Monday, 11 March 2019

For freedom.


I think Theresa May's withdrawal agreement is flawed. I am not a fan of it. But I think it is best if we ratify it. It will clear there air and start the debate afresh as to the future relationship without having to go through the disaster recover process of no deal with all the unpleasant politics that goes with it. The deal is suboptimal but the worst facets of it cease to be an issue over time. It's tolerable if you look at the bigger picture.

If, though, the deal is not ratified, and we leave without a deal, I can live with that too. I will be angry at the political failure and more so at the people who told endless lies to bring it about. There are days when I look at the Rees-Moggs and steve Bakers and wonder if I am on the wrong side. But then it only takes a glance across to the other side for a quick reminder why this has to be done.

We leavers are supposed to be the thick ones who don't understand how things work. It's true that leave MPs struggle with the basics of trade, but even now the remainers are ranting and wailing about the economic effects of Brexit. The finer principles are completely lost on them. The notion of sacrifice is met with a blank stare. These are people for whom democracy and sovereignty are just empty words.

These are the people who would use their power and influence in the courts to overturn Brexit if they could. These are the people who would do it in a heartbeat and be proud of their accomplishment. They could live with themselves if they got their way and half the country was left voiceless.

If they managed it they would tell any number of self-serving lies; that Brexit was always undeliverable - that they acted in the best interests of democracy and that the good guys have won because Brexit was really a europhobic racist endeavour. Then once they'd done it they would take steps to make sure we never get to vote again. It will be treated as a moment in history where the elites almost lost their footing and they will not be threatened in such a way again.

They've already tried their best to re-write history and have used their media influence to delegitimise the vote. If they overturn Brexit they would ramp up that narrative that the vote was stolen by Russians or some other dark forces. They will concoct virtue any story that gives them the ground cover to carry on ignoring the voices of leaver voters. That is partly why we are here to begin with.

Soon after comes the active censoring of the internet. For the moment it's just oiks like Tommy Robinson, but once they have established the means and the pretext, that will extend to independent bloggers and tweeters. We've already seen parody accounts go missing, and we have seen how one lead remainer in particular will use his money to bring the full violence of the state down on the individual because he was offended by a tweet.

I can find plenty of reasons to dislike Tory Brexiters; the arrogance, the ignorance, the jingoism but at the end of the day we're just dealing with run of the mill Tories. We've survived them before and we still have general elections at our disposal to keep them in check. What we are dealing with where remainers are concerned is a paranoid, vicious authoritarian elite - and the reason they want the EU is because it serves as a backstop for those times when they are voted out of power.

Ultimately, if not defeated, these people are not going to tolerate democracy. They talk about freedoms but only within the parameters defined by them. The basic freedom to choose who governs us is the one freedom they never speak of. Sooner after, they will attack the basic freedom to criticise and lampoon our rulers. In this they will not stand in the way of corporate attempts to take control of the internet and stamp out media competition - not least because it gives them a means of controlling the message too.

What makes these forces dangerous is that they have enlisted the support of people who see themselves as good people. And for the most part, your average well meaning remainer is decent enough - believing all the fluff about peaceful cooperation and and common values. But that same naiverty can be manipulated to do quite monstrous things in support of authoritarian agendas. They believe that silencing ugly opinions makes them go away and they'll applaud the government as it chips away at our freedom of expression.

The EU is a relatively benign entity and most of its evils are done with the best of intentions. But when I look at the British remain movement, I don't see it as EU advocacy, rather I see them as the centurions of the status quo - who are very much threatened by change and angered because they believe they have a divine right to rule by way of having more noble motivations than the ignorant plebs. That's what makes these people dangerous. The greatest evils are always committed by those for whom the ends justify the means.

In respect of that the stakes are far higher than trade or whether the shelves are stocked with seasonal fruits. This is about taking the power back so that we can preserve the most basic of freedoms to which the perks and entitlements of EU membership are a distant second priority. In these terms, the economic costs of Brexit are of far less importance. Trade can be rebuilt, as can influence, but if we do not prevail now then we face a long, slow struggle against our elites which can only get uglier - and as government become more fortified in it s position, the more dangerous it becomes. The costs are then unthinkable.

Our future prosperity is contingent on finding a political and economic resolution that works for all. Brexit is the beginning of that long and difficult process. It is no small undertaking and it comes at a cost to all of us. Some would rather not go through that process because the status quo is sufficient for them. They have the power to ensure things do not change. But if we want peace and liberty for all then change must happen. If they interfere with that process then Britain will be on a path to self-destruction. We must not let them win.

No comments:

Post a comment