Sam White has a great piece in Country Squire Magazine, in which he warns that the juvenile behaviour of bitter and hysterical Remainers is doing more than anything else to imperil the prospects of a smooth and orderly Brexit.
One of the false charges levelled at Leave voters is that Brexit is an act of self-harm. That whatever reasons a person might have for voting to escape from the European Union, the amount of damage caused will always outweigh the benefits.
But from where I stand, the only masochistic inclinations come from hardcore Remainers themselves, as they attempt to hinder or halt a clean, well executed departure.
As they snipe and circle in a constant, bad tempered performance, drawing attention to their own discontent like hormonal adolescents, it becomes clear that they’ll try every trick at their disposal to oppose democracy.
An already impatient Leave camp is being made twitchy by the Remain contingent’s obstructive posturing, but can the Europhiles do any real damage?
The most vocal Remainers are so entrenched and irrational that they’ve actually shifted general opinion toward the very thing they’ve spent the past few months ardently demonising: a hard Brexit.
There are Leave supporters who’ve consistently argued that the only real Brexit is hard Brexit, and Remain have unwittingly reinforced this view. In fact, the idea of simply repealing the 1972 European Communities Act and walking nonchalantly away as if we’ve never heard of Article 50 now has a certain nihilistic, up-yours attraction. It’s the kind of thing Sid Vicious would do if he was in charge. Not so much a hard Brexit as a brick to the face Brexit.
That might give credibility to the charges of self harm though, and it’s unlikely our politicians would have the poised recklessness to pull it off. Instead, given the space to play smart, our negotiators would do best to take that most composedly British of approaches, and play the long game.
And were we united behind Brexit, they could do that.
However, with Remain jabbering and poking in the background like irritating, spoiled children, the considered approach becomes less attractive. What Brexiteer would feel comfortable with such a cautious route now, in the knowledge that amoral Remainers would have more time to subvert the plan?
Suddenly we’re a little less Roger Moore, and a bit more like John Cleese in Clockwise—quite prepared to steal a Porsche while dressed as a monk, as we race to trigger Article 50 before the entire glorious achievement can be stolen from us.
My emphasis in bold.
Sam White is quite correct. If we are determined to look at Brexit as a purely economic matter, as Remainers often seem to do, then right now there is no bigger threat than the possibility that the pro-EU crowd’s whiny filibustering might fuel a backlash which forces the government and MPs to take a harder (or more foolhardy) line in the secession negotiations than would otherwise be the case.
Pete North has previously picked up on the same danger, with reference to Nick Clegg an the Liberal Democrats:
And that is a problem if the Lib Dems are setting themselves up as the voice of the obstructionist remainers. It pretty much makes the EEA politically toxic. The option itself is hated among the majority of leavers, not least because they have, hook, line and sinker, bought the remainer narratives about it.
That puts us all in very dangerous territory. It forces the government to double down on seeking any solution but the EEA and consequently has them fumbling around in the dark for something politically palatable when the options are few. What that likely means is further delay and an attempt to bring about some kind of bespoke agreement that is the EEA in all but name.
As White notes, there is already a tedious contingent of Brexiteers, particularly online, who insist that despite the very clear wording of the referendum question, the British people also secretly gave an instruction to leave the single market, and that anything short of full and immediate divorce is some kind of dishonourable betrayal.
Throw in the fact that dishonest Remainers who only months ago were arguing that Britain’s prosperity depends on remaining in the political union have now retreated to the fallback position of calling for continued participation in the single market, and one can understand how the narrative of an elite anti-Brexit conspiracy is gaining traction and potentially leading to a hardening of stances among some Brexiteers.
Something these anti-democrats can never get their heads around is patriotism. The idea that a citizenry could be willing to risk a short-term financial hit in order to secure priceless, permanent sovereignty is apparently unfathomable.
They also have difficulty reconciling national integrity with being an outward looking, internationally-minded country, but of course there is no conflict between these things. Right now it’s the EU that appears stagnant and insular, while an independent, agile Britain looks fresh and ready to do business.
