Due warning: the opinions contained herein are my own and no one else’s – but if I have to tell you that you’re probably a vindictive idiot and no thank you, this isn’t for you. Regardless of duty, I’ve tried my best to be impartial, as I don’t think we’re in a time or place for the chicanery of pointing the finger – that’s what the politicians are paid to do. #democracy
On that note – yes, it only goes downhill – people are increasingly asking me for my take on what’s happening with Brexit. After all, I’m a civil servant, so surely I have the inside scoop.
Yes, I probably know a lot more than the average person on the street. But sometimes, being so aware of everything means you’re less able to make a decision.
Choice paralysis is a thing. There’s also been studies conducted that explain how little information we like to have before making a decision.
If anything, I oscillate quite a bit between a few of the outcomes, and it’s certainly not my place to say which one’s going to come out the ‘winner’ – because let’s face it. At this point, there is no winner.
Props to Theresa, she’s made it impossible for anyone to win. She is hamstrung by a party that is so fractured along non-party political lines that ‘reaching across’ – a term that has become very popular in recent months – is nigh on impossible. But she hamstrung herself, right? Every move she has made, purposefully or not, has isolated and alienated her as she has continued to build a wall around the one idea she’s willing to pursue.
But running down the clock is a strange game to play. As is already happening (cf. Honda), the default position of a ‘No Deal’ is being pre-selected by companies. And politics is a bit like Fight Club – no one talks about the real things outside, except this business has had to be conducted in a somewhat more open forum than British politics is set up to deal with. The civil service and government work together in a way that is reminiscent of handling a baby without waking it. The game is to pass it on but you best not be the one holding it when it wakes up. This pre-selection is like a car alarm going off outside while everyone in the house is trying their best to sing a soporific lullaby. Oh, and we’re playing with live ammo here, so the baby is actually a nuke that will cause economic (and other flavours of) disaster.
For some, the clock has already run out. The choices businesses need to make are being made. And policy will respond to that, because it always does. But which way? The speed is certainly increasing. In November, we were looking at a different position week on week. In January, it was daily. Now, I could perhaps alter the numbers in the morning and the afternoon would look different again. Now, with the formation of the so-called “The Independents” group, yet another lens has been placed on top of our already impossible-to-focus picture. Will it inspire better collaboration in the Commons, or is it yet another symptom of a malfunctioning parliament?
For civil servants, the ball was never much in our court, but we shout out like observers at Wimbledon. You shouldn’t do it, but it’s so hard to resist.
Whatever the outcome, I only hope the focus is on the people. All of them. Not the 51%. People are the ones who deserve respect, not the damn ‘result’.