Isaac Ross fears a Corbyn government will use Brexit as a pretext and an apparatus to transform society into a mould of his ideological beliefs.
When we voted to leave the EU, we envisaged a future Britain that was the legislator of its own laws, an amplified global trading player and a country that enforced a rigorous but fair immigration system. We voted to overturn the status quo of EU dominance. Reactionaries became revolutionaries. The maligned were emboldened. And we won.
Labour and Jeremy Corbyn, I fear, will – if given the opportunity to lead the country – hijack our hard-fought victory and wheel out their own left-wing vision; using Brexit as a pretext and an apparatus to transform society into a mould of their ideological beliefs.
The discontent amongst working-class leavers with an aloof and disinterested elite is being employed as an argument to alter a neoliberal economic consensus which stretches back to the 1980’s. It is claimed that the working-class are disenfranchised with free-market capitalism which is rigged in favour of the wealthy and the private sector to the detriment of the public sector and those in skilled labour.
Whilst the vote to leave the EU was unquestionably a sharp riposte to Westminster and the ruling elite, at no stage was Brexit ever a mandate for more state intervention in business, small and multinational alike. In fact, it was quite the opposite. The leading players of Vote Leave were unambiguously clear in their vision of the economic model of post-Brexit Britain.
We were painted an illuminating canvass of a global Britain; a Britain which sought to extend its trading tentacles across the world beyond the protectionist bloc of the European Union, a Britain which was free to pursue its own course where small businesses were emancipated from the hyper-regulation of the EU and a Britain of liberty; recovered by the state from an undemocratic, power-ravenous body and dispensed to the individual. This was the sentiment behind the national chorus of ‘Independence Day’.
Of course, capitalism isn’t infallible and government must take the necessary pragmatic steps to protect working-class jobs and ensure the prosperity of those at the bottom of the fiscal ladder. Where the lower-classes – to quote the Labour manifesto – feel the remoteness and unaccountability of power in Westminster ‘as it does in Brussels’ is due to crony cartel corporatism, which fails to provide the natural price-reducing instrument of competition. Free-market capitalism isn’t failing; it’s being suffocated from thriving and acting as an economy-strengthening wealth creator.
Instead, Jeremy Corbyn intends to inflate the state where EU red-tape is substituted with national obstacles to trade and business. Our efforts will have achieved nothing. We opted to ‘take back control’ – no frivolous slogan – and the decision of the nation must be respected and delivered.
The latest attempt to thwart the actualisation of Brexit from disgruntled Remainers has been the promotion of alleged ‘sensibility’. This is the case for not shooting ourselves in the foot and being pragmatic. Whether in regard to remaining in the single market for the supposed economic cesspit we will be lobbing the national finances into, or retaining the authority of the ECJ to some degree for the disruption and legal mess this will induce.
I believe that even if these hyperbolic warnings were entirely accurate, the democratic verdict of the nation must be upheld. As I pointed out to Craig Oliver (in a short and rather inglorious chinwag over that great platform of level-headed debate, Twitter) what was voted for must become reality regardless of what is presently evaluated to be ‘sensible’ or else democracy fails. In any case, the factor of sensibility is highly subjective and invariably will be shaped by personal and political bias.
In his excellent book ‘The Establishment’, Owen Jones relays an encounter with Paul Staines, the man behind the Guido Fawkes blog who told him that he wasn’t that ‘keen on democracy’. His reasoning was that it will always lead to ‘those who don’t have taking from those who do have’. Churchill’s incisive declaration that ‘democracy is the worst from of government, except for all the others’ comes to mind. The democratic process must be abided by regardless of the ‘injustice’ the system creates.
The same applies to Jeremy Corbyn and any attempt to implement a different form of Brexit than the one campaigned and voted for. It simply isn’t a representation of democracy and is no better than ignoring the entire referendum. Vince Cable may have blasted ‘Brexit Jihadis’ though the targets of his absurd tirade are actually noble extremists: democratic extremists.
On immigration too, Labour cannot be trusted to mirror what was decided by the electorate. The referendum was a naked display of unashamed patriotism, a contemporary much sniggered at trait viewed as inherently sinister and an elementary tenet of fascism. Jeremy Corbyn embodies this view, endorsed by his alliance and defence of a host of fellow anti-westerners. Indeed, his caution about unlimited immigration only came after months of pressure building on him to acknowledge this facet of the Brexit vote. In reality, Corbyn is a breathless admirer of unrestrained immigration and would ideally want to implement a borderless anarchy if not for the effect this has on the wages of the poorest in society.
Regardless of position across the political spectrum, the democratic mandate to leave the EU – incessantly, disingenuously, sulkily and incoherently assaulted since last year’s vote – must be upheld. That mandate was clear: one allowing us to take back control. Those intent on voting for Jeremy Corbyn must realise our prospects of achieving this will be at risk of sabotage in his hands.