Brexit Breakdown-The land of new opportunities

Four weeks ago today the UK woke up to the fact it’d had voted to leave the EU. Many of us are still struggling with this decision and even though your hardcore Brexiter thinks everything is fine, it really, really isn’t as the UK economy plunges to the worst it’s been since 2009 and we should all remember what happened then.

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A look around the internet sees Brexiters talk of ‘great new opportunities’ which will be bigger than Jesus but that isn’t the case for those of us operating in the fact-based world. There’s a broken road panning out ahead of us and with Scotland looking likely to hold a second referendum soon, Northern Ireland discussing what might be done and Spain threatening to veto the UK’s Brexit totally if we take Gibraltar with them.

Sure, the UK (or whatever’s left of it) will achieve a Brexit of some description maybe in some point in the future, but it isn’t going to be for years and it won’t keep all the Brexiters, especially the racists, happy.

And when Brexiters start tearing themselves apart it’ll be a glorious thing.

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Brexit Breakdown-The hopelessness of the left in England

Here’s something few people are saying after Brexit. A large chunk of left wing people mainly in England voted to leave (Lexit it was called probably by some Hipster arsehole in media in London) because they thought it’d deliver Jeremy Corbyn into Number Ten. It didn’t. It never could have and anyone that thought that was, and is, an idiot. I get why people voted for racist reasons, or for misplaced ideas of sovereignty or to just protest and get their voice heard. I don’t like most of them but I get why people voted to leave apart from one group, and that’s those mainly on the left in England who voted to leave.

Now I know there was people of the left who did the same in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, but for what seems to be different (and possibly just as daft) reasons as expecting Corbyn to march into power. For years the left in England has been looking for someone to hang a hook on and that was Corbyn, but although I think some of Corbyn’s ideas are good to fine, he’s not the answer especially when his party is still abstaining on crucial votes and may do so still on things like Trident but he’s not really the problem. The problem here lies in some of his supporters.

Brexit Strategy is a short documentary film by Elizabeth Mizon filmed in Bristol. It’s infuriating to say the least at times, but there’s a good example of what I mean when the obviously well-educated, well-off economist near the start tells us as to why she voted to leave based upon the wish of Corbyn ushering a new era of egalitarian politics.The look on her face suggests she’s realised all too late that she made a mistake and was, at best, naive, at worst a bloody idiot.

As for the film it’s a snippet as the problems of the left in England, or at least the part of the left that’s dominated by a clear and sharp middle class voice. Unlike the left in Scotland that has a mix of voices from all classes, or a fluid left in Wales where Plaid Cymru move into the space vacated by Labour in working class communities, there’s not been a left movement of late in England that has done the same. Instead the middle class has dominated speaking often abstractly of working class communities they sneer at like Emily Thornberry.

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I’m also a Bristol resident and I’ve had conversations with Labour supporting, leftish friends who on the whole wouldn’t go down a street like that to chap doors and speak to people. The problem is that part of the reason so many working class areas in England voted to leave isn’t just so their voices weren’t being heard, but that many are fed up having middle class left wingers speak for them. There’s a clear detachment with many on the left in England with the most vulnerable and that’s one of the many reasons why so many working class areas voted to leave. They were excluded and failed from the progressive politics middle class academics wanted by voting to leave, so they’ve been twice shafted.

The EU Referendum was a mess, but the English left could have looked at Scotland’s independence referendum and learned from where we went right, and more importantly, wrong and adapt that to create an argument to stay in the EU. They could have followed the example of the Radical Independence Campaign and instead of having conversations in leafy parts of Bristol like Redland or Clifton, or talking to vaguely stoned students in Stokes Croft, they got their hands dirty speaking to people in places like Hartcliffe or Knowle. It’s all very fine and well to talk of coming together now, but why did it have to take something as fucking awful as Brexit for people on the left in England to even start considering it?

