First of all, what could happen that would make me regret my vote?
If the Tories recover from Brexit and go on to dominate British politics for the coming decade, somehow managing to win the next election and thwart Scottish Independence, then I would have to turn over my Brexit vote to Captain Hindsight.
I predict they won’t and I predicted they wouldn’t if Brexit happened. I also contend that they could well have done without Brexit:
What would have happened if England/the UK had scraped a Remain victory1?
- Cameron would have been lauded as a hero by the Tories, EU top-brass and even high profile Labour and the lib-dem figures. As would have Blair, Brown, May, and various other despicable people. Instead Cameron has been ridiculed and castrated; forced to live the rest of his sorry existence outside of Westminster.
- Johnson would able to play the gallant loser and ‘whip-up the Tory base’. Instead he’s been exposed as a liar and positioned, by May, to take the blame for a lot of the Brexit mess. (He could still be Mayor of London right now, but thankfully we have a Labour Mayor, albeit a Blairite.)
- Farage and UKIP would still be plastered all over the MSM. I’m still disgusted about how much coverage they get, but thankfully they have been shattered as an electoral force. (For the record I consider them a ploy by the establishment to dress up a load of Tories as anti-establishment and thus a) poach disenfranchised Labour voters (many of whom would never vote ‘Tory’) and b) make the Tory party look ‘less racist’.)
- All the dirty lies that the Leave campaign told wouldn’t have come out. £350 million/week etc.
- The chicken coup wouldn’t have happened; whilst the Blairite scum would have surely got the knives out for Corbyn at some point, they could not have made more of a mess of it than they did. (Arrgh!)
- The Scottish Parliament would not have passed a bill for an INDE II. (Something that may well have been an important factor in May’s decision to hold an election.)
- The Tories would be about to hold a leadership contest, one which May and Johnson could compete in, which would include a large dose of hypothetical Brexit, and which would look reasonably respectable. Instead the one they tried holding was so excruciatingly embarrassing they called it off and crowned May, thus demonstrating to everyone their utter contempt for democracy and debate, as well as their lack of individuals with talent/competency.
(And their new front-runner is now best known for believing rape victims should be denied the option of abortion.)
Conversely, I think the case can already be made that important victories have been won by the Left in England and the Independence Movement in Scotland, and these have happened very much in the context of Brexit.
What has happened that wouldn’t have?
- May might not have been PM at all, and certainly wouldn’t have been there as long. Personally think May has been a terrible PM in all respects, notably PM question time where she has been repeatedly trounced by Corbyn. She has absolutely fuck all charisma. She doesn’t inspire loyalty, or run a good team. I don’t think anyone could have done much worse for the Tories, hence I’m happy the stupid bitch is there fucking it up for them.
- The Tory’s wouldn’t have lost their majority. Let’s face it, they made the classic error of empire: they believed their own lies. They actually convinced themselves that Corbyn was weak, and that they could crush the left for a decade or more.
- The coalition with the DUP wouldn’t have happened. People didn’t even really know who they were, then all of a sudden these bigoted arseholes are getting billions for backing up May, who lost by her own definition, and had told a nurse using a food bank that there ‘is no magic money tree’. Way to publically drag the whole establishment through the mud; coalition of chaos eat-your-heart-out.
- There were two things that were going to have to happen once the general election was called: the back-stabbing of Corbyn by ‘the left’ would have to quieten down, and the focus would have to shift to policies. Corbyn’s unpopularity was due to continuous reporting of the back-stabbing and a black-out on all actual polices; once that was minimised the polls swung dramatically. That would not have happened in the absence of a general election, and hence Brexit.
- Labour would not have won its biggest share of the vote since 1997 and the biggest swing ever. Completely trashing the entirety of the MSM and a whole load of so called ‘experts’ in the process. There was also a boost in Labour Party membership, and considerable energy at the grassroots.
- The Labour Manifesto would not have been released, which is in itself an important document and significant victory, one which demonstrates how much the terms of debate have shifted since Corbyn was elected leader.
The above are all things that represent the elite control being significantly eroded.
If May / the Tories do cling to power for another five years it will be because of the bone-chilling fear the establishment has of PM Corbyn. They will lurch from farce to farce and people will be so gagging for change by then that a Labour government will be delightfully likely and decisive.
As for the SNP, they are still the dominant force in Scottish politics and the time will come for INDE II; a couple of years of Brexit mess should be enough to see opinion swing finally in favour of ‘better off alone’. After that it’s a question of timing; in all likelihood before the next general election meaning that the Tories will be fighting a campaign with their recent presidence over the disintegration of UK fresh in the electorate’s mind.
