Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Referendum rant

On Friday I was dumbstruck. I remain angry, sad, despondent, distressed, worried and fearful. Most of all, I am so angry that lies and dangerously nasty rhetoric have poisoned the British people so successfully that rather than being forced against their will, millions gleefully voted us into oblivion.

Within hours of the result being announced, Farage had dismissed the '£350m per week for the NHS' claim as a mistake. Since then, Daniel Hannan, Conservative MEP and part of the leave campaign has said that they cannot guarantee a reduction in immigration. Claims about being able to trade freely from outside the EU without this costing the UK more than our EU membership have been thoroughly debunked. Other smaller claims are being ticked off as nonsense by the day, and on top of that, Boris Johnson and his leave colleagues have no plan for what happens next. The markets are in freefall, the two leading parties are in turmoil and rather than taking it back, the British people have seemingly very little control over anything since Cameron gave notice of his resignation early on Friday morning. 

Interviews with people who voted leave have found many who thought it would result in less immigration from outside the EU in the belief that was what was on offer. Others believed the extra money for the NHS would appear and some voted leave in the belief that the majority would vote to remain. Whole regions which receive a huge amount of EU funding have said they were told that they would continue to receive the same amount of funding in the event of leaving the EU.

Many voters have said live on TV and radio that they regret their decision. Others have contacted the electoral commission to ask if they can change their vote. Many will be embarrassed that they were taken in by the lies and will not want to admit voting to leave. Some will continue pig-headed in their belief that this will result in Britain becoming "Great" again (have they confused Boris Johnson with Trump and the UK with the US?) but the numbers who appear to have changed their minds or voted for something that wasn't on offer seems staggering. Add to that the lies and promises which will be impossible to fulfil and I feel desperate that this momentous moment will have come about by false means. And I don't think there is any way back. How can this be democratic?

The media of course share a lot of the blame. It would be stating the bleeding obvious to point out the lies constantly printed in the Mail and the Sun but the BBC are to blame too. Their attacks on Jeremy Corbyn tell the public he is not a credible politician. Then the BBC ask a few people or pick out the most suitable poll stats and state that the public don't feel he is electable. They make the story true first and then they report the fact.

While Boris Johnson is busy going to watch the cricket and writing his newspaper article, everyone else at Tory HQ are seemingly sitting back, waiting for someone else to take control and sort out what the hell is going to become of our country. To the media, not least those irrepressibly unbiased souls at the BBC, this is not considered as important as the Blairites' attempted coup over at the Labour camp. A stream of shadow cabinet ministers have resigned following Corbyn's sacking of Hillary Benn. Benn was the first to stick his disruptive head above the parapet and Corbyn had no option but to calmly (we assume) knock it off. Since then an ever increasing number of so called 'moderates' have resigned, each asking/telling Corbyn to stand down. Corbyn has calmly (we assume) responded by saying that the majority of the party members want him to stay and that he is not inclined to go against the democratic method via which he was appointed. 

The timing of this couldn't be much worse. There may well be an election very soon and a Labour in total disarray would be less electable than if the party were lead by Joseph Stalin. The Blairites seem to think it is their right to control the party, despite being far closer to the conservatives than to the traditional position of the Labour movement. It was the Blairites who lost the core working class Labour vote and the Scottish vote by basing their policies on hard, blind neoliberalism, failing to fight back against the absurd idea that Labour caused an international financial crisis, and forgetting that outside the square mile, the majority of the country was (and very much still is) stuck in post-industrial decline.

Racism is creeping back into the mainstream. Generations are at loggerheads (by and large, the young opted in, the old voted out). Scotland seems certain to hold another referendum on independence and this time they'll win.

And England have again proven that they are shit at football.