Brexiteers: No, Your Opinions Aren’t Just as Valid

  1. Economy = downgraded to that of a “developing” country.
  2. Society = ridden by fear and abuse.
  3. Our politics = seized by cynicism, opportunism and mutually assured destruction.
Et tu, Watson? The Blairite Revenge

This, all of it, our country chose.

We, those on the Remain side of the argument, seriously misjudged our neighbours and compatriots: many of them really are that stupid. And, no – they cannot be given the benefit of the doubt. Figures from the left, right and centre warned them, the economic institutions and trade unions warned them, the professors and cultural figures warned them, NATO, USA (Trump excluded), Norway’s PM warned them. Warned them what our country would become.

Gone are the As: Sterling plunges

And, nay again, they themselves cannot suddenly pretend that their political analysis is just as deep and deserving of respect as the above.

(In fact, the only figures of note which supported Brexit appeared to be Putin – a long and bitter hater of the EU – and ISIS. The latter has since praised Britain’s move.)

As much as I cannot abide the cult which has slivered up upon and about the grave of that vicious fat dog, Churchill’s words are playing on repeat in my inner ear,

The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter

This may help you make sense of Michael Gove’s insight:

…People in this country have had enough of experts

You really have met a cultural incline when expert has become a dirty word, sewn into our porch alongside those other faux-pas (excuse my French) “‘ealth and safety” and “political correctness”.

Of course I’m being unfair: 52% is barely a majority of the voting population, and fairly meaningless of the whole. But it is demonstrative of that cultural strain, long nurtured by demagogues and flustered Cameroons, in this United Kingdom: anti-Brussels, anti-immigrant, anti-Other – becoming something more than a nuance. A new and dangerous voting block that Westminster has no idea of how to counter-act (and may soon not wish to).

A good number of those who put a cross next to Leave seem to have sincerely thought their choice meant, “send the Poles, Pakis and… uh, Polynesians home” (whatever that means). Taking “their” country back so they can set it back on course to backwaterdom, which Britain momentarily detoured from post-WWII. There in the swamp that results they can fester and congeal, filling the pungent air with their pungent thoughts.

Byron, Blake, Paine… are these the heroes of the Britain Firsters?

And it’s this demographic which knows the least about the history and culture of Britain. When they talk of defending its culture they are almost certainly referring to football hooliganism, shit larger and trash TV – and not the domains of Tolkien, verses of Auden, those skyscapes of Turner. Nor do they acknowledge the Levelers, Chartists and the heroes of the Enlightenment, without which their suffrage would be denied.

(I mean really, just take a look at Britain First’s take on the Peasant’s Revolt here)

Ezra Pound may have been writing of his country of birth, but there is something in Hugh Selwyn Mauberley which does apply here and now, in this Blighted realm where the 52ers reign:

No, hardly, but, seeing he had been born
In a half savage country, out of date;
Bent resolutely on wringing lilies from the acorn;
Capaneus; trout for factitious bait
 

Paddy

“Death to Traitors, Freedom for Britain”: Thoughts on Patriotism Today

The “name” above was given by Tommy Mair, the man who murdered Jo Cox MP.

This piece of news came to me as I was brooding about the current state of State: we may be in one of the richest and developed countries in the world but the foundations of our civil society – formal and informal – are under threat. Insurgent working class populism of a far-right bent has coalesced with
reactionary Establishment elements. This joining is not to be sniffed at, it is shaping a new (old) political paradigm that doesn’t look to be expiring any time soon. Buh-bye liberalism.

This was finally allowed to happen through the bullish activism of the Leave campaign – a joining of unremarkable capitalists, politicians from the 19th century and the nation’s dark, dank underbelly. A synthesis of vulgarity and snobbery that the Brits always seem to do so well.

It would be unfair to say Mair is somehow representative of British patriotism, but he does kind of look like misplaced nostalgia personified.

Mair

Orwell was rather harsh toward the rejection of the patriotism instinct, chiding leftist commentators (or, as he derisively called them “intellectuals”) for finding nothing good to say about Blighty.

I grew up in an atmosphere tinged with militarism, and afterwards I spent five boring years within the sound of bugles. To this day it gives me a faint feeling of sacrilege not to stand to attention during ‘God save the King’. That is childish, of course, but I would sooner have had that kind of upbringing than be like the left-wing intellectuals who are so ‘enlightened’ that they cannot understand the most ordinary emotions. It is exactly the people whose hearts have never leapt at the sight of a Union Jack who will flinch from revolution when the moment comes. Let anyone compare the poem John Cornford wrote not long before he was killed (‘Before the Storming of Huesca’) with Sir Henry Newbolt’s ‘There’s a breathless hush in the Close tonight’. Put aside the technical differences, which are merely a matter of period, and it will be seen that the emotional content of the two poems is almost exactly the same. The young Communist who died heroically in the International Brigade was public school to the core. He had changed his allegiance but not his emotions. What does that prove? Merely the possibility of building a Socialist on the bones of a Blimp, the power of one kind of loyalty to transmute itself into another, the spiritual need for patriotism and the military virtues, for which, however little the boiled rabbits of the Left may like them, no substitute has yet been found.

Orwell, My Country Left or Right

I, alas, am a boiled rabbit.

Perhaps if I were around when the Luftwaffe posed a real danger to red post boxes, black cabs, picnics and Pimms, I might’ve seen things the way of the “Tory anarchist”. But now? Sorry George, the Muslamic hoards don’t quite blacken the skies yet, nor would a world absent of those tourist flick-baits bother me greatly.

(And, conversely, I really do gag at the sight of that red cross upon a white field. During football “season”, when you can’t lose sight of the blighted thing, I have to brush my teeth upwards of three times a day.)

Urghhh…

 

There’s values, principles, I hold dear – much the same as Orwell’s: equality, internationalism, democracy, freedom of expression. But it’ll be an act of double-think to associate them strongly with “Britain” – or more accurately Queen and Country – historically or presently. For one, the (mostly European-imposed) institutions meant to give force to these lofty ambitions are flailing. Only a common will can keep them truly alive. Because, after-all, what is a country without its people?

And like it or not, the lead up to this EU referendum has shown us just how most of them think. We’ll soon find that the “silent majority” we were relying on to give the New Old Left some steam is in fact a loud herd, clambering to derail the whole fucking lot.

 

Paddy