Let me categorise myself to start with. I voted remain in 2016, though armed only with the conviction that – if Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage wanted something – it probably made sense to vote the other way.
As we appear (at least as I write this on Sunday evening) to be hurtling out of the European Union without a deal, I found some of my more emotional remainer friends saying it was time to embrace it.
Tha might be putting it a little strongly, but I have a feeling they are right. There is certainly good sense in avoiding the fixation and despar involved in going over a political cliff – if only to avoid giving the other side the satisfaction. It may in fact be time to look on the bright side, and here are a few of these…
Bright side #1. The multinationals will shun us. The City of London will shrink. Most of my remainer friends believe that both have been pretty impoverishing for the UK and the climate. So this would at least mean they can stop tweeting horrified reactions to the demise of Honda in Swindon.
Bright side #2.We will simply have to train the so-called underclass to do the tasks we have seemed unable to do for outrsleves, from picking vegetables to being doctors. And to pay them enough.
Bright side #3. We have at least the basis for healing some of the deep divisions in UK life. Not all of them by any means, but we can’t survive on the current basis, especially since none of the political parties seem willing or able to generate a narrative that can supercede them.
Bright side #4. If it doesn’t work, we can blame John Redwood for everything that goes wrong for the next 20 years or so.
Bright side #5. Radicals across Europe have seen our plight and their funders are busily funding community organisig at the grassroots. Which is at least a basis for rebuilding. Or so I am told.
Bright side #6. By foregoing the prospect of a second referendum, we will at least avoid the possibility of holding another one every time the polls switch back either way, and so on ad nauseum. This seems to me the main argument against a People’s Vote.
Some of this is clearly a little tounge in cheek – but which bits? Is is obvious?
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Simon Bond says
Spot on with the first two!
Stephen Gwynne says
For me, beyond all the ideological identity politics is how are we going to create a sustainable and sufficient future together whether in the UK semi-independently or in the currently unsustainable EU economic system.
A global system of national/regional sufficiency economies is one option where nations, in particular, utilise democracy or the other option is for the EU to radically reform which will require greater national freedom, through subsidiarity, to better manage their economies technocratically.
At present, the EU and their Remainer supporters are not defining and articulating a reform plan and instead engaging their energy in ideological identity politics and trying to maneuver the country out of Brexit through Project Fear.
This leaves the only alternative, a global system of national sufficiency economies whereby countries democratically manage their economies, their ecologies and their societies towards sustainable, sufficient and resilient futures.
This can only happen if the country comes together through these same shared ideals rather than pretend that the fundamental flaws of the EU economic system will instantly disappear upon revoking article 50.
In other words, remainers have not addressed the problems and concerns regarding full EU membership and instead of developing a convincing plan have instead resorted to denialism, blameshifting and ideological identity politics to unconvincingly make their case.
Project Fear was never going to end well and now British Constitutional Democracy means that intransigent Remainer MPs are now caught between (not) delivering Brexit and a General Election. The latter will undoubtedly mean the deserved deselection of MPs who are perceived as not representing the values, concerns and wishes of their constituents who essentially pay their wages.
This may mean a much harder Brexit than what is currently acceptable at the moment so Remainer MPs now have to decide whether they want to keep their jobs and their positions of influence and accept May’s Deal (with the slight possibility of a Brexit Customs Partnership as an alternative) or take a gamble with a General Election.