Friday, 11 August 2017

A new remain party? You should totally do that.

There is talk among remainers about setting up a new party with a single aim of returning us into the arms of the EU. The basic problem with this is that single issue parties are the home of monomaniacs, bores and bigots. They also tend to be at the furthest extreme of their particular brand of politics.

For remainers that could go one of two ways. It would either be a vessel hijacked by political failures like Nick Clegg or it would languish as a minor party of middle class snobby liberals who can barely conceal their contempt for the working class.

For this I'm going by a recent Bristol for Europe meeting in which the room was full of educated professionals who spoke of the need to make the little people understand why the EU is so wonderful and to build an inclusive movement.

The basic problem there is that you can't really build a broad alliance with people that you actively despise. The seething contempt for the elderly, the assumption that leave voters are stupid and uneducated, and the belief that Brexit was basically a dislike of foreigners is actually boorish in a way that even Ukip could not muster.

If remainers actually did congregate into a visible movement it would look just as sad and obsessive as Ukip did - with a similar lack of self-awareness. Like the kippers, if you taunt them enough, pretty soon the mask slips and all the bigotry and venom comes out all at once.

Course these days it is far more acceptable to sneer and abuse ordinary working class people so it gets a free pass from the media, but ordinary voters would notice that foaming europhiles are complete douche-bags. 

The worst thing about remainers is that they genuinely do see themselves as superior intellects and believe that the little people have an obligation to listen to them. This came over loud and clear during the referendum which is why I suspect remain managed to lose.

From my interactions on Twitter I have come to learn that Remainers are capable of mobilising in ways the right never can. All the remainer gurus have a following of acolytes and admirers and have built an impressive echo chamber for themselves. Were one not mindful that Twitter is a broadly left wing bubble, one might get the impression that public opinion has changed.

On the whole I think it probably has drifted toward remain, but not by much and it could just as easily drift back again depending on how the EU is perceived during Article 50 talks. More likely if there is a public facing movement of foaming europhiles.

Another aspect of remainers I notice is an overbearing smugness. The worse they are the more followers they seem to attract. They mistake this for broader popularity but like the leave side, the pool of followers is interchangeable and transferable and largely persuades nobody. Brexiteers have gone quiet because it's best to just leave them to it.

In all respects a renewed remain campaign would over play its hand. As much as they have a blind spot for their own self-righteousness they also have an extraordinary naivety. Brexiteers are the ones generally regarded as stupid, and for the most part I would agree, but when it comes to the inner workings of the EU the ignorance spans the divide evenly. This is where they make exploitable mistakes.

What remainers lack is any sense of scepticism. In their binary minds the EU is a wholesome union of developed nations - entirely transparent with minimal corruption and entirely democratic. To them the EU is not a physical thing, rather it is an ethereal concept that sits over and above the grubbiness of the nation state. This is why they avoid me like the plague. If they step to my house they get an education.

The other thing that betrays their naivety and total lack of scepticism is their insistence that we should defer to experts. I have always been of the view that experts should be challenged, questioned and probed. Brexit especially has reinforced this in that we have a small army of academics wading into the subject, usually law professors, who actually know very little outside of their narrow specialism - and erroneously believe their specialism affords them the necessary prestige to speak on any and all issues. To assume that someone who has institutional prestige is necessarily infallible is possibly the most bovine a person can be.

Of course the opposite of that is the Brexiteers who tend to disregard anything anybody says for any reason. That is when scepticism becomes anti-intellectualism and contrarianism (See Brendan O'Neill). It's up to sane people to meet somewhere in the middle.

Basically remainers are awful and stupid but a wholly different kind of awful and stupid to the Brexiteers. Both mindsets are dogmatic, crushingly tedious and blinkered - and the more exposure they get the worse they become. For that reason alone, I would welcome a remain party. The more we see of these insufferable, selfish, patronising arseholes, the better.

No comments:

Post a Comment