At a time when we should expect powerful global leaders to be making decisions based on truth, tolerance, humanity, and commonsense we are seeing the opposite; egotism, populism, narrow ideological views – informed often as not by dogmatic theology – and inhumanity.
Wherever we look these days around the globe it seems that reason has flown out the window when it comes to political decision making.
From the mess in the Middle East, to the absurdities in the Brexit debacle, to the teetering future of democracy in Hong Kong, and to lesser extents in a scattering of nations in Asia, Africa and
South Americas millions of people are suffering from the self indulgent and often malign idiocy that serves as political leadership.
When the two great exemplars of democratic practice, the United States and the United Kingdom continue to demonstrate day after day how the business of national governance should not be undertaken it is little wonder that the basic moral and political imperatives of running nations are found to be increasingly lacking around the globe.
No doubt, the difficulties of the West are a source of merriment in the halls of power in Russia and China – along with a degree of concern about what the future could bring.
The eccentric buffoonery of the current incumbent of the White House in Washington has reached a new low with scores of thousands of Kurds now facing fresh dislocation, oppression and harm following President’s Trump’s uncritical acceptance of a suggestion by Turkey’s President that the U.S. withdraw its military
presence in northern Syria.
Turkey and Russia wasted no time in taking their advantage of the unexpected windfall.
Mr Trump’s willingness to demonise allies while seeking to become ‘besties’ with some of the world’s more authoritarian and often brutal national leaders also suggests that American diplomacy has suffered a significant and possibly last setback.
In Britain, yet another failure by the British Parliament to back a ‘deal’ which would cast Britain adrift from the European Union is not only a failure at the prime ministerial level but stands as a salutary warning to the world at large that the original referendum which asked people in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales if they wanted to stay or withdraw from the EU failed to sufficiently acquaint voters with the economic and social complexities and consequences, the depth and spread of which only emerged long after the 52-48 per cent vote.
The result is that Britain is now more divided than it has been for centuries.
The British political class has failed its constituents in the on-going inability to resolve the mess.
The legacy of Brexit – whichever way it goes – will be lasting.
The British Bulldog, once respected and often feared, is not what it was.
What is needed in the world is a willingness to expect ‘truthiness’ from politicians. Where ideology is failing, facts and reasoned argument should be permitted to return to political debate, along with tolerance and a desire for social equity.
The world’s problems are such that we need politicians who are practical, able – and wise.