The problem with those who are convinced that they have the one true ideology is that they tend to do very stupid things because they believe their own propaganda. The tea party radicals who are now in government genuinely believe that everything is going to be very much better once the UK is free from all that Brussels bureaucracy. That blinds them completely to any concept that there might be serious down sides to consider. As a consequence they are failing totally to prepare for those down sides.
I happen to believe that on balance remaining in the EU is positive for the UK. That shouldn't mean I am daft enough to think every last thing that organisation does is sensible or necessary. I still think the right approach is to say that "Another Europe is possible" and to do the serious work necessary to create it.
Those who happen to believe that on balance we should leave the EU and prepare sensibly for that are now being pushed aside by ideologues who have convinced themselves that leaving the EU is THE ANSWER TO OUR PROBLEMS. It isn't of course. There never is a simple answer to our problems.
Incredibly wild naive optimists are now in government. You would expect a serious politician to prepare for a brave new future by rapidly articulating the exact policies that they intend to put in place once we are out of the EU. That just isn't happening. Or at least not remotely in the depths of detail or in the timescales that are necessary.
Now is the time for everyone to be debating furiously what our policy should be on agriculture. Yet the government has produced nothing. Now is also the time for us to look in great depth at our Industrial Strategy. We have instead a wishy washy White Paper full of pious hopes, little useful detail, tired recycled policies and a tiny amount of money. We have two years left to work out our systems to deal with Brexit on everything from passport controls to custom posts to software redesigns of whole strings of policy areas. Where is the sign that the ideologues even realise that these jobs need doing?
The British Government isn't good at designing new computer systems. Two years of design and testing would be something of a record for pulling off one relatively minor project on time and on budget. The work doesn't seem to have even begun on thinking about what we might need to commission to deal with EU exit and none of the impractical ideologues who keep telling us what a wonderful opportunity lies before us seems remotely bothered.
Anyone who asks a practical question about Brexit is derided as a moaner. We are told instead that we are lacking confidence in our own bright future. That is not the way most sensible business people I know and have worked with go about doing things. Practical people list all the possible dangers and then set about limiting and controlling them whilst thinking about maximising the opportunities. Instead of a businesslike approach our government seems to consist of people who think it will all turn out OK because that is what they told each other would happen in their last twitter exchange.
The political fanatics in the Conservative party have infiltrated it much more comprehensively and completely than Momentum could even dream of doing with the Labour Party. And they are every bit as dangerous as the most deluded Trotskyist revolutionary.
This is not simply a mishap. It is a tendency that is being displayed by more and more political parties. For a reason. Ordinary people living busy lives rarely wish to spend their evenings working their way through the tedious agendas of the political parties. It takes an unusual degree of fanaticism to join a party and turn up to its meetings. This means that the members of the parties rarely fully reflect the people who might be inclined to vote for them. Those who turn up to the meetings are even further out of step.
Political activists are usually what I call political hobbyists. We - and I include myself in this number - by definition are not typical. We have a fascination with politics and a set of beliefs that we are committed to with passion. That can be helpful. It can also be very dangerous. It takes a conviction that you are right to effect positive change. Unfortunately it also takes a conviction that you are right to send people off to gulags and gas chambers. And to do a lot of other very nasty things that are less fatal like cutting off disability benefits from people who are too sick to get to their assessment interview.
That is one of the prime reasons ordinary people are suspicious of politicians. The problem is not that many politicians are utterly corrupt and just in it to make money. That exists but it is a relatively small problem. The real problem is that most politicians are in it because they are absolutely sure they are right and that they are helping people by forcing through their latest obsession.
I think we all need to take a step back and a deep breath and to spend a lot more time speaking with people who disagree with us. Especially practical people who know something about running a business or delivering a service. Would the NHS be in its current mess if it hadn't been re-organised quite so often by politicians? Does education really need to be so politicised? Who really knows how to run things - the political obsessive or the person who has actual done the job?
Naturally I think the party I support has more of the right answers than the other parties. But that doesn't mean I also think they have got plenty of things wrong.
Greens are right about the scale of the environmental crisis and the radical nature of the way we have to rethink our economic policy to equip ourselves for the future. We were right about the choices that should have been at the start of the long drawn out period of austerity and that it was the best time to invest in the future not the best time to punish the poor for a financial crash. We were right about the Iraq war. And we are right to say that there are no blank cheques for Brexit and we the public should be given the chance to vote again once we see the real deal instead of voting on wild promises versus wild threats.
We are also quite capable of listening too much to our own political hobbyists and sounding like we want to be a party of protest. Like all parties the Green Party needs to work hard to keep its connection with ordinary voters strong and its connection with political enthusiasts under control.
After all we wouldn't want to end up as silly and extreme as the people who are currently running our government! Would we now!