Brexit to Hell
Farewell cosmopolitan Britain – hail mean, delusional (and rather elderly) little England.
Brexit to Hell
People gathered in The Churchill Tavern, a British themed bar, react as the BBC predicts Britain will leave the European Union, in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S.
By Vanessa Baird / newint.org
Jun 24, 2016

As pundits pick over the smoking ruins of the campaign to remain in the European Union, and British sterling goes into freefall, the breast-beating and recriminations have already begun.

It’s all Prime Minister David Cameron’s fault for calling the plebiscite in the first place. It’s all Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s fault for not being passionately pro-Europe enough. And it’s all the fault of political elite in the ‘Westminster bubble’ unconnected with the real feelings of what victorious UKIP leader Nigel Farage called ‘the decent people.’ People like him, perhaps.

While the Brexit camp are crowing and celebrating ‘independence day’, it’s easy for the Remain side to sink into despair. Never has Britain felt more deeply divided.

What to do?

Well, first, we need detailed analyses of what happened, just why people voted the way did. Already a fairly complex picture is emerging. The Labour heartland of Sunderland – not known for high-level of immigration but hit by austerity and neglected in the post-industrial era – snubbed the wishes of the Labour leadership and voted massively for Brexit.

London, one of the most multicultural cities in the world, with large-scale immigration over the years, voted to remain. People in smaller towns and rural areas voted ‘leave’, while those in larger cities such as Manchester, Newcastle, and Liverpool ticked the ‘remain’ box. But not Birmingham, Britain’s second largest city, which went for Brexit. Wales and the South West of England, which have benefitted disproportionately fromEU development funding, voted to leave and pin their hopes of support for British agriculture on to….Westminster.

Baffling inconsistences abound; exceptions are as plentiful as generalizations.

One generalization that does seem to hold is that pertaining to age – polls have consistently shown that younger people were far more likely to vote ‘remain’ while those citizens most likely to vote Brexit were aged over 60. The great irony is that it is the young who are going to suffer the consequences of Brexit for much longer than the elderly, who as a generation, are comparatively better off than most people in Britain today.

But, apart from analysing what happened, what can we do?

Listening to Nigel Farage today, it is abundantly clear who the winner is. It’s certainly not left-wingers who came up with arcane reasons for Brexit; nor the people who just wanted to give PM Cameron and Chancellor Osborne bloody noses; and it is very unlikely to be all those people who didn’t really know what to think but were unhappy and felt it was ‘time for a change’. Whatever…

It’s the racist Far Right, dressed up in the livery of UKIP. It’s the millionaire owners of the Daily Mail, The Express, The Sun – hardly the ‘ordinary people’ that Farage likes to invoke.

Which is why we are going to have to re-double our efforts to identify and tackle the roots of this nascent fascism that is growing very nicely, thank you, in our green and pleasant land.

That means tackling the economics of inequality, deprivation, and the north-south divide.

But it also means developing better ways to challenge, at every point, the unfair and irrational tactic of scapegoating – blaming all ills on groups of people like migrants or even entire institutions like the EU itself. Our ‘scapegoat monitor’ needs to go into overdrive now.

Because this is how fascism gets hold. Just because the emblems of this very British iteration is a ‘fag-and-a-pint-in-the-pub’ rather than the jackboot-and-swastika does not mean we don’t have to take it seriously. The comfy ‘acceptability’ of casual racism makes it even more pernicious.

The ground has shifted overnight. What seemed like an intolerant, xenophobic UKIP position is now national policy. That brings far-Right organizations like the British National Party, Liberty GB, Britain First, closer to the mainstream.

Many of us in England and Wales, who woke up this morning to find their countries had voted for Brexit, may now look with envy across the border to Scotland, which voted overwhelming to remain within Europe.

But it is now probable that Scotland will hold another independence referendum, based on the fact that it wants to be in the EU. In Northern Ireland the (pro-EU) referendum result has reignited calls for Irish reunification.

Picture the scene. Little England, lonely little England, with Wales in tow, burdened by outdated delusions of grandeur, spending the next few years trying to negotiate free trade deals around the world.

Anyone who believes for a second that this will mean a break from the neo-liberal agenda that has done so much harm to working people and which deepened inequality over the past three decades, is living in la-la-land.

0.0 ·
0
Trending Today
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 17,794 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 3,191 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
Obama's Hidden Role in Worsening Climate Change
Stansfield Smith · 2,146 views today · It should be a scandal that leftists-liberals paint Trump as a special threat, a war mongerer – not Obama who is the first president to be at war everyday of his eight years...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,910 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
"Desert Goddess" Remembers Arizona's Glen Canyon
7 min · 452 views today · In this excerpt from the award-winning documentary DamNation, filmmakers Ben Knight and Travis Rummel interview the "desert goddess," Katie Lee. When the Glen Canyon Dam was...
Make The Serengeti Great Again | Resource Scarcity, Demagogues and How Creativity Can Trump Hate (2017)
5 min · 410 views today · A Familiar Tale of Resource Scarcity, Demagogues, and How Creativity Can Trump Hate A quick, original, illustrated allegory that pokes at the demagogues we’ve got with an...
How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2 min · 391 views today · Many traditions speak of the opposing forces within us, vying for our attention. Native American stories speak of two wolves, the angry wolf and the loving wolf, who both live...
Deconstructing Hierarchies: On Contrived Leadership and Arbitrary Positions of Power
Colin Jenkins · 371 views today · Bosses don't grow on trees. They don't magically appear at your job. They aren't born into their roles. They are created. They are manufactured to fulfill arbitrary positions...
Baraka (1992)
97 min · 327 views today · Featuring no conventional narrative, this film presents footage of people, places and things from around the world. From chaotic cities to barren wilderness, the movie takes...
18 Empowering Illustrations to Remind Everyone Who's Really in Charge of Women's Bodies
Julianne Ross · 319 views today · When Brazilian graphic designer Carol Rossetti began posting colorful illustrations of women and their stories to Facebook, she had no idea how popular they would...
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 308 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
Why It's Crucial for Women to Heal the Mother Wound
Bethany Webster · 284 views today · The issue at the core of women’s empowerment is the mother wound
Introversion Is Not a Personality Fail
Cat Elz · 261 views today · A few years ago, I got into an argument with my now mother-in-law over my supposedly “backwards” ways. My transgression? I did not attend a party of my now husband’s (then...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 241 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
HUMAN (2015)
382 min · 234 views today · What is it that makes us human? Is it that we love, that we fight? That we laugh? Cry? Our curiosity? The quest for discovery?  Driven by these questions, filmmaker and artist...
Defiance in the Face of Oppression - Iranian Artist Atena Farghadani Defends the Right to Draw
Gavin Aung Than · 229 views today · Atena Farghadani is a 28-year-old Iranian artist. She was recently sentenced to 12 years and 9 months in prison for drawing a cartoon.  
Here's How We're Going to End Factory Farming
2 min · 217 views today · Factory farming is a huge problem. But the solution is simple, if you'll join us. Watch this short 2 minute video to see how... Help make a kinder world possible...
The Political Elite: Idiots... or Criminals?
Michael Emero · 196 views today · I've been seeing a lot of people convinced that the DNC and all establishment Democrats are total idiots. How could they not be, when they sabotaged an easy win (Bernie) to...
90 Inspiring and Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
Tim Hjersted · 182 views today · The world today is in crisis. Everybody knows that. But what is driving this crisis? It's a story, a story that is destroying the world. It's a story about our relationship to...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 178 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
Brexit to Hell