, 19 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
1. One of the arguments made by remainers during the referendum was that #Brexit would make us "inward looking". The solipsism of the Brexit parliamentary debate, though, suggests that we have never been more politically self-absorbed.
2. If we bother with european politics at all it is only in terms of near-Europe, hyperventilating about French protests or speculating on Merkel. Only when there's a juicy drama do we pay any attention. Adult concerns seldom ever feature.
3. I have of late taken an interest in Eastern European politics. I am by no means an expert - and I'm aware of the many pitfalls, but I sense a growing tension in Ukraine with serious ramifications for Poland and Germany who disagree on a number of issues.
4. Central to this is the Russian threat where the EU says one thing while Germany does another - particularly in respect of energy/gas supplies which is a whole topic in itself. The USA is right in there. The UK is completely irrelevant to it.
5. This has been a deep set malaise for British politics for quite some time, not least since we have gradually dismantled out diplomatic and consular services but it;s as much to do with the fact that our politics - and our newspapers especially, have become light entertainment.
6. As a nation we appear to have retreated from anything approaching adult politics. Front pages of newspapers used to be issues of international consequence. These days it tends only to report n the tricialities of the Westminster bubble.
7. What was once front page news is now relegated to the business pages if it is reported at all. I can't name a single serious correspondent at the Telegraph and even less so the Times. Guardian occasionally manages it by accident.
8. This is all the more acute now because there are dark undertones to what it happening in Eastern Europe and not just the rise of the "far right". The Balkans are looking ugly and I still think Ukraine could erupt into a larger war sucking in Poland.
9. To a point, Brexit does chew up a larger proportion of our political runtime, but even before Brexit, our politics routinely indulged in trivialities which is partly why many of us voted to leave to begin with.
10. It's even reflected in the current crop of MPs. Of all the ones we hear from the most, we hear from the worst of the narcissists and the demagogues from both sides, largely because biff-bam confrontations is all our bored media can be bothered with.
11. As much as anything, the whole politico-media establishment has gotten flabby and lazy. Information is transmitted orally and they don't do detail nor do they bother to understand the issues. Emily Thornberry still doesn't know what a customs union is.
12. More concerning still, the policy and ideas engines - our think tanks, are equally spent, churning out lightweight derivative PDFs that push no boundaries and largely recycled, tired ideas generally churned out by twenty something know nothings with no experience.
13. So the system lacks any institutional memory, lacks maturity, and is easily distracted - and caught up in the tiresome daily frivolities with no clue what is going on in the wider world with no early warning system. Britain turned inward years ago.
14. The Brexiters might well be hopeless but remainers are about as bad in that their horizons in respect of "looking outward" don't extend much beyond Brussels and naively think that Europe is presently stable and all friends together and it's just the UK having a psychodrama.
15. As it happens, monitoring debate from Poland, Ukraine, Serbia, there are much more overt displays of racism, far more volatile politics and disagreements within the EU that bubble under the surface that even the EU watchers like @euractiv don't pick up on.
16. The fact of the matter is we as a nation are regressing where people seem more concerned with the utterances of a gameshow presenter or what some nonentity backbencher is banging on about. Westminster and the media is now a kindergarten.
17. The say the price of peace is eternal vigilance. This is precisely what we are not doing. We have turned to self-indulgent navel gazing - unable to bring focus to issues of importance - which is partly why we are drifting toward an accidental Brexit.
18. If you ask me, politics as we know it now is a luxury we cannot afford. It is the politics of a lardy peacetime, where we have lost our instincts for foreign policy and internationalism. Brexit maybe kill or cure, but we certainly need a wake up call.
The fact you're all watching #BBCQT tells me everything I need to know.
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