Brexit and consequences…

Yesterday morning I tweeted about Brexit (as I’ve done a fair number of times), and it went just a little bit viral. Here’s the tweet:


It was an off-the-cuff Tweet, and I had no idea that people would RT it so much, nor that it would provoke quite as many reactions as it has. I’ve replied to a few, but, frankly, it’s not possible to reply to all. The responses, however, have been quite revealing in many ways. As usual, people read Tweets in different ways, and of course this particular Tweet is far from unambiguous. I was asked many times what is the ‘this’ that I’m saying is the fault of the ‘Brexit people’. And who I meant by ‘Brexit people’. I was told I was wrong to lump all Brexit people together. And that we should be looking for unity, not stoking the fires of division.

Some thought I was specifically talking about the dramatic fall of the pound. I wasn’t, but I might have been. Others thought I was blaming Brexit voters for ‘anything and everything’. I wasn’t. Actually, what I was doing was getting angry with those people who voted for Brexit but are now saying ‘we didn’t vote for this’ when they see Theresa May’s increasing nasty and xenophobic government do things like threaten to use EU citizens in the UK as ‘bargaining chips’, sending foreign doctors home as soon as we’ve trained enough ‘home grown’ doctors, and ‘naming and shaming’ companies that employ foreigners.

The thing is, if you voted Brexit you may not have wanted that to happen, but that’s the effect of your vote. And you were warned, many times, that by voting for Brexit you were helping the far right. By voting for Brexit you were ‘sending a message’ that immigrants weren’t welcome. By voting for Brexit you were likely to give more power to the worst kind of Tory. This is what I said on my blog in February, when the campaign was just beginning:

“What’s far more likely with Brexit is that an even more right-wing Tory government will come in, and with even fewer restrictions on their actions will destroy even more of what is left of our welfare state, our NHS, all those things about Britain that those on the left like. It shouldn’t be a surprise that Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling are amongst the most enthusiastic Brexiters. Win the vote and you’re giving them what they want.”

That’s what happened – and I was far from alone in predicting it, and warning people that if they voted for Brexit they’d get more nastiness and a more right-wing government. Now we’ve got it, and if you voted for Brexit, that’s the result.

I’m not, as I’ve also been accused, ‘lumping all Brexit voters together’, suggesting that they’re all racists and xenophobes. Of course they’re not. They have all, however, helped the racists and xenophobes. That’s what the vote did. That’s cause and effect. Some people I know and respect have strong and detailed analytical economic reasons behind their vote – and some expounded them in response to my tweet – but, frankly, that’s by-the-by. Even if their economic arguments  are sound (and I remain unconvinced), they still unleashed the xenophobia.

Others try to suggest that what’s happened is all for the good. We should be making lists of foreigners, we should be replacing foreign doctors with Brits and so forth. That’s also all well and good – but in that case, why be angry with my Tweet? You should be proud of the consequences, if you like them.

I am, of course, one of the out-of-touch metropolitan elite, and I know it. I don’t expect to be listened to. I don’t expect to have any result – but I still have the right to be angry. And I am. I only wish I’d been angrier earlier.

98 thoughts on “Brexit and consequences…

    • Hating a group of people for their beliefs or life style or being indifferent is xenaphobic. For example, such as hating or having an attitude problem to those Brexit people’s who voted out is xenophobia…

      Did you hear about how many people in muslim lands turned against thier neighbours when

      Same happened in Germany Namibia war time…

      Did you hear about the stories about some homosexuels who turned on christian business people, when the laws started to support them.?

      If or when secularism rises more, Do you think liberals
      Lefty fag flag wavers won’t turn on their neighbours for their beliefs and attitudes indifferent and hostile to their own?…

      This Brexit did Bring out hostile racists…
      But this xenophobia will happen with any changes left or right people of the policy spectrum.

      • Hating a group of people for their beliefs or life style or being indifferent is xenaphobic. For example, such as hating or having an attitude problem to those Brexit people’s who voted out is xenophobia…

        Did you hear about how many people in muslim lands turned against thier neighbours when

        The same happened in Germany Nazi war time…

        Did you hear about the stories about some homosexuels who turned on christian business people, when the laws started to support them.?

        If or when secularism rises more, Do you think liberals
        Lefty fag flag wavers won’t turn on their neighbours for their beliefs and attitudes indifferent and hostile to their own?…

        This Brexit did Bring out hostile racists…
        But this xenophobia will happen with any changes with left or right people of the policy spectrum.

      • “Hating a group of people for their beliefs or life style or being indifferent is xenaphobic.”

        Uh, no it isn’t.

      • Actually, one thing the ‘Lefty fag flag waving liberals’ don’t do is hate. By definition, liberals try to be ‘liberal’ – to see and celebrate diversity, and champion the right to have different opinions; just as long as those opinions aren’t used to limit the rights of another. Reverse racism is still racism.

    • Hating a group of people for their beliefs or life style or being indifferent is xenaphobic. For example, such as hating or having an attitude problem to those Brexit people’s who voted out is xenophobia…

      Did you hear about how many people in muslim lands turned against thier neighbours when

      The same happened in Germany Nazi war time…

      Did you hear about the stories about some homosexuels who turned on christian business people, when the laws started to support them.?

      If or when secularism rises more, Do you think liberals
      Lefty fag flag wavers won’t turn on their neighbours for their beliefs and attitudes indifferent and hostile to their own?…

      This Brexit did Bring out hostile racists…
      But this xenophobia will happen with any changes with left or right people of the policy spectrum.

      • Could you cut and paste this again? It’s possible people missed it the first, second and third time.

  1. A good post.

    I continue to wonder how 48% of voters can be considered an elite!

    People keep saying “the voters have spoken”. Well, 16m said they wanted to remain in the EU, and the government is happily ignoring them!

    • 38% of the electorate voted Brexit, hardly the Will of The People.

      That includes protest voters, people who thought they were voting to keep Muslims out, and gullible people believing a pack of lies from the Brexit Campaign that were retracted within hours of the vote before all the Brexit Politicians ran off or dived for cover.

      The Brexit voter tended to be older, less educated, less travelled in Europe, more Xenophobic than the Remainers. This subset of voters is not representative of the whole of the UK, lacking in Vision, lacking in International experience, lacking in Economic understanding. To let this tail wag the dog is a travesty of Democracy. But no doubt very convenient for the extreme right-wing interests that May is quietly supporting.

      Constitutional change cannot be allowed to be decided in back room deals by a handful of extreme people, none of whom have been voted into the role by the electorate. This Junta has no mandate.

      Common sense must hold sway.

      • It’s interesting to see how commentators have been making factual on the demographics of who vote Leave or Remain. Yet where does this information come from?

        There was only one question on the ballot paper– whether the UK should remain a member of the EU– that was it. No option on the ballot paper about education, age, how travelled the voter etc on the ballot form. The only demographic breakdown we can ascertain, is location– since results were collated by council areas.

        Thus the stats on age, education and so on come from surveys and opinion polls. Now given these pollsters interview just a few thousand voters (who may not tell the truth to pollsters anyway): Bearing in mind that over 33 million people voted, how accurate can we say these surveys are? To say, for instance, that 73% of 18-24 YO vote Remain, or that the more educated were more likely to vote Remain, is at best guess-work and unlikely to be fact.

        Unless they survey *everyone* who voted, the stats from Comres surveys couldn’t be passed off as fact, and it would likely yield different results (perhaps a higher percentage of Leave amongst younger and educated voters).

      • sorry but your attitude is the reason a lot of people voted brexit. i have travelled extensively. backpacked and gap years before student loans and the internet made it easy, driven to mongolia at 45 years old and just got back from a weekend at the chernobyl exclusion zone. I voted out for a lot of reasons and none were because i am older or less educated or less travelled or any of your other narrow minded rubbish. I have also learnt that a lot of people now think they will need visas to travel to europe mainland,,,, really…

        Dont belittle people who won a war so you can vote, they travelled abroad with no choice to most probably die for us. think about the old people whose opinions you think dont matter.

        Good luck with the visa for france.

      • Mark Rich – If you’re trying to defend Brexiters as non-ignorant, then saying a lot of them voted Brexit because of other people’s attitudes towards them isn’t really helping your case.

      • “Constitutional change cannot be allowed to be decided in back room deals by a handful of extreme people, none of whom have been voted into the role by the electorate. This Junta has no mandate.”

        Ah, the irony. Tell me about the generation of EU laws. I’ll put the kettle on.

      • Would nt say older and uneducated bear in mind these where the people who originally voted and regreted it ever since,so know the before and after the eu they saw the uks assets stripped and the ability to survive as and island eroded

      • But the position has changed, hasn’t it? I have Scottish friends who voted in (with UK) but want to be part of the EU more than part of the UK, and so would vote out with another referendum. I’m totally with them on that. As an English/British person, I am more proud and identify more as being European than I do as being English/British.

    • what a load of rubbish, well said lol, if this was a goverment election would the party with the second largest
      vote total get to form a government ? you need to look up the meaning of ‘democracy’.

      • Garry how soon you’ve forgotten 2010, the general election where Labour, as the party with the second largest amount of votes, got the chance to do exactly that.

        We live in a “democracy” where we have an unelected PM, a Conservative party in power with a minority of votes (36.1% in GE 2015, reduced to just 24.5% if take in voter turnout),and a voting system in which seats won don’t necessarily represent the overall popularity/votes for that party.
        None of that sounds particularly democratic to me.

        And then we have a Brexit vote, which won by a majority so small that Farage himself said that if Remain won by so little the decision should be ignored, which when taking into account voter turnout becomes a minority, from a referendum in which many UK residents and British citizens were denied the vote.

        I’m not saying we should ignore the voices of that 52%: that would indeed be undemocratic. But last I knew, that 52% had a fair few different visions of how we should Brexit, and now they (and the 48% who voted Remain) are being dragged towards whatever kind of Brexit May feels like without getting any say in the matter at all.

      • Re Sophie Kerr’s post…

        You make some good points. However what is an “unelected PM”?

        Theresa May is elected by the majority her constiuents: In this sense she is elected in same way as everyone else in the House Of Commons is elected– therefore equally entitled to lead it. This is why we have such a mechanism to deal with mid-term resignation, and this happens surprisingly frequently– indeed half the PMs over the past 100 years have become PM mid-term.

        It’s not like the election of a president, where directly elect our political leader– we have a parliamentary system where vote parties into government. In this country the Prime Minister is merely “first among equals”:  The leader, by mutual consent, of all those elected to the parliamentary party. We don’t elect a Prime Minister any more than we elect the other ministers in the cabinet, nor does it change the term of the government or bring in anyone from outside.

      • This is called a minority government, and is a totally legitimate possibility within our democracy. As are coalition governments formed after hung parliaments ( à la 2010-2015), that by definition is a government no-one votes for. Time to go back to school, buddy.

  2. “They have all, however, helped the racists and xenophobes. That’s what the vote did. That’s cause and effect.”

    That’s what I’ve been saying for 3 months and many have replied (I’m a EU citizen) that “we didn’t mean ‘you’ ” – someone should inform these people that if they didn’t mean to half-ruin the life of a mature Italian lady like me but only those of ‘nasty’ Romanians and Poles, well they should be aware that in life it never works that way.
    There was no difference in Nazi Germany between Jewish academics or German-Jewish high skilled people, they all ended up interned in nazi camps.
    When xenophobia, racism and hate are unleashed, they are blind. There are no differences between an Indian doctor or a Hungarian cleaner.
    I hope, at some point, that general population, regardless of what they voted, will finally grasp that they have unleashed a beast that won’t stop in front of anything.

    • The Romanians what english are against are usually Roms which are a total different etnic group. The problem is english don’t have education enough to understand there 2 different etnic grouos 😠😠By the way probably 1/4 of nurses and doctors are Romanians and are some of the best .

      • That wasn’t my point Renata. Generally speaking, the most hated group is Eastern Europeans, of which Romanian are part. Then southern Europeans. However, my point was that making differences is of no help because EU citizen indicates anyone from all 27 countries part of EU. Saying “but it wasn’t you” is actually trying to make a fool of the person in front of the one speaking.

  3. Is Brexit the new climate change, the old global warming and in the seventies global cooling? It’s an excuse for things not achieved. It’s now being used by the tories as an excuse for not getting the economy straight by punishing the proles.
    What do you expect from a gang of idiots who think the answer to everything is kicking someone less fortunate up the arse?

  4. “but I still have the right to be angry. And I am. I only wish I’d been angrier earlier. “

    However anger may not allow you to be able to efficiently address the matters causing concern and raising your wrath.
    You acknowledge that many Brexiteers were not sufficiently aware to make fully informed decisions, they had different information which affected their judgements differently – but that is humanity. Expressing anger towards the Brexiteers merely reflects those actions taken by the right wing which apparently so terrify you, and which you complain of so vociferously as being the main social danger. You ignore as many of those things which feed upon and drive the energies of politicians into wishing to gain power and hold onto it so that their own judgements may be expressed in a way potentially directing society more generally.

    Could things like that mean many were manipulated rather than informed; And what is causing a situation of manipulation rather than education to increasingly become the preferred political vehicle hence driving demand for further surveillance measures?

    • I’m not sure you quite got the point of the blog post, if you think I’m ignoring those things ‘which feed upon and drive the energies of politicians’. I’m not doing that at all. I’m not talking to the politicians here at all – indeed, I’m talking to people in the hope that they look at the politicians with a more nuanced, thoughtful and in particular *critical* perspective. Too many, in this referendum campaign, treated politicians words as honest, direct, and unaffected by their agendas. They should have thought it through, understood those agendas a little more, and been able to think through the consequences of their vote.

      • Yes, it would be valuable if people were taught from a young age to have a more critical view on the stories they hear and read.
        From what I have heard, however, that kind of education is extremely limited within the state school system (whereas I suspect most independent/public/private schools offer more along those lines, as mine did).

        I don’t want to spout conspiracies – it could easily be attributed to limited resources – but doesn’t it seem like our ruling class benefits from not teaching the public how to think or question the narrative they’re given?

      • No, it appears we are speaking to the same issues.

        To the political sphere when rules are made to be broken rules enemies of promise become visible in their silences which reveal other interpretations continue to exist. Should everybody be energized, controlled or directed rather than allowed to think things through in their own way and time.

        Consider for example the data protection act issues with which you are familiar, commencing with the flexibility built into the original EU regs and the 1984 act and moving forward to today. Many of the pressures and abuses were created because of the actions of organizations interested in their own immediate interest whilst being completely (often deliberately so) ignorant of the wider social impacts.

        Those types of action across a wide range of spheres appear to have created a situation where over a number of years different types of surveillance mechanism have been implemented as a means of attempting to effectively manage what has increasingly looked like a state under threat resulting in the situation where a more controlled society, rather than merely a suppressed one, becomes viable.

        From within the political sphere an approach was started by the extreme right wing, which appears to have finally resonated with 50 percent (plus or minus two percent) of the UK vote in the Brexit result. That Brexit vote appears to be the same sort of complaint as those DPA issues, the rules are seen as too constraining, and the wider environment does not matter. (If one ignores the social impacts of new technology, the recession’s, currency parity arguments and changes in the predominant philosophy that simplistic view holds water.)

        Boiling it down in that way; Is society saying that the safeguards protecting its freedoms are not valuable enough to abide by; or is it saying it wishes to be more clearly told what to do with limited scope for variation? Brexit will deliver the second by focusing only on English rule rather than including any needs of other societies whose inclusion would create more room for manoeuvre. Should we blame those individuals who have over the years taken advantage of various situations to their own advantage or has the time come for people to act and be damned with the consequences? Anger could be a cause for both of those options and certainly is used to make people more pliable to simpler control or direction techniques. It is the space in between which becomes the important element in determining those actions and that is the space where the Brexit debate is, rather unfairly to many of the UK population, being conducted.

        So there is a need to carefully consider what is said, what is unsaid, how those two things are used by politicians and what other information may be available to inform oneself. In my interpretation of your article we do not differ in that although we may differ in intention and the strength of feeling presented one way or the other.

  5. The question in the referendum was about remaining in or leaving the EU. The word Brexit was not on the ballot paper, nor was there any mention of the Single Market or the Customs’ Union or immigration. The UK has formally decided, by a narrow margin, to leave the EU and not the Single Market or the Customs’ Union. It hasn’t formally decided to stop free movement of EU nationals nor to leave the Single Market or the Customs’ Union. However these things could happen because a lot of noisy Brexiters are asserting that these are what people are voting about (or rather they are asserting that people were voting about immigration and in practice that will very probably mean that the UK will end up outside the Single Market without any parliamentary scrutiny). A cross-party group of MPs has belatedly woken up to the fact that some changes with serious implications might happen without the public or parliament having voted for them.

    So the UK hasn’t formally voted for anything but leaving the EU. It hasn’t voted for the regressive atmosphere and uncertainty that is enveloping the UK. However anyone who voted “Leave” and thought that this wouldn’t happen was being very naïve. Having voted “Leave” in 1975 I tried to follow the new Euro-scepticism from the 1990s onwards and it was clear that it had many ugly aspects. Anyone who has followed the argument on blogs will have seen that a lot of it was illogical and based on myths, and that the strange dynamic in the Conservative Party between “modernisers” and some undefined other group (“reactionaries” ?) was part of it. Everyone I have spoken to who said they voted “Leave” in 1975 said they voted “Remain” in 2016 because they didn’t identify with the new, post-1990, Euro-scepticism. However it seems that there were some who were naïve enough to vote “Leave” and not realise what lay behind the façade of Cameron’s “modernising” Conservative Party.

    • “The question in the referendum was about remaining in or leaving the EU. The word Brexit was not on the ballot paper, nor was there any mention of the Single Market or the Customs’ Union or immigration.”
      Brexit is short for “British exit of the EU” so although the word “brexit” was not on the ballot paper the “event” of brexit was.
      The Single Market, Customs’ Union and Freedom of Movement are amongst the current obligations and benefits of our EU membership so these were mentioned because there was “Leave the EU” option which includes that.
      When you are a member of an organisation and leave you also leave all of the obligations and benefits of that organisation – to assume otherwise is foolish. Now it is possible that the organisation may be willing to do you a favour and continue to extend some benefits but they are no obligated to do so and sticking two fingers up to them is not the way to win favours.
      It was pointed out many times before the referendum that EU membership was a package deal and a vote to leave was not just a vote against a single aspect of the EU but against the entire package, nor was it a general election.

      • Norway and Switzerland represent models that are credible options for the UK. They don’t subscribe to your theory of the EU package.

        As Guano pointed out, the question was whether to leave or remain. The question was not ‘shall we give £350,000,000 each week to the NHS’. It was not ‘shall we send EU citizens back to where they came from’. It was not ‘should we exit the single market’. These may have been behind some people’s reasons for voting either way. Indeed, there are a vast number of reasons for why people voted one way or another, and no doubt some people voted one way or another but held their reservations.

        Don’t pretend you know why everyone who voted to leave chose to do so.

  6. Not everyone who voted for Brexit is racist, but you can guarantee every racist voted Brexit. My wife is Turkish and Muslim and I was born here but my surname is Polish. Can’t help but shudder at what the future holds…

      • most lunatics voted remain. People with mental health problems are going to be some of the worst affected by Brexit from research funding cuts to attacks on ppl with disabilities through welfare system

    • Indeed. I think politicians lost control of the narrative at the point when they started saying “It’s not racist to talk about immigration.” And it’s true, you don’t have to be racist to talk about immigration, but it helps. So we went from Gordon Brown saying “That Bigoted Woman” to a knee-jerk blame-it-all-on-the-Poles way of thinking without any kind of rational, sensible, grown-up discussion in between.

  7. Day by day the horror of ‘brexit’ continues to unfold – the current Government is just enforcing the will of the ‘people’ – as a result, soon the UK will be regarded as an irrelevant xenophobic little island running headfast into oblivion 😢

  8. I voted to leave…..we live on a small island with a system that is being crushed. Roads are crowded, NHS needs funds with less people entering the system (whilst people are living longer), a housing stock that is over valued (my son will never get on the housing ladder). A welfare system that is being abused (which I’m paying for), a European workforce that is being exploited by the gang masters (which apparently is work us Brits wouldn’t do – nonsense). A government who can no longer make vital decisions and is continually overruled by the Eurocrats. Belong to an organisation that is hell bent on destroying the very essence of what it was supposed to be and now are looking at introducing countries that aren’t even part of Europe, not to mention they are poorer countries. The EU sees us as a cash cow and whilst it does reinvest into good projects the majority helps the other nations (we already give a good level of foreign aid thank you). To top it all the EU is struggling to grow and many nations are in financial dire straits. The icing on the cake is the EU ‘leaders’ are now saying we will punish Britain for wanting to leave? Why? Why should we be punished? Just because we want to go in a different direction which being an EU member won’t allow us to go. My ‘Brexit’ vote has NOTHING to do with Xenophobia, you can’t have a crushed system tight on budgets that doesn’t know what resources the system needs AND isn’t allowed to make decisions that will control the system. Not one ounce of regret. EU is dying and everyone knows it. Just for the record I go to Europe at least once per month, I love the people, culture and more. I speak 2 additional European languages, and Britain is not alone in these feelings. Britain is standing up for its self and wants a new future and I for one relish the thought.

      • You appear to be saying thanks for the rant every time someone disagrees with you or doesn’t see yr point. You have no evidence whatsoever that every racist has voted to leave, that’s just what you think.

      • I didn’t even say that…. but this blog IS what I think. That’s the point of it. I’m not claiming it’s fundamental, unquestionable, unchallengeable truth. It’s my opinion. And of course I say thank you for rants. Mostly because they tend to make my points far more directly than I can do myself. So, once again, thanks!🙂

      • Definition of rant: – speak or shout at length in an angry, impassioned way.

        Much of what is written by those in favour of “leave” is angry and impassioned, and this (alongside the xenophobia) has led to the poisonous atmosphere in politics. Those of us who remember the efforts of the UK (and in particular the Conservative Party) to get the UK into Europe in the 1960s and early 1970s are bemused that there are many people so angry at European institutions, apparently. The EU is, allegedly, “hell-bent” on something, going to “punish” us, the UK is being “crushed” etc etc. It is difficult to debate issues when the starting point is these exaggerations.

        Much of what is written by those in favour of “leave” is also long, usually a long series of assertions that are dubious interpretations of events. Few people have the time and energy to try to unpack and analyse all of the misconceptions in one comment or blog post and, even if you do try to analyse it, the misconceptions just keep oncoming.

    • You voted because you’ve been told repeatedly for the last x amount of years by newspapers that the cause of all of the problems you’ve mentioned is other people. It isn’t. It’s neoliberalism. Foreign workers didn’t lower wages, the people paying the wages did. Foreign nationals didn’t make housing unaffordable, the people selling the houses did. Foreign nationals didn’t refuse to invest meaningfully in roads. Foreign nationals didn’t knacker the UK’s public transport system. The welfare system being abused is one of the worst in Europe, again, people realistically don’t come to the UK from Europe for benefits, that’s just a fairy story being peddled by newspapers. By far the largest sector of benefits payments is pensions/retired people. The UK has an ageing population and this will continue to rise.

      The EU isn’t really struggling to grow, the whole world is. Because endless growth in a closed system is unsustainable.

      EU leaders aren’t saying they will punish the UK for leaving. EU leaders are saying the UK can’t have its cake and eat it. EU leaders are saying that the four freedoms that the EU was founded upon (free movement of goods, capital, services, and people) aren’t actually negotiable. The British people were told differently by the media who are now spinning the whole “punishment” thing.

      You have a problem with neoliberalisation, not a problem with immigration. I hope you can investigate this and agree with me.

      • Couldn’t agree more, well said. Never had an issue with immigration, however I do have an issue with uncontrolled movement. How can any system work when you don’t really understand how much resource you are going to need. That said I do disagree with you on the media spinning the ‘punishment’ – the EU needs to take a look at itself and decide if it wants to take the risk or not. I think it’ll be a mistake on both sides. We need solutions not hard nosed approaches, collaboration not single mindedness. We can have free movement without uncontrolled movement, it’s not even difficult, however every one is spitting their dummies out because we as a nation want to try something different.

    • ‘…a European workforce that is being exploited by the gang masters (which apparently is work us Brits wouldn’t do – nonsense)…’
      That’s not nonsense. If Brits were willing to do these jobs, there would be no need for the European Workforce. How many of them complained about ‘all thes people coming here, taking our jobs’, not having worked a single day in their life and living off benefits. When asked what jobs were taken away from them, they could only reply ‘I don’t know’…! Makes sense..not.

      • The idea from those that say Brits are lazy?… Brits are people from many ethnic groups. sharing views about immigration and work…

        But what they often mean by saying this, is the white working class. It is often a racist statement against traditional white Brits. This is Racism they claim to despise.

        This problem they whinge on about with the Brits can be easily solved by changing the welfare system. working the few hours minimal wage to cover benefit hand outs.

        This can be done without effecting their human rights.

        Another method would to bring back national army service for all school leavers. Or fall into some kind of service of their choosing or choice offered.

        But the whinging liberals may fight against this. They may go on about human rights.
        But what the flaked liberal really means is Humanists rights…

        They call them lazy Brits, yet prevent them from working by going on about some humanist right law, or invent something to fight for.

    • Ironically, your list of stated reasons why you voted ‘leave’, includes a majority of points that have nothing whatever to do with the EU, or our membership of it, but are rather consequences of policy decision made by our own national government (underfunding of the transport network and the NHS, the housing price bubble, abuse of the welfare system).
      That these issues haven’t been addressed has nothing to do with ‘eurocrats’, and everything to do with our own domestic politicians choosing not to address them.
      The irony is in the fact that your ‘leave’ vote hands more power still to the same domestic politicians responsible. You’re criticizing the EU for things it had no part in, and then ‘solving’ the problem by handing more autonomy and control to the same people who DID create and maintain these problems.
      I suspect that you’re far from being the only Brexiter doing so.

      • “Ironically, your list of stated reasons why you voted ‘leave’, includes a majority of points that have nothing whatever to do with the EU, or our membership of it, but are rather consequences of policy decision made by our own national government (underfunding of the transport network and the NHS, the housing price bubble, abuse of the welfare system).”

        Yes, quite. It is odd to see that immigrants are the cause of crowded roads, rather than the run-down of public transport or land-use policies that make it necessary to drive long distances to work or go shopping.

    • You are te problem, you moron. And yes, if you think the welfare system
      is being abused, and that the NHS is under strain from foreigners, you are an uninformed xenophobe.

    • If we kick out all the EU migrants of working age who are currently paying more into the system than they are taking out, and in return get back all of the older people who have left the UK for Spain and such, then vital services will be even more unfunded and under staffed than they are now. Especially when you factor in the number of EU migrants in caring and building professions…

    • The Government said – many times – that:
      1) Immigrants are NET CONTRIBUTORS to the UK economy.
      2) They do NOT cripple or overcrowd the NHS (or the roads for that matter).
      3) They are not taking all the housing stock.
      4) They are not abusing the welfare system.
      5) They are not being exploited by “gang masters”.
      6) The EU is NOT “overriding” the UK government

      In fact:
      1) Without EU immigrants, the income to the UK economy is likely to be about 30 billion pounds less per year. They are net tax payers – not avoiders.
      2) They are far less likely to use the NHS, and as a demographic average about 25 years old – as opposed to the average UK citizen, who averages 40 as of this year. EU citizens are per capita about 5 times less likely to use the NHS… and make up almost 30% of its staff.
      3) EU citizens do not get any priority on housing lists. In fact, as they are such a small sub-section of the UK population (about 5%), and generally do not stay for long periods of time – very few of them every get social housing. Currently 8.4% of social housing is held by foreign nationals. HOWEVER, this does not separate EU and no-EU residents. Since 2/3 of immigrants are non-EU, that means approximately 2.8% of UK social housing is held by EU citizens…
      4) EU immigrants are 5 times less likely to claim benefits than UK citizens, per capita. This is because many EU states have a larger welfare state with more generous payments than the UK. In other words: people don’t tend to come to the UK to claim benefits, since other intermediate states have a more generous welfare system. Most EU immigrants actually come to the UK to work – not claim benefits.
      Ironically – non-EU immigrants are twice as likely to do so than UK citizens… The UK Benefits Agency’s own figures show there are fewer benefits actually being claimed than being claimed fraudulently.
      In other words, if all the people who were claiming benefits were found out, and everyone who COULD claim them did so – the UK would be spending more on benefits than they are now.
      5) Your statement: “which apparently is work us Brits wouldn’t do – nonsense” is actually nonsense. UK workers will NOT do packing-and-picking. They will NOT spend 12-14 hours a day bent-over, picking strawberries for minimum wage. I’ve done both of these jobs, and can confirm that I was the only native English speaker there… and I am NOT British at all. There were no “gang masters” involved. I just showed up, and did the work I was asked to do. If there are no EU workers doing these jobs, they will simply vanish. The UK fresh fruit industry near-as-dammit vanished entirely and was on the way out until the market was opened to desperate workers from eastern Europe. The food logistics industry wasn’t doing any better.

      6) The UK currently wins 87% of the EU votes it takes part in.
      Now – if they want to sell to the EU in future – they’ll need to comply with ALL the EU packaging, shipping, manufacturing, import/tax, admin rules… and will gain nothing for it whatsoever (and in fact may end up subject to tax, duty, customs hold/inspection, etc) AND now will have no say at ALL in what those rules are.
      People think there’s a bunch of people overturning UK laws, telling our judges to reverse their decisions and do on…
      The UK proposes – and wins – almost all the votes in the EU. If the Tories won 87% of the votes in Parliament, we’d all have pictures of Theresa May tattooed on our foreheads, and “I love the Conservative” t-shirts on during all waking hours…

      Yes, the UK is a net contributor to the EU.
      That means other nations worse off in the EU can be helped out of the bottom of the pile and turn into TRADING PARTNERS. That means they can eventually contribute to the EU, and eventually turn it into an even larger market. You’ll notice though – the EU contributes to all those things in the UK the UK simply refuses to fund… so they end up literally giving it back to those who actually need it behind the backs of the Government which refuses to acknowledge the need.

      The EU sure is evil, sho’ nuff.

      Oddly – foreign aid isn’t designed to make people feel better. It’s designed to make the poverty-level classes into working classes, the working classes into middle classes, and to expand the existing middle-class into a larger one… so they can then contribute to the world as a whole. It’s not a big pink fluffy teddy to make the people who have broadband, Costa, Pret and Sky Sports feel like they’re accomplishing something.
      A Pound spent on someone absolutely crushingly poor will go a hell of a lot farther than one given to someone who has a BMW already.
      That’s how aid (and benefits for that matter) works. On average, every £ spent on benefits and aid returned about £1.70 back to the economy.
      That’s called an economic multiplier. Google it.
      Cutting benefits cuts more than the amount saved. It also cuts that £.70 economic benefit as well. In other words: every £1 you save cutting benefits COSTS you an extra £.70. If you have an imaginary £20 in your pocket, and given £10 in aid or benefit, and then you cut aid from £10 to £9, and when you check your pocket, you will find that tenner plus the extra Pound in your pocket will magically turn into £9.30 instead of £11.
      That’s why cutting benefits during a recession is immensely stupid. Every Pound saved costs you £1.70.

      EU leaders want to “punish” the UK to show that leaving the EU has serious consequences which will stop other countries leaving the EU.

      While YOUR EU vote is not supporting xenophobia, that’s great.

      However, if 100 people vote for something, and you realise 75 of those people are doing it because they hate wops and pollocks and krauts and frogs and want them all out and then say, “Well – I’m not like all those guys… but I think you’re doing it all for the right reasons”, and then it turns out they end up running the show while 98 other people stand around the whole time going, “What are you doing? They’re a bunch of Nazis?!”, you can’t just say: “Well…. *I’M* not a racist xenophobe!”…

      The reality, you’ve helped a bunch of skinhead racists board up the asylum… while the other 98 people who tried to convince you NOT to support the 99 others (not you though – no!) run around with flaming torches, brownshirts and dodgy salutes.

      Supporting raving racists who want to literally kick out every single non-Britain out of the UK for a non-racist reason is still supporting racists… no matter how much you don’t like them.

      Oh – I’m not from the EU either, by the way.

      • With regards to #6: Since qualified majority voting was introduced, the UK has voted against an EU legislative proposal 70 times– and lost 70 times. Indeed via QMV the UK has been outvoted more than any other EU member state (I do wonder how many bills proposed at Westminster do get passed by our parliament; given our electoral system tends to produce majority governments, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s more than 87%)

        It’s perhaps not surprising since the British have always been a square peg in a round hole. Our common law– with habeas corpus, “innocent until proven guilty” and “everything which is not forbidden is allowed”– is essentially the opposite of juris corpis. I know many voted Brexit to protect common law (habeas corpus already undermined by the EU’s EAW), given common law gives us much protection from the state and of our liberties.

        Philisophically the British are different. Britons tend to hold that knowledge depends on experience (one might say ‘trial and error’). The British tend to be sceptical and cautious, while tolerant of different approaches —  but continental Europeans often claim that ideas matter most —  they tend to be less flexible and more dogmatic.Harold Macmillan expanded on this point when discussing Concorde, a British-French project. It was an engineering triumph but not so much commercially. He said:
        “The difference is temperamental and intellectual. The continental[s] like to reason from the top downwards, from general principle to practical application … the tradition of St. Thomas Aquinas. The Anglo-Saxons like to argue from the bottom upwards, from practical experience … the tradition of Bacon and Newton.”

        These contrasts in national style/approach reportedly persisted throughout Concorde’s development. French elite technocrats had trained academically; whereas the British engineers had gone through a long apprenticeship on the shop floor. The French were more hierarchical — while the British tended to regard a firm instruction from above merely as a basis for discussion. It could be argued that this more flexible, questioning and less intellectualist approach are other facets of what makes Britain prioneering (and kept it safe from trynanny that visited the continent on regular occasions) — something else which Breixt voters were mindful of in my experience.

        It’s true the UK will on longer has a say on EU packaging rules– but then that’s the same as when the UK trades with NAFTA, Arab League or any other trading bloc across the world.

  9. I voted leave, I am British and European etc however you want to label me.I have a Syrian wife, I have 2 children, I employ a multinational workforce. Paul thank you for your opinion. Just realised I’m now labelled xenophobic and simultaneously the victim of bigotry. Still in this world of free thought and opinion it doesn’t really matter does it.

    • That’s not what I said at all. I said that by voting leave you helped racists and xenophobes. I know that’s not what you intended – indeed, that’s really the main point of the post – but that’s the effect. We have a hideously xenophobic government, and Brexit is one of the main reasons for that.

    • The irony is, that it can be argued the current EU migration policy is in a way xenophobic/racist: This is because it automatically favours those from other EU countries over non-EU countries, regardless of the merit of applicants.

      • PS: The only way the voter gives the Tories power, is by voting for Conservative candidates, which is why we have a Conservative majority government at present.

        Brexit (for better or worse) will mean the government will be much more acountable to the voter, including matters of immigration. So if migration policy of the Tories becomes unpalatable, then at the next election we have a choice of returning a govt who present an immigration policy to our liking.

        “Not everybody who voted Leave is racist, but every racist voted Leave” is popular maxim amongst Remain campaigns, reportedly coined by Billy Bragg. How does he, or anybody else, know that every racist voted Leave? It ignores the fact the majority of inhabitants of the rest of EU are also white, and it also ignores ethnic-minority Leave voters. Doubtless there were racists who didn’t vote at all or who even voted… gasp.. Remain.

        As for the Brexit emboldening the “far/hard right”, let’s not forget that people right across the political spectrum endorsed leaving: No2EU, Labour Leave, Jim Sillars and Jenny Jones are examples of those from the left-wing that endorsed Brexit.

  10. Is our society becoming more and more used to daily life filling creativity made by others guiding its daily existence? Ultimately resulting in us becoming more resistant to in-depth thought and analysis? People sadly seem to more readily to accept lazy soundbites instead of any sort of reasoned dialog.

    Although it was obvious to many that the downside effects of Brexit were real and that we would be giving up our safeguards to a dangerous ‘modernising’ Tory party, many anti-Tory voters were oblivious to this and cut off their nose to spite their face.

    Perhaps instead the tinfoil brigade is right and ‘they’ are in fact putting something in our drinking water! Sadly I feel often that society on the whole seems to be dumbing down. Although unrelated to the blog piece, Trump is a great example of having a massive support base seemingly based on lies and soundbites!

    I doubt if the EU referendum was done again tomorrow the result would be the same as it is slowly sinking in how much they have been fooled. Many may have voted to leave the EU but that is only a small part of the ‘package’ they have now sanctioned.

  11. Voting Leave was the best thing for us…… How did we cope before Europe……. VERY WELL thank you………We signed up for the Common Market.. NOT to be controlled by a bunch of Non British Idiots, telling us what we can and Cant do……. I remember England Before the Common Market, Washing Machines, TV’S Cars, Steel all made in England…….

    • Hi theo child.

      You are aware of the rise of Chinese steel, right?
      Taiwanese and Japanese electronics?
      USA software?
      Indian call centres?

      Have you heard of Samsung, Tata Steel, Sharp, Kenwood, Toshiba, Toyota, Kia, Daewoo?

      Are you aware that the current average Chinese wage is £480/yr and that’s three times higher than a decade ago?
      Are you aware that the 2009 average Indian wage was US$0.40 per hour?

      The EU had nothing to do with your ‘golden era’ getting sucked down the toilet. The truth is that on a global scale, we can’t compete in manufacturing because we pay people too much.
      [Just to be clear, in no way do I advocate reducing people’s wages, because the high cost of living here would drive people into destitution immediately].
      So when the Asian nations started producing enough to start exporting, it undercut our whole market.

      In case you weren’t aware, China isn’t part of the EU. Nor is India, and no, not even Japan… You resent that Britain is no longer the fantasy world of white working class domestic bliss that it was half a century ago, but don’t blame that change on joining the EU. In fact, don’t blame it on anything – it’s just life.

  12. One of the frustrations with the Remain narrative post referendum is that all Remain voters were well informed and of one mind – that all consequences of EU membership are “a good thing” – but that a majority of Leave voters were bigots, racists and/or misled by the Leave campaign. There is simply no evidence that this is true and it does the Remain case no good to pretend that it is.

    This is faulty thinking, the Remain campaign had the full weight of the UK Establishment behind it – the Government, PM, Chancellor, Church of England, Big Business, Academia, Bank of England, HM Treasury, and all the major political parties actively supported Remain. In addition almost every other country and international body was invited by David Cameron to weigh into our domestic policies in support of Project Fear.

    In light of this, it is clear that a significant minority of Remain voters were misled, brow-beaten or plain terrified into reluctantly supporting the UK’s continued membership of the EU. We know the warnings of immediate economic collapse were bunkum and we now have a government which is saying that Brexit will bring benefits to the UK. It is therefore wrong to suggest that these voters are now unhappy with the prospect of Brexit.

    So, whilst some Leave voters may disagree with some of the government’s decisions on Brexit, some Remain voters will now be in favour. Overall the balance is unchanged and there is still majority support for the Brexit process.

    • I have this odd feeling that you’ve rather missed the point of the blog post. You might want to read it again and rethink the focus of your reply: it wasn’t addressed to people like you, who seem well-satisfied with the results of Brexit.

    • Opinion polls show that only 10% of voters want to leave the Single Market so as to end freedom of movement of EU nationals to/from the UK; two-thirds of voters give preference to staying in the Single Market over restricting freedom of movement of EU nationals to/from the UK and about a quarter of voters give equal weight to the two options.

      The UK has voted to leave the EU, by a narrow majority; it has not voted to leave the Single Market.

      However the Government is acting as if it has a mandate to take the UK out of the Single Market, a move which would have serious negative economic consequences.

      Those who campaigned for “Leave” have claimed that it would be possible to negotiate a status with a high-level of access to the Single Market while having restrictions on freedom of movement of EU nationals to/from the UK. This is unlikely to happen; there is no reason why the EU would want to put any effort into such negotiations beyond offering the bespoke terms that Norway and Switzerland enjoy (with no restrictions of movement of EU nationals to/from the UK). Possibly the UK is going to end up a lot poorer, by leaving the Single Market, simply because those who campaigned for “Leave” are not willing to admit that it was never likely that the EU would offer continued access to the Single Market without freedom of movement of EU nationals. Those who campaigned for “Leave” will then probably claim that the EU is “punishing” the UK by applying the rules that we have known about all along. And the risk is that the UK Government will claim it has the right to do this without parliamentary scrutiny, despite the momentous implications.

      At least a few MPs have belatedly woken up to the fact that leaving the EU and leaving the Single Market are very different.

      (And ending freedom of movement of EU nationals to/from the UK also means, of course, ending freedom of movement of UK nationals to/from the EU )

    • Excellent analysis there.

      I often seen it that Brexit voters were misled/lied to: Sure there were some fibs told by some Leave campaigners, but the Remain campaigners could just be as mendacious (for instance numerous claims of things the EU had done for us– yet those things had been achieved by the UK govt or others before the EU existed– or bettered on by the UK govt)

      Also the Brexit option was always painted as the risky option; certainly it is a risk and the future will be uncertain upon Brexit (doubtless Leaver campaigners would point out we’d still be living in caves, if we didn’t take such risks). However Remain was not such a safe and certain choice either: The EU is not a static entity, and will ever strive towards “an ever-closer union”; there are no guarentees how that would work and when. Given the number of failed attempts at European superstates, we should be not surprised that the EU is currently increasingly parlous and sclerotic (this was so before Brexit was on the agenda)

  13. Its done. The issue now is secret negotiations…i hope thats not about signing TTIP! And its about these alarming diktats from Mays government. If you didnt vote to leave for racist reasons then join with those who are just as horrified and get out on the street and protest, write letters, go out canvassing to get a govt that wont do these things. Arguing about whats done is pointless. I have a very nasty feeling we need to pull together, throw out everything else and get this lot out of power. If only to get deals and laws in place to protect rights and the environment from what could be being signed away behind closed doors.

  14. I reserve my F U R Y for the 13 million of those entitled to vote who either did not bother to register or having registered could not drag their idle backsides to the polling station. It could be said that those indifferent ones are taken to agree with the majority, whatever it became. OK, let’s deduct say 5 million for the incapable – something of an overstatement perhaps. That still leaves 8 million fit and healthy potential voters who did not care. I wonder if Mr Blogger tried to get any of them to a polling station. What many people seem not to understand is that under our present democratic rules we voted against a system of government, not against Europe as a whole. I voted positively in 1975 and I would again, but the whole set-up has become greedy,incompetent,corrupt and unreasonably interfering. I would happily vote to join a slimmed-down,reformed organization. I cannot understand why a trade bloc needs a flag,an anthem,a diplomatic service and an army. Maybe Mr Blogger will explain his enthusiasm for such things.

  15. Bearing in mind the substantial dissatisfaction within many EU member states, and bearing in mind that we helped to save the Peoples(not the Governments)of Europe from previous European Unifiers( Napoleon,Kaiser Bill,Unkel Adolph…) it might well be said in the future that Brexit is one again helping them to help themselves…….get back to me in 50 years.

  16. It is telling that the message me and all my foreign friends got put across to us was ‘if Leave wins, you guys better start packing/’ It wasn’t far-right people telling us this, either – it was the media.

    I think the main problem of this vote was that half the people treated it like choosing the colour of the Duchess of Cambridge’s dress, and the other half thought they were voting to kick Polish and Middle Eastern people out, effective immediately. No one thought of the rest of us, who are just trying to make a living and have always paid their dues and never even broken UK law – unlike many of those voting to kick us out.

    Food for thought.

  17. As for the rethoric about Brussels, it basically amounts to a teenager threatening to run away from home because his parents enforce a curfew.

    Then he actually does, and he finds out he’s out on the street with no food, no shelter, no money and no Wi-Fi, so he goes back home, but his parents have locked the door and changed the locks.

    Oops, right?


    • Pedro – it was the REMAIN people who told you you’d have to pack your bags and leave. They told you this and other lies because they wanted to scare you in to taking their side. Now they are trying to convince you that the country is going down the toilet purely because they want the satisfaction of saying ‘I told you so’.

      Take my advice and ignore all this petty squabbling. Most people aren’t listening any more and it gets us nowhere. Unless you are a criminal or a benefits scrounger trust me, you ARE welcome here.

      • …you are welcome here….along with the Chinese, Japanese, Indian and other ‘foreign friends’ who will have a BETTER chance of living and working in the UK post Brexit than they have now.

    • The paradox is, that in seeking “European unity” has historically stoked fires of division. Europe is too diverse in its cultures, economics and so on to be “unified” in the way the EU wishes it to be; the way Caesar, Napoleon, Soviets etc wished. (And for all the talk of “Europe”, only half the continent’s territories are in the EU; 58% of the continent’s land area and a third of its populace are outside the EU)

      At present we can see attempts at trying to make the irreconcilibly heterogeneous into the homogeneous are already causing severe cracks in the EU– for instance the attitudes of Germany and certain Mediterrean countries over the Euro. Plus referenda in other countries have indicated that majority of citizens are frequently not eager for “ever closer union”.

      Perhaps a better approach would be to scale back the project to what it was before the EU (that is pre-Maastricht): A common market with free movement of goods and services, without impingement on national sovereignty?

      • PS: @Nothankyou
        “…you are welcome here….along with the Chinese, Japanese, Indian and other ‘foreign friends’ who will have a BETTER chance of living and working in the UK post Brexit than they have now.”

        Well said that man.

        The only people responsible for racism is racists themselves. To me blaming Brexit voters for any apparent increase of reported racist incidents on, is rather like blaming all Labour voters for a rise in anti-Semitic attitudes in the party. Or all those who attend Roman Catholic mass, for those priest who have been found to child-molest.

        There could be other reasons for the rise in reported (that word is key) hate crimes since Brexit. An interesting analysis here:

  18. Please stop saying ‘Brexit’, stop it now, it was a stupid pig ignorant media invented fuck term, it was to simplify something complicated down for consumption by the stupid, More than simply dumbing down, it was a football terrace chant for the right, it was a sound that a gang of chimpanzees strolling the banks of the congo looking for benobos to make into amputees might make. It is also telling that there was no media ‘buzz’ word for the other side…nobody wanted to Bremain.

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