Okay, I need to write something comprehensive about this disaster and I couldn’t figure out how to do it. Partly because it’s incredibly complex but mostly because this entire country has gone insane and nobody can figure out what’s happening or how the hell to get out of this mess. Honestly I would only be a little bit surprised if, by the time I publish this, the Queen had dissolved parliament and was directly ruling the country for a bit while our political parties found a way to stop exploding.
If you’re apolitical or coming to this blog from another part of the world you’re probably looking for answers. I am going to try to explain this one bit at a time because there’s no other way to do it without writing a novel.
The Right Wing Press.
For thirty years or so almost all of the newspapers in this country, which are effectively owned by a Machiavellian old right wing Australian and a few tax exiles, have demonised and rubbished the EU. They have given the impression that it’s an undemocratic, bloated empire and we have somehow surrendered to it. This isn’t true but economics is complicated and pouring money in to poor areas doesn’t create headlines that can sell newspapers on slow news days. The unelected media barons have done a very good job of blaming the EU for all the problems their right wing friends in government have created, more recently they decided to blame refugees as well. Their lies have played an enormous role in shaping public opinion and stoking racism and the leave campaigns were happy to run with it. They don’t care, they are happy to tell people that division is strength, hatred is unity and our friends and allies are our enemies. They are the scum of the earth.
The Poor ‘Leave’ Voters.
The overwhelming majority of people who voted to leave are neither racist nor stupid nor xenophobic. They are the poor and disenfranchised. In the North East of England, for instance, the leave campaign won with enormous majorities because those areas of the country have been ignored, marginalised and ruined by years of successive governments. I’m not saying the people there didn’t want to leave, I’m saying that they quite reasonably saw the political parties of Westminster and the bureaucrats in Brussels as a bunch of establishment tossers that either sees them as an electoral resource or couldn’t give a toss about them depending how far away the next election is. They aren’t wrong.
The Defrauded ‘Leave’ Voters.
The leave campaigns, both of them, have now admitted that their two key promises were lies. They said they would have an extra £350 million per week to give to the NHS in the event of Brexit, which was an outright lie. They also said they would be able to reduce immigration because the EU has imposed the free movement of labour on the UK, but there’s no way we can get out of that for various complicated reasons to do with trade agreements which I won’t bore you with here. Nothing these people thought they were voting for was what they were actually voting for. They were lied to. When a political party backtracks on its manifesto pledges they can be punished for it at the next election, when it is a once in a lifetime referendum the voters have been defrauded forever. Many of these people are the ones displaying ‘buyer’s remorse’ now, and getting quite animated at the con they’ve been subjected to.
The Racist ‘Leave’ Voters.
There are more of them than the right wing acknowledges and there are less of them than the left wing feared. There are still far too many of these noisy pricks juddering around and making everything worse. They’ve been emboldened by the result and the tone of the two leave campaigns so now, to reign them in, you now have a responsibility to confront them in public. I know it’s the English way to keep your head down and avoid making a fuss but that has to change. The racists need to be stopped and you have to do it or we all have to live with these shits forever. Fuck them and the horse they rode in on.
The ‘Remain’ Voters.
‘I dunno, it’s not perfect but it’s better than the alternative I suppose.’
The European Nationals Who Already Live Here.
I am so sorry. You won’t have to move back to your birthplace but if you decide to I absolutely won’t blame you. Britain is now a frightening place to live thanks to our useless or irresponsible politicians invoking blood-and-soil nationalism in their squalid games.
There were four of them in a referendum with two possible outcomes, just to give you an idea of how stupid and feckless this whole exercise was. A breakdown of each follows.
David Cameron’s Remain Campaign.
Leader: David Cameron, an irresponsible pig fucker.
This campaign trotted out a coalition of bankers and business leaders because they apparently didn’t realise the British people hate them more than anyone else. Then they threatened people with an emergency budget of even more cuts. They failed to take the leave campaigns to task for anything they said at any point and never said anything positive about the EU. They were as dismal and worthless as their counterparts were dishonest and vile.
Boris Johnson’s Leave Campaign.
Leader: Boris Johnson, an even more irresponsible careerist, scheming liar and probably also a pig fucker. He has always been in favour of Britain remaining in the EU and only joined the leave campaign because he thought it would lose and it would help him shore up support in the right of his party in a coming leadership bid. His power play might have destroyed the United Kingdom. He knew the risks and he did it anyway.
