As Brexit Descends, The Continental Divide Widens

Those looking for a re-run of the Brexit referendum have shown remarkable contempt for Leave voters.

So much for the notion of the majority in a poll prevailing over the minority.

It was seriously suggested in the immediate aftermath of the UK Brexit vote, including by commentators in Ireland who ought to know better, that the result should be ignored and the referendum re-run or overruled or otherwise negated.

While, a month on, that acrid option has faded from the front pages, there’s little sign of abatement of the rage at Leave voters for not doing what they were told and doing their own thing instead. Liberal commentators assemble on the beachheads of Fantasy Island, blathering and bleating about the unwashed of England expressing unauthorised opinions. Cheek of them.

The result was so close, they say, the Leave side such liars, most “Out” voters motivated by little-Englander racism, that there’s no compulsion on the rest of us to accept the outcome as a true verdict.

But the result wasn’t close at all – 17,410,742 to 16,141,241 – a margin of more than a million, or 3.8%. Four years ago, Obama defeated Mitt Romney by 3.9%. I seem to recall this being hailed as clear-cut.

Only days into Downing Street, pro-Remain Prime Minister Theresa May began musing about deporting EU migrants already living in Britain. Polls reveal that more than three quarters of Leave voters would be hostile to any such development.

Both Tory factions and the anti-Corbyn tendency within Labour vied with one another for the vehemence with which they pledged to crack down on immigrants. Throughout, mainstream newspapers ramped up racism.

Racism in Britain trickles, or comes in a torrent, from the top. Some who keep the poison flowing then fulminated against the crude attitudes of the lower orders.

Smearing the 17 million Leave voters as racists is class-biased slander. There are racists, of course, skulking around corners in run-down areas, appealing to people filled with fury against a society which disdains them.

It goes without saying they shouldn’t be given an inch. But the way to defeat them is to build a movement declaring, “Migrants Are Welcome.” None of the dainty liberals abhorring the referendum result is likely to involve themselves in any such enterprise.

One of the most angriest men in Europe as a result of the Brexit decision is Jean-Claude Juncker, the EU’s (unelected, of course) top man, president of the European Commission.

Two days after the poll, on June 25, he told a Brussels press conference that there would be no “amicable divorce” for the UK. Brit voters had behaved abominably, and were entitled to no consideration now. They’d get whatever deal proper Europeans decided. Why didn’t they just frig off without further ado?

Instead of delivering arrogant rants to journalists and swanning around the Chancellories of Europe handing dictates to elected governments, Juncker should be in jail. He was Prime Minister or Finance Minister of Luxembourg for two decades. During this period, he turned the country into a haven for crooks, luring companies including Vodaphone, HSBC, Pepsi and Amazon with offers of, in effect, tax-free status. The swindle was finessed by accountancy giant PwC.

PwC pocketed huge fees. Shareholders of Vodaphone and the others raked in the sort of money ordinary mortals can scarcely imagine.

Four years ago, two employees of PwC, Raphael Halet and Antoine Deltour, blew the whistle on the scam. But it was they, not Juncker or PwC or tax-evading company bosses, who found themselves in the dock.

The discs and ledgers passed by the whistle-blowers to journalist Edouard Perrin had been the property of PwC, argued the Luxembourg State Prosecutor. The pair were not whistle-blowers at all but common thieves. The court accepted the argument. Halet and Deltour were handed suspended sentences. Each now has a conviction for theft on his record. