Monday, July 04, 2016

Looking Back At Brexit, And Realizing a Few Things

Following up on the immediate reactions I had two weeks ago, and on a more reasoned response to Infidel's anger to that knee-jerking I did... a few more thoughts now that some time has passed and the consequences are bearing fruit.

First off, that these Brits really don't know how to pull off a successful independence movement. You'd think after all the times they've had it done to them the last 250 years, they've have picked up a few tricks by now...

Second, the way the political parties in the UK are mishandling their responses to the Leave results. There is now - two weeks on - very solid evidence that NOBODY thought the British voters would go this way. Because everybody responsible for the debacle is fleeing the sinking ship or else facing intraparty mutiny (via Brogan Morris at

...A jaw-dropping tale of how a powerful few convinced an angry electorate to shoot itself twice in each foot before asking whether or not that was a good idea, Brexit is the ultimate in political farce. And what’s astounding is that nobody seems to be taking credit for it, even though its satirical conceit is so complete. Just who is responsible for Brexit?
We can look to nicotine-fried hard-right fear goblin Nigel Farage as the man who instigated the EU referendum and got the anti-immigrant vote out with some glorious Nazi-inspired propaganda; to (soon to be ex-) Prime Minister David Cameron, who confidently agreed to the referendum to see off Farage’s Eurosceptic UK Independence Party (added: during the 2015 Parliamentary election) only because he thought he’d win; and to cuddly yet violent former Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who elected to lead the campaign for Britain to leave the EU only because he thought he’d lose, albeit come close enough to a win that he could challenge Cameron for the PM role...

Well, Cameron resigned immediately after the Leave win was verified, in one of the most humiliating defeats a Prime Minister ever inflicted upon himself. Boris was ostensibly the likely replacement within the Tory ranks, but his lukewarm waffling about following through on the Article 50 requirement to Leave opened himself up to a backstab move by his own allies and he dropped out of the race.

Back to Morris:
Then there’s Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the officially pro-EU Labour Party, who – a long-time Eurosceptic himself – deliberately sabotaged the Remain campaign; and apparent malfunctioning android Michael Gove, the Vote Leave campaigner who assured voters there was no need to listen to the experts who accurately predicted the economic crisis Britain now finds itself in...

Corbyn's already suffered a vote of No Confidence but refuses to step down because it was "non-binding", arguing instead that his opponents are not true Labour/progressive. The likelihood of Labour splitting means the largest opposition party against an equally divided Conservative party won't be there as a sane or viable alternative for voters should Parliament require an emergency election. (If anyone knows if the Liberal Dems are able to claw their way to viability after last year's debacle, let me know)

And Gove is the guy who backstabbed Boris... and even Gove is in the crosshairs now for his miscues and bad lies. The likeliest challenger vs. Gove - Theresa May - may be popular among the Tory voters but she's got some hateful issues of her own.

And this is just breaking right now as I write this: the main culprit behind the successful Leave vote - UKIP's leader Farage - is quitting his leadership of that minor factional party "in order to get his life back." But in truth he's fleeing like a coward: he's going to be held accountable - due to his extreme lying about Leaving being beneficial and use of racial fearmongering - for the coming storm of economic and social upheaval, and he'd rather be hiding in the shelter when that storm hits.

Meanwhile, race relations in the United Kingdom have gotten darker and messier (via Reuters and Huffington Post):

The number of hate crimes reported to British police online, including some assaults, has increased by more than 500 percent in the week after the country voted to leave the European Union, a senior police chief said on Thursday.
The number of hate crimes reported to police through its online portal — one of several ways incidents can be reported — was 331 since the vote, compared with a weekly average of 63, said Sara Thornton, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council.
The increase supports anecdotal evidence of abuse toward Muslims and Eastern Europeans following the referendum, in which concern about immigration drove many people to vote to leave the 28-country EU...

This is what happens when a movement supposedly for reform and independence on a Populist bent - the valid arguments to break free of an European Union that was corrupt and incapable of reform - gets hijacked by haters like Farage and Murdoch-owned papers like The Sun who turned Brexit into an American-esque fearmongering crusade against the Dreaded Other of immigrants and foreigners.

So... in looking back, all I'm still seeing is confusion and few good choices left for the British people.

You lot should have left the independence stuff to the experts...


Anonymous said...

As a member of the Labour Party, I should say that Corbyn was elected to the leadership by the Party as a whole; the members of the party who are also elected to Parliament are a small part of the Party's electorate. That election of Corbyn is recent. It is my impression that a majority of the party in the country would re-elect him. That's the thing about democracy and maybe about autonomy, too: people do what they want, not (always) what they are advised.

Paul said...

Well, the problem for Corbyn is that he's got what looks to be 3/4ths of his fellow ministers - in a 174 to 40 vote for no confidence - opposed to him. He's got almost no backing of the party leadership itself. The voting base may back Corbyn - for now - but he needs the backing of the ministers sitting around him to fill the shadow cabinet spots and other leadership roles.

Alex Gunz said...

The problem for Corbyn is that he was elected by the membership of the party, which is a very narrow and non-representative slice of the British Electorate. The parliamentary party don't like him on two counts. One they are not ideologically aligned with him. And two, they think he will take them down in an election, because they think he has a narrow appeal, and no willingness to expand beyond his base. If he loses big time, then they are the ones who lose their seats (he'll never lose his own riding of Islington - he has strong roots there, and a demographic who loves his message).