It’s important to give a few days between a horrible event occurring and commenting on it. When the referendum result came through, I found myself lashing out at various people I had no business attacking, and promptly banned myself from social media for the weekend, which kind of worked.

So now the dust is settling on the stupidest decision the British public has probably ever made, and there is a complete absence of any political leadership, just when it is surely needed most.

David Cameron, the privileged PR guy who once said he should be PM because he’d “be good at it”, has proven that assertion absolutely false, by calling a referendum simply to iron out internal party issues and allow him to squeak an election win against the odds. Now his arrogance and immaturity has cost him everything. No longer allowed to sail into the sunset with a positive political legacy, he has been forced to resign in disgrace, having lost any credibility by calling the needless referendum, and then losing it. The fact he has vowed to continue until October, despite refusing to deal with Brexit negotiations, is a mark of the hubris and petulance of the man. He will go down as the Prime Minister who lost the ‘Unionist’ from the ‘Conservative and Unionist Party’; as once Article 50 is triggered, Scotland will surely call a second referendum, where they will vote for independence to stay in the EU, while the rest of the Tory Britain will finally finish Thatcher’s dream of killing off any and all things with ‘Union’ in their description.

Plenty of turkeys seemingly voted for Christmas, as parts of Wales and Cornwall, big recipients of EU funds, voted out. Better the devil you know, or, to put it another way, better to be fisted by Westminster than patronisingly patted on the back by Europe.

Other than the obvious lies about NHS funding and immigration reductions gobbed out of loudhalers by the lead Brexiteers, other things irked me about this result: the complete lack of exit strategy, proving more evident by the day; the fact that a number of people I spoke to who voted leave tended to preface it with ‘I don’t really get into politics’; the gloaty sneering about the result as if it was a rugby match, rather than something which would negatively affect generations to come. I’d be a complete berk to suggest everyone who voted Leave was a xenophobe or racist, but it is indisputable that the Leave campaign would not have won without the racist vote.

As I watched the tediously long-winded campaign unwind, I knew one thing for certain: the ‘Leave’ team could not win without pandering to fears about immigration. You never go broke appealing to the lowest common denominator, as the saying goes. Fears about mass immigration are not fabricated or undue, but, as many like me tried to argue, leaving the EU would not reduce immigration in any circumstance. Were we to leave the EU, our economy could not afford to leave the European Economic Area, therefore, like other non-EU members trading in the EEA like Norway and Switzerland, we would have to accept the freedom of movement principle.

If, somehow, we decided to shoot ourselves in both feet and cut our noses off by leaving the EEA, big business would simply import far more non-EU nationals than EU nationals, and lobby for regulations to be relaxed to ‘save the economy’ (and their profit margins). These are the fundamental tenets of the church of Neoliberalism: Capital is God, and must be fluid. Capital potential can be reduced if worker supply is reduced, or, Heaven forbid, big business has to pay to train British natives. Therefore, the lobbyists call the shots. If the Brexiteers don’t like this, join the rest of us who actually get off our arses and try to change it, rather than constantly posting anti-immigrant rhetoric and falling for divide-and-rule every time.

Joining Cameron in the cowardice sweepstakes was Boris Johnson, who shocked everyone by pulling out of the Tory leadership race at the last minute. So two men who manoeuvred specifically to stay PM, and become PM, had both failed miserably, and gutlessly ran away, leaving others to clean up their considerable mess.

Meanwhile, the opposition have decided to react to this vacuum of leadership with the most embarrassing coup attempt since, well, Boris Johnson’s! But that’s a discussion for another time.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s