A float carrying 'Brexit is a monstrosity' caricature depicting Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and David Davis passes by anti-Brexit demonstrators outside the Houses of Parliament in London on 14 February, 2019. Today Members of Parliament debate and vote on an amendable government motion relating to the next stage of Brexit negotiations. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto)

As Hong Kong’s expatriate British community observe The Boris and Theresa Follies in the palladium of Westminster, what was once mounting incredulity has evolved into utter despair as the United Kingdom descends into chaos.

Regardless of whether one favors remaining or leaving the European Union, the pantomimic behavior of this collection of £77,000 (about US$100,000) per annum paid clowns must surely stand out as the most incompetent collection of parliamentarians in history.

As time has passed since Article 50 was exercised, the complexities of extricating the country successfully from its 40-year membership of the EU have been shown to be beyond the wit of either the executive or the administration to accomplish.

The objective spectator, watching from the sidelines, asks forlornly, “Did you not consider these problems before deciding to put this to the electorate?”

As is patently clear to all but a dunderhead, they evidently did not. But why not?

The answer is also the reason that Mediocrity May and Catastrophe Corbyn’s band of juvenile delinquents should all be subject to an ASBO: the country’s interests were subordinated to keeping their parliamentary seats and their respective party’s interests.

Who, other than a brainless gorm, dives headfirst into water ignorant of how deep it is or what lies beneath its opaque surface?

Who, other than an idiot, goes shopping without the wherewithal to pay for what they purchase?

Absurd though it is, we live in a time when knowledge, experience and skill have acquired opprobrium. But, as the intellectual pygmy Michael Gove put it, “We don’t need experts.”

Whereas history shows that an electorate can and does vote into office the less cerebrally gifted, by and large in the past those bereft of a modicum of common sense failed at the first hurdle.

Seemingly, not so over the last two parliaments.

The signs of incipient moral decay were apparent during the duck-house building, moat-enlarging era of politicians but the total abandonment of reasoned decision-making came as a profound shock to the system.

In part, this is a consequence of the restrictive nature of party politics and the curious phenomenon of political birthright.

As WS Gilbert put it in the context of 19th-century politics: “How Nature always does contrive that every boy and every gal that’s born into the world alive is either a little liberal or a little conservative.”

Whereas history shows that an electorate can and does vote into office the less cerebrally gifted, by and large in the past those bereft of a modicum of common sense failed at the first hurdle

This tendency for children to inherit their parents’ political preference is another explanation for mindless self-perpetuation.

Now add to this systemic weakness the fact that there is an immoderate cohort of each party that will march to the party’s tune no matter how discordant it may be: mindlessness becomes the dominant feature of an electorate.

The party system necessarily involves voting in favor of elements of a political platform to which one does not wholly subscribe. It is a balancing act for every voter.

For those who make a conscious choice whom to vote for, it will always be an approximation; that is the nature of a political party.

In turn, that focuses, or should do, on the imperative of voting for someone whose judgment you trust.

Yet this presupposes that the elector actually thinks before voting, an exercise far more complex than it has ever been and one demanding serious application.

On what, then, is voter choice to be made?

Making every allowance for exaggeration and hollow promises, each party’s manifesto is designed to lay before the public its proposals for governing when in power, proposals which, in principle, draw upon the philosophical basis of the party.

Hence, in theory, the elector reading the party manifesto knows what he or she is voting for.

When in power, the government’s performance compared against the promises of the manifesto will be subjected to critical analysis by the opposition.

In addition, before an election, the manifesto will be scrutinized by opposing parties for inherent weaknesses, fundamental flaws, misinformation and, the politician’s bedrock companion, the downright lie.

Prior to the referendum, what parliament, collectively, published about the arguments for and against membership of the EU was an astounding composition of lies, bullshit and, worse, an absence of information about the consequences necessarily expected to follow departure.

On the basis of this tawdry, meretricious and venal incompetence, the people spoke.

A blind man is not asked to describe an engineering drawing nor a deaf one reproduce a melody but that is the effect of what parliament, in its infinite and arrogant stupidity, did.

Now that the ramifications of this uninformed “expression of preference” are plainly in view, a prime minister with the single-minded obduracy of a bilateral pre-frontal lobotomized patient pursues the impossible nightmare.

Though a handful of politicians from both parties have cried “a plague on both your houses,” the self-deluding rump are wedging their fat bottoms into their seats without a thought for the national interest.

It is all painfully obvious to those of us living outside the United Kingdom but, apparently, not to the myopic mass of British parliamentarians.

Mrs May may dub us citizens of nowhere but from where we stand we can see that she is the one who is decidedly going nowhere.

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