Brexit is Divisive – And All The Better For It
Guest post by Niall McRae, UK the Bruges Group
‘Politics is broken’, boomed the Times, after a series of defections from both Tory and Labour parties here in the UK.
MP Angela Smith, one of the Labour breakaways, said that ‘the level of alienation from the political process is at a record high’.
Fair point, but false analysis.
Opinion polls indeed show increasing distrust of our parliamentarians, but arguably the public is more politically engaged now than for many decades.
This dissatisfaction is a vehicle for change, but the defectors’ prospectus is nothing but the status quo with a freshly laundered uniform.
Hear someone complaining about the divisiveness of Brexit, and you are probably listening to a Remainer.
Talk of dark times and a dire future is unlikely to be uttered by those who voted for freedom from the EU.
To be fair, if Leave had lost narrowly there would be dismay and rancour towards those who voted against British sovereignty in favour of a foreign power, and unrelenting opposition to federalist encroachment into every walk of life.
Yet the behavior of ardent Remainers who refuse to accept the referendum result is not merely a reaction to being wrenched from their utopian Europe.
The Brexit vote is felt as a deep stabbing wound to their sense of being, and the attacker is still lurking.
Peruse the emotional outpourings in the Guardian and the New European, and you will find otherwise highly functioning individuals in a state of angst (‘Brexit anxiety disorder’ is not a slur by Leavers, but a badge worn by devastated Remainers).
What a stupid idea it was of David Cameron to let the great unwashed decide on our future.
Rather than continuing its trajectory to a multicultural, inclusive and tolerant society, Britain has shown its underbelly of backwardness and bigotry.
Yet uncompromising Remainers have revealed their own misanthropy through blatant ageism, inverse racism and – in particular, class snobbery.
Until June 2016 the oiks were mollified on a diet of reality television shows, celebrity gossip, football, fast food, booze, flutters at the bookies and Facebook: the opiates of the masses.
Politics was too boring for them, too complicated for their small minds, and so the educated metropolitan middle class could get on with running the country.
Politicians burnished their social justice credentials, while feathering their nests with parliamentary expenses.
This was the meritocracy that originator of the term Michael Young warned against, only to be promoted by Tony Blair.
Fifty per cent of school–leavers would go to university, not to engage in dialectical reasoning but to be enlightened by progressive ideology and to reinforce the ranks of a technocratic administration.
To contain any tensions in society, the ruling class has used the tactic of displacement.
The problems of globalism are quite obvious, as in the shifting of manufacturing jobs abroad for cheaper labor, and uncontrolled immigration causing suppression of wages, overcrowded schools, rapid demographic change and alien cultural norms.
But instead of debating these life-changing developments, polite society has been trained to change the subject.
Compare the media splash on a government minister allegedly touching a woman’s knee at a dinner party twenty years ago to coverage of the systematic sexual abuse of girls in countless towns and cities throughout England by Pakistani-heritage gangs.
Anyone who dares to speak out on the latter is ostracized, or worse.
As the professional middle class makes the law, uncouth working-class blokes venting their spleens at a football match risk arrest for ‘hate crime’.
Progressive values rule the roost, for now.
But across Europe a wave of populism is threatening to sweep away an arrogant political class that too often puts its own people last.
In a classic of the genre, Angela Merkel foisted on Germans a million mostly young male migrants in one year, leading to rampant sex crime and numerous acts of terror in once tranquil cities.
When the Times interviewed Shamima Begum, a teenager from London who had gone to Syria to join the barbaric Islamic State, the sympathetic front-page headline ‘Bring me home’ was too much even for many liberal subscribers.
It sparked a huge petition against her return, but this fanatical young woman has bleeding hearts on her side.
For Guardian readers, the needs of an unrepentant Jihadist who hates Britain trump safety, and Begum is regarded as a victim.
Instead of being imprisoned for terrorist offences, it is more likely that she’d get a plush flat and police protection.
From the perspective of the metropolitan elite, law-abiding citizens who think that Islamic State recruits should be kept out are unsophisticated and suspected of racist motives.
That canard of ‘British values’ is used against them.
Set by the same class that is determined to stay in the EU, these vacuous values are an expression of the moral superiority of the intelligentsia, and effectively they are a code of conduct imposed on lesser mortals.
When Tory defector Heidi Allen stated: ‘we’re just normal people, with values’, the comma is significant.
Self-righteous politicians can tell us how to behave, because they have higher virtue.
Brexit, however, has shown that such discipline isn’t working any more.
Blatantly, the public sees the political and cultural establishment using every lever of influence to defy the largest mandate in British political history.
