I couldn’t let the past few days of the EU referendum go undiscussed or talked about given it’s overarching implications to all of us so here is my 2 pence on the matter……
The past few days for me have been the most surreal I think I have and will ever experience in my life…..why do you say that you ask?
On the Wednesday 22nd June, I left London with my fiancée and 2 good friends on what has become an annual pilgrimage to Worthy Farm, the home of Glastonbury. We steamed off on our 135mile journey (which should have taken 2hrs 35mins but took in total 10hrs) with myself having a strong belief in the intellectual power of the UK ahead of the EU referendum. Thursday as the ‘unofficial’ day 1 of Glastonbury got underway and I and the squad trudged around the mud of Glastonbury as a nation went to the ballot box to cast either a vote for remain or leave, there was an undercurrent of optimism that I would wake on Friday from the divisive weeks of rhetoric spewed from what was a horrendously poor debate and campaign to a remain vote, however, slim the margin by the electorate. Instead, what I woke to is a leave victory, a nation divided like never before, a power vacuum caused by the resignation of the Prime Minister David ‘Bloody’ Cameron (can you tell I dislike the man?) and the final throngs of the Corbyn Coup D’etat were underway. For all of this carnage that had ensued, I had to focus on trudging through the mud and having the most amount of fun possible whilst outside of the Glastonbury high walls, the United Kingdom was dealing with unprecedented uncertainty as an entire nation asked: So what next? The answer was “we actually don’t have a clue!” then followed the second question, “what about the referendum promises that helped sway people’s votes?” which seemed to be met with a shrug of the shoulders by the second tier of leave campaigners as Michael Gove & Boris Johnsons aka Dumb & Dumber seemed to be AWOL
For millions of people who voted remain, this feels like a very bad dream. Just thinking about the coming years is as exhausting as it is terrifying. Millions of people who voted leave are still delighted with the outcome as they somehow believe they have taken back control of their country and reclaimed sovereignty. Some even declaring it an “Independence Day”; something I find utterly disgusting! Let us be clear the United Kingdom has been a sovereign nation throughout its membership of the EU first and foremost but all civilised nations realised in the latter part of the 20th century is that relinquishing a small and I stress small amount of its sovereignty, to an extent that Mr & Mrs Joe Bloggs walking down the street hasn’t even noticed is the right thing to do for the greater good. We’ve done the same to be part of NATO and The United Nations but this is not questioned. Let me not go off on a tangent though and let’s get back to the facts as I can feel myself getting emotionally charged as I write this piece.
So in the aftermath of a leave vote we as a divided nation are being flung from economic chaos to the legitimisation of xenophobia and racism; from the coming dismantling of the United Kingdom to the stress placed on the Northern Ireland peace process; from the ascent of the Tory hard right to the coming attacks on everything from workers’ rights to the NHS; from the inevitable anger that will follow the leave campaign’s abandonment of their unachievable promises to the inevitable retribution from a European Union that fears for its existence and that suffers from the Brexit aftershocks. Any one of these in isolation would be difficult to deal with as a united nation. They are all coming together, and they are coming fast whilst we’re tearing ourselves apart along class lines, rural vs metropolis lines, generational lines, geographical boundaries and ethnic backgrounds. All because the political elite at war with itself, in my opinion, firstly hijacked working class concerns as a result of their austerity mandate and secondly because particular demagogues had personal ambitions of residing at No. 10 Downing Street.