So what could have made me regret my Brexit vote?
Of utmost importance to the future of this country are the two fronts of resistance to the neo-liberal/austerity agenda of the British State:
- A Left-wing Labour Party.
- The Scottish Independence Movement.
So if May, Johnson, Davis and the EU were happily hashing out the terms of a horrific Tory Brexit with minimal detrimental economic repercussions and thus doing reasonably well in the polls even as Scottish Independence was somehow defeated for a generation and the Labour Party unable to come up with a decent leader then, yes, I would be seriously lamenting my Brexit vote right now.
But how is/was any of that conceivable? Given that:
- Severing ties with our main trading partners, ones which we have deep and complex integration with, was always going to be messy and expensive. An expensive Tory mess in other words.
- Brexit was always going strengthen Scottish Independence, directly through providing a “material change in circumstances” and indirectly through destabilising Ireland. (Whilst also high-lighting the biggest difference between English and Scottish public opinion.)
- Brexit was never Corbyn’s fault, if anything Corbyn is Brexit’s fault2. All Corbyn has done is fight against neo-liberalism and austerity, which is more than you can say for EU by the way. (In fact the only conflict Corbyn has ever had with the EU its imposition of neo-liberalism and austerity.)
So what could, conceivably, have happened?
- Markets and business being less spooked by Brexit due to reassurances that it’s going to be both soft and pro-business, and a fair bit more competence coming from May including clarity about how Brexit is going to work, and when, along with a less antagonistic negotiations with the EU27, and less court cases being brought against them and won. (Meaning that the Tories were looking fairly solid electorally, instead of the complete shamble-farce that they are currently.)
- The SNP being outmanoeuvred somehow on the INDE II issue (as they have been to an extent by the recent general election, on the grounds of electorate fatigue).
- Corbyn dropping down dead and being replaced by some pro-Remain centrist that manages to get everyone excited about opposing Brexit whilst distracting them from opposing austerity.
With a compromised Labour Party, May and Labour would have played a nice little game of cat-and-mouse on the Brexit battle-ground; instead Corbyn has made it about opposing austerity and neo-liberalism throughout.
What frustrates me is that instead of appreciating that the terms of debate, and the overall prevailing forces, have shifted dramatically in favour of genuinely reforming society, people are distraught that the little cat-and-mouse game isn’t on.
All these petitions and polls and parties aimed at trying to Remain, completely miss the point: we need these bigoted filthy-rich arseholes out of office. That includes Blair and Brown and any of their supposedly centrist ilk. We need Corbyn and MacDonnell in no. 10 and 11; we need a complete U-turn on all policies right across the board; no to war, no to nukes, investment in housing, education, NHS, public transport and the green economy.
I wrote last summer that:
“the danger in all of this [Brexit], is to lose sight of what’s of vital importance: reverse austerity, stop paying for war. This is what Jeremy Corbyn has devoted his life to, and seeing such a man gain the high office of an important country is a nightmare scenario for the ruling class… their current ploys is to discredit his ability to campaign for a worthy cause. To believe this, to believe Corbyn is incapable of running and effective general election campaign, is to fall into a trap. Every person who believes this, if it means they withhold even a little bit of support for Corbyn, weakens the prospects of seeing a genuinely anti-austerity and anti-war Prime Minister.” (http://mxmagpie.uk/main-danger-brexit/)
Now, post general election 2017, the ruling class can no longer maintain the myth that Corbyn is incompetent, weak or whatever. However, the establishment are now using Brexit as a stick to beat Corbyn with, and are to some extent succeeding.
Despite this, Corbyn’s alternative seems more and more plausible, he has grown as a speaker and a leader, and so has the competence, credentials and loyalty of his front bench. Labour is ahead in the polls, winning by-elections en mass, and Corbyn is favourite to be PM after the next General Election. Reforming the Labour Party. Redefining the terms of debate. Forcing u-turn after u-turn on the government. Offering a genuine alternative. Could this have been the case if Brexit had been defeated? Id like to hear how.
- This could either have happened through England being so close than Scotland and N. Ireland ‘took England out against its will’ or that England itself scraped a Remain victory.
- The nomination of Corbyn was the result of the perceived massive need for soul searching within the Labour Party after the unexpected crushing defeat by Cameron in 2015 after promising an EU referendum.
- (This is the nature of referendums. They divide, they polarize. The losers feel disenfranchised. The winners feel vindicated, and hence gain a feeling of entitlement which can lead to disappointment and frustration. If the campaigns have been ran in the gutter, like Brexit, or with the odds stacked against one side, like the Scottish Independence vote these negatives are emphasised.)