So, it’s one of the most important days in modern British history; what happens today in the UK could significantly change British, European, even world history. For what it’s worth, I voted Remain. I have not seen a single worthwhile argument from any section of the Leave camp.
According to the polls and the markets, Remain is the favourite; but I suspect the markets are being over-optimistic, and the polls are almost certainly wrong. This referendum offers an option that no general election does: the burn-everything option. This will draw out people who don’t normally vote: arsonists, nihilists, misanthropes, and general wankers who never before had the chance to destroy something with a vote. Pollsters have no idea how many of these people there are, or how likely they are to admit to their voting intentions. After all, Tory voters are notoriously shy to admit their intentions… surely Leave voters will be at least as much? We’ll find out later today. And we won’t even need an exit poll: the markets will get there first.
The referendum has given many people the chance to be complete fuckwits, and so of course, they have delivered in spades. Here are just a few of my favourite referendum morons.
The Leave Camp
Obviously, first prize goes to this shower of lying wankers, led by Farage, Johnson and Gove, with support from every far-right party in Europe. While it’s become fashionable to say “both camps are being dishonest”, the Leavers are several orders of magnitude worse. They started out with a complete lie: that leaving would save £350m per week. And when they were bored of that, they just started banging the xenophobia drum. Meanwhile, their only answer to predictions of disaster was “Surely you don’t expect me to believe that… PROJECT FEAR na na na!”
By Tory standards, Cameron is a pretty centrist, liberal and internationalist character. Much as I hate there being a Tory government, we should take note that the Tory right is enraged by Cameron – he’s clearly doing something right. But promising a referendum was the ultimate in political twattishness, and done for the dumbest of tactical reasons: an attempt to pull the electoral rug from under UKIP. Instead, Cameron validated Farage; worse than that, he created the first opportunity in modern British history for nationalists, xenophobes and racists of all stripes to rally under a single banner.
This silly term for left-brexit was coined by columnist Owen Jones. Less than a year ago, Jones was flying the flag for Brexit for predictably stupid reasons, and said: “Without a prominent Left Out campaign, Ukip could displace Labour right across northern England. That would be the real vindication of Ukippery.” He then undertook a magnificent U-turn, declaring his former beliefs to be disastrous, and is still writing Guardian columns on how important it is to stay in the EU. Jones’ views on any subject appear to be entirely derived from the last 10 tweets he looked at, so he’s an important indicator of how the new-left is thinking. Generally, the Lexit case is: “The EU supports neoliberalism. Neoliberalism is bad. M’kay?”, coupled with an insane belief that Britain is likely to become socialist if we turn our backs on Europe. Lexiteers get confused because fascists are on the Leave side, while big business is on the Remain side, and both fascists and big business are evil, m’kay? And their thinking doesn’t appear to go deeper than that.
While overt Lexiteers are hard to find, there are many on the left who are pro-Brexit (because neoliberalism, m’kay?) but have decided to stay quiet about it or pretend to be in the Remain camp while subtly undermining the campaign. This is clearly true of the pro-Corbyn Momentum group within Labour, which wankerishly announced in March that it wouldn’t be campaigning on either side. Corbyn himself has campaigned for Remain in, at best, a half-hearted way. And this, to me, is unforgivable: Labour’s message has been so weakened and confused that Labour voters are unsure what the official Labour position is. Doubtless, the pro-EU Labour majority is quietly seething, and rightly so: Corbyn’s ambivalence has no doubt boosted the Leave campaign, though by how much is anyone’s guess. It is widely predicted that the Tories will collapse into civil war after the referendum: I predict Labour will too.
Spiked! is a strange and interesting online publication. It’s a cult-like grouping run by ex-far-lefties, and headed by Brendan O’Neill. While it appears to be broadly liberal, and makes a strong and intelligent defence of free speech, Spiked! and O’Neill often flirt with libertarian-right and even far-right language. It has taken a strongly anti-EU campaigning stance, and has the chutzpah to peddle nationalist isolationism as internationalism, using Marxist-type language to sell right-wing ideology. The campaign is well crafted, and plays an anti-Establishment card that could equally have been lifted from Lexiteers or the fascist right.
Waaah I’m Not Your Friend Any More!
I’ve blogged previously about morons who delete people on social media for holding viewpoints they disagree with. This isn’t just annoying, but is dangerously dividing society into echo chambers, and building tension between angry groups that refuse to talk to each other: this way lies hate and violence. In my observation, the left is worse at this, but that might be because I have a lot more left-wing friends than right-wing ones. Those morons who deleted friends in 2015 for voting Tory are now threatening to delete their friends who vote Leave. This does nothing to help the Remain campaign, but helps people feel better about themselves by pretending everyone in the world agrees with them.
Yes, the nationalist authoritarian US presidential candidate flies into town today, totally coincidentally, expressing support for the Leave campaign. The collapse of the EU would of course be useful if one is planning to carve the world up between cooperating dictatorships in the US and Russia: or Oceania and Eurasia as the new federations might be known.
And on that cheerful note, I’ll leave you to contemplate the coming downfall of western society.