What we have now is the era that I think will go down in history known as ‘The Great Betrayal’ to coin a phrase from Polly Toynbee The Guardian. After the leaving demagogues told a nation to ignore what they called were ‘fraudulent’ warnings of Project Fear, it has become quite evident these warnings which were forecasted by the constant quoted experts both individuals and organisations with many abbreviations were correct. Now the real ‘Project Fear’ begins as we are all stalked by a recession that threatens loss of jobs; banks decamping; airport, rail and house-building projects suspended; airlines issuing profits warnings; credit card companies reporting a dive in spending; a quarter of Institute of Directors companies freezing recruitment. This means the shrinking of tax receipts and greater strain on the welfare state as more and more people potentially could become dependent on it meaning the revenues available to our public services (the NHS will be the biggest casualty of this!) is greatly reduced meaning the government will have to find a way to close the deficit between its income and expenditure. In a nutshell further austerity! There is no plan to stave off this potential catastrophe to our economy and our fragile nation which in the last few days has become quite evident. Leavers querying why No. 10 had no plan but why on earth should they of had a plan? They wanted to follow common sense and remain in the EU as they saw the fragility of our nation’s recovery from the 2008 crash. It also leads me to believe that these leave demagogues actually didn’t believe they would win a Brexit vote. This was further made evident by Boris ‘Bloody’ Johnson (it’s taking a lot for me not to use stronger expletives when mentioning this jolly apes name) published his wishy washy ‘manifesto’ in the Daily Telegraph on Monday where he asserted the following…..
- “A new better relationship with the EU based on free trade and partnership”
- “Intensifying” cooperation on arts, sciences and universities
- “improving the environment”
- British people will still live and work in the EU and EU citizens here will also be “fully protected”.
- Business will have “access to the single market”
- “Substantial sum of money which we will no longer send to Brussels which could be used on priorities such as the NHS”.
- “One-nation Britain” will “take back democratic control of immigration policy”.
Now let’s be very clear to gain on something all of these are achievable if you are in the room to have the discussion with other member nations and where your voice holds an equal standing but when you’ve decided to relegate yourself to being the ‘noisy neighbour’ across the channel, how do you intend to achieve this? Even me an average Joe can see through this pack of shit! Why a pack a shit you say, well let’s just break this down very simply?
A referendum whose propaganda was built on an apparent gross figure of £350m a week figure which is sent off to the EU on a weekly basis would be following a Brexit be able to be redistributed to the mainly the NHS. By 6:33am on Friday 24th, literally hours after the result had been announced was branded a “mistake” by the facetious Nigel Farage. Why because with as I previously mentioned shrinking revenues in the public purse and potential requirement for greater expenditure all whilst trying to live with your means based on the UK fiscal rules are just unplausible. Whilst trying to ensure that EU subsidies that go to integral industries like our farming are replaced adequately by the government.
Then we come to the elephant in the room “access to the single market”! To have access to the single market requires free movement of labour (free movement of people), yes that’s exactly what we have now. “We can negotiate a new deal I hear you scream?” Who is going to negotiate a deal that has never been tabled a former London Mayor who couldn’t negotiate a 24hr tube service? REALLY!? France & German, as well as several other member states, have already stated they won’t allow the UK to control EU migration because it fundamentally goes against the Three Pillars of the EU and EEA. So Brexitiers have the following options
- Stay in the single market – which would be a direct denial of the democratic voice of the UK
- EU leaders decide to give us a special dispensation on migration – this, in essence, would lead to the disintegration of EU with the rise of the far right in France in Netherlands
- Economy aftershock – hoping that leave voters so frightened by the impending recession that they agree that continued EU migration is a price worth paying for self-preservation of their livelihoods
Ask yourself which if those are most likely to happen and be very honest with yourself when answering?
Persuading either or both of those groups into a great change of heart requires a leader with exceptional negotiating skills, sensitivity and subtlety. Is that Johnson, with his fantasies, approximations and dissimulations? The man who compared the EU to Hitler?
Quote from Polly Toynbee
To save ourselves from the impending doom Post-Brexit Britain needs a broad-based campaign to confront the threats it now faces. Call it Project Hope, call it Save Our Future: I’ll leave that to someone with more imagination. But it must be a campaign that mobilises people behind a just Brexit. It will mobilise people to defend the NHS and workers’ rights from the ascendant Tory right; to confront the xenophobia and racism that has now been given renewed respectability and acceptance; to campaign on the issues – such as the lack of affordable housing and secure jobs – that have fuelled anti-immigration sentiment.
It cannot be left to the demagogue apes and clowns of the right nor can it be left to the lame duck of a leader that is Corbyn. Britain is now confronted by an existential crisis. We cannot succumb to the inevitability of the disasters unfolding. Despair and misery sap energy and nothing more. Time to divert it into something useful and productive – which may just help to ensure a future that is worth living in.