Here’s an audio version of this post:
(Apologies for the atrocious language in this blog but sometimes no other word will do. If you’re a child reading this, back away now. If you’re offended by strong opinions and – as previously mentioned – foul language, read no further. It will do you no good to proceed. And please don’t leave a comment complaining because honestly mate, you’ve been warned).
Today my country is going to begin the lengthy process of fucking itself right the fuck over.
Theresa May, our unelected prime minister has opted to trigger Article 50 after an advisory referendum peddled on lies, to begin the process of the UK leaving the EU. Well, I say the UK but I’m not even sure what that means any more. Will Northern Ireland and its desperately important border be part of these sceptred isles? Scotland? Trafford?? Who fucking knows? Theresa bloody doesn’t.
On 23rd June 2016 we were asked a ludicrously banal binary question. To leave the EU or stay in it? Two boxes, one tick. There was no manifesto. The two scenarios were not fully explained. We, the electorate, were told nothing about what would happen if we opted to leave. The consequences of the loss of EU grants to Cornwall, Wales and (for instance) agriculture, cancer research, the arts, education and infrastructure etc etc weren’t clearly communicated. If they were, I don’t believe people would have bloody voted for it. Because without EU money, huge parts of Britain are fucked. But no, we had Boris Johnson and his massive egregious bus slogan promising – but were they REALLY promising, Reader, because they were terribly coy about it afterwards – to spend £350 million a week on the NHS, should we leave. To many, that was a no-brainer. Pay for a bunch of politicians and civil servants to toss themselves senseless in Brussels or fund Granny’s hip op.
People were conned.
The referendum was advisory.
16 – 18 year olds weren’t allowed to vote on the single biggest issue to affect their future.
And you tell me this was a democratic vote? Fuck off.
The baby boomers – the generation who got the best of Britain during the slow decline of the second Elizabethan age – have fucked us. With their selfish, jingoistic moaning about sinister Muslims, Polish fruit pickers and how the Empire was won when there wasn’t even such a thing as the Internets, they have fucked us.
Weirdly, the people most concerned about immigration voted to leave in areas least affected by immigration.
There was much table banging about Project Fear and how facts explaining the dire economic, social and legal consequences of leaving the EU were all a hoax. Michael Effing Gove told us we were sick of experts. Well, not me, pal. If I’m going in hospital for a brain op, I’d really rather prefer an expert slice open my cortex, thanks very much. If I’m putting in a tax return, I’d rather my accountant glance over it than a fucking poet. What a ridiculous, populist, STUPID thing to say.
But people bought it. Because these clowns were saying – like Trump – what people *really* wanted to say but were too bound up by social mores to do so. Brexit has made it OK to be racist, xenophobic, mysogynistic and has given many millions license to say appalling things to complete strangers on Twitter. But this is making Britain Great Again, isn’t it??
Of course not all people who voted to Leave are racist. That’s like saying everybody who voted to Remain is passionately, whole-heartedly in favour of every single thing the EU does. Brexit has given racists license to spread their hate. Why else have we seen a spike in hate crimes since the referendum?
There was lofty talk about ‘sunny uplands’ and in an awful pre-figuring of the lunatic Trump, ‘Britain being Great Again’ and a sense that leaving would fundamentally change the nature and shape of bananas. And we had Nigel Farridge wanking on, doing his ‘regular bloke down the pub‘ schtick, the gruesome counterpoint to Boris Johnson’s mop-headed Churchillian tribute act, telling people the views of ‘the little people’ have been treated with contempt for long enough. As they have. But is an act of colossal self-harm really an appropriate response??
Famously, James O’Brien asked a caller to his programme who had expressed disdain for EU interference in our legal system to name ONE LAW to illustrate his point. He couldn’t. He’d been fed a load of propaganda by appalling newspapers. Because if it’s written in the papers, it’s got to be true, hasn’t it??
The morning after the referendum Johnson and Gove looked like a pair of posh plums who’d put in a joke bid at an auction for a vase they didn’t want and had just been told they’ve got to cough up the billions they’d pledged FOR A LAUGH. They looked fucked and frightened.
Because now, if we plough on with Article 50 to its terrible, dystopian conclusion, we won’t be able to live, work, love or study in Europe in quite the same way ever again. (If you want to learn more about what leaving the EU might mean in practice, I recommend Ian Dunt’s book. In fact, just the opening pages of it will do. Go on, read them using Amazon’s convenient ‘look inside’ feature).
And just last week, when Nicola Sturgeon mooted the second indy ref for Scotland, Theresa May had the BARE FACED GALL to suggest that this was an act of seismic daftness because this means Scotland would be turning its back on its biggest neighbouring trading partner. Well, HELLO?? WTF is Europe to the UK if it’s not its biggest neighbouring trading fucking partner??
This referendum was won by populist papers appealing to prejudices and rage. They exploited the people living in communities who suffered under Osborne’s austerity. And now we’re told BY EXPERTS that these communities – the communities who voted most strongly to leave – will suffer the most after Brexit.
I believe that instead of leaving, we need to negotiate a new Treaty with the EU. We don’t need a divorce from the EU. We need mediation and a helluva lot of counselling. But leaving – like this – because of such lies, with no plan, not enough civil servants to cope with the workload and a dire lack of trained negotiators, will mean we’re likely to be fucked. And fucked – forgive me, Mother – right up the arse.
This, at least, is my view.
The vote was “won” because only 48% of the population wanted to Remain. Wow. Only 48%. What a terribly *low proportion* of Britons that is. So now, because the official Opposition party has all the punch and conviction of a blancmange, 16 million British voters are being fucked over. Their views – in this amazingly democratic referendum – don’t matter. The views of the 48% have been fucked right off.
For fuck’s sake.
(If you want to find out more, you could do worse than reading these articles by Nick Clegg. If you can bring yourself to forgive him over tuition fees, you’ll see that the man talks sense. Him and Kenneth Clarke, to whom, I am convinced, I am somehow almost certainly related).
Today there is a monumental effort on the part of the press to convince people that triggering Article 50 is the point of no-return. It isn’t. And here’s why. Thanks to the Good Law Project, there is a chance that a truly democratic vote *could* succeed. If you really care about democracy and everything that brings, now’s your chance to prove it. How? Just get involved. Use your voice.
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