• A Frenzy of Foot-stamping Fantasy

    So far, we have had a petition for a second referendum and a campaign for a retrospective change of the rules so as to require a larger majority.  We have had the promise of a legal challenge to the validity of the process and of the decision and of any other aspect of the referendum that can be dreamt up, and the threat of a prosecution for criminal conspiracy of those who advised a vote to leave.  We have had proposals that Scotland and Northern Ireland and the new city-state of London should go it alone and re-join the EU on their own.  We have had offers of German citizenship to disappointed Remainers.  We have even had suggestions that the vote should be withdrawn from that older generation whose historic contribution to the development of Europe, as well as much else, is now apparently regarded as worthless.

    We have had a response, in other words, that is best characterised as a frenzy of furious, foot-stamping fantasy from those who seem to have no understanding of arithmetic or regard for the majority of their fellow-citizens  – so much for a mature democracy.

    So little did the minority understand the issues at stake that they could not grasp that the vote was not about whether or not they could continue to share in and contribute to the glories of European civilisation but was rather as to what price had to be paid in terms of jobs, houses, schools and hospital beds by millions of their less fortunate compatriots for the strictly economic arrangement that was all that was on offer.

    So, where to from here?  The cheer-leaders for the foot-stamping – as they did throughout the referendum campaign – will continue to cry doom and destruction.  There will be nothing – from the state of one’s in-growing toenails to the result of the 4.30 on Saturday – that is not attributable to Brexit.

    But there are already signs of a more sensible agenda emerging over the next year or so. Stock markets have already bounced back quickly.  The fall in the pound, if we are lucky, may take longer to reverse; unfashionable as it is to say so, a lower pound could provide just the kick-start the economy needs.

    The government has already stated its preference for an orderly disengagement, to run alongside some serious thinking on both sides as to the kind of arrangement that would best suit each of them.  It was always ridiculous to imagine, as the Remain campaign kept demanding, that either negotiating party would reveal its hand in advance.  There is no reason why a sensible negotiation should not – like  most negotiations – give both sides most of what they want, and that will be just as true of the EU, once they have got over their initial shock and pique, as of the UK.  For the UK, the recovery of the powers of self-government offers every hope of a better economic performance and a better integrated society.

    Surprisingly, the Tory party, whose travails provided the trigger for the referendum, is providing an object lesson in calmness and stability.  The pursuit of power is, after all, a remarkably unifying force.  Those who cried, and still cry, havoc could do worse than look to the Tories, and their leadership election, as an example of that mature democracy whose supposed demise they are so keen to lament.  If only we could say the same about Labour!

    But even Labour is true to form, Brexit or not.  Those gunning for Jeremy Corbyn were doing so before the referendum and will continue to so after it.  The post-Brexit attempt to dislodge him is purely opportunistic; his supposed deficiencies as an anti-Brexit campaigner have been pressed into service but any other weapon would do.

    If Labour has any lesson to learn from the referendum campaign, it is that the party is gravely damaged by the schism that has now unmistakably widened between working people in the North and the Midlands on the one hand and the middle–class, self-proclaimed intelligentsia of London and Roseland on the other.  It does not help to heal that division when one side expresses, and continues still to express, fury and disdain at the failure of the other to do what their supposed betters told them to do in the referendum.

    In terms of what might have been, it is tantalising to ponder what might have been the outcome if Corbyn had not misguidedly and unsuccessfully attempted to placate his critics but had instead, while leaving it to each individual voter to decide, stood by his own convictions and placed himself at the head of what turned out to be the winning side.  How much stronger would his and Labour’s position have been, how much greater would have been Tory disarray, and how much better-balanced would have been the debate – and how much larger would have been the vote to leave!

