Apologies to anyone suffering from mental health problems but in order to make my point, I have to use a particular analogy: the lunatics have take over the asylum. More than that, not only have they taken over the asylum, they’ve been appointed by the head of the asylum to oversee it. Welcome to Brexit Britain.
When we (well, not me, but you get the drift) voted to leave the EU we were told by one side that the roof would fall in and by the other that if we voted to stay we would be “swamped” by filthy EU citizens who wanted to work here. It became a grim scaremongering debate between the Bullingdon boys on one side and the hard right EU haters on the other. In fact, you could hardly call it a debate at all. We know what happened next.
Theresa May, as cynical a politician who has ever lived, quickly morphed post referendum from a quiet but firm supporter of remaining in the EU to a rabid hard Brexiteer. More than that, she put many of the “leavers” in prominent positions to negotiate, or rather bludgeon, our way out of the EU. I could see the logic behind that. Put those who led the campaign to leave Europe – yes, you read that right – in charge of picking up the pieces. Michael Heseltine said as much, effectively saying that the people who had brought it about should now deal with the consequences. And now they are having to deal with the consequences and it is clear the whole thing is beginning to unravel.
I expect May to trigger Article 50 this week, next week, the week after or some time after that, if “Dr” Liam Fox’s incoherent ramblings are anything to go by. Fox is unique in government, having a new government department, staffed by the highest paid civil servants and advisors in the land, with literally nothing to do until at least 2019. So, carting around his enormous ego to every studio that will have him, Fox has now admitted something approaching the truth. He acknowledges that there is an economic price to be paid for leaving the EU. Whilst the media does not seem to treat this remark as anything significant, I would describe it as a bombshell. Throughout the referendum campaign Cameron and Osborne were rightly ridiculed for their threatening behaviours (remember Osborne’s promised punishment budget if we left the EU?) trying to send the fear of God to ordinary voters. People do not take kindly to threats and campaigns of fear and both the previous Tory leadership and, more importantly and significantly, working people have and will pay an enormous price for that.
Let’s be absolutely clear about this: both sides of the EU campaign, which were essentially the warring wings of the Tory Party, did the public an enormous disservice with their grim negativity but only now are we beginning to find the reality of where we are.
If people voted to leave the EU, as many did, to stop EU citizens coming to work here, they must be very disappointed to hear their leaders like Boris Johnson, Andrea Leadsom and even David Davis now saying that migration at the current levels will be needed for many years to come until, somehow, British workers can be persuaded to do their work. That, I confidently predict, will occur on the 12th of never.
If people voted to leave the EU, as many did, to “take back control”, they must have been stunned to hear Theresa May’s government state very clearly that in all our time in the EU, Britain never lost its sovereignty, just that “it might have felt like it”. The biggest threat to sovereignty is now Theresa May’s rightward marching government who seem determined to ride roughshod over our MPs in order to bring about the hardest possible EU exit.
Has anyone been taken in by the government’s mantra of achieving the “best possible deal” for the UK as we leave the EU? The golden rule of imagining the government saying the exact opposite reveals how empty a slogan this is. Of course, we should demand the best possible deal. That goes without saying, but can someone please ask May and her ministers the following question: if a new deal with the EU is not as good as, never mind better, than the one we have now, why are we leaving? If the leaders of Leave are now saying that we have voted to make ourselves poorer – and how can you draw any other conclusion from the comments of the main men and women? – then should they not be straight with the public? Tell them that although migration will not fall, that we are not going to regain sovereignty because we never lost it and that many people will be considerably worse off.
You can rest assured that the millionaires and spivs who run our country will not pay the price for leaving the EU. That will inevitably be the younger generation who will see their life chances and expectations significantly marked down.
May, Johnson, Davis, Fox and co might not be lunatics, although you do wonder about Johnson and his clown act from time-to-time, but these people now control the destiny of every woman, man and child in this country. If they don’t require urgent medical help then many of us will, assuming the NHS is still there to treat us when we turn into a low tax, low regulation Singapore type economy, a land fit for heroes like Sir Philip Green.