As some who is ‘educated’, ‘progressive’ and ‘still young’ I find myself on the opposing side of an important political divide. People have the following main points of contention with my pro-Brexit position:
- How is cutting-off ourselves from Europe/ The World going to make anything better?
- Look at the disgusting people who are on your side!
- It’s the working class who will suffer from this.
- EU is a good thing: worker’s rights, NHS, etc.
- EU is a good thing: free movement of people and immigration.
- What about the surge in racial attacks?
- Look at the mess we are in now: Pound down, stock-markets down, jobs moving abroad; uncertainty, turmoil.
Many, in light of the above, are cross with Jeremy Corbyn because he didn’t campaign hard enough or well enough for Remain. My opinion is that this is the real danger of Brexit, because electing a genuinely anti-austerity/war Prime Minister is of more importance than anything else in the UK in the coming period, and I will return to this below. Please consider the following:
- The UK integrating with the world has been one of the most destructive phenomena in world history: we plundered for 200 years and then adopted a subordinate role to the US which took over our position as ‘hated empire number 1’. We now work hand in glove with them in the execution of wars to ‘promote democracy’ for ‘humanitarian reasons’.
The UK is the main cheerleader in Europe for wars: it’s status as full member of the EU combined with the US’ ability to lobby at all levels (but especially in Brussels) is extremely effective at coercing the rest of Europe. The wars waged across the Middle East and North Africa are the cause of the floods of refugees arriving in Europe, whilst the sanctions/wars being waged against Russia are unnecessary, counterproductive and pose and existential threat to humanity. The EU would be less detrimental to world peace without us.
- The IMF, WB, NATO, POTUS, Blair and Cameron: All these institutions/people were firmly on the Remain side, issuing threats to the British public not to vote Leave. This is because their agenda is threatened by Brexit, their agenda being to wage war and force austerity on the planet. (Furthermore, Johnson and Farage were clearly banking on a narrow defeat so as to bask in a sordid limelight until the next general election… so the case could be made that they were actually on the Remain side all along.)
- The working class has been suffering since 1979, yes they will suffer from Brexit but the game is rigged against them; they will suffer either way. To assert that ‘they shouldn’t have voted Brexit because it’s not in their interests’ is to deny that the game is rigged against them, and that denial plays into the hands of the ruling class. (And therefore, that assertion aligns those who assert it with the ruling class.)
- The EU as an institution facilitates US corporate control: the forced privatisation and laws on GMO have enabled US take-overs and imports. Our government is one of the ‘big four’ in the EU, and is the rabid proponent of neo-liberalism (aka Thatcherism). The ground has been laid for the most regressive trade deal ever: TTIP, which threatens the very existence of the NHS and much more we hold dear. The UK has been instrumental in all of this.
The idea that workers need a European government to protect us from our own government is valid. However, Europe, and European workers, need protection from us.
- The combination of a) austerity economics, b) 100,000s of impoverished people arriving in the UK and c) a vitriolic press whipping up hatred = a very dangerous situation. Already there are not enough jobs to go round, especially decent ones, the government not having pursued policies to create jobs since at least before the 2008, arguably since Thatcher gained power. Cynical politicians, with the press on their side, are using this situation against the working class, both native and immigrant. The end to the Free Movement of people between the UK and the EU would be a sorry loss, however, short of a radical government in power, the alternative is arguably worse. And of course, the press does argue this, indeed this is the grain of truth that makes their deceit so convincing to so many people.
- Each and every one of these attacks is an absolute travesty; we all need to get the safety pins out and counter the rise of xenophobia. However, if we look at the root causes of these attacks are a result of two things: increasingly desperate living conditions for a majority of the population and a very horrific and dangerous sophistry coming out of the MSM. The only way to reverse these attacks is to a) redistribute wealth and b) break-up the billionaire’s monopoly of the press.
Furthermore, the fact that the MSM has had such an opportunity to scape-goat immigrants is not due to the result of the referendum, it’s due to the fact we had one in the first place. You can make the argument that the win for Brexit lead directly to these attacks, but you can’t prove that the attacks would not have been just as bad or worse in the event of a narrow win for Remain: large sections of impoverished people feeling frustrated by a narrow loss (perhaps even a narrow win in England) would likely have led to an increase in racially motivated attacks. (You only have to look at the, far more responsible, outpouring of grief on the Remain side to imagine what the reverse could have looked like.)
- What is happening is the billionaire class are using the corporations and financial instruments at their disposal to punish the working class/the country for voting against their interests. They are trying to shock the British people, and they are trying to de-legitimise the vote, because the last thing they want is the UK actually leaving the EU (because that slackens US control over Europe as points 1-2 address). We should expect the same thing to happen in the event of a Scottish Independence vote, or Corbyn getting elected, or any other democratic event where the people chose an option against the will of the ruling class. I welcome such turmoil as evidence that the interests of the billionaires, the ruling class, were actually hurt by the vote. The defeat of Cameron, and Johnson, and the mess the Tories are in now is also testament to the fact that the agenda of billionaires has suffered a setback.
I think the danger in all of this, 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. They will stop at nothing to destroy him, and one of their current ploys is to discredit his ability to campaign for a worthy cause. To believe this, to believe Jeremy 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 Jeremy Corbyn, weakens the prospects of seeing a genuinely anti-austerity and anti-war Prime Minister. Join Labour, consider joining Momentum, get involved, don’t buy into any MSM, support alternative media instead.
If not now then when?