The Brexit Blame Game

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The Brexit Blame Game

David Hardy warns voters to think twice before laying the blame for the Brexit betrayal squarely at the door of politicians. After all, history shows the electorate always ends up with the politicians it deserves.

In the aftermath of the latest developments in the Brexit saga, social media is overflowing with anger – at least from those who voted to leave the European Union. Who to blame – bureaucrats, civil servants, politicians, business leaders? Frustration is boiling over:

‘We were told it was our decision,’ tweet many; ‘One hundred and eight times Theresa May promised we were leaving on March 29th,’ plaintively remind some; ‘Democracy is dead,’ declare others. Without wishing to sound callous is there not something rather pitiful about the querulous lamentations currently circulating on social media?

Is there anything quite as undignified as grown men and women resorting to what amounts to juvenile recrimination, ‘But you promised!’ In its sheer credulity and abject naivety, this and other refrains like it seem to sum up at least a portion of Leave voters rather well.

In order to succeed liars and charlatans first have to be believed. It’s a two-way thing. While swallowing the bait is easy, taking a step back to assess the evidence is always a much harder task, one that requires a certain degree of diligence as well as independence.

Yes, the Conservative party have broken their word: Brexit means Brexit. What of that? They’ve also broken their 2017 manifesto which explicitly promised to leave the EU and its institutions, the basis upon which many voters supported them in the General Election of the same year. The behaviour of senior and junior Tories has been as cynical and contemptuous as it gets. What of that?

Perhaps the most prevalent emotion right now is shock. That the party they support has duped them seems to have surprised a far greater number of Brexit voters than it ought to have done. Yet for anyone who has been paying attention these past few decades the Conservative’s behaviour is wholly commensurate with its recent ideological trajectory of travel. Why the surprise? Where once the party was synonymous with tradition, it’s conversion to liberal-left ‘progressivism’ has been clear for some time, crystal clear.

It’s not as if Brexit is the first time the Tories have said one thing and done another either. Remember the promise to reduce immigration to the tens of thousands? Instead successive Tory administrations have presided over record net immigration gains year on year, just as its corporate donors have decreed. But still the faithful voted blue, grumbling as they did about record levels of . . . immigration.

Consider too that the UK’s lurch towards ever more draconian assaults on free speech has been occurring not under hard-left Marxist ideologues, but during the tenure of ‘conservative’ Home Secretaries. Thanks to the Conservative party, in 2019 free speech dangles by a thread and with it assumptions about liberty which have defined Great Britain for centuries.

Moreover the possibility of being arrested for ‘hate’ crime by an authoritarian and highly politicised police force has, under Tory rule, become a reality of everyday life. The party has not only unquestioningly accepted what is a Stalinesque tactic deliberately used to crush dissent, but have embraced it with something verging on enthusiasm.

Thought crime is here. It’s real. Liberty meanwhile erodes at a rate of knots, faster than it has ever done under any left-wing government. It’s almost as if the Tories are trying to out-Labour the Labour party. Nevertheless the faithful have remained indifferent, docile. For danger signs to be effective, they have to be apprehended.

When David Cameron declared there were ‘too many white faces in parliament’ the danger was clear for all to see, or should have been. The Tory party had just completed an ideological volte face of immense proportions. Indeed, the transformation of the modern Conservatives into a socially liberal party of centrists and soft left-wingers started decades ago. It’s not as if they even tried to hide it.

While former IRA terrorist are free to walk the streets, ex-soldiers may face prosecution. While police manpower and resources are systematically depleted, the increase in serious crime – especially knife attacks – rockets. So much for the party of law and order. Heck, many Tory MPs even jumped on the Shamina Begum bandwagon, demanding that the so-called ISIS bride should be returned to the UK – despite massive opposition from the grassroots.

Recently it has even become acceptable within Tory ranks to accuse fellow Tories of being ‘right-wing.’ So not only have the modern Tory party abandoned its political heritage, it now openly derides and scorns the very principles upon which it has been established for 200 years. Modern conservative MPs such as Heidi Allen and Sarah Wollaston have more in common with Diane Abbott and Jess Phillips than they do the Thatchers and Widdecombes of times past.

The Conservatives are no longer the party of small government and individual liberty. The warning signs have never been stronger, yet millions of Brexiteers chose to ignore them and give the ‘Conservative’ party their vote in 2017. Once bitten twice shy. But what excuse can there possibly be when there have been multiple bites? It takes two to tango.

As Peter Oborne eloquently remarks in ‘The Triumph of the Political Class’ the modern Tory and Labour parties have merged into what he terms a single ‘Political Class.’ Oborne also observes that Britain’s main political parties have long since abandoned their core voters; while Labour has discarded its working class northern base, the Tories have similarly deserted its former stronghold in the shires. The UK’s political duopoly no longer answers to the electorate, but now works exclusively on behalf of its global-corporate donors and has done for some time.

If you’d been paying attention, you would have noticed all these developments and more. Ignorance, as is oft stated in law, is no defence. And so disaffected voices complain that post-Brexit they are ‘politically homeless,’ a psychological cul-de-sac constructed by individuals unwilling to engage all but superficially with the political process.

Regarding Brexit there have always been credible alternatives to the Tory-Labour duopoly. In sharp contrast to the main parties, UKIP and the SDP have remained consistent to their Eurosceptic principles throughout the whole Brexit debacle. However much it hurts, voters must take their share of the blame.

That voters are angry and feel ‘betrayed’ rests entirely on their own heads. Choosing to ignore the ideological path taken by the modern Tory and Labour parties is a question of personal responsibility. For those keeping score, the emergence of the Political Class, its burgeoning loyalty to donors and subservience to Brussels has always been entirely predictable.

Thus the Brexit Betrayal becomes explicable. It is not actually a betrayal of any sort, rather an affirmation; the affirmation of the UK’s integral role in the establishment of a new social and political order, and therefore a significant step towards the post-democratic society dreamed of by establishment.

It doesn’t end there. This catalogue of treachery and deceit has a sting in its shameful tail. Those angry voters mournfully identifying as ‘politically homeless’ right now will likely do just as their political masters expect whenever the next ‘democratic’ election comes round: vote ‘Tory’ or ‘Labour’ two sides of the same corporate-globalist system working overtime in their disenfranchisement.

Thus, when looking for somebody or something to blame for the Brexit betrayal, the answer might be closer to home than most people care to admit. After all, as has been proved time and time again, the electorate always ends up with the politicians it deserves.

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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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