Thursday, July 07, 2016

Brexit: "The British establishment ... asked the nation to pat them on the back. The invitation to a punch in the face was too good to miss."

Either you "get" it or you don't.

But what are these "Augean stables" referred to by the author? In Greek mythology, Hercules did penance for an act of murderous insanity by performing twelve labors at the direction of Eurystheus.

For the fifth labor, Eurystheus ordered Hercules to clean up King Augeas' stables. Hercules knew this job would mean getting dirty and smelly, but sometimes even a hero has to do these things. Then Eurystheus made Hercules' task even harder: he had to clean up after the cattle of Augeas in a single day. Now King Augeas owned more cattle than anyone in Greece. Some say that he was a son of one of the great gods, and others that he was a son of a mortal; whosever son he was, Augeas was very rich, and he had many herds of cows, bulls, goats, sheep and horses.

You might say that Hercules solved the stables cleaning problem by a feat of stormwater diversion.

Ignore the prophets of doom. Brexit will be good for Britain, by Simon Jenkins (The Guardian)

A stale leadership class is on the way out and the property bubble will burst. I can’t see the bad news

"We have had no end of a lesson: it will do us no end of good!” So said Rudyard Kipling of the Boer war, and he might well say the same today. David Cameron’s wild European gamble has failed. He and the British establishment took democracy for granted. They lined up all the toffs and boffins, the chief executives, tycoons and clever-clogs in the (south of the) land, and asked the nation to pat them on the back. The invitation to a punch in the face was too good to miss.

All governments, democratic as well as authoritarian, tend in time towards the Augean stables. They need regular cleaning out. But the cleaning is rarely at moments of their choosing, and the effort can be Herculean ...

... Social democracy and capitalism both need hitting over the head from time to time. It detoxifies them of bureaucracy, monopoly and cronyism. Britain is experiencing such a time. It should do us no end of good.

No comments: