May’s Great Brexit Betrayal

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May’s Great Brexit Betrayal

David Hardy believes Theresa May’s Florence speech represents a great Brexit betrayal, arguing that the concept of party lines is a farce. All political parties, irrespective of branding, are subservient to a Eurocentric liberal elite, he argues.

Emotions are running high following Theresa May’s Brexit speech in Florence last Friday. And it has to be said bearing witness to a British Prime Minister grovelling at the feet of a group of unelected European bureaucrats was a less than edifying sight. Imagine Mrs Thatcher doing something similar. Unimaginable. Unthinkable.

Mrs May’s Conservative party is under attack. Politics itself is under attack. Trust in politicians, already at an all-time low, can only decrease further. For the same politicians who bemoan a lack of voter engagement at every General Election, who lament desultory turn-out figures and call for ways to politically enthuse the populace, are the very same ones intent on subverting the outcome of the largest democratic vote in British history! ‘If they’re going to ignore our vote,’ wrote one social media user, ‘why should I ever bother to vote again?’ Good question.

‘We’ve been betrayed!’ some Brexiteers are shouting. ‘Never voting Tory again!’ others are declaring. Some are begging Nigel Farage to return to UK politics to ‘sort out this mess’ and ‘deliver the Brexit we voted for.’ The air is febrile. Seventeen and a half million political refugees are currently looking for a place to call home. If ever the time was ripe for the emergence of a counter-liberal Brexit-supporting party, that time is surely now.

The most pressing question for Brexit voters now is which way to turn. With Labour and the Liberal Democrats effectively having said they will overturn the result of the referendum and the Tory party heading (very painfully, yet irrevocably) in the same direction, where do the betrayed now go? UKIP? Too late. Torn apart by in-fighting in the wake of Nigel Farage’s departure, the original Eurosceptic party has squandered what in retrospect was a golden opportunity to become a major player on the UK political scene.

Missing the biggest open goal in UK political history is not entirely the fault of UKIP, though the party has not exactly helped itself. It goes much deeper than that. The main reason for the party’s inability to capitalise on the chaos of the mainstream political parties continues to be brand toxicity, a spectacularly successful tactic conceived by a Eurocentric liberal establishment determined to not only quash, but to slander and ridicule competing political ideas.

Whether it’s UKIP over here or Front National over in France, the liberal elite has taken considerable pains to ensure these parties will never enjoy anything approaching sufficient support to make them electable propositions. Smearing and demonization of non-liberal political parties works particularly well on the more susceptible and the more credulous among us, guiding such people effortlessly towards Tory or Labour, towards full blown liberalism and into a political cul-de-sac from which there is no escape.

It remains to be seen then whether May’s Florence surrender will be enough to jolt some Tories (and Labourites) out of blind party loyalty. Right now, millions of voters are angry. However, politicians like Theresa May are assuming that come the next General Election core voters will have forgiven n’ forgotten and returned meekly to the fold. It’s a gambit that will more than likely pay off. After all, when there are only two hotels in town and they are both owned by the same unpalatable company, where does one sleep – on the beach? And who would swap a warm, comfortable bed for rocks and sand? No, the voters will come creeping back, reluctantly, but return they surely will to the Hotel Tory and the Hotel Labour. Theresa May knows it. So too does Corbyn.

As for Labour, at least they managed to pre-empt the Tories – their own Brexit betrayal having occurred a few weeks before Florence. After months of prevarication Jeremy Corbyn has come out firmly in favour of the EU. In doing so he calculated his party would retain the majority of its core vote. Thus, Labour and Tory have eventually arrived at the place they always knew and wanted to end up; it was just a case of shifting the goalposts, riding the criticism and then letting time work its magic.

The Liberal Democrats having already made a similar move some months before, now all of Britain’s three mainstream political parties have arrived – albeit belatedly – at the same destination: GB for EU.

Ignoring the wishes of 17.4 million voters was never going to be an easy ask, but Britain’s political class had already decided that come what may, the UK was staying in the European Union. They just needed time – time to think; time to regroup; time to deceive. With all three parties having effectively declared for the EU, the tired British voter has nowhere to rest his or her weary head. Democracy lies dying in front of our very eyes. But does anyone care?

Disaffected Brexit-supporting Tory voters in particular face a stark choice: continue supporting a party that has finally shown its true colours or switch political allegiance to a party such as UKIP. The other choice is to opt out in the way many voters did in the French elections of 2016 – not that such protests stopped the election of Emmanuel Macron, a centre-left socialist in all but name. Will Tory voters risk such a scenario? Theresa May and the Conservatives presumably think not. She’s probably right – they’ll come back, they always do.

The frustration and anger right now however is not so much about Brexit, but rather with a political system that far from offering choice, actually offers just the same old tired brand of liberalism. Populism will not be tolerated. The only upside from the dishonourable behaviour of Britain’s politicians is that a very bright light has been shone on the deceit which lies at the heart of our political system. Why bother to vote indeed. For it is finally dawning on voters that leaving the EU never was an option. Under Liberalism there are no options, just illusions, ruses, deceptions.

For the first time in their lives, some individuals are waking up to the realisation that British democracy consists of a ‘choice’ between two political parties both of whose endgames is more EU, less UK. Little wonder disillusionment is rife; the sense of helplessness is all too real. Little wonder people are making threats they can never hope to carry out, not when real alternatives have been eroded, demonised; not when liberalism has succeeded in planting so many harmful seeds in so many malleable minds.

Did anybody truly believe the UK was ever going to leave the EU and by doing so disrupt a plan that has been in development since the end of the Second World War? Like it or not, Europe is going to change, radically. Under the EU’s agenda, rest assured fifty years from now the continent will be unrecognisable socially, politically and culturally. Moreover, Jean-Claude Juncker and friends will have their own EU army…

If UKIP represented the only hope to avoid absorption by the European super state and the march towards the United States of Europe, the liberal media’s decades-long and always vicious smear campaign neutralised that particular escape option a long time ago. You can check out from the Hotel California but you can never leave. That’s just the way our liberal masters like it.

Tory, Labour, Liberal: Britain’s political class has revealed its real constituents not to be the people of Hartlepool or Stoke-on-Trent but rather the personnel and shareholders of the likes of Goldman Sachs and J P Morgan. Let’s be honest about it – if you had to choose a side, you too would probably choose the international movers and shakers over the poor and the downtrodden any day, would you not? For be assured monsieurs et madames, the money leads not to Hartlepool – or anywhere near it. It leads to Brussels.

If the Tory vote does splinter, the winner in this bizarre game of Brexit betrayal must ultimately be Jeremy Corbyn. Yes, there will be some disaffected Labour voters who may return to UKIP, but nowhere near the number of disgruntled Tory voters whose leader (and party) is now perceived as the prime party of betrayal. While damage to Labour may be superficial, May’s Conservatives will likely not be so lucky. It wasn’t, after all, Jeremy Corbyn abjectly surrendering in Florence (although he would surely have done so), it was Theresa May. The Prime Minister initiated The Great Brexit Betrayal. It is all hers. She owns it.

Expect therefore the anti-Brexit rhetoric to intensify during the transition period. Expect ever more dire predictions. Moreover, the establishment has just given itself at least two more years to fully break the resolve of the British people. If that ploy does not work, expect the ‘transition’ to be extended even further. With so much time having passed since 2016, expect repeated calls for a second referendum to allow the British people to ‘change their minds.’ Brexit? That was aeons ago…  As durable as it is dictatorial, liberalism always wins out, eventually.

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    David Hardy
    A university lecturer by profession, David Hardy-Sedgwick writes about a wide range of topics including Theatre, Politics and Formula One. His latest book, 'BBC: Brainwashing Britain?' has just been released on Amazon. In his spare time, he enjoys marking student dissertations, wild camping, Croatian language and culture, and theatre.
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