Brexit, David Cameron, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Theresa May, Politicians and the plot of Macbeth
Macbeth, William Shakespeare’s renowned play, explores the suffering inflicted on people owing to brutal, naked ambition, ruthless desire to take power and a willingness to cut anybody down who stands in the way.
The story revolves around Macbeth, a popular general in the Scottish army, who believes three influential deceivers who promised him the kingdom. Following his wife’s scheming, Macbeth murders the King of Scotland and takes the throne.
Wracked with fear and guilt, he tries to make sure he gets rid of any threats. His lust for power and treachery lead to civil war driving him and his wife into a madness of their own making, which eventually kills them both.
David Cameron, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and far too many British politicians share much in common with Macbeth. These political opportunists have become willing to inflict suffering on their peers and on the population. Insensitive to the divisions, conflict and slander of each other, they plot and scheme to get their own way. David Cameron gambled the country’s future and the constitution on winning the Referendum instead of a Referendum in his own political party.
The current tragedy at Westminster spreads across the country to Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the rest of Europe. Power matters. Power comes first.
Boris Johnson, the former inept Mayor of London, led the charge to destroy the British relationship with the European Union. His pursuit of power mattered far more than British cooperation with the EU friendship or long standing friendship with his close political colleague, the Prime Minister, David Cameron. Johnson, the Brexit leader, knew Cameron would resign in disgrace. He knew the PM would go down in history as an utter fool for calling and losing the referendum. That didn’t matter to Johnson. He wanted his job.
Boris and Cameron both attended Eton, England’s most elitist school, and both went to Oxford University and have been friends for decades. Boris wanted to be Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. In politics there are no friends. There are only people to be pushed aside or used as rungs on the ladder to power.
We thus find ample quotes in Macbeth that shed light on Cameron, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, the Labour Party, Theresa May and politicians.
FROM THE VARIOUS PEOPLE FEATURED IN MACBETH.
Some of the language of Shakespeare in Macbeth mirrors the current Shakespearean tragedy going on now in Britain.
The Prime Minister used to speak very highly of Boris Johnson, who looks like a young brother of Donald Trump.
To find the mind’s construction in the face:
He was a gentleman on whom I built
An absolute trust.
Boris suddenly put all his weight behind the Brexit campaign to the surprise of many. As the public face of Brexit, he made the difference. It would only have taken a 3% swing in the vote for Britain to remain in the EU. Yet, Johnson looked an unhappy man after the Referendum. The London media commented on his slumped face the day after the triumph of the Brexit campaign.
The day after the result, Boris looked like a man who had made the biggest error of judgement in our constitutional history in joining the Brexit campaign.
I’ll go no more:
I am afraid to think what I have done;
Look on’t again I dare not
People in England and Wales, who wanted to remain in the EU, looked to Northern Ireland (and Scotland) having seen the daggers of politicians for their leaders whether in the Labour Party or Conservative Party.
“To Ireland, I; our separated fortune
Shall keep us both the safer: where we are,
Politicians smile to their leaders while plotting to depose them. Most Labour MP’s engaged in a metaphorical cut and slash attack on Jeremy Corbyn, their leader, for not doing enough campaigning to remain in the EU. Around 170 Labour Party MPs prefers to queue up to humiliate and depose their own leader, who was elected by the grass roots with a massive majority.
Yet the same politicians ignored Theresa May, the Home Secretary for the Government, who gave a single luke warm speech throughout the entire campaign to remain in the EU. Her craving to be Prime Minister mattered far more to her than Britain’s relationship to the EU.
There’s daggers in men’s smiles: the near in blood,
The nearer bloody.
Behind the scenes in the Houses of Parliament, the plotting went on into the night since the day of the Referendum. Things were bad but then the bad got stronger.
Good things of day begin to droop and drowse;
While night’s black agents to their preys do rouse.
Thou marvell’st at my words: but hold thee still;
Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill.
Divisions set in all over the country. Scotland, Northern Ireland from England/Wales, young and old, rich and poor and a dramatic increase in racially motivated violence. Since June 23, the country continues to tear itself apart. There are fears that confusion, chaos and intolerance will grow into an epidemic.
Bleed, bleed, poor country!
Great tyranny! lay thou thy basis sure,
For goodness dare not cheque thee: wear thou
I think our country sinks beneath the yoke;
It weeps, it bleeds; and each new day a gash
Is added to her wounds….yet my poor country
Shall have more vices than it had before,
More suffer and more sundry ways than ever,
Our fears do make us traitors.
Fit to govern!
No, not to live. O nation miserable,
With an untitled tyrant bloody-scepter’d
The people of Britain endured week after weeks the lies, the distortions of truth and the blatant exaggerations of those in power who wanted to remain and those in power who wanted to leave the EU. The politicians need to ask themselves if they are fit to command, to run the country.
My first false speaking
Was this upon myself: what I am truly,
Is thine and my poor country’s to command:
What rhubarb, cyme, or what purgative drug,
Would scour these English hence?
So our corrupt politicians have proved that:
Fair is foul and foul is fair.
The politicians drummed up fear and blame to get their way. They became instruments of darkness. We now see the truths – the brutal ambition, the fear mongering and the crisis in democracy. Our leaders and their parties have brought harm upon the country. They did not want us to see how their addictions to power and their willingness to pursue it with such naked intent.
And oftentimes, to win us to our harm, the instruments of darkness tell us truths.”
Let not light see my black and deep desires: The eye wink at the hand; yet let that be Which the eye fears, when it is done, to see.”
False face must hide what the false heart doth know
A dagger of the mind, a false creation, Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain.
Michael Gove, the leading voice of the far right in the Conservative Party, saw his opportunity to get rid of Boris Johnson. He had befriended him for weeks as the public face of Brexit. Three hours before Johnson announced he would stand to be Prime Minister, Gove emailed the media with this message.
“Boris cannot provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead.”
Boris had knifed Cameron in the back and Boris had forgotten to watch his own back. Gove, his right hand man, became his traitor.
This one sentence from Gove will haunt Johnson for the rest of his life. Gove told the BBC that Boris Johnson “was not capable of uniting that team and leading the party and the country.”
It could spell the end of Boris Johnson’s career when his second in command makes such a statement knowing it would become a national mantra tied to the name of Boris Johnson for years to come.
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage. And then is heard no more.
Will the Conservative Party choose a Prime Minister from the far right in the name of Michael Gove?
Will the Conservative Party choose a Prime Minister who leans to the far right, namely hard-hearted Theresa May, the Home Secretary?
Swords I smile at, weapons laugh to scorn,
Brandish’d by man that’s of a woman born.
We do not know the last act of this Shakespearean tragedy. We know the Conservative and Labour politicians act in treacherous ways amongst themselves.
The Prime Minister turned to Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party leader, earlier this week and told Corbyn to resign in front of more than 600 Members of Parliament.
“For heaven’s sake man, go,”he demanded of Corbyn.
The Prime Minister needs to realise more and more of us, the citizens of this country, are saying the same thing to the vast majority of the Members of Parliament.
‘For heaven’s sake go.’
Little has changed in centuries.
the snares of watchful tyranny;
Producing forth the cruel ministers
Britain is now waiting for the next Act in this Shakesperean tragedy.
The 27 countries of the EU have become the audience of our unfolding daily crisis.