The age of the poor loser

OPINION PIECE

The Brexit debacle and the equally drawn out attempt at ending the Trump presidency have ironically achieved a common result which was not intended by those who are trying every devious trick to derail the democratic process in each country.

Perhaps not surprisingly, and thankfully, things are becoming increasingly difficult for those who lost the last vote because they are now exposed as total hypocrites scrambling around looking for a way to justify their pursuit of an end to a nightmare of their own making.

And the one thing that will ensure their failure is that they still can’t accept why their nemesis won what was deemed to be an impossible victory.

Those historic successes at the polls, against virtually every political commentator’s prediction, were in response to a breakdown in the trust between the public and previous administrations to keep the people safe.
“Safety”, like “Trust”, comes in many forms — but they are equally recognisable when they don’t exist in the lives of those on struggle street.

In both cases, the public gave the fingers to governments that had failed to live up to their promises to acknowledge the plights of those who felt threatened by the push for globalisation that has been, and sadly still is, the hallmark of most administrations in the “free world”.

Unfortunately, this betrayal is evident in virtually every fashionable movement promoted by that bastion of democracy, the United Nations — the “climate change emergency”, the “MeToo”, “gender equality” and multiple “civil rights” movements currently in vogue throughout Western civilisation.

Yet nothing in any of these warped crusades will match the attractiveness of a politician who does what he says he will — leaving their detractors with palpitations, when it is their own failures that come into focus as a result of the investigations aimed at removal of those they hate with a passion.

In the case of Britain’s exit from the EU, the majority who voted “leave” were concerned about the loss of sovereignty in a community dominated by European countries that have been acting like they are still fighting the battles to subject the

Brits to slavery that had been their objective for centuries.
It has taken a man of Boris Johnson’s strength of character to stare down the “Naye Sayers” (many within his own party) and get the job done. I have no doubt that he will lead them out of the union and the British will inevitably be thankful that he did — shades of Churchill here, “cometh the hour, cometh the man!”

In Donald Trump’s United States, we see a similar battle for the hearts and minds of those who have rejected the betrayal or indifference of previous administrations and who, in spite of this farcical “kangaroo” court masquerading as a legitimate impeachment process, are going to reward the President with another term simply because he has honoured his commitment to America. It hasn’t been pretty but on balance it will be shown to have been worth it.
I suppose there is a moral in all this.

As the planet is subjected to threats from all sides, we should put our faith in leadership that we can trust to keep us safe. The choice between those who are campaigning for our votes is not always clear cut and we might often have to swallow some dead rats at the ballot box when deciding which candidate gets the tick, but one thing is certain — when it comes to the crunch, the smooth talkers and the pretty faces are usually the ones to steer well clear of. They will fail us every time.

The Brexit debacle and the equally drawn out attempt at ending the Trump presidency have ironically achieved a common result which was not intended by those who are trying every devious trick to derail the democratic process in each country.

Perhaps not surprisingly, and thankfully, things are becoming increasingly difficult for those who lost the last vote because they are now exposed as total hypocrites scrambling around looking for a way to justify their pursuit of an end to a nightmare of their own making.

And the one thing that will ensure their failure is that they still can’t accept why their nemesis won what was deemed to be an impossible victory.

Those historic successes at the polls, against virtually every political commentator’s prediction, were in response to a breakdown in the trust between the public and previous administrations to keep the people safe.
“Safety”, like “Trust”, comes in many forms — but they are equally recognisable when they don’t exist in the lives of those on struggle street.

In both cases, the public gave the fingers to governments that had failed to live up to their promises to acknowledge the plights of those who felt threatened by the push for globalisation that has been, and sadly still is, the hallmark of most administrations in the “free world”.

Unfortunately, this betrayal is evident in virtually every fashionable movement promoted by that bastion of democracy, the United Nations — the “climate change emergency”, the “MeToo”, “gender equality” and multiple “civil rights” movements currently in vogue throughout Western civilisation.

Yet nothing in any of these warped crusades will match the attractiveness of a politician who does what he says he will — leaving their detractors with palpitations, when it is their own failures that come into focus as a result of the investigations aimed at removal of those they hate with a passion.

