Since the World Wide Web has become a conduit for the streaming of the received ‘wisdom’ of so many sheep, there’s a case for renaming it the Ovinet. The appropriateness (good LibFascist word that) of this nomenclature is clear in considering what is being said – both by media commentators and ‘ordinary’ people – about Brexit generally. And, in a current sub-thread, the electronic bah-bahing is vigorous in condemning the bad-mouthing and threats of violence practised by the more extreme Remainers and Leavers.
This blinking Ovinet could surely be content with its aiding and abetting of the undermining of the precision of our English language. It’s very good at fomenting a contagion that converts misuse by the ignorant into ‘common usage’ at alarming speed. Thus, today, for example, you will hear a great many people talking about the amount ‘of people,’ rather than of their number.
But back to Brexit. Everyone, apparently, considers that the Government has mucked-up the negotiations with the EU. Its ministers and officers are incompetent in all aspects of the process and haven’t a clue what to do next. Anyone else could have done a better job. No one is happy with the proposed ‘solutions.’ We are a global laughing stock. It’s a constitutional crisis. It’s a disaster. The PM should go! . . .
. . . but hang on a minute. We are trying to find agreement with an institution that cannot be seen to be too agreeable. The EU, with 27 disparate member states – reflecting its vitiating and very fundamental structural flaw – cannot have a single view/disposition. Much of the life-after scenario cannot be known before actually living through it. And, thanks to the good old Ovinet, the UK is no longer a place where a consensus of public opinion, on even simple issues, can be expected. Because, bad man though I am to say it, all those PCs, Apples, Tablets, Smart Phones, etc., facilitate too much democracy.
Together with the craze for freedom-of-information and ‘transparency,’ all these broadband-carried channels encouraging and re-broadcasting opinion, feedback and vox-popping from all and sundry, now allow for so many shades of opinion to be expressed that the obscurity of darkness results. Put another way, if you let everyone in the room voice their opinion simultaneously, you’ll not be able to hear clearly what any one single contributor is saying, (as often witnessed in poorly-chaired TV/Radio discussions.) And not only views – just think how massively data storage capacity has increased over the past few years on your PC, whilst at the same time, no one has bothered to offer a systems upgrade for the poor old human brain. So today we are all bombarded by far more information than we can properly analyse and digest. I believe this – as well as a parrot-repetition effect – has a stultifying effect on opinion-forming, and hence the prevalence of bah-bahing.
The current Brexit situation is not a disaster. It’s a reflection not just of the absence of a consensus, but of the reality that one is impossible to reach in our contemporary, overly-democratic society. In keeping with how things are on the Ovinet, we will just have to stumble and bumble onward, with probably no single, specific, defined outcome. It’s the sort of situation which requires the passage of time whereby the succession of generations enables a revised understanding/acceptance to be reached.
One other thing. Isn’t it terrible that things have got so heated, that people on either side of the argument are being so beastly to one another? No. For a long time now I have resented the conversion of ‘politics’ to an activity based on the management of issues. What happened to politicians and rational activists with vision and conviction about significant principles? Well, maybe Brexit has allowed their re-emergence. So, if some people are getting steamed up about what they believe in, what’s wrong with that? The UK’s escape from the doomed EU is hardly just an ‘issue,’ after all.