Politicians tried to redefine a referendum of promised implementation as ‘advisory’, distorting Burkean ideals to claim that Britain is a representative democracy in which politicians know better than their electors.
The portrayal of Leave voters as dullards swayed by lies has led to some members of the intelligentsia, seeking changes to the franchise (some suggesting that votes by the uneducated should count for less). All of this reinforces the reason for the referendum result.
The perpetually pro-EU messages of the BBC are taken with a large pinch of salt. ‘
People’s Vote’ campaigners bleat about Vote Leave breaking the law, but quite evidently the Electoral Commission is a Remain rear-guard.
Similarly, when the Charity Commission reprimands a think tank for political bias after publishing a positive report on Britain’s economic prospects outside the EU, while doing nothing about anti-Brexit scaremongering by other bodies under its jurisdiction, double standards are obvious.
Ordinary people are wise to the Leveson report into newspapers and current efforts to regulate ‘fake news’ and ‘hate speech’ on the Internet as thinly disguised state censorship.
Whatever fudge is passed in Parliament for a tortuous withdrawal from the EU, a beachhead has been established.
Brexit is a process, not just an outcome.
It was more than antipathy to the bureaucratic and authoritarian EU; it was the masses voting against the patronising middle-class establishment.
Great swaths of the electorate have been reactivated.
The revolutionary force started by Brexit is as transformational as the struggle for labor rights and suffrage in the early-twentieth century.
Society did not fall apart when women and the working class got the vote, or when the poor were granted holidays and pensions (ironically, we celebrated the centenary of universal suffrage, the working class was again being disenfranchised by the rich and powerful).
The classless society promoted by New Labour was a façade, enabling Hampstead progressives to take the place of genuine local representatives in working-class areas (e.g., Ed Miliband in Doncaster).
Politicians’ disdain for the electorate has been well and truly exposed by the EU referendum and aftermath.
How can society heal?
The medicine will taste foul to the privileged middle classes. To begin, we must sever from the EU and make the Remain campaign redundant.
In the short term, the easiest to change are the political parties, through the ballot box and locally decided deselection of MPs who betrayed their constituents.
This process is aided by deluded Labour Blairites and Cameronian Tories forming a new party, hoping to replicate the instant success of Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche movement but ignoring the unprecedented conflict it has caused.
More difficult to tackle are the pervasive Europhilia and the broader progressive ideology that has taken hold of every institution from schools and universities to the police.
While most teachers and police officers are good people motivated by public service, their leaders are attuned to the liberal globalist agenda of Common Purpose.
However, such is the success of Gramsci’s ‘March through the institutions’ that the lower professional ranks are loaded with ‘Can’t get by without EU’ placard-wielders.
Three times I have witnessed primary school teachers on an outing at Westminster encouraging the kids to chant pro-EU slogans (Leave protestors tell me this is a regular occurrence).
Clearing the Augean stables might take a long time.
For decades voting by the lower social classes was declining, due to politicians failing to do what they promised, and homogenization of the parties to a bland central ground.
Parliament must remember that it is subservient to the people, not the other way around.
The government petitions website is a useful asset, mapping the distribution of petitioners (showing stark contrast between petitions for and against Brexit, with the former spread across the country and the latter concentrated in the progressive enclaves of Cambridge, Oxford and Brighton).
This is perhaps a clearer window to how people think than the controlled mechanism of opinion polls.
However, the outcome of the largest petitions (100000+) needs more than a committee room debate.
The establishment fears referenda, but it is not democracy to place important decisions out of bounds, as currently done.
In the quest to revive nationhood, democracy and freedom of speech, brainwashed millennials might seem a lost cause.
In the recent schoolchildren’s green protest, I watched a group of middle-class teenagers on Waterloo Bridge, screaming for ‘change’, while also chanting for the veteran Jeremy Corbyn.
One homemade poster betrayed the warped sense of entitlement emanating from liberal-leftist child-centred learning: ‘It’s our future, not yours’.
Yet there is hope.
Buds of a conservative vanguard are appearing in the upcoming youth, who are fed up of virtue signalling, po-faced censorship and shaming of their own country.
Reconciliation following the Brexit shock depends on both sides, but the onus of change is on the privileged and powerful middle class, which must reappraise its attitude to the land and its laborers beyond London.
Presently the establishment shows little sign of relenting, and so we are nearing a tipping point.
As the ruling class clings to power it will resort to the authoritarian methods of despots down the centuries, but in so doing will abandon the Enlightenment values on which its fiefdom was originally built.