It is sadly too late for England. Unlike Scotland, Northern Ireland or poor wee Gibraltar they didn’t vote to stay, and there’s no hope of turning back as the Tories cluster round Teresa May, one of the scariest prospects in a field of scary prospects for the next Prime Minister. The English left has for years had the chance to come together or at least put up a fight. It’s not. For years large chunks of the left turned a blind eye or played down what Tony Blair and Labour were doing for 13 years with things like PFI to doom future generations to debt. Now that’s not everyone, some on the English left tried, but too many looked at Brexit wrongly and naively. Now it is a gory mess that’s blown up over all our faces and they’ve helped it happen based upon nothing more than a strong wish. I hope those people get to live with themselves in the years to come.

Brexit Breakdown-Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer, what is going on with Labour here?

The UK has voted to leave the EU, the UK itself hangs by a thread as Scotland and Northern Ireland mull over all plans to keep them in the EU, the Tories are stabbing each other in the back but it seems now that Andrea Ledsom is emerging as the serious candidate to challenge Teresa May which should scare us all even more as EU nationals being repatriated is something on the agenda, financial markets may have recovered some of their losses but they’re in a holding pattern waiting to see what happens and meanwhile, the Labour Party, still the official opposition, are ripping themselves apart over the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn.

I used to be a Labour member and supporter. Being a good socialist in Glasgow that was almost burned into my DNA, and once I’d moved to England that carried on as I helped Greville Janner get elected in Leicester. Yeah, sorry about that. In 1997 I helped get Patricia Hewitt get elected. Yeah, sorry about that too.  In 1997 I did what I could to get Tony Blair’s Labour get elected. Listen, I’m really bloody sorry about that.

What I’m saying is I was part of the Labour machine. I understood it and even in 1997 I had doubts about Blair, but we had to get rid of the Tories as it couldn’t get worse. It did. By the end of 1998 I was washing my hands of Labour. By the time of the Iraq War I hated Labour. When the Scottish Independence Referendum came round and Labour acted hand-in-glove with the Tories and used the suffering both they and the Tories had imposed upon people to scare pensioners and the working class to vote to stay while laughing about it, I despised Labour as much as the Tories.

Yet when Jeremy Corbyn became leader I was hopeful he’d sort Labour out. Sure, I’d still not vote for them personally but I’d be glad to see an actual leftish Labour Party take on the Tories rather than one that helped us get where we are right now in the most fucked up mess I’ve ever seen in my life. But for those Blairite MP’s who clung onto power bitterly and refused to speak to the SNP or Lib Dems in 2010 to form an alliance to keep the Tories out, instead choosing to leave office and let a bunch of psychopaths gain power, are now the same leading the charge against Corbyn.

As for Corbyn I don’t think he’s the answer for Labour. He’s weak, advised by some terrible people like Seumas Milne and Neil Findlay, not to mention he’s just as abstaining, just as distant to people in the North of England as the hopeless Ed Milliband was. Corbyn’s main problem is being a London MP, a resident and MP of Islington, and whose support is centred in London and the larger English cities, he appears distant and of another class to people with little or nothing who Labour gave up trying to represent. I’ve said to Labour supporting friends John McDonnell is a better choice, even if he’s also rooted to a rigid 20th century form of socialism not to mention Labour’s own support for the Union, a structure by itself helps create inequality.

But if the answer is Angela Eagle, then fuck knows how bad the question must be. Replacing a poor leader but one with hundreds of thousands of supporters at a grassroots level, with one with virtually no grassroots support, the support of Iraq War supporting MP’s and a craven London based media (I’m looking mainly at The Guardian here) is political suicide, especially when the UK is as we speak essentially broken probably forever. Right now the Tories are vulnerable and open for real attack so the official opposition tears itself apart because they’re more interested in having power for the shits and giggles rather than using that power for us all to have better lives. The Tories are allowed to have their ceremonial appointment of the next Prime Minister and the official opposition aren’t functional either as that, or a political party anymore.

So well done Labour. You’ve helped make this week even worse.

