Wednesday, 27 January 2016

The Division of Opposition

"At first glance, the fight to Leave the EU would appear to be one of hope vs fear. A battle between two raging armies, slugging it out under the beady eyes of the watching media. But no war is won by pitched battle alone. There are other ways of winning and the best Generals know not to step out on to the field until they're sure the outcome is certain."

Can there be any greater betrayal than your allies leaving you mid battle?

Let's take a journey in to battle.

There's an imminent war that's been rumbling across the distant horizon like an angry summer storm. It's only a matter of time now before it reaches you. The dominance of the Union has momentarily stumbled and you've been given the chance to gather all those of like belief, rally them to the cause and form your allied forces in order to break free once and for all. And you'll need money to wage this campaign - lots of it. It's true that people have been vociferous in their support of your plans and methods and have given you what ever money they have - but it's the financiers you need to woo in order to lead the way. For reasons that are difficult to discern, they've turned their back on you and funded your allies instead.

The divisions between you are many, yet you have no choice but to fall in line and ride out together. After all, there is a greater common good here and everyone wants the same outcome. Your scouts and rangers tell you the odds are good; they've been sampling the scale of the opposition and the numbers are at worst even, possibly in your favour. Furthermore, they are weakened by the protracted sufferings and stresses brought about by years of injustice and misrule. Declaring a date for battle and marching on regardless must be their greatest folly and the urge to punish them for it is just too tempting to resist.

Your forces flank your allies and you draw to the edge of the field to size up your foe. They're hardly prepared, not least because of your pent up fury from the years maleficent manipulation. It will be enough on its own to carry the day. The horn sounds and the charge cascades in a stream across the battle field, with the roaring of every emotion screaming in the air, mingling amongst the steel blades and military hues of your forces.

But what if you had underestimated the opposition?

Full speed now, yet the opposition prance in formation as if waiting for something. At the same time, the very allies that won the right to bear arms for its people, funded by the financiers to lead the fight on their behalf, lower their weapons and peel off from the charge, leaving the field of battle. Your forces are left committed, exposed and confused. Charge now stalled, staring in disbelief at the actions of your allies, you dispatch a messenger to them demanding an explanation. Minutes later you have your response:

"The allies have formed a truce with the enemy, arguing that the terms of the Union are now favourable and should be supported by all. They have the promise of a new relationship and shall not raise arms against the Union. Through this peace, they feel that they have served their people well."

The odds are now stacked steeply against you and your diminished forces are like a dinghy along side the crashing tidal wave of the opposing forces that surge to swamp you. This fight is a foregone conclusion and as you swing your sword, taking as many down with you as you can, you cannot help but wonder when, where and why it all went wrong.

The answer is simple. The battle was never yours to win - and it was never really a battle; just a show designed to appease the people and project the sense of significance and change - enough to sate the people and have the argument done with for another generation.

Feel free to draw your own parallels with this little tale.

Division of Opposition

From wikipedia:

"Stanford University professor Beatriz Magaloni described a model governing the behavior of autocratic regimes. She proposed that ruling parties can maintain political control under a democratic system without actively manipulating votes or coercing the electorate. Under the right conditions, the democratic system is manoeuvred into an equilibrious state in which divided opposition parties act as unwitting accomplices to single-party rule. This permits the ruling regime to abstain from illegal electoral fraud"

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