In the case of Britain’s exit from the EU, the majority who voted “leave” were concerned about the loss of sovereignty in a community dominated by European countries that have been acting like they are still fighting the battles to subject the

Brits to slavery that had been their objective for centuries.
It has taken a man of Boris Johnson’s strength of character to stare down the “Naye Sayers” (many within his own party) and get the job done. I have no doubt that he will lead them out of the union and the British will inevitably be thankful that he did — shades of Churchill here, “cometh the hour, cometh the man!”

In Donald Trump’s United States, we see a similar battle for the hearts and minds of those who have rejected the betrayal or indifference of previous administrations and who, in spite of this farcical “kangaroo” court masquerading as a legitimate impeachment process, are going to reward the President with another term simply because he has honoured his commitment to America. It hasn’t been pretty but on balance it will be shown to have been worth it.
I suppose there is a moral in all this.

As the planet is subjected to threats from all sides, we should put our faith in leadership that we can trust to keep us safe. The choice between those who are campaigning for our votes is not always clear cut and we might often have to swallow some dead rats at the ballot box when deciding which candidate gets the tick, but one thing is certain — when it comes to the crunch, the smooth talkers and the pretty faces are usually the ones to steer well clear of. They will fail us every time.

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Alistar McKellow - 11 days ago
Oh dear, oh dear. I agree that the Brits voted for Brexit and it should happen, but to link their decision to America's Trump and what is happening there is stretching it. Americans voted for change to the political swamp but they did not vote for the hate, rhetoric, lies, corruption for one's own financial gain, secrecy under guise of executive privilege and the attack on democracy that Trump's ego has unleashed. Bad or inappropriate behaviour from a President sets no example for anybody.

Tony Lee - 11 days ago
Clive, the people of Gisborne rejected your leadership, your style and your politics and yet here you are still talking up a storm. You must have hide as thick as ox skin.

Clive Bibby - 11 days ago
Yeah well, I wouldn't mind betting that Mr McKellow teaches junior classes for a living. That would explain his opening patronising comment.
Not confident of basing his repudiation of my opinion on facts, he reaches for the Bill and Hillary Clinton journal on ethical behaviour to support his argument.
A couple of lines from that well known, discredited publication of comic material should do the trick. Big mistake!
Trouble is, that friendly duo are struggling to find a publisher for a re-edit.
Disclosures of more of Bill's latest behind-the-scenes "me too" activities suggest Mr McKellow would be well advised to find another source for his version of the truth before rushing to find fault with mine.
Frankly, I get more satisfaction from offending the hypocritical sensitivities of my critics who are quite happy to call me a racist with a passion that is absent from McKellow's waffling. Guys like him never actually believe their own rhetoric.
It would make more sense if he was to take time to examine the accuracy of his rant before having a go at me.
I suppose it is the stuff that sells newspapers in this country so we will probably have to get used to it.

Lara Meyer - 11 days ago
Hi Clive,
Leaving aside your musings on the political processes of lands far away . . .
Pop into your local primary school or better yet, the kindergarten, and have a go at teaching them.
No need to denigrate the honest labour of another person. I fail to see what someone's employment has to do with their right to voice an opinion.
Cheers.

Clive Bibby - 11 days ago
Thanks for your comments Tony and Lara.
I have never troubled the opinion pages of this or any other newspaper with anything but a desire to share ideas about how we might do things better.
I don't give a rodent's arse what your opinions are regarding my contributions. You might be interested to know that I didn't have either of you in mind when putting pen to paper. I am totally concerned about the direction of this council and will continue to hound them in an attempt (as forlorn as it might be in your opinion) to get them to change their ways of doing things. Ironically, the changes I am advocating are all doable within current budgets but would bring significant improvements to the majority of this region's citizens, even those who might share your undisclosed recommendations for same.
However, the only chance of that happening is if people like me take the time to make those in power aware that there are different options.
I agree that my efforts to date haven't been as rewarding as I might have hoped but that will not deter me from continuing to hold these ostriches to account.
You should try it sometime instead of sniping from the sidelines about the deficiencies of my character. There is nobody on this earth who is as aware of my failings as myself. Have a good day

Alistar McKellow - 10 days ago
Hi Clive,
Actions take my attention more than talk.
So, nope, I am not a Clinton fan. Have not read any of his writings.
I am happy for people to have differing points of view. Makes life more interesting.
I have never taught junior school.
My qualifications are in philosophy (logic, ethics, critical thinking) and veterinary science.
Thankfully in a democracy opinions are allowed even if they differ from one's own.
We get that choice every three years and if I remember rightly, the majority of the popular vote wins, at least in New Zealand.