Perhaps it’s this intractable refusal to consider the value of nation states—in their most inclusive and forward thinking colours—that holds the Remainers back.
It’s true – many Remainers simply do not “get” patriotism, at least according to any reasonable definition of the word. Those who style themselves as “citizens of the world” are in fact no such thing. For as long as the nation state remains the basic building block of the global community and the ultimate guarantor of our rights and freedoms, permitting Britain’s sovereignty to be undermined is highly counterproductive.
But as this blog has argued, it goes deeper than that. It is not just that Remainers see concerns about self-determination and democracy as entirely secondary to short-term economic scaremongering concerns. It is that they are actively hostile to patriotism-based arguments, or indeed any harmless expression of patriotism.
And this haughty attitude risks fuelling a backlash which, when translated into domestic political pressure, may make it much harder for Theresa May’s government to pursue the kind of Brexit deal that we should be making.
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@ Laurence Hazlewood
Christ, I’m ready to believe you’re Polly Toynbee.
This is a truth utterly ignored by Brexiters. As MayDay has stated, Brexit MEANS Brexit. Not soft, not hard not moyen, when Little England is out your are OUT! In the cold, On your Own in the North Sea without a life-jacket or even oars. Reality is a Bitch as you are now finding out.
Personally, as an ardent and committed Internationalist and European whose background includes Candidate for Public Office as a Tory Party Treasurer and with my family’s 400 year long seat in the Lords, I cannot wait for Little England to take their ball and run away home. I am sick to my back teeth of English Exceptionalism, of the constant moaning and whining and demands to be treated better than anyone else, just because we USED to be a World Power on the back of the theft and conquest of other SOVEREIGN nation states who sovereignty we didn’t care a toss for.
I can’t wait to see the ignorant, self-centred, bigoted and boorish Little Englanders get what they TRULY deserve. My only hope is that those still with some integrity and a view towards something other than narrow self-interest manage to escape from that Septic Isle before May locks the gates, imposes Currency Restrictions and EMIGRATION visas.
Tony Blair made be ashamed to be British, Gordon Brown made me scared to be British, David Cameron made me ashamed to be an Englishman and Brexit has made me thankful that I escaped when I did.
David Davis – the Dilbert Par Excellence.
I was in favour of Scotland remaining a key and important part of the UK. I did not want to see the Union dismantled. Now I do. I want to see the hubris and arrogance punished. I want to see England (and Wales if they insist on suicide) isolated, abandoned and alone.
It is time the English tasted the fruits of their treachery and betrayal of friends and allies. This referendum has unleashed and revealed England for what it is. Xenophobic, uncivilised, self-seeking and self-serving, narrow minded and narrow of outlook, delusional and demeaning of others.
I am seeking citizenship of France, not because I feel especially French but because I am ashamed to have a British Passport. I recoil at revealing my nationality. I am disgusted to be associated with Farage, Gove, Johnson and May as well as those BlackShirts and bigots who now represent the Land of Hope and Glory. The Land of Despair and Obloquy would be more accurate.
I feel sorry for my countrymen and women who did not choose the path of retreat. I am dismayed at the opportunities snatched from the hands of the next generation. But most of all I am angry, furious, livid that the country my family served for 400 years has betrayed it’s principals and torn up the treaties it has made, deepened the threat facing Europe and increased the danger of continental war yet again.
I hope that Scotland, Northern Ireland and Eire and maybe even Cornwall can form a Pan-Gaelic Union and build walls to keep the English from ever again contaminating Europe with it’s moaning and griping and self-interested pleading.
I am most aggrieved by those who claim a moral superiority whilst acting without any morality or integrity whatsoever. The sub-species known as Politicians are the worst offenders in this regard, acting as they do purely in their own self-interest by pretending positions that pander to the Lowest Common Denominator and worst instincts of the Mob.
Nice piece of satire but believe it or not, there are actually people who really do wallow in the kind of childish self-absorbed miasma that you illustrate.
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I’m not sure how my comment demonstrates a “childish self-absorbed miasma”. I have no investment in Little England anymore and no wish even to be associated with it. I don’t even have much investment in Life itself, given that I will in all probability be dead long before the chickens have roosted, fallen off their perches and died of starvation.
Why is it “self-absorbed” to have concern and anxiety about the damage done to the Greater Good? Why is anger at the treachery and utterly self-interested actions of those unwilling to see beyond their own petty concerns a “childish miasma”?
I am angered by the attacks on young women that I do not know or will ever meet by cowardly men on the Indian sub-Continent, I am angered by the greed and avarice of US Oil Barons destroying the ancestral homes of the true owners of the North American Continent. I am angered by the profiteering of Gun Manufacturers and Arms Dealers after mass-shootings and Acts of War. In what alternative dimension of reality does that make me self-absorbed?
Why is MY voice any less relevant or justified than a Gove or Farage or Johnson?
At least MY concerns are for those as yet unborn and who will now, in all probability, remain unborn. Who the hell are YOU worried for?
If you had the remotest self-awareness, you’d comprehend just how childish your diatribe was.
Beyond that, it’s just not worth wasting time or breath on.
Of course it is childish to believe in a future where concern for the other has a higher priority than personal self-aggrandisement and enrichment at the expense of the environment and the existence of humanity itself.
I KNOW how childish it is because I used to TEACH children. The young ones were the best. In their childish generosity of spirit they would express their concern for the well-being of others even when they themselves were feeling poorly.
It is the grownups, NOT Adults, there are barely enough of them to fill the Isle of Wight Ferry, no, those who have lost or abandoned their childish innocence and capacity for loving in the sewers of me, me, me and MY rights before everyone else’s.
Yes indeed the purity of the child is NOT something you can identify with, Douglas, the caring and concern for generations yet to come, if indeed they ever do, is NOT a quality you would find worthy, I’m sure. Far too namby-pamby for you to consider the damage we do and how selfish we are as a species. Doubtless you are one of the vast majority of Men who fail even to achieve mastery of Level 4 of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Social Development let alone progress beyond the scratching of their crotch and the latest football/cricket/rugby results.
Maybe it would pay you, though not monetarily of course, to research just how many scientists, economists, Religious leaders, Philosophers, and just ordinary folk who can walk and talk AND think simultaneously. are expressing serious concerns over the vialibility of life on this planet. Google “Extinction Events” and see just how many ways the Universe has to kill us whilst we are killing ourselves even as we’re looking mournfully over our shoulders to Days of Past Glory, when White Men were Gods and everyone else a Johnny Foreigner. (Substitute any/all nationalities trying to impersonate King Canute).
Of course my childish concern for the welfare of my fellow man is utterly misplaced and a waste of my emotional capital. Why should I care when those i care FOR care not a jot for their own continued existence let alone that of the dead children in the seas, the war zones, the famine-struck areas and the streets of our own cities.
Far better I join that Monstrous Regiment of self-servers congratulating themselves on their cleverness as they squelch through the morass of blood and brain tissue they have ground under their boots in their quest forinstant self-gratification.
It’s those like you, Douglas, that make me oh so glad I have so few years left to live and who cause me to regret the Lifetime of Service to Society that I have sacrificed MY health, wealth and security for. In fact, if there were a bus leaving tomorrow I’d be on it. Maybe there’d be some children on it to share the journey.
You are right, the Future of Planet Earth with people like you on it is “just not worth wasting time or breath on.”
Oh, Douglas, my apologies for my bad manners. I forgot to thank you for proving my thesis so conclusively with such conciseness and for giving emphasis to the issues I contend will destroy the Human Race. As you say, it IS childish of me to hope that Mankind (and men in particular) can ever overcome their venal nature and actually claim the Moral High Ground they say is theirs despite the cowardice inherent in their unwillingness to even climb the lowland hills of that Country.
You couldn’t have done it better if it had been your intention. Thank you again.