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Brexit Breakdown-Fear and Loathing

As I speak in the UK we have no stable Westminster government. Jeremy Corbyn is seeing his Shadow Cabinet fall apart around him and looks increasingly like he won’t last the week so we have no stable opposition in Westminster. The EU want us gone, but Nicola Sturgeon is speaking to EU officials and leaders this week as a poll puts support for Scottish independence at a staggering 59%. Reports of racist attacks across England specifically are seemingly too many to take in as they all seem to be in the wake of the Brexit vote. There are worries when the world markets open in the morning with the Tokyo Stock Exchange who saw an 8% fall on Friday. The Cornish Pasty is also under threat which you may laugh at, but this is serious.

Corbyn’s position is the big story of today though. He’s under siege and frankly, I’ll be astonished if he’s seen as a credible leader by the electorate after this. Sure, his followers will support him and he may cling onto being defeated in a general election but Corbyn’s had an appalling referendum campaign as this splendid article outlines. I watched his Sky News EU Referendum debate and it’s worth looking back at it now in hindsight only six days later. He’s very good at speaking to his core, but he’s lost when he’s not. However I don’t lay all the blame at Corbyn’s feet for the failure of Labour to keep the working class outwith of big English cities onside. That blame can be traced back to Neil Kinnock who started splitting the party, but the real blame lies squarely at Tony Blair’s feet and while Corbyn’s just crap, Blair changed things for the former industrial working class to the point where their voice wasn’t heard by Labour. They took them for granted.

This Guardian article on Leave voters is very good. It’s worth reading and paying attention to. These aren’t racists or ‘chavs’ (the pejorative its fine for the English middle class left to use against the English working class) but ordinary people who have been ignored. And yet, this weekend friends of mine are sharing this petition to have a second referendum which if ever recognised (it won’t be, but stick with me a second) means the middle class voice is treated with more weight than the working class voice. Now there’s already racists on the street beating people up. They were always going to be empowered but if you anger the working classes who have been ignored, insulted and patronised and there isn’t a progressive party coming into to fill the void as there was with the SNP in Scotland and to a vastly lesser extent Plaid Cymru in Wales, where do you think these people will end up being forced towards as a further protest vote?

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So I get the anger, but I’m done with a vast chunk of the English left who are spending today ripping themselves apart instead of leading. You should be reaching towards the people who voted leave who are concerned about jobs, housing and yes, immigration. Make the case, go speak to them, not on Twitter, but face-to-face. Arrange food bank drives. Show you actually give a fuck. Don’t sit there sneering. Do something productive with all that energy.

Yet, all I see today is sneering, recriminations, fear and loathing. This is not going to be solved with sneering and frankly, insultingly undemocratic petitions and people adopting moral superiority when if Remain had won and Leave had done this they’d be mocking them for it.

England is split. It is now a darker place not just for immigrants outwith the UK, but outwith of England and that includes me, a Scot who has lived in England for 28 years. I can of course go back to Scotland where at worst, there’s at least a lair of insulation and as regular readers of this blog know, this is happening but is on hold due to me currently having cancer. But nothing is going to be solved by making people often ignored even more marginalised and rightfully dismissive of a great swathe of the middle class left in England. Your only choice is to get out there and make the alternative argument or you hand the dominant politics in England to the right, even the far right, for a generation at least and you know what, you’ll be partly to blame.

Brexit Breakdown-The Day After

For many this weekend they’re breaking down in years and crying at the EU referendum result.

The UK has voted to leave the EU. The EU want us gone as if we’re a dodgy kebab we’ve had on a really bad night out on the lash. For those crying and demanding a second referendum by signing a petition, or listening to Damon Albarn cry on about ‘a lack of democracy’ may I make it clear that you’re wasting your time. You lost the argument. Stop blaming others and get off your knees, dry your eyes, work out how to fix this mess because the UK (well, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have other plans possibly but they voted to remain) is leaving the EU. The EU have started that process now and it’s not going to stop.

I know fine well what it’s like to lose a referendum I supported with all I could. It is utterly horrible. I also know what it’s like to get a grip and work out the next moves. Things are changing, especially in Scotland. Former No supporters coming out in favour of a second referendum, including the rampant Unionist J.K Rowling, and the Daily Record printing this today.