    Bryan Gould

    6 July 2016

     

     

     

6 Comments

  1. Dean says: July 6, 2016 at 7:35 amReply

    Well said, if only JC had stuck to his long held beliefs.
    He is now crying “democracy” but was giving it away a few weeks ago…How anyone can support this man is beyond me…he wants more migrants,same racist EU policy not a fair immigration policy

  2. Dawn Connor says: July 6, 2016 at 7:46 amReply

    How is this country going to survive with Theresa May becoming MP, she is for everything that the people who voted out are for. There should be a brexit member involved in this, but unfortunately even the two who are now out of the running have gone over to Theresa May, when on seeing how they voted out should have continued to support brexit and Andrea Leadsom. Once again the government and leftie luvvies are trampling all over the marjority of people in this country, who dared to vote out of the EU for a better future and for getting the control of our county, our laws, our values and our culture back.

  3. Naani Abercrombie says: July 6, 2016 at 8:25 amReply

    Keep em coming Bryan. A voice of hope and reason amongst a sea of foot stamping and toy throwing indeed.

    Perhaps the greatest dis-ease these last few days has revealed is the obvious Stockholm Syndrome amongst those who claim to be liberal and left. Proving again only to those who can see, it seems, how necessary an alternative politick to the left right dichotomy is for the future of, dare i call it, civilisation.

    Nga mihi.

  4. mikesh says: July 6, 2016 at 7:00 pmReply

    Jeremy Corbyn’s position seemed to be that Britain should remain in and reform the EU from within. This seemed to be the position of Yannis Varoufakis, former finance spokesman for Greece’s Syriza party, who also campaigned for the “remain” cause. This always seemed to me a fororn hope, and of course it was hardly an endorsement of the status quo.

  5. Brian says: July 7, 2016 at 11:55 pmReply

    One, cannot help but get the impression that Corbyn was part of the psche-op campaign.Certainly by not following his long history of skepticism about the E U.
    The British Labour party a full of traitors on multiply levels and need to be dispatch forthwith. One should not forget the history of the E U.Set up by CIA to better control Europe. Nato as an uber aggressive military force that resembles the Waffen SS thinks it can start a war with Russia and win. Meanwhile the british military is being hollowed out for a new EU army. There is multiply levels mass deception going on which leds one to believe that UK won’t be leaving the EU anytime soon.

  6. Gerry says: July 9, 2016 at 8:35 pmReply

    While agreeing that the footstamping is achieving little, I cannot be persuaded that the Brexit process will not, has not, already done considerable damage both to the real economy and to the social fabric of the country. And the less said about the upsurge in racial incidents the better!
    Once we sort ourselves out sufficiently to start negotiating with the EU I suspect a reasonable compromise deal will be done. We will continue to have some restricted access to the benefits of the single market, but will still contribute financially and will accept necessary immigration. Indeed parts of our economy could not function (NHS,Agiculture,Builders,Care ) without this. We could perhaps cut out the hand car wash merchants and some bar staff, opening these latter to the Antipodeans as of yore. Immigration wont go down much and there will be no financial dividend. Many Northern Remainers will feel cheated.
    My major concern though is the social schism, developing through recent decades,but laid bare during the campaign. Unless this can be tackled with urgency and clear effect, the country I hope to continue to be proud of, will be lost for good.
    Corbyn may have the aims and some worthwhile policies, but he doesnt have the money. We can only rebalance society by concentrating the fruits of growth on those left behind. Averaging down is a political and social impossibility.
    You argue that this,presumably through industrial regeneration, will be driven by a lower exchange rate, which you welcome. I somehow doubt it and recent evidence is not encouraging. The old mass employers are not coming back to Tyneside, while outside the EU, Nissan, pulled by its Renault partners will run down.
    The EU will not implode. As usual they will find a series of messy compromises to meet the differing needs of their various members. Only we will throw our toys out of the pram.
    Whatever the final outcome,even if we never activate Article 50, immense economic damage will have been done, wealth that could have been used to support those in need, will have been lost for ever. Yet no one will be satisfied.
    What’s not to like.