This campaign tried to make a fiscal argument for leaving the EU and in order to do so lied through their teeth at every turn. They rode around in a big bus telling people that the UK spends £350 million per week on the EU and if we left we could instead spend it on the NHS. The day after the referendum, in fact it may have even been in the morning, they said that would not be possible. This was not the only lie they told but it was the most glaring and, the history books will say, infamous. They also promised tighter control of our borders without once saying that in order to retain any kind of trade agreement with Europe we would have to accept free movement of labour anyway. It probably turned the tide in this referendum and it was, basically all of it, lies.
Jeremy Corbyn’s Remain Campaign.
Leader: Jeremy Corbyn, a lovely waffling university lecturer who is incapable of running an effective campaign. He has famously been vocally in favour of Britain leaving the EU for the last 35 years. He should not have been in charge of running a campaign for a cause he was passionately opposed to.
This campaign did nothing of note and part of the reason for that is that the Tories were pulling themselves apart and Labour thought they could make political gains by sitting back and letting it happen. It was tepid to the point of vapour, failing to speak up for workers or their rights, failing to hold the racism of the fourth campaign to account. Their complicity and incompetence is as important a factor as everything else and they have brought shame to the Labour party.
Nigel Farage’s Leave Campaign.
Leader: Nigel Farage, a disgusting fascist shit smear and criminally narcissistic prick.
This campaign gleefully invoked the worst aspects of nationalism, racism and nativism in order to win. It was nominally associated with UKIP, a racist far right party that has somehow managed to convince people it isn’t and that its leader’s previous links with the openly fascist National Front and the implicitly fascist BNP were some sort of youthful high jinks. They ran a racist campaign with a heavy focus on the dangers of immigration, introducing a poster so vile and race baiting that some people from the other campaigns were finally forced to offer some quiet mutters of disapproval without committing themselves to taking a stand or risking whatever shredded remains of their careers might be left. At this point in the campaign the fact that nobody from either leave campaign quit or swapped sides tells you that they were either okay with the tone of the campaigns or didn’t understand what was happening. They’re either completely incompetent or okay with implicitly propping up racism, neither of which are remotely acceptable in western society. They cannot be allowed any role in shaping our society.
I know I am often hyperbolic, I know I am often angry, but please understand; this is a worse national crisis than Suez. It is by far the worst national crisis in my lifetime and it’s certainly not going away soon. Forget about a quick and easy solution to this, our political parties have no leadership, it’s unclear where the borders of our state actually are and our society is now so deeply polarised and poisoned that I can’t even put it in to words. It’s frightening, this depth of division is how civil wars start and unless the feckless crowd of bumbling gobshites in Westminster sort themselves out now there are going to be bodies in the streets. This isn’t exaggeration, there’s been an increase in racist attacks, the economy is collapsing, the mood when you step outside your door feels like hidden knives and nobody trusts each other. This is Weimar Republic Britain and there’s no end in sight.
This was an abject, irresponsible failure and the whole thing only happened in the first place because a couple of overgrown schoolboys wanted to one up each other. The scale of their arrogance, the madness of invoking article 50, the refusal of an opposition leader in whom nobody but his weird cult of personality has any faith to resign, the certainty of a general election which is likely to result in an effective rerun of the referendum and the screaming of the tiny minority of racists who revel in this violence mean that we’re stuck in limbo and I don’t even know what shape this country is any more. I haven’t even mentioned the looming threat of resurgent Irish republican violence, which is absolutely going to happen again now no matter what, and that’s partly because our political leaders didn’t either. Can you imagine that? The IRA are, if we invoke article 50 and leave the UK, going to rearm and start bombing England again almost immediately. It was very obvious that this would happen in the event of Brexit and yet nobody in the political establishment brought it up. That includes Jeremy Corbyn, the one person I had thought would at least try to run a respectable campaign.
There’s no way out. Everybody involved in this has been shit except most of the voters on both sides. Today my MP resigned from the front bench and some of Momentum, the cult of personality/supporters of her party leader, posted some of the most disgusting things I’ve ever read about her recent treatment for breast cancer on to her twitter feed. Fuck Momentum, fuck the Tories, fuck Jeremy Corbyn, fuck David Cameron, fuck Michael Gove, fuck Douglas Carswell, fuck Liam Fox and especially fuck UKIP, Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage.