Tag Archives: labour

The people spoke. The government told them to fuck off.

Anyone that’s paid the slightest amount of attention to the current political zeitgeist will have noticed that even now, over a year since the referendum result, the Brexit bumblings show no signs of abating. We have Theresa May racking up air miles in aid of delivering speeches to nobody of any relevance, Labour conspiring to present their Brexit stance with all the clarity of a grease stained mirror and then there’s Boris Johnson who, having skulked away in the shadows as the post referendum carnage unfolded around him, now emerges from his lair with increasing regularity – slyly injecting obviously fallacious smegma into proceedings like only Boris can.

Perhaps understandably, this has left many of us peons feeling somewhat trapped aboard an apparently rudderless ship. Given how “the will of the people” had achieved mantra like status it seemed somewhat perplexing that “the people” had been cut adrift from the process so, naturally, a petition was started for a second referendum on the final Brexit deal.

It’s fair to say a significant demographic of “the people” made their voices heard.

header
Democracy in action – that’s what we all want, right?

The proposal itself was fairly simple – when the final terms of the Brexit deal are at long last known to all a second referendum is to be held offering the electorate three options:

  • To revoke Article 50, thereby keeping Britain in the EU
  • To reject the UK-EU deal and leave the EU
  • To accept the UK-EU deal and leave the EU

Perfectly clear, right? After seemingly decades of debate as to what was and wasn’t on the ballot paper on June 23rd 2016, it makes perfect sense to offer the British people a final say on the matter, only this time aided by a (hopefully) clear picture of the ramifications that will ultimately stem from their choice.

In any case, it more than exceeded the number of signatures required to trigger a Parliamentary debate.

debate

We didn’t actually have to wait too long for a response from the government, with the Department for Exiting the European Union no less providing the statement. Was it well received?

See for yourself.

reaction

Hmmm, I get the sneaking suspicion that I’m not going to like this very much but alas, this whole Brexit malarkey has hardly been an episode of Happy Days and Boris Johnson is most certainly not the Fonz.

So let’s all take a bite into this disconcertingly shitty sandwich that’s been served up from Westminster kitchens, shall we?

opening

Yeah…right off the bat we all know where this is fucking going. The 23rd of June seems to have taken on an almost mythical place in the timeline of history, being held aloft as an apparently infallible beacon of intent. As though it was the specific moment in time where the zeitgeist became locked in stasis, never to be shifted by the emergence of progressive thought or the transient nature of circumstance. Of course such bullshit can be sniffed out and exposed by pretty much anyone who has ever noticed that life isn’t exactly the same from one day to the next.

Despite this however, it hasn’t stopped the very same government charged with ensuring our nation’s prosperity churning it out as though it were an automated email response triggered by the term “Brexit” appearing in David Davis’ inbox.

Considering that (from an ideological standpoint) Brexit was heralded as “the people” finally being able to hold those atop the hierarchy accountable, you could be forgiven for feeling you’d been duped. After all, if a government can arbitrarily wave away the concerns of the electorate, you can safely assume that accountability isn’t on their mind.

Still, let’s see how they attempt to justify this stance.

2nd paragraph

Ah yes, now this is something that comes up a lot. “In the 2017 General Election more than 85% of people voted for parties committed to respecting that result” Unsettled by the notion that public mood has shifted, Leavers will reach for this statistic first. In the time since the Brexit vote poll results have varied wildly, not to mention having had their results rather dubiously extrapolated in order to serve certain narratives. So, with a recent general election having taken place, people have finally got some ‘official’ data to muse over – but is their interpretation here accurate?

A look back to 2015 throws out a few hints.

how parties voted
4% of UKIP voters, a party with the sole mission of leaving the European Union, opted for Remain. This blows my fucking mind.

First things first you have to acknowledge that old data is being examined here, with the 2016 EU referendum results being contrasted with those of the 2015 General Election, but that’s not to say that there’s nothing worthwhile to pick at here – the most crucial remnant being the Tory split. Despite being the party that promised the blasted referendum in the first place (for entirely cynical reasons of course), it didn’t deter the pro-EU demographic of Tory backers from sticking with the party and why would it? Party manifestos are crafted with an entire spectrum of issues in mind. Attempting to draw a tenuous equivalence between Labour/Tory voters in 2017 and the Leave cause is rather disingenuous to say the least. Whilst both parties essentially backed the proposal to leave the EU based upon the referendum result, the truth is that Brexit became somewhat of a side issue – lost amidst visions of prospective social justice and the Tory party conspiring to run perhaps the most laughably inept election campaign in living memory.

Further to this, Labour’s muddled and seemingly ever changing Brexit stance seemed to draw perhaps surprising support from many a Remainer. I mean sure, they’re still ultimately angling to follow through with the Leave vote, but their somewhat tangential position is far more comforting than the Tory’s apparent desire to fling the nation into the abyss as though it were a blind and confused lemming. It showed a willingness to be flexible at least and one could argue that such a gambit from Labour backing Remainers may have not been entirely misguided – not with the Labour brand of Brexit softening by the day.

As if that weren’t enough to demonstrate why the whole “85% voted for Brexit in 2017” argument is critically flawed, you’ve also got to consider the overwhelming support Labour received from younger demographic.

And we all know how our nation’s whippersnappers voted in the EU referendum…

young voters

Anyway, back to the bilge.

3rd paragraph

Now this might on the surface appear to be yet more yawnsome platitudes from a government with a finger rammed into each ear but don’t dismiss it so quickly. Otherwise you’d miss the author getting his foot trapped in his mouth so perfectly it’s almost as though the entire response was intended as a piece of irksome satire.

“Rather than second guess the British people’s decision to leave the European Union, the challenge is to now make a success of it”

Maybe I’m just a traitorous simpleton but…I’d have thought a second referendum on the final deal would have been a further safeguard against the British people being second guessed. You know, as opposed to blindly going along with a vote that was won on lies over a year ago?

Just a fucking thought.

final

To reduce the risk of giving myself a brain aneurysm I’ve opted to tackle the closing statements all in one go. Not that there’s not really a lot to see here, unless endless waffle riddled with flimsy justifications is your sort of thing.

I won’t deny that when viewed in isolation certain points here seem fair enough. MP’s voting on the final deal for instance, that’s how Parliament is supposed to work after all. However when you scrape away the layers of cosmetics it becomes apparent that the entire framework of the government’s position is held together by the slim 52% majority for Leave last year. When you consider the myriad of falsehoods, misguided assumptions and outright lies that contaminated the EU referendum it’s not exactly a solid foundation in which to build from.

For all the nitpicks and bizarre ironies however, there is one question this rather risible government response has spawned in the back of my mind. That question is simply “why?”

The reasons as to why the dyed in the wool Brexiteers want to crash out of the EU vary, ranging from preposterous nationalism all the way to a conspiracy so deep you could write a most excellent book on the subject. Our own government’s rationale however, is much more unclear. Why are they ploughing on with a proposal that they know will be damaging? Why are they being so obtuse as to the concerns of the 16.1 million people who voted Remain? How can they claim with a straight face to be fighting for “the will of the people” yet deny those same people an infinitely more informed vote on the final terms?

Sadly, I don’t hold the answers. If I did I wouldn’t be a burnt out dope smoker hurtling towards 30 on a diet of Pringles and bargain basement breakfast cereals. However one thing is for certain. These are questions that all of us, whether we voted Leave or Remain, have to seriously ask ourselves.

Brexit is a decision that could last beyond a lifetime. Do you really want to have made such a decision without knowing all the facts?

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Time – The greatest threat to Brexit

It’s often said that “voting doesn’t matter, they’re all the bloody same”.

Whilst the merits of this point could be debated endlessly it’s fair to say that, from the apparent public perception at least, this is how the supposed false dichotomy of a Tory/Labour Brexit was viewed. Sure, when you get into the minutiae of the matter there are differences and distinctions but ultimately, there didn’t seem to be much nuance when it came to the most notable and contentious issue – namely single market membership.

labour leave

See?

Now you can pick at the validity of Corbyn’s quite possibly flawed interpretation of the single market easily enough but that’s somewhat besides the point. Labour’s Brexit plan didn’t include single market membership – that’s all you need to take away.

In recent days of course, that’s all changed:

keir
I originally had a headline screengrab from the Sun but then my nose started inexplicably bleeding.

Wow. Quite the difference, huh?

“But that’s just for a transitional period!” I hear you cry and whilst initially this is indeed the case, there’s one very significant factor hiding away amidst the details:

beyoind
Corbyn is a secret Brexiteer/Remainer/Satanist – delete as applicable.

Ah, so a sneaky bit of hope for us unreconciled Remainers, yeah? I mean sure, the article goes on to state that it all hinges on the EU agreeing to Labour’s terms (the likelihood of which I suspect is minimal) so it’s still a few continents away from being the golden ticket to remain.

Of course, that didn’t stop Nigel from popping a coronary – displaying indignant rage amusingly befitting of a man lumbered with a chronic lack of self awareness.

nigel
“Pot? Kettle’s on the phone.”

In any case, a lot has been made of this. Are Labour now “Soft Brexit”? Or does the rabbit hole go even deeper and they’re trying to sneak a Brexit reversal via subterfuge? There’s all manner of theories flying through the ether but there’s at least a near universal synopsis emerging – a resounding distinction now exists between Labour and Tories when it comes to handling the acid smeared potato of Brexit.

The reaction has been varied with many a sceptical Remainer noting that, despite it being obviously more rational than the Tory’s lemming inspired proposals, it’ll still end up being a journey to an undesired destination – Brexit.

A fair point but don’t be giving up the good fight just yet, there’s still hope to be had from all this. It’s just that perhaps you’re looking for hope in the wrong location.

Take a look at the transitional proposal and ask yourself this – have you noticed that the closer to Remain a plan resides the more sense it seems to make? Further to this – ever picked up on the fact that the more time saunters by, the strength of Brexit dwindles? That what began as a roaring, rallying cry fuelled by fully leaded jingoism now finds itself in a state of perpetual decay, all the while being eroded by the scrutiny of time?

Time. That’s the concept we need to zero in on.

It all may seem very nebulous, as though you’re grasping at straws in a hurricane whilst wearing a blindfold, but the impact of time on the validity of Brexit cannot be understated. Take a peek at what mere hours did to the credibility of the Leave cause for instance. Even in their moment of greatest triumph, victory was significantly undermined before the new day had really begun. A revolution painted as the downtrodden majority rising up against the caviar sampling elitist establishment, seizing the reigns of power with that good, honest British bulldog spirit had already been cut off at the knees.

And, as with all wounded animals lying vulnerable whilst the vulture of reality circles overheard, they’ll do anything to avoid being exposed further.

shut down
Calling a halt to debate – a Brexiteer’s instinctive defence mechanism.

They’ll hide, they’ll misdirect and they’ll attempt to shut you down so vociferously you begin to wonder as to whether the debate is even worth your effort. They’re acutely aware that longer Brexit is dragged out, the more time you’ll have to pick at their ideological corpse.

And that is exactly why you simply can’t allow yourself to be deterred. Pick at that rancid cadaver. Bite entire chunks out of it if you can, attacking it with everything you’ve got. Brexit is weakened and it’s deteriorating with each passing moment but it’s not dead yet. It’s still slithering towards the point of no return, stubbornly refusing to stare its desperate predicament square in the face.

You won’t ever convince the true, dyed in the wool Brexiteer. They’re far too ideologically entrenched by this point so don’t grow despondent when you inevitably fail to drag them from the mire. It doesn’t matter as they’re not your target demographic to begin with. As with all democratic swings, it’s the middle ground where the victory is eventually gained.

Your refutation of Nigel’s anti immigration rhetoric isn’t for the Brexiteer. It’s for the curious onlooker, passive up until this point and pondering which side of the fence to set foot upon. It’s for the Leave voter who cast their ballot in good faith, confident in the belief that breaking free from EU shackles would actually improve life for their family who now suspect they were swindled.

190754-L-LO
Looks like Brexit – The Movie has come out with a director’s cut.

For with every debunked argument, for every changed mind a tiny battle is won – with the ever stumbling Brexit having its momentum further curtailed. Time is our greatest weapon but it must be utilised effectively.  Keep on fighting those seemingly insignificant skirmishes and convince people to join the cause.

Because with every extra set of eyes on guard duty, there’s less chance Brexiteers will pull off a Weekend at Bernie’s and smuggle the festering carcass of Brexit over the line.