Sunday, 9 October 2016

Aftermath 1 - The Politics of Denial



"Sadly, there still appear to be a large number of bitter and weeping Remainers who genuinely seem unable to understand that in a referendum, all people count equally at the ballot box. At the recent Conservative party conference, May talked about the sneering class. How right she was."



In the wake of Brexit, suggestions of creeping fascism and racism are commonplace

Although the days of this blog have long since passed, if I'm being honest, I miss the cathartic effect of blogging to ease the psyche and to make some sense of events, hence this self indulgent aftermath post. Time has passed since the historic vote to leave the EU, a moment in history which should have poured the ice cold water of reality on the rambunctious metropolitan Remainers. So, have they stepped back and taken stock? Have they tried to comprehend the meaning of the result in order to fathom why, after forty three years of integration, the UK decided to extricate itself from the EU? Or have they decided, in an ever extending fit of bigotry, that they are still the only people with a valid opinion and that the situation would be best served by a pernicious and socially corrosive form of attrition.

Introspection needed

You'd hope that there would be a period of deep reflection. A moment where the shock of the event told some home truths, not about the make-up of the electorate but the state of EU politics, the paths that it's taken and the impact that it's had on society. Perhaps, during this time of introspection, they'd ask themselves where the divisions lie that caused so many to tick the Leave box, in spite of the dire and gushing economic warnings that were forcefully pumped in to every facet of our lives. Without this kind of understanding, it's going to be impossible to regain social cohesion - if indeed that's what they want.

Sadly, there still appear to be a large number of bitter and weeping Remainers who genuinely seem unable to understand that in a referendum, all people count equally at the ballot box. At the recent Conservative party conference, May talked about the sneering class. How right she was.

Daily, I encounter the vocal Remainers who, to a person, seem to make the assumption that everyone they encounter voted the way they did. Why? Because if you come across as sensible and even handed then you can't possibly have voted any way other than Remain.

Permeating the social strata - outwardly they like to think that they're salt of the earth, yet they act like they're the gold; precious and reflecting the beauty of metropolitan society for the rest of us to marvel at and strive toward. Often engulfed in the feedback loop they've weaved around themselves on social media, they crow loudly and re assuredly from the comfort of their expensive houses and their iPhone 7s - and when needed, they impose their moral compass on all and sundry by means of a venomous mono-narrative. You know, the one which, when boiled down to it's absolute thickest stock, says that 'Leavers are racists'.

The 'Everyone I don't like is Hitler' meme

That's where we are at the tail end of 2016. Not in a position where 'intellectuals' recovering from a stunning defeat try to grasp how and why they got it so wrong - but where noisy celebrities, opportunist politicians and frankly butt hurt, well to do, self loathing centrist idealogues try to lever their frustrations by twisting the narrative and smearing the Leave position as a vulgar Trumpist march towards a black shirted future.

Black forgetting the SNP's own historic associations with the Nazis

Let's ignore for a moment that it's Remain campaigner Amber Rudd's speech regarding immigrant workers at the Tory conference which has rattled cages and fanned the flames of righteous contempt. And never mind that the fact that the FCO are not banning non-UK nationals from working on Brexit related projects (a suggestion which David Allen Green appears to have resolutely debunked HERE ) - because keeping the 'unsettling' mood music is more important for 'the cause' than being factually correct. So when it transpires that you've echoed such falsehoods, never apologise, never look back and don't blink when questioned, because the next unsubstantiated, nebulous act of wanton fascism is only a misguided tweet away - and the chorus of indignation and hatred can begin all over again.

This internet meme seems to have been taken as an instruction manual by many Remainers

It must be a sorry world where the only way to deal with the shortcomings of your own position is to lash out in a manner that probably does more to debase the issues of racism than it does to help it. I imagine that people at the sharp end of racism would rather that it wasn't wielded in such a desensitising manner. Likewise self serving suggestions of latent fascism designed to fuel discontent are equally divisive.


Onward and upward

As a small child, I remember sitting on the carpet at Primary school and being given the luxury of being allowed to watch an episode of Playschool, the foundation stone under-pinning many a Brits TV viewing habits. I can't remember which window we went through (I always hoped for the arch) but the story we were told made much sense. In it, a Sowester clad individual was harassed by the four winds as they each took it in turns to hurl gusty assaults in order to blow the hat off and win a bet. No matter how ferocious their blustery gales were, each in turned failed to remove the hat as the stubborn individual held on tight to the much needed apparel. Dismayed at their failure, they let the sun have a go and within a few seconds of his warming rays, the Sowester was off.

It seems this simple lesson was missed by many in the land of self entitlement.

Remainers take note. A 52% / 48% vote cannot be genuinely considered a boolean mandate to authorise hard Brexit (if such a thing exists). But by the same measure, even a thin majority voting to Leave the EU after all the time that it's had to prove itself clearly demonstrates that it has significant failings and that things need to change. People didn't vote to Leave because they were lied to and (being 'stupid' naturally) accepted what they were told. I've yet to meet a Leaver who regrets their vote, let alone one who feels they were conned. For many, it was the obvious reality that the EU end goal was federalisation and it was something they didn't want. Cameron failed to convince people that his reforms were substantial enough to stop us either being in a compromised minority in the EU or eventually spiralling down the federal plughole twenty or thirty years down the line.

Be prepared to lose everything

So, unhappy Remainer, get over yourself, accept the result and then get involved with the process in a constructive manner that helps shape the future of the 100% not just the 48%. Don't argue for the Single Market because we were stupid for leaving and it's the closest thing to the EU that you can get. Argue for it because it's good for business. Don't scream for Freedom of Movement because everybody is a racist if you don't get your way - argue for it because it's the way of the modern world and that in the age of internet connectedness, it's necessary for us to fulfil the promise of global engagement. Stop blowing a gale for once and cast some warming rays - or be prepared to lose everything.