17th May 2019
There was a Victorian conservative politician – probably Benjamin Disraeli or Lord Randolph Churchill – who sneered at a person mentioning a political problem.
The gist of the sneer was: dear chap, are you one of those who believe problems have solutions?
It is a human habit of mind to think problems have solutions.
It is enough for many just to frame a thing as a problem to assume it must thereby have a solution.
You are halfway there, as the saying goes.
But our Victorian politician is correct: not all problems have solutions.
One of the problems with Brexit at the moment is that our current Prime Minister is not capable of carrying out her – or any – Brexit policy.
No one can deny that this is a problem.
But is it a problem capable of any solution?
Replace May with somebody else and that new Prime Minister will not be capable of carrying out their – or any – Brexit policy.
The problems are structural not personal – though May’s deficiencies can be blamed for that now being the case.
You would think the modern heirs of the party of Benjamin Disraeli and Lord Randolph Churchill (and of Rab Butler and Harold Macmillan) would appreciate that political problems are not always open to (easy) solution – that politics is the art of the possible and events can throw one off-course.
The modern Conservative party appears to have been infected by the wild radicalism of those who think there are easy solutions, or even that there are not really problems at all.
And that too is a problem which is not easily solved.
Thank you for reading me on this new(ish) blog, where I am hoping to blog almost daily.
I expect to be blogging here more often, instead of spending time on Twitter.
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