A couple of months ago the Telegraph offered me a free digital subscription. I already subscribe to The Economist and the Harvard Business Journal, but I thought sure, why not? Perhaps I might find a couple of decent “longer reads” each week and be more informed on the issues of the day.
I admit that I’m a little lost in modern day political terminology. I’m a free market capitalist - I run my own companies. With regard to business, I really just want the government to stay out of the way. That said, I want to live in a society that cares for its members, all of them. When it comes to international policy, I believe that all the people on the planet have more that unites them than separates them.
The current surge of populism has alarmed me. More than ever, politicians are just making stuff up and refusing to engage with real life and real issues. Narcissistic fantasist can’t be the ideal personality profile for a world leader can it?
The Conservative Party in the UK appears to have gone stark raving mad. The previous leader, Liz Truss, who, just in case you took a long holiday recently, was in fact Prime Minister for a hot minute, is bastardising Trumpian rhetoric: “Make Britain Grow Again”. She makes no mention of her disastrous term in office which very nearly obliged the UK to declare bankruptcy.
The Home Secretary is channelling Enoch Powell and the “Rivers of Blood” paradigm. The Prime Minister himself, is grabbing every passing populist tidbit that he can lay his hands on. “Stop the Boats!” (And the trains). “Cease the war on the motorist.” Thankfully, he’s even going to stop the Labour Party forcing me to become a vegetarian, a policy that the Labour Party is unaware that it ever had. In a fortnight, he’s screwed the auto industry by back-pedalling on green initiatives and torpedoed the high speed train link and undermined those investment decisions made around it.
In the meantime, the United States of America risks collapsing in on itself. Russia is invading neighbours and waging war. China is quietly building and buying influence around the world and populist nationalism is taking root in India and Brazil as well as across Europe.
The Telegraph has gone along merrily with the farcical implosion of the Conservatives, rendering itself unreadable to me.
I’ve downloaded the Independent app, and, wait for it, even the Grauniad (sorry, I mean Guardian). I will read unto my free limits for a while and see if either offers me quality journalism that doesn’t seem penned by a lunatic. Then I may subscribe, or perhaps revert to my previous policy of ignoring daily news. For reasons that I don’t entirely understand myself, I’m beginning to think that standing idly by is no longer something that I can reconcile myself with.
So what could be galvanising a porky, privileged, white, gammon like me?
Ultimately, it’s my core beliefs.
Truth. Fairness. Honesty.
As for Immigration - the UK is a product of immigration. Entirely. Celts, Angles, Saxons, Vikings, Normans, Moors, Asians, Africans, Caribbeans, Europeans, Pacific Islanders, crikey we even let the Aussies and Kiwis back in. What a fabulous place the country is for it.
Seems I’ll be changing my vote as well as my newspaper.