Saturday, 11 November 2017

Brexit: It's the democracy, stupid


Eurosceptics are political obsessives. If you meet one the chances are it's their primary occupation. We are implacably opposed to the EU and there is little compromise to be had. We will not trade democracy for economic convenience. The freebies and entitlements are no substitute for self-determination.

Every initiative from the EU has one of two functions. Either advancing integration (assuming control), or arresting disintegration. On the former it will never seek consent. On the latter there is no amount of other people's money it will not spend.

Take the Euro. There was never any economic necessity to it. It was entirely an ideological enterprise for the advancement of le grand project. The books were fiddled to bring Greece on board and when that failed member states had to dig deep to ensure it did not fold.

Similarly when freedom of movement is entirely ideological. EU citizenship as a framework to give common rights to all EU citizens is primarily about engineering an EU demos with a view to putting the EU at the centre of political attention, thus establishing hitherto absent legitimacy. Freedom of movement of itself is not so objectionable, but EU citizenship is social engineering.

No consent for this was ever sought and the implications never subject to a public debate. It largely slipped in under the radar and only by the time of EU expansion did it become fully clear what was being done in our name. We were never even asked.

Now you can debate the pros and cons of freedom of movement but the fact remains that, for the EU is it an ideological pillar, and it is prepared to see the UK suffer substantial economic damage in defence of that principle irrespective of the fact Britain is not alone in its discomfort.

This ideological extremism is driven by europhile fanatics. The dynamic is the same throughout. When Juncker said "There can be no democratic choice against the European treaties" he was stating a fact, not an opinion. That is another way of saying that once the EU has the power it will not give it back.

In this the EU plays the long game. The modus operandi is integration by stealth, manufacturing consent by way of capturing institutions over years and decades. More than anything this explains the demographic split in the referendum vote. Academia and youth are more likely to have been subjected to EU propaganda and more likely to have bought into the dogma.

In that respect it is EU membership, not the Brexit vote dividing the country so deeply. Moreover it should not come as surprise to see that the activist remainers tend to be pro-humanitarian aid, pro-renewable energy, believers in AGW and all of the other NGO inspired political fads through which the EU cements is powerbase. For them the means justify the ends and the ends justify the means. The have become credulous, lacking any scepticism at all.

On the other hand we leavers are no anti-cooperation nor are we especially anti-immigration. We just believe in government by consent. This is where remainers have it wrong. They believe that because they consent to the EU that we have government by consent. It doesn't work like that. The fact is we might actually be pro liberal borders provided we are asked and we have adequate unilateral safeguards.

After four decades of stealth integration the British public has decided, albeit by a narrow margin that we wish to break with the status quo, take back control and take the country in a different direction. Having made that choice, we now discover that taking back control is not so easy. There are an elaborate set of rules which force difficult choices. The implicit dilemma is that we can have economic cooperation or we can have democracy but not both.

Since the status quo works very well for the establishment, it would prefer to stay in the EU and it will resist to the last. They scoff at democracy and tell us "sovereignty does not put food on the table". Except of course that the establishment is failing in its obligation to govern in the interests of the public and is doing little to arrest the slow decline or relieve any of the daily pressures we face.

For a long time politics has turned in on itself, living in a parallel universe. We see stagnating wages, a property bubble that shows no sign of correction, and a decaying political culture that simply does not share the values of those they nominally serve. There is no plan to address these issues. The continuity remain campaign just wants things to go back to normal so they can carry on in their cosy bubble of indifference.

In fact, they repeatedly observe that many who voted to leave will by now have shuffled loose of the moral coil, thus there is grounds to nullifying the vote. That is their answer. Rather than remodel the economy to build one that works for all, they intend to deny democracy just long enough for their political opponents to die off. Charming.

Were they able to the make the case that continued EU membership were likely to remedy the current economic stagnation then perhaps they would have won the referendum. But when we cast our eye over politics as we find it we see an insular and self-absorbed establishment, ever estranged from the public, still intent on imposing its own warped value system on the rest of us.

The question then becomes one of whether we can afford the luxury of not upsetting the status quo. In this I cast my mind back to the 2008 and the financial crisis which brought the entire global monetary system to the brink of oblivion. What we needed to see was some radical policy-making to ease the pressure and get the economy back on track.

Yet what did we see? The 2008 Energy Act committing billions in spending largely toward a a number of EU objectives piling energy costs on industry and substantially adding to the price of heating for the less well off. There is no upper limit to what they will spend in the service of their vanity. Virtue signalling has become the entire basis of our energy and foreign policy while we continue to defer essential reforms to services such as the NHS, choking under the dead hand of socialist dogma.

We can no longer afford the fad driven politics of the EU and the establishment they have so successfully captured. The relatively comfortable status quo is but a cycle of managed decline. It would be entirely convenient not to rock the boat. That would be the safe and easy thing to do. But the institutionalised negligence and incompetence of our political class most definitely has future consequences.

I take the view that nothing short of a radical shock to the system will drag our politicians out of their self-indulgent navel gazing. Even now as we coast toward a cliff edge Brexit they are still trapped in the pre-referendum paradigm unable to usefully influence the proceedings and easily distracted by trivia. Our politics as we have known it is no longer fit for purpose. It cannot survive nor does it deserve to. Britain needs a reboot.

In this, the remainers can't see the woods for the trees. They point to the dysfunction "unleashed" by Brexit as evidence that Brexit of itself is bad. But this is the dysfunction that has been festering for two decades under a well crafted and stage-managed veneer of competence.

Similarly they point to the bloating of the civil service to manage this task, making reference to the massive workload where just about every piece of legislation comes under the spotlight. Well,kids, that is kinda the point. This is a complete system audit and a total revamp of politics that will necessarily have to prune out the wastrels and the pretenders.

The instability it has introduced is probably here for the long haul. We must tolerate a dysfunctional government for the time being and likely another one headed by Corbyn. Neither will enjoy the backing of the public and both will be manifestly incompetent. This is the chaotic space in which, from an unexpected corner, a new political movement will emerge. Why? Because it always does.

From here we can expect some turbulent political times with unions reasserting themselves, and local politics livening up and making demands of its own. That will be the remedy that Brexit brings because it is only through a re-engaged public asserting its own authority over politicians can we expect to see a sea change in how we are governed.

As EU members we passively accept directives and rules, largely without scrutiny and then turn our increasingly quangoified ministries over to implementing that technocratic agenda. This is not democracy. It's barely even politics. It's managerialism while our Westminster wastrels occupy themselves with bicycle shed issues. We've forgotten what actual politics even looks like.

What we can also expect is some years of economic turbulence, disrupting incumbents, toppling monopolies and the release of zombie capital. That is what will bring about the foundations of a fertile economy. Ultimately a thriving economy is one where there is movement of capital in the real economy. In the present settlement the haves keep what they have and the gap widens from the have nots.

I have no crystal ball. I cannot say how this will all transpire. I do not no what form the new political settlement will take or when it will arrive. What I do know it s that it will profoundly impact on the culture and the culture of politics and will bring about demands for meaningful reform where the causal indifference and indolence of our political class will no longer be tolerated.

I have never made claims that Brexit of itself will deliver sunlit uplands, I have only ever said that it starts a process of renewal, allowing us to reinvent culturally, politically and economically. It will come at great cost. It will touch the lives of everybody in the UK. It is, however, the only chance we will get in our lifetimes to substantially reform the country. It is a window of opportunity.

In this it really comes down to a choice as to whether you believe in the utopian fantasies of europhiles or whether you believe in the power of democracy. I take the view that we cannot hope to kick start the economy until we have resolved the deep seated political decay - and we cannot hope to unite the country until we have removed the pernicious influence of that antidemocratic entity in Brussels.

Should our establishment decide to overturn the verdict of the referendum they will have elected to extend their incumbency whereupon the supreme authority of the EU will be preserved with no prospect of meaningful reform. That may dodge the bullet of uncertainty but it does nothing to address the sentiment behind the rejection of the status quo - and while they remain the incumbents, it will not take very long for that resentment to reassert itself.

By that point the message will be read loud and clear - that our rulers only respect the votes they like and that voting cannot get rid of the incumbents. In one act they will attack the very foundation of democracy - for which, eventually, there will be consequences far worse than anything Brexit may do.

To say that we should remain and reform at the European and domestic level is to ignore the last two decades, ignoring the fact that neither establishment wants to reform. You cannot expect the people who are the problem to resolve the problem - and if votes cannot remove them then, inevitably, bullets will.

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