Wednesday, 3 July 2019

The internet never forgets and I don't either

I've had enough arguments on Twitter to know it is not a platform where anyone is likely to change their minds. I've had countless conversations about the fallout of no deal which always descend into wholly exasperating slanging matches. There are various grades of idiot, some whose profiles are adorned with the usual Brexiter hashtags and memes where there is no possibility of intelligent discourse.

The problem being that an idiotic assertion fits neatly into a single tweet, whereas the rebuttals are considerably more involved and require a base level of understanding which simply isn't present. You're also dealing with a tribal psychology that likes to be told what it wants to hear. The Daily Express and the Telegraph would not stay in business otherwise.

In most cases the headbangers have sealed themselves into an airtight bubble where anything that even slightly deviates from the holy Brexit scriptures is "remainer disinformation". You can't have constructive debate with that level of paranoia. The energy is always best invested in those coming to it afresh who just want to understand what is happening and build up the weight of opposition that way. On a long enough timeline and in saner circumstances, the case for leaving the EU without a deal would eventually collapse.

As it happens I think it already has, but is kept on life support by propagandists within the Brexit blob, who don't actually need to win the argument. They just have to hold the line until Brexit day in the knowledge that there's nothing parliament can do about it and it all really rests on the whims of Boris Johnson. Their strategy, therefore, is to keep the debate distracted by repeating the same handful of errors. It keeps the claque of sanctimonious Brexit debunkers busy.

At this point, though, I'm resigned to it playing out to its depressing conclusion. Parliament blew its last guaranteed way of preventing a no deal Brexit when it decided for the third time not to ratify the withdrawal agreement. That paved the way for Boris Johnson and parliament is largely getting what it deserves even if we don't deserve it.

The next major battle is ensuring they don't worm their way out of taking responsibility. The headbangers will no doubt play the victim after Brexit day, calling any port delays a "blockade" and any subsequent imposition of controls a "punishment". Then of course comes the petulant wailing as the EU refuses to enter trade talks withing making "bullying" demands. One by one with Brexiter fantasies will crumble into dust and they won't be terribly happy about it.

Whatever mess we end up with, it will be necessary to remind Brexiters that this is precisely what they wanted. There are articles in every major newspaper and magazine penned by one of the Brexit blob telling us we have nothing to fear from no deal. These were shared and retweeted without hesitation or scrutiny by Brexiters who made it abundantly clear that they wanted no customs or regulatory relationship with the EU so as to chase after a free trade mirage. When those "bold new FTAs" fail to materialise, it's nobody's fault but theirs.

That's when the fun begins. Thanks to the internet there is a record of every claim published by the no dealers; every dishonest Spectator article, every nasty attack from BrexitCentral, every distortion from Guido and every toadying piece of illiteracy from Spiked Online. There's enough there to keep a blogger busy for months!

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