Brexit Boils Over

By | 2019-01-11T20:33:21+00:00 January 11th, 2019|
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The definition of words matters little these days. This week, a handful of yellow-vested protestors harangued a British lawmaker outside Parliament.

The bleary crew demanded that Anna Soubry, a virulent Remainer, acquiesce to their apparently unreasonable suggestion their vote to leave the European Union actually count.

They used the F-word. They called her a “Nazi,” a “fascist,” and other monikers that escape print.

Television cameras caught the whole thing. And journalists could barely conceal their glee in “proving” the unfortunate spectacle was irrefutable evidence of the Brexit gangrene reaching the knees.

Here is the evidence. We were right all along, they insisted. Brexit has unleashed a fascist movement. The 17.4 million who voted to leave might not take to such public lynching, but they probably nod along, went the threadless trope.

Sadly, this feudal thinking now stitches through all political life.

Soubry obviously doesn’t deserve spittle-sodden abuse, yet has spent two-and-a-half years campaigning to overturn the clear wishes of a majority of voters. It doesn’t require a neuroscience degree to excavate why those protesters aren’t impressed with her, or the political class.

Of course, that political class jumped on the skirmish. Never letting a confected crisis go to waste.

Speaker of the Commons, John Bercow, a bubbling corrosive on the rusting steel of British political life, decried the brouhaha as a “type of fascism,” perhaps forgetting that the radiantly obvious work of overturning the result is hardly democratic.

That same man, alleged and obliged to impartiality, drives around with a “Bollocks to Brexit” sticker embossed on his car window. It’s not his, of course.

Bercow is the animation of the Bluffocracy. An ecosystem of privileged mediocrities whose lofty station in life is indebted to their upbringing within Britain’s still wretched class system. An education costing more than the average wage, the buy-in price. Bercow is the most noisome example—he didn’t attend our public-school elite factories, he just acts like he did.

Brexit exposes the bluffers for what they really are—Latin-reciting fabulists who’d struggle to rise to the top of a McDonald’s if they were born in the wrong part of town. Contritium praecedit superbia, posh boys.

They’ve never met someone whose job was shipped overseas. They’ve never met anyone whose livelihood is forever threatened by cheap labor. They’ve never met anyone whose stretched their last tenner to a swift pint before payday lands.

They’ve never met anyone like James Goddard, de-facto leader of the yellow vests, whom the powers that be embossed as a “fascist” before deleting his Facebook and Paypal accounts for “hate speech.” Which isn’t faintly fascist—not at all.

Goddard, before his digital banishment, said of Anna Soubry in a Facebook post, what should by now be obvious.

“She’s called a Nazi, because she is acting like one. If the political class weren’t trying to thwart Brexit, then I wouldn’t have to approach these treacherous MPs.”

To them, this Brexit business is all a big misunderstanding—that 17.4 million people “didn’t know what they were voting for!” If only they understood this thing of ours, say the Remainers, they’d get onboard.

But it is they who don’t understand. Brexit, much like the Trump phenomenon, is wrongly cast as a backlash from the “left-behind”—those victims of an unbridled globalization which chewed them up and spat them into an Uber.

Yes, the precariat drove Vote Leave across the line. But Brexit is a revolution of the middle-class. So is that of the Gilets Jaunes. But, don’t tell the media. They’d rather their reality unshaken.

And it cannot be stopped. That is despite government “rebels” (hilarious, given their soldiering of the status quo) defeating Theresa May’s government on two key votes this week in a kamikaze bid to stop a no-deal Brexit—en route to stopping Brexit entirely.

But no-deal, I’m afraid, is the default. Britain leaves the European Union at 11 p.m. on March 29. Our departure is not conditional on any deal. The great, and savory irony being that Remainers, for all their resistance, are trundling toward the hardest possible Brexit.

They can and should but won’t blame themselves. Rather than compromise with the majority, Remainers both in parliament, and on pavement, still insist the people got it wrong.

So did Theresa May, in her own little way. Her deal to leave the EU tacitly admits we should remain in all but name. And few are buying it. Next week’s vote on that is expected to end in defeat. The clock, meanwhile, ticks and tocks and tocks and ticks.

I suspect that handful of yellow vests would soon swarm into millions, if Brexit were thwarted.

Who could really blame them?

Photo Credit: Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto via Getty Images

About the Author:

Christopher Gage
Christopher Gage is a British political journalist.