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Meanwhile Dan Hannan and other Brexiters try to claw back their lies while members of the public call Boris Johnson a cunt.

We’re through the looking glass people. We are essentially living in anarchic times and its scary as hell. Luckily the weekend provides a wee lull in things but trust me, gird yourself because Monday won’t be fun. I don’t have a clue what’ll happen but it’s probably going to be awful.

A Brexit is happening & it’s fucked it all up

This is how I feel this morning.

The UK has voted to leave the EU, or more exactly, England and Wales have, Scotland and Northern Ireland haven’t. The older generations have voted to leave, younger generations haven’t. People have decided to cut themselves off from a larger Europe, get rid of immigrants and send a message to Johnny Foreigner. They’ve empowered the Tory hard to far right, Nigel Farage and the sort of people who think the murder of Jo Cox was a ‘false flag’. Imagine waking up at Glastonbury this morning and finding this news out?

Those thinking the Tories would rip themselves apart and call a snap election should now note the Tories are uniting to ensure that happens because that’s what the Tories do, they cling onto power when they can. Anyhow, England and Wales have voted for a Brexit under hard to far right conditions, and if anyone can sit here in on Friday morning and say the Leave campaign didn’t fight a racist, bitter angry campaign designed to whip up fear of immigrants and ‘foreigners’. The main line they used of the £350 million we ‘give’ to the EU (a figure the Leave campaign was told was a lie) , something Nigel Farage has said ‘is a mistake’.

This morning fear, xenophobia, hatred of immigrants, Muslims and Europeans have won. I’m watching Nigel Farage on the BBC right now full of piss and vinegar empowered beyond belief. He’s imprinting himself upon the media as the winner. His is the vision that won this.It was based upon hate and racism, but he’s won.

And here’s Jeremy Corbyn. Less said about his appalling attempts in this campaign the better.

So it’s around 7.30AM, the media is waiting for David Cameron to make a statement. The UK economy is tanking before the UK markets even open, and the pound is falling. The UK is to lose it’s AAA rating which means the international community sees us as a bad credit risk, which means a UK government can’t borrow what it can now, which means it has less money than now. Added to the fact that many immigrants settled here may leave and take their tax with them then we’re heading for a big black hole.

There’s pudgy middle aged politicians and leave campaigners smiling. Not one non-white face. Lots of nice public school voices. You think by voting leave you’d get rid of the elites? You’ve just fucking empowered them you dumb, stupid fucking cunts because you believed Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson!

And yet some good may come from this. Scotland may become independent. Ireland may reunify. The bigots and racists are exposed. If the promises made in this campaign don’t happen the backlash against this part of the UK establishment that’s just grabbed power will be enormous.

But dear god, you’ve done it. You’ve voted to leave. I hope you’re willing to live with what you’ve done.

Today is the day of the EU Referendum and we need to remember one thing

Apart from the fact you should all vote, remember this…

Tomorrow, the cunts will still be in charge, we’ll be able to decide whether it’s cunts like Cameron and Osborne, or the utterly fucked up prospect of a further right, harder Tory leadership with Nigel Farage licking their arses for a glimpse of power.

One leaves us in the EU and Europe, not ostracised by the planet for being a bunch of closed minded, paranoid, racist arseholes, and the other leaves us totally at the mercy of free-market ideologists. The former at least leaves us a chance of forming an opposing argument as Scotland has shown, the latter leaves us fucked. Either way, tomorrow the cunts will still rule over us, but there’s two futures; one where we can get rid of them, one where it’ll be hard to and the damage done by removing us from the EU will be irreparable.

The latter leaves us totally fucked at the hands of cunts that makes the cunts that are Cameron, Osborne and all the other useless cases at the top of the Tories and Labour look like something from CBeebies. Choose wisely today and vote to Remain to fight the cunts while still being part of an EU and a Europe who we can stand with as opposed to against.

Don’t let the utter cunts win!