupidity, but Davis's stance is probably also a stupidity. And I find both eurosceptics and europhiles equally wrong; the first because I would be prepared to sacrifice quite a lot for continued peace in Europe and the second because of the idiocy of trying to sell an incomprehensible legal document as a constitution - a simple list of generalisations like the American constitution would have easily won hearts and minds and allowed structural reform to continue. But the very fact that these gestures work in the way they do indicates a truth about our current political processes. The people's mistrust and distaste is now the primary political reality.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 8:38 am