“A victory for real people, a victory for ordinary people, a victory for decent people” – Nigel Farage
Britain will be leaving the European Union. That is the will of the people, well 52% of them. I like most Remain supporters, now fear for this country, I fear for what we’ve become, I fear for what we’ve done, I fear for what the future holds. Brexit will cause great pain and suffering in all arenas of British life. The economy will crash, jobs will be lost, the poor will be become poorer, the right wing government will be given more powers to force their ideological cuts on the most vulnerable in society, the undercurrent of racism and xenophobia that has bubbling in certain sections of the UK will bubble over, and of course the UK itself will cease to exist in short this decision is a catastrophe in every way, and I truly believe that this day will be remembered as the beginning of Britain’s darkest period.
Now why would the people of Britain make such a disastrous decision, what could drive them to ignore all informed wisdom, facts and sound argument. The answer to this question is a false narrative could persuade them to plunge Britain into darkness. Now don’t get me wrong I’m no raving Europhile, I, like Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, have many issues with EU particularly it’s neoliberal agenda and treatment of Greece, however the EU is Britain’s biggest trading partner, it makes the country prosperous, it provide jobs, we can move freely around the continent, it protects our human and workers rights, it helps tackle climate change, plus the fact that 27 countries that have spent the majority of their histories invading each other now solve their problems through talks and negotiation is a truly remarkable thing. Frankly without the EU we would struggle in the modern world, as we shall now find out. It’s very cold out there we’ve just burnt our lovely technicolour fleece.
So what was the false narrative that persuaded 17m to say “up yours Delors” for good, was it the lie that the EU is slowly eroding away our sovereignty, or the lie that there are secret plans to form a European super state, nope. Instead the Leave campaign ran a very effective campaign targeted at the white working classes in the most deprived areas, the former industrial heartlands destroyed by Thatcher in the 80s, who were then the biggest victims of the financial crisis and subsequent austerity programme, not forgetting the 12 years of New Labour completely disregarding them altogether. Their disillusionment is understandable, politicians don’t listen to them, they don’t help them, why should they care. The genius of the Brexiters, influenced by Farage and UKIP over the last few years is to convince the disillusioned that all their problems are not the fault of Tory austerity, a banker-fuelled financial crisis and Thatcherism. That actually it’s because Johnny Foreigner has stolen their jobs, their houses, their child’s school places and their parents’ hospital beds. This of course didn’t happen, for one there are no immigrants in rural areas and two, immigrants have an overwhelmingly positive effect on our economy, always have, always will. Leave however demonised these heroes of our economy, and inflamed as much vitriol, racism and xenophobia as they could, they ran a campaign of hate and division, which worked we’ve left. And now the moderates tell us they’ll be more migrants from the Commonwealth except when there were waves of Commonwealth migration in the 60s, 70s and 80s the same demonisation took place “keep Britain white”, “we’re full”, “fuck off to your own country”, my parents were victims of such attitudes so I’m quite passionate about this, my point is, what was one fringe far right views of groups such as the National Front, UKIP and the BNP are now mainstream views of the electorate outside London and Scotland. The Brexiters have not simply made it acceptable to discuss migration, they’ve made it acceptable to scapegoat, and simplify the argument. Britain is becoming a country were ignorance is king. The people chose feeling over fact. That’s dangerous because contrary to what Boris and Gove probably think, this will continue, now the white working class see they can affect change, they’ll keep going after EU migrants they’ll be new targets, Muslims?, black people?, gays?, a touch papers been lit and I’m no longer convinced Progressives on the left can reverse the false narrative that’s been planted in these communities. I’m all for voting against the establishment, I’m all for protest, I’m all for making your voice heard, but all they’ve done is make it worse for themselves, they chose the wrong enemy, they were fooled, they believed the myths and lies, they were narrow minded, and the repercussions are already becoming apparent we have a divided nation, a broken nation, and amongst 48% of us there is a sense of great shame that our countrymen chose this path.
Politically, the PM has gone, we knew it’d happen. I’m no fan of Cameron’s but the uncertainty is only going to get worse if we have no stable government in this period of limbo, there has to be a leader to say this is what happens next, this is what leaving actually means, because let’s not forget, there was no plan, Farage, Gove and Johnson just had a crib sheet of soundbites “Australian style points system”, “we can govern ourselves”, “we’d adopt the Great Britain model”. Then we’re potentially gonna have another election for the new PM (Boris) to have a mandate, I’d vote Corbyn of course but I fear that his message is too late to break through to the disillusioned, the communities of the North needed Labour to address their concerns at the last election, instead Miliband chose to pander to UKIP as well as committing to austerity. A Corbyn government would alleviate their problems, yes but they’ve already been seduced by Farage’s pint and gravy vision of Britain, if there’s an election, I expect more UKIP MPs, a Tory/UKIP coalition and Farage in the cabinet. My optimism’s dried up this is the Britain we live in now, the right wing is king, the left’s too busy infighting. I say Britain, Scotland, NI and London were sensible and all voted Remain. Scotland will go now and rightly so, they got dragged out by England which just isn’t fair, this would of course mean the UK would cease to exist as we know, which like many of the Brexit consequences is a terrifying prospect. Sinn Fein are calling for a unification referendum which could become a flashpoint for a renewal of the Troubles, which thankfully have been non-existent, my generation. Finally Labour, well guess what the PLP are blaming Corbyn surprise, surprise. Blair and Miliband lost Scotland by ignoring them. Blair and Miliband sewed the seeds for the North voting out by letting UKIP slowly grow in the absence of Labour attention. Corbyn’s task is vast but you can’t blame him for long term trends, especially when the facts show only 37% of Labour voters that voted Out, this was a Tory/UKIP Brexit not a Labour one. However the PLP have wanted him Out from day 1 so any excuse. Frankly if he is forced out, I won’t be too fussed, right now I don’t think this country deserves him.
Economically, we’re in big trouble, overnight Sterling dropped to it’s lowest level since 1985, lower than even the 2008 crisis. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney was forced to make a statement to settle the markets but predicted further volatility. I’d hazard a guess than that volatilty will be fairly long term. It’s also inevitable that they’ll be mass job losses due to our ties with the EU there are a number of firms that are based in the UK, specifically because of our access to the common market, without that, they’ll now look into relocating and finally we’ve just walked out on our biggest trading partner, sort of shooting your foot to well, shoot your foot.
This result will usher in a new age for Britain, a dark age, of decline and misery. It’ll be doom and gloom, it’ll be awful, and we’ll look back on this day in history as the most significant since WW2 in British history and most certainly as the greatest mistake this country has made since the days of Empire, the day it changed. And do you know the worst thing, the people that dragged us out did it for the wrong reasons, giving the establishment a bloody nose? No you ensured the establishment (Boris, Gove, Farage) will be setting our agenda for years to come. Meanwhile you shunned the one and only anti-establishment leader. Well done. Enjoy “freedom” you real, ordinary, decent people. You got your country back. Mine meanwhile may be gone forever.