Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Brexit: the humbling remainers deserve

I'm sure if I check back through this blog I will find at the beginning of all this I was ambivalent about freedom of movement, and at one time have described it as one of the few good things about the EU. It is not without its merits. I hoped to persuade fellow leavers that we should retain a variant of it. Not so much recently though. Recently I've taken a much harder line.

It was remainers who persuaded me that it must end. How often have we seen Gary Lineker or some other numbnuts celeb insincerely musing "Why, just why would anyone want to end their own freedom of movement?". You know the shtick as well as I can. They "literally can't think of *any* reason".

That right there is either an intellectual and moral deficiency. I can think of of several problems with freedom of movement. Problems that do not necessarily affect me but I can certainly empathise with those who are impacted in a negative way. As much as anything it changes the fabric of our society, rewriting the social underpinnings. This is something we were never asked about.

But there's a more philosophical question here. Freedom of movement and all those fabled workers rights come as part of a package. The single market. It is not about human freedoms and protections. The single market exists primarily for the convenience of business in moving goods, capital and services and if they want the freedom of these then they need workers to have no bureaucratic impediments. The workers rights, such as they are, are not there to safeguard people, rather they are there to create a homogeneous system of rules throughout so that workers become infinitely disposable commodities.

In respect of that, every power to legislate along these lines is a power removed from national unions, governments and individuals. Once a framework is in place it cannot be meaningfully reformed or repealed. Unions then become inert. As the system matures, governance becomes ever more remote form the people and their ability to influence it is diminished. And though the national barriers are gradually removed utilisation is asymmetric for Brits for what should be obvious reasons.

I could go on about this at length and over the course of this blog site I probably have, encompassing the "somewhere versus nowhere" debate along with a number of flanking issues. Through the course of my own internal debate I might have concluded that on balance it's something we should keep, albeit a reformed version of it, but at the same time could easily see why others would prioritise ending it as soon as possible.

Not so remainers though. There is zero attempt to comprehend the issues. They say so publicly. They're even proud of that ignorance as they parade it for all to see. It's a badge of virtue. And that tells me these people are ultimately so selfish that they cannot for a nanosecond entertain that the conveniences they enjoy may be inconvenient to others. So what if the cheap goods and bewildering array of services available are based on exploitation? So what if it's creating yet another generation of left behind young working class people who can't compete with an influx of grammar educated Poles? Who cares if its robbing Eastern Europe of its vitality? Who cares if we've created a single market in organised crime?

Ultimately remainers can only think of Brexit in terms of how it immediately affects them be it their research grant, their convenience of travel and the subsequent perks it affords them. Rather than think about the issues or even making an attempt to understand the system and public attitudes to it, remainers simply assert that the only possible reason anyone could object to it is xenophobia and racism. Not only does that allow them to disengage from the substance of the argument, it also permits them to feel good about it. Superior even.

That is ultimately the reason why remain lost and why the leave movement was able to build momentum in the first place. This is something over which the establishment had power over and as much as they couldn't get meaningful reform, they wouldn't even ask for it. They didn't even ask if we wanted it in the first place and made damn sure we didn't get a say in it because they knew what the answer would be.

If then we have an establishment that does as it pleases and there is no meaningful way for the public to stop them, and the establishment further binds us by handing more power to Brussels then as much as we cannot say the EU is a democracy, Britain isn't either.

Further to this successive governments went out of their way to ensure that no debate even happened. Remainers say Brexit has "emboldened racists" but what they actually mean is that it has given ordinary people the confidence that they are not in the minority in saying that immigration should be controlled, and having found wider agreement, having built up momentum, it's no longer a taboo to talk openly about Pakistani rape gangs. At one time that would be a career destroyer. In parts of academia it still is.

Of course there are those who go too far and every clearly are racist but that didn't appear out of nowhere. That's been allowed to fester precisely because those with the power to act were too cowardly to even talk about it. Yet again the working class were told to shut up and endure it. Had the authorities acted when they knew what was happening there would never have been an EDL and Tommy Robinson would be talking to a handful of people in the backwaters of Youtube somewhere.

But there's another reason this scandal didn't really float to the surface. It doesn't directly affect policy makers in London think tanks, it doesn't affect Guardian columnists and it doesn't affect politicians. Like freedom of movement, these people are entirely insulated from the negative consequences. They don't want to know and they don't want it debated. Over the course of Brexit they have demonised, bullied and censored to try and keep a lid on debate. Several high profile leave accounts on Twitter were suspended thanks to the mob action of the FBPE brigade.

Ultimate nothing gets done unless we force the issue. That's why we're having to leave the EU. They tell us we could invest in skills instead. but that won't happen. They tell us we could enforce the rules better. But that won't happen. They tell us we need more investment in northern infrastructure. And that definitely won't happen. Grimsby will get another wind farm factory and Bradford will get a new bus station. That's it.

Ultimately Brits are tired of being fobbed off. With yet another appalling case of Pakistani child abuse in the news we yet again see calls for a national inquiry. What the hell for? We know what is happening, we know where it is happening, who is doing it and why. We need to see robust and decisive action not just because of the awfulness of the crimes but also because it is symptomatic of cultural problems linked to a specific minority where generic policies simply aren't going to cut it.

But again we're not going to get that robust and decisive action. They're just going to keep calling people racist until such a time when it hits critical mass and they no longer have any control over the public response to it. That will be a disaster for Britain and British minorities but a disaster of the establishments own making. Just like the Brexit we're going to get.

Rather than listening to what they were told in the referendum MPs, particularly those on the left, took it upon themselves to defy their constituents. They waged a three year long war on Brexit despite having told us they would respect the vote. They passed up the chance to shape Brexit even when the power was almost entirely theirs. Theresa May was boxed in and all they had to do was agree on one out of six options. Instead they played double or quits and now they've put Boris Johnson in Number Ten.

By all means you can point at the ERG extremists for their role in this but ultimately Brexit is rooted in the supreme arrogance of an establishment that doesn't act with consent, refuses to listen and in all instances thinks it knows better than the rest of us, believing they have a god given right to impose anything they like on us just so long as it makes them feel virtuous. That, primarily is what makes this a culture war as much as settling the EU question. Of itself that is destructive in that it drives winner takes all tribal politics where outcomes no longer matter just so long as the other side loses.

Remainers may be horrified by Brexit but they can't say they didn't have it coming. They've done everything possible to insult, antagonise and condescend to leavers. They hate Brexit precisely because it does give ordinary people a voice and for the first time in half a century they can't have it all their own way. This is the humbling they need and deserve.

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