THE experience of following Westminster politics over the past few years has been both astounding and horrifying in equal measures.

At times the scandals and drama have been a daily occurrence – a tornado of excrement, if you will – dragging the public along and dumping them dazed, dumbfounded and reeking of faeces in a place far to the right of their previous political home.

In order to fully appreciate the unprecedented pace at which British politics has been driven to the right, you really need to take a step back from the current shit show and ask yourself: how did we get here?

The Conservative-LibDem coalition coming to power in 2010 was of course a major milestone in the swing to the right, as Cameron and Clegg began to impose the most extreme austerity measures seen on these isles in a generation. However, the shackles that slowed the movement to the right were not fully shaken off until January 2013.

With the often ridiculed Boris Johnson – or the harmless buffoon BoJo, to his friends in the London media – relentlessly fronting the anti-EU cause of a minority of Conservative Eurosceptics, Prime Minister David Cameron decided to call his old Etonian chum’s bluff.

He declared there would be a referendum to be held in 2017 on continued membership of the EU, fully confident that the majority of the British public would vote overwhelmingly in favour of Remain. This would silence Boris and the rest of the Tory dissenters for good. Of course what Cameron didn’t foresee was the British media normalising, and at times championing, the idea of the UK wilfully leaving the world’s largest trading block.

The media’s not-so-subtle shift of the “Overton Window” – in tandem with the exposure gifted to figures of the extreme right, legitimising the likes of Nigel Farage – would prove enough to sway the many disgruntled voters.

Having endured years of unprecedented austerity, much of the working classes were willing to vote for change – any change to the status quo. The constant anti-immigration fear-mongering spewed across the front pages of the daily newspapers also helped to resurrect the previously marginalised xenophobic arguments. Politicians, in the past having only dared to voice their extreme views within the safe confines of the Westminster bar, were now emboldened enough to air them on national TV. Change was in the air.

Fast forward to June 2016 and the nation and world alike were left shocked as 52% of the British public voted to leave the EU. Cameron resigns (what else could he do?), Boris and Farage go into hiding – shirking all responsibility – and the government and country is thrown into complete turmoil. So it was left to Home Secretary Theresa May to step up and lead the country to Brexit ... whatever that would entail. After the robotic Mrs May wasted almost two years of negotiation time, resulting in the delay of Brexit and multiple failed votes on her hapless deal, she finally announced her resignation in May. She decided to run Brexit as a Tory closed shop, ignoring pleas to include any other parties or devolved governments in discussions. She spun left and right, trying to hold her divided party together, in the end resembling a confused, contorted scarecrow when she finally handed in her notice. In trying to appease everyone, ultimately she succeeded in pleasing no-one.

With the Tory party rudderless, they half-heartedly limped towards the EU election in May 2019 – two months after the date they committed to leaving the EU. Nigel Farage’s imaginatively named Brexit Party stormed from nowhere to win, picking up a fair share of the disillusioned Leave votes. The Tories were relegated to fourth place behind the rejuvenated LibDems and Labour.

The Tories’ catastrophic collapse was then further exacerbated by the Brexit Party topping General Election polls, which predicted a four-way split with the Tories, Labour and LibDems. It appears that the traditional two party Conservative-Labour dominance may be over.

After the apparent surge in popularity of Farage and the Brexit Party, the Conservative leadership hopefuls have been queuing up to pander to the right. Their next leader, and likely our next Prime Minister, will be decided by around 100,000 dyed-in-the-wool Tory members and MPs. Hardly representative of the UK electorate and further evidence, if any was required, that the archaic Westminster political system is in much need of reform, if not replacement.

The front runner for the job is of course good ol’ Boris Johnson – a man sacked on two separate occasions for dishonesty. A man who emblazoned the so-called Brexit Bus with one of the most infamous lies told in the history of UK politics – the extra £350 million a week for the NHS once we leave the EU.

Given the latest polls, we are likely headed for a Boris Johnson-Nigel Farage coalition. Who could have envisaged such a scenario just a few short years ago?

The London-based media have much to answer for the part they have played in this debacle. They have continually shifted the frame of debate to the right, in order to marginalise any alternative socialist policies tabled by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour. The media barons are terrified at the prospect of Corbyn’s pledge to regulate their establishment mouthpieces. They rely on their newspapers and TV news stations for the protection of their business interests, and maintaining the incredible transfer of wealth from the masses to the pockets of Britain’s billionaires that has been going on since the financial crash in 2007.

The resultant personal attacks on Corbyn have been relentless. When he dared to reintroduce such policies as the nationalisation of the railways and energy sectors – policies that the overwhelming majority of the public support – he has been met with journalists and political commentators foaming at the mouth. “Comrade Corbyn the Communist!” they cry. Unfortunately, it seems to have had the desired effect, as the momentum gained during his early tenure as leader is now dwindling, according to the polls.

Thus, it appears that basic democratic socialist policies, those practised throughout Europe and Scandinavia, are out of the question for Britain. To suggest anything else would be tantamount to proposing some sort of totalitarian communist utopia according to the media.

Farage and Boris are centre stage now, anything to the left is unacceptable. How far right will the media go to protect the establishment? Given how far they have shifted the debate since 2013, where could we be in another couple of years’ time? Prime Minister Tommy Robinson? Home Secretary Katie Hopkins?

It may sound far-fetched but you only have to look at Farage’s rise to prominence to see the symmetry with Robinson. With Donald Trump sitting in the most powerful seat on the planet, it shows that nothing is impossible in the political world we find ourselves in today.

It appears that the UK is nearing the edge of the precipice – and the establishment media are not prepared to deviate from their chosen direction.

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