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Quote Of The Day

 

“Not all Remain voters think the white working classes are ignorant, parochial trash, but all people who think the white working classes are ignorant, parochial trash voted Remain.”

– Brendan O’Neill

 

A welcome, witty and accurate antidote to the sanctimonious “not all Brexiteers are racists…” guilt by association theme doing the rounds on social media (and echoed by much of the commentariat) at present.

 

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Quote Of The Day

Angry Mob Fun Run

Standing athwart the European Union, yelling “Stop!”

This, from William F. Buckley Jr.‘s 1955 founding mission statement inaugurating the American conservative journal National Review, seems particularly apt at this point in British political history:

Radical conservatives in this country have an interesting time of it, for when they are not being suppressed or mutilated by the Liberals, they are being ignored or humiliated by a great many of those of the well-fed Right, whose ignorance and amorality have never been exaggerated for the same reason that one cannot exaggerate infinity.

This certainly holds true for small-c conservative Brexiteers, who have been not only ignored and humiliated but also scorned and threatened by the current Conservative prime minister, he and his chancellor both staunch members of the “well-fed Right”.

But perhaps this later quote from the same article might give hope to Brexiteers regardless of what happens on referendum day, and even if our efforts come up short:

That, a thousand Liberals who read this sentiment will say with relief, is clearly not enough! It isn’t enough. But it is at this point that we steal the march. For we offer, besides ourselves, a position that has not grown old under the weight of a gigantic, parasitic bureaucracy, a position untempered by the doctoral dissertations of a generation of Ph.D’s in social architecture, unattenuated by a thousand vulgar promises to a thousand different pressure groups, uncorroded by a cynical contempt for human freedom. And that, ladies and gentlemen, leaves us just about the hottest thing in town.

Having right on one’s side is no small thing, and we Brexiteers have it. The human desire for freedom and self-determination is not a fad or a passing fashion. It does not grow old, and despite the European Union’s continual attempts to snuff it out, it will only grow stronger the more the EU infringes on our right to exercise meaningful control over our lives and communities, and hold our leaders to proper account.

Brexit will happen one day, whether that process begins with a Leave vote in the referendum this Thursday, in some future referendum or by the unilateral decision of a future British government faced with no other choice. Brexit will happen, even if only when the entire rotten apparatus of the EU’s supranational government disintegrates and comes crashing down around us. This anachronistic attempt to build a post-democratic society of consumers rather than citizens will fail.

As Pete North so eloquently puts it:

But Brexit is not a word that will die quietly because it is an idea, behind which there is passion and a body of knowledge which cannot be silenced. And so for as long as there is no mandate for the EU and people willing to do whatever it takes to get us out, we will be here time and again.

We are told that Brexit is the province of fearful old men, but as I look at my co-conspirators I see thriving minds of all ages, each with their own motives, all of whom have different ideas – but agree on one thing. The EU is not a democracy and there is no resolution until we leave.

Among them are technicians, physicians, lawyers, writers, engineers, scientists, teachers and labourers. In this there is no racism, no seething nationalism and no nostalgic delusions. Just a recognition that the EU remains a thorn in our side and a brake parachute on progress.

And what I can tell you about these people is that they are all kind, warm, dedicated people. It has been humbling to see how many sacrifices they have made to give all that they can to this campaign. A far cry from the devious, scheming liars whom we are pitted against.

And that is why I know we will leave the EU one way or another. That decency will prevail. Maybe not on Thursday, but probably in my lifetime. In the coming months and years, having had this bitter debate, we will all come to know the EU as the castle of lies it has always been.

No matter the result, the democratic case for Brexit (advocated by The Leave Alliance, this blog and our many generous readers and supporters) will not be vanquished. And while it may be stretching truth to describe us as “the hottest thing in town”, it is certain, absolutely certain, that our day will come.

 

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Quote For The Day

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You might not be willing to devote the time and energy to understand how electricity actually works, or the mechanisms of your democracy, or the insights behind irrational decision making. More likely, you don’t want to expend the emotional labor to push through feeling dumb as you dig deep on your way to getting smart.

That’s always been an option. You can just use the tool without understanding it, copy the leader without realizing where she’s going, follow instructions without questioning them.

You can choose to be a cog in a machine you don’t understand.

If that’s working for you, no need to change it.

Seth Godin

 

With the EU referendum potentially only months away, it is incumbent on all of us to be informed citizens at this time, and not passive consumers or myopic public service users. We can think with our hearts and our wallets, but we must think with our heads first and foremost, and actually seek to understand the issues beyond the soundbites – no matter what side of the Brexit debate we think we are on.

This debate is about more than the bogus and unverifiable trade and investment statistics put out by the official campaigns on either side. It is about sovereignty, the continued relevance of the nation state as a key building block in world affairs, and the future of human governance itself. The choice we make – and the precedent we set in either validating or rejecting the EU model – may prove to be the most influential thing that the United Kingdom does on the world stage since Suez.

Do we reaffirm our commitment to the nation state as the best guarantor of our freedoms and liberties, or do we take a leap into the unknown by remaining in the EU and following it to its ultimate destination – a future of remote, supranational governance with all the trappings of democracy, but none of its spirit? That is the question before us.

It demands our full and serious attention as engaged citizens. We owe that much to our children, who will feel the benefit or suffer the consequences of the choice we make.

I explore these ideas in more detail in this piece from 2015, entitled “What comes after Britain?”

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Quote For The Day

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“Be yourself. Do your work. And they will find you. And serving those readers is all the reward you need.”

– Andrew Sullivan, at the time of his recent retirement from blogging.

 

This blog will continue to provide rigorous, semi-partisan political commentary through the remainder of the 2015 British general election campaign and beyond.

(I will be live-blogging the election results on Thursday night, here).

This blog will never serve as cheerleader for any one political party, but will continue to proudly champion the interconnected causes of personal liberty, economic freedom and national sovereignty – and give credit where credit is due to any party or politician who is willing to pick up the tarnished torch of liberty in an increasingly hostile environment.

Many thanks to all those people who include Semi-Partisan Sam in their daily internet reading – both those who have recently discovered the blog and those few who have been reading since Day 1.