Thursday, 21 February 2019

The Brexit trench war is over

Predictably my inbox is full of irate Brexiters this morning. Leavers, it seems, are not meant to criticise Brexiter MPs. And I did rather a lot of that yesterday. One is not supposed to point out that Nadine Dorries is thick as a box of hammers or that Kate Hoey is light bendingly dense. One is not supposed to point out that Daniel Hannan is a liar and thief. One is not supposed to call Steve Baker a crook and one really shouldn't say that Jacob Rees-Mogg is a malicious worm.

As ye know, I am prone to grumbling about the minimal returns I get for my efforts on Twitter - and generally people tell me it's because I'm caustic and negative. That, though, is not the cause. I've seen plenty of long standing blogs give up over the course of the last year because the effort to reward ratio is too low. As it happens, I suspect the legacy media is having similar problems. People might retweet an article but they do not necessarily click on it.

It's taken me a long time to fully understand it and it's so simple that it should have occurred to me sooner. what Twitter is, is ideological trench warfare. Content producers who succeed supply a demand. The demand is for ammunition. I've noticed how a generic anti-EU post will do the rounds when more analytical posts do not.

Twitter trench warfare is mainly about shoring up a narrative. It is no less tribal than Westminster politics. The Brexiter MPs and their propaganda vessels built their narratives and we as good little sheep are supposed to hold the line and tell the Emperor that his new threads are snazzy. They transmit, we receive.

But of course, this blog, and this blogger, is not in the business of propaganda. That is for Breitbart and BrexitCentral. My mission is to understand what is happening and why and to do that I have to be entirely up front about it and not allow myself to be deceived or comforted with what I want to hear. I stepped off the propaganda production line in 2016. Some would say I was never on it. They are probably right.

Here is ultimately where the problem is. The demand is generally for narrative reinforcement and comfort. If a factory closes down Brexiters want tract that proves why it is nothing to do with Brexit. If someone on our side is attacked, I'm supposed to defend them rather than stick the boot in. Since I don't do that, readers don't know which side of an issue I'll land on so they are wary of me. I don't do remainers or leavers any favours. The decision to keep me at arms length is pure cowardice.

This, in part, is why The Leave Alliance was marginalised from the beginning. We attacked Vote Leave because it was not competent and it did not tell the truth and we weren't prepared to ignore them and let them do it. The Brexit blob have since circled the wagons and written us out of the script. Since the media does not look outside of the bubble we may as well not have existed at all.

This, though, is all now somewhat redundant. The battle for Brexit is over. We won. I do not feel obliged to shore up the leave case and I certainly feel no obligation to back or support the London leave blob who have done more to undermine the case for leaving than I ever could by attacking them. I do not owe these people anything. My only obligation is to report things as I see it. Trench warfare is not a productive use of anyone's time.

I think probably the most important function of this blog is less to argue the case for Brexit, but to point out the manifest inadequacies of our politics and media, an in doing so I can show no favour to any particular side. I want people to realise how and why they are being used by forces who don't care about them. If you have a problem with that, you know where you can go.

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