Now that the dust has settled and we can see the magnitude of the self-imposed calamity that the British public has chosen for itself, it’s time to collect my thoughts and raise a few issues that interest me.
The Brexiteers were predominantly telling half-truths or lies and the public believed them. The Remainers were predominantly telling the truth but it was dubbed ‘Project Fear’ and the public didn’t believe them. The Sun told people how to vote and the Sun is always right. The people (and I know plenty of them) voted Brexit for all the wrong reasons; immigration brought out the nastier side of a prejudiced nation (xenophobia is not far below the surface of most EU states) and was at the forefront of people’s minds. The issues should have been rooted in the economy; the vote was a decision to leave the world’s largest and most prosperous free trade block and must go down in history as one of the most stupid decisions made by any population, ever. It was a decision to commit national commercial suicide. Not one of the promises made by the Brexiteers will come to pass. Not one.
I agree that Europe is far from perfect and that the idea of a common currency without fiscal union of some sort was badly judged. However, the problems could have been sorted out from within rather than storming out of the room. Immigration is a red herring; I don’t know a single person in UK who even knows an immigrant let alone been disadvantaged by them. It was a fake issue playing to the emotions of xenophobes, whipped up by the Sun, Daily Mail and Express. My message to them is that the UK they yearn for probably never existed and will certainly never come back. What they have voted for is a progressive economic decline, increased costs of energy and imports, further undermanning of the NHS and farming, increased inflation and increasing unemployment. What they have lost is to be part of the great European project that has kept Europe at peace for the longest period in the past two millennia.
I am still staggered by the gullibility of the UK public who believe the web of half-truths and selective facts presented to them by the mainstream media, most of which is right-wing propaganda, the Murdoch press being the greatest culprit. Murdoch is an ex-Australian now American billionaire who controls an international news empire that feeds propaganda to a gullible public world-wide who are too busy earning a living to find out the truth. He dominates the UK press and yet no one thinks it’s in any way strange. Unbelievable! Yet, all the information is out there due to social media and the digital revolution; all you need is the time and interest to dig it out. Witness the failure of the press to predict the outcomes of Brexit or the US election and I see some glimmer of hope. People are starting to question the stance taken by most of the press. They are realising that the press is talking to itself, not to them.
So, we’ve seen what we, The People, can do. Fed up with political correctness and being fed a load of lies by the press, The People have spoken. Should we rejoice? No. Absolutely not. If the referendum wa run again tomorrow, the decision would be different. However, that is not going to happen. The result is a lurch towards the right in political parties and that has to be bad for everyone. History repeats itself. The Great Depression led to the rise of Fascism and World War II. The crash of 2008 was actually worse than in the 1930s and was the greatest theft in the history of mankind. With the exception of a few Icelandic bankers, no one has been brought to book. That, coupled with a US foreign policy that is determined to sow the seeds of discord and violence around the world and you have where we are today, poverty in Africa, war in the Middle East and, of course, the refugee crisis. This has all led to an increase in right-wing sentiments, if not outright fascism, and it is led from the US and fanned by the press. It has resulted in the most powerful nation on earth voting in….oh, let’s not go there. I just hope that history doesn’t repeat itself too precisely.
There is a famous Chinese curse: ‘May you live in interesting times’. I think 2017 will be an interesting time.
Depressed? You should be.