Three months ago we voted for Brexit. The day after I wrote this on “We’re more than a Star on Someone else’s Flag” the Facebook page I launched to support Brexit.
“Thank you all for reading this page over the past weeks. I started it because I loved the country and wanted us become independent again, free from the threat of being absorbed into the United States of Europe. We have succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. I’ve never been prouder of this country and its people than I am today.”
That summed up my feelings then and it sums up my feelings now. There is no doubt that the best and most courageous of our people voted to leave the EU. Let us look back briefly at the campaign: we were abused, told we were immoral, or quitters. Companies, employers and cooperatives attempted to intimidate us. The government indulged in a propaganda campaign of which Dr Goebbels would be proud. Our own Prime Minister stood next to a foreign head of state (Barack Obama) whilst he threatened the British people. Not even Neville Chamberlain did that. One quotation echoed in my mind throughout most of the campaign. It was:
“We’re not easily frightened. Also we know how hard it is for an army to cross the Channel. The last little Corporal who tried came a cropper. So don’t threaten or dictate to us until you’re marching up Whitehall! And even then we won’t listen!” (Ralph Richardson in that wonderful film the Battle of Britain)
I’m proud to say we didn’t listen, and in the same choice we faced in 1940, we chose Churchill ahead of Halifax. All these feelings have been confirmed since the result became clear on the 24th June. Some people honourably supported “Remain”, I can never agree with them, I think they were wrong and ill-informed about the nature of the EU, but I can respect their position. I cannot respect those who refuse to respect the result of the referendum. Let me clarify what I mean by that. If ‘Vote Leave’ had lost my attitude would have been;
“Yes we’ve lost, but no democratic decision is irrevocable. What we must do is go home, lick our wounds, and work to build a campaign that will allow us to win next time. However far in the future ‘next time’ will be.”
That’s what we did in 1975. It was the first political campaign I fought. Instead of that approach we’ve been treated to the political equivalent of Violet Elizabeth Bott from the “Just William” books who yowled “I’ll scweam and scweam and make mythelf thick”. Remainians have called for a re-run of the referendum because those who voted leave were, ‘too old’, ‘too thick’, or ‘too poor’. A long time ago I studied reasons given for opposing Disraeli’s Second Reform Act of 1867, which first gave a significant proportion of the Working Class the vote. They were exactly the same reasons ‘remainians’ give today for wanting to re-run the referendum. I felt I’d jumped into a Tardis and gone back to John Stuart Mill’s study in 1867. Mill argued that graduates and well educated should have more votes than people who just happened to be house holders. Now, I admire John Stuart Mill. After over 150 years his ‘harm principle’ still remains the best way to delineate the justified restrictions on individual freedom. But he was completely, unequivocally wrong in his belief that the lower orders were less entitled to political influence than those who had been educated to appreciate it. I’ve fought just about every election campaign since 1975 for the Conservatives, but I’ve somehow managed to avoid blaming the electorate for our defeats in several of them. Once you start blaming people for voting against you, you are seriously screwed. If people don’t vote for you, you are to blame, period.
Instead of blaming themselves, we’ve been treated to some appalling intellectual snobbery from radical remainaics. The following have been gleaned from twitter and Facebook:
“We cannot appease the worthless animals who think they voted to get the wogs out, so why bother. Throw them under a bus.”
“You know if you voted for Brexit, I simply don’t care what you think. I hold you in complete contempt.”
“I’m ashamed to be English this morning” (ignoring the fact a majority of Welsh and 40% of Scots also voted to leave)
“If you voted for Brexit you voted with the brain-dead mongs.”
“Brexit is just collateral damage for the contempt Blair (quite reasonably, they’re scum) showed towards his own voters.”
Just a reminder, they’re talking about 17.4 million people here.
This is the attitude of the British elite to the people who vote for them, buy their newspapers and largely pay their wages, (most of the worst examples I’ve encountered work in the public sector or the media). Certain commentators are still hoping to get the vote overturned. It won’t happen. The decision is made, Article 50 will be moved early next year and we can look forward to a brighter future, in control of our borders, free from the Federalist ratchet and being sucked into Eurozone bail outs. That’s the future we all worked for, and if radical remainers don’t like it, then I’m sure they’ll be welcome in the Dordogne or Tuscany. We’re a fair minded people. In exchange for the Guardian readers we’ll be exporting, it’s only fair we give special consideration those European migrants who can make a contribution to our society. We won the battle for our own future. Now we have to make it work and I have no doubt whatsoever that we will, irrespective of the type of Brexit that we adopt.
The debate now seems to be centering on whether we make a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ Brexit. ‘Hard’ Brexit is defined as leaving the single market and soft ‘Brexit’ defined as staying in the single market, some sort of Norway plus option, the plus, being control of free movement of people. For me the issue was always constitutional. What mattered was breaking the ratchet of European functional integration and with it Britain’s inevitable absorption into a United States of Europe. Once that ratchet was broken it made sense to make the transition as slow and painless as possible. Joining the European Economic Area seemed to be a good way to do that providing it was combined with an emergency brake on migration. However, now I’m not so sure. The EEA would still work as a sensible half way house while we re-orientate our trade away from a European Economy which is in relative decline compared to the rest of the world, and towards more vibrant global markets, however, I don’t believe we can trust any government, in which the pro-EU political elites still dominate, to deliver this sensible policy. They won’t use EEA membership as an evolutionary approach to disengagement from the EU, instead, they’ll use it as means to avoid Brexit by the back door. Moreover, given the number of positive investment decisions we’ve seen in the past weeks from companies like Honda, ‘hard’ Brexit, might not be so hard after all. For these reasons, I think, reluctantly we have to make a clean break. It is in the economic interests of EU countries to deal fairly with us. If they do not, it will confirm what Brexiteers have been saying from day one, that is, that the EU is an imperialistic project, designed to subjugate the nation states of Europe by economic means.
The other big political news has been the state of the Labour Party. The issues around Brexit and the issues around Corbyn’s victory are very similar. The people who voted for Jeremy Corbyn in their droves are exactly the same people who have whined loudest about Brexit. They live in a bubble divorced from the rest of the community. They do not know or understand why people vote Conservative or why they voted for Brexit, so demonstrating how completely out of touch they are with most of the British electorate, however, before I go on to the demise of the Labour Party (t’would take a heart of stone not to laugh) I’ll briefly look at the Tories.
I’m pretty hostile to the Conservative Party these days. The Conservatives In campaign was a joke that offended the Party’s most loyal supporters and activists and demonstrated that George Osborne and David Cameron had zero understanding of the country they governed. I thought long and hard about resigning completely over the last weekend of the campaign. Only two things prevented that course of action, friends in our local branch and the belief that by staying in I could do everything in my power to prevent George Osborne becoming Conservative Party Leader. As long as he’s an MP, and our local branch is active, I won’t resign from the Conservative Party, but I have no enthusiasm whatsoever for type of career politicians who now represent the Party in Westminster. We need local candidates, from outside the political bubble, preferably people who have had proper jobs and lives before politics. We do not need people from the metropolitan elite who seem to have no love or understanding for the courage, tenacity and culture of the best of the British people who voted leave. Having said that, Theresa May is clearly highly competent and that is what we’re going to need over the next 10 years or so (at least) while we establish our country’s new course after Brexit.
Now back to Labour, and Lord knows they’ve provided me with endless entertainment this summer. I cannot understand how any sentient being who wants a Labour government can vote for Jeremy Corbyn. Tories for Corbyn has been great fun. It cost me £25.00 to register Finn Sheridan as a Labour Party supporter: friends have also registered Parson Russell Terriers, (yes that’s you Pip) Springer Spaniels (well done Rocky) and even a dead Border Collie (RIP Jess). But, in a way, we’ve all just been having a cheap laugh at Labour’s expense, even without Finn, Pip, Rocky and Jess, Corbyn would still have won. Yet, he cannot win a General Election, it is too risky, too much a leap in the dark. His support for the IRA is morally repugnant, as is his refusal to unequivocally condemn the 9/11 attacks, but he still retains support amongst those equally divorced from the reality based community. The question is why?
The scourge of British politics is super smooth professional politicians. Corbyn, although he is an ethically bankrupt, incompetent, hypocritical, terrorist supporting traitor, is at least unspun, and that is his appeal; if you are prepared to ignore his anti-semitism, his support for IRA butchers and his apologies for both Islamism and the human rights abuses of President Putin. He also has a certain appeal amongst those who have been indoctrinated to believe the west is completely evil and Britain has never emerged from the early capitalist Dickensian conditions of the 19th century. Half a million people or so believe this. But more people than that also believe in chem trails, UFO’s, Big Foot, and that the moon landings never happened. In times gone by most people knew people of other political beliefs, by and large they rubbed along quite well, socialists knew Tories and Liberals who were decent people and vice versa. What’s more there was a greater tolerance around then. Just because you voted for another party did not mean you were the devil incarnate. That began to change with the post war Labour government and in particular Nye Bevan. Who said: “No amount of cajolery, and no attempts at ethical or social seduction, can eradicate from my heart a deep burning hatred for the Tory Party. So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin.”
Mercifully, for most of the post war period this was a minority view within left wing circles. It gained more widespread currency during the Thatcher years because that what was when Britain became far more socially segregated and the media, dominated by cultural Marxists began its work persuading people that Tories weren’t just wrong they were evil. One of my closest friends is on the left, she knows I’m to the right of Attilla the Hun, but she happily put up on her Facebook page a photographic meme with a mother saying to a child; “If you don’t stop lying, you will grow up to be a Conservative.” No one else in her circle of friends objected, because she didn’t know any other Conservatives to object. The point is people now live in real and virtual bubbles and rarely mix with people who disagree with them. This is true in real life, it is even more true online. So if someone believes in a nutty idea like chem trails or UFOs, their beliefs are reinforced by other nut jobs on Facebook and Twitter who also believe in chem trails and UFOs.
This is exactly how the Corbyn cult has managed to hijack the Labour Party, any attempt to argue with a Corbynista comes up with standard replies, “it’s the media’s fault.” No Labour Party Leader has ever had the support of the media, but they’ve all done better than Corbyn. “We were in the lead in the polls til the Shadow Cabinet Coup.” You were in the lead in two polls whilst the Conservative Party was leaderless, Gove was stabbing Boris in the back and Andrea Leadsom was in the leadership race. You can’t argue with stupid. So I’ve given up trying. I’m just grateful that Labour is in the complete Horlicks it’s in. I’m not a fan of government. Politics is a lousy way to get anything done because ultimately it always depends on compulsion and expropriation. Adam Smith was right when he said “the government that governs best is the government that governs least.” For all their faults, the Conservatives will always govern less than any alternative. They still govern and meddle far too much for my taste, but they are still the least worst option, because they will always do less damage to the delicate fabric of society than meddling socialists.
So basically, I’m rather pleased with the current state of play in British Politics. We’re on our way out of the EU. Whether we adopt a hard or soft Brexit the ratchet of further integration into a United States of Europe is broken. Thanks to the Corbynista cult, we’re virtually guaranteed at least another 9 years of Conservative rule (probably far more). All in all, so far, 2016 has been a good year for British politics.