David Ramsden, UK - 10 days ago
In the case of Brexit, it was less about loss of sovereignty and more about immigration. However, there were also significant lies spread about economic benefits. Those have been totally debunked and every economic assessment (including the government's) indicate that the country and its people will be significantly poorer if Brexit does indeed happen. The immigration case has also largely disappeared as the realisation that the health service and food production industries relied on immigrant labour for a large proportion of their respective workforces.
Finally, to compare Johnson to Churchill is insulting to Churchill. Although Churchill had his faults, he was undoubtedly a great statesman, orator and leader. Johnson is a narcisistic, self-serving serial liar.

Clive Bibby - 10 days ago
Hey David
I like many others of my vintage have always been a great admirer of Winston Churchill but it is worth noting (as you have done) that all great men have a history that is in strict contrast to the parts of their character that we want to remember them for, ie. the disastrous Gallipoli campaign, where this nation lost in proportion so many of our best young men, was directed by Churchill in his capacity as the "First Lord of the Admiralty".
However much the widows and citizens of New Zealand had every right to reject his leadership after that disaster, they chose instead to again answer his call for military support at a time when Britain was on its knees - and still died in their thousands doing so.
Yet, to show just how fickle the voting public can be, Churchill, in spite of his popularity which was at an all time high at the end of WW2, was rejected at the polls in the first election immediately after. How could this happen?
I make this point to simply show that you can't guarantee the populace will reward a period of outstanding leadership when they have other things to consider like promises of more social expenditure being advocated by her Majesty's loyal opposition.
In spite of your dislike of the current Prime Minister, he at least has acted on his responsibility to keep you Brits safe by facing up to the Europeans who only want to stall or destroy his ideas for exiting the EU.
I'm sure he, as much as anyone, whatever deal he can deliver, acknowledges the reality that the only positive that can be guaranteed from these negotiations is the opportunity to start again. Shades of "blood, toil, tears and sweat" don't you think? In the meantime there is a price to be paid for even thinking about trying to retain sovereignty but I am sure that, in the end, your colleagues will think it is all worth the gamble.

David Ramsden - 9 days ago
In terms of keeping the Brits safe (I am a Kiwi), it is interesting that the only world "leaders" who congratulated the UK on the outcome of the Brexit referendum were Putin and Trump, neither of whom could be said to have the UK's interests at heart. It is absolutely in Putin's interest to see the EU destabilised. Trump would prefer the UK out of the EU as it would be easier to steamroll a trade deal through - with the interests of the US coming firmly in front. Looking further at keeping the UK safe, Brexit will probably result in decreased intelligence sharing and security co-operation with the EU, so ultimately it is counterproductive from that point of view. Finally, it is the Brexiteers rather than the Europeans who have stalled the process of leaving the EU. Check the voting record.
Is the cost of "starting again" worth it? I think the Brooking Institute sums it up very well: "Yes, the UK's membership in the European Union erodes formal sovereignty. Economic, social, and cultural interrelationships intentionally erode sovereignty. However, because of the co-operative relationships across the English Channel, the UK's membership in the European Union has on balance enhanced rather than eroded effective UK autonomy. British skeptics can legitimately argue that the EU Commission and its governments may have adopted excessive regulations. But skeptics cannot argue that those decisions were taken without UK participation."
The UK economy went into stagnation, if not reverse, after the referendum. From flourishing it went to dragging along the bottom. It will take years to negotiate trade deals, many of which will require adherence to standards the UK has no input to (unlike at present) or dropping consumer protection. Inward investment has decreased, as the UK may no longer be an easy entry point into the EU market. Judging from recent opinion polls, the population is already seeing through the false promises. Or maybe the demographic has changed a little bit.

Lloyd Gretton - 8 days ago
Churchill was Lord of the Admiralty not First Lord of the Admiralty. The Lord of the Admiralty was a political posting that was satirised by Gilbert and Sullivan. Churchill's Gallipoli campaign lived up to that. The First Lord of the Admiralty was the top position of a naval officer on the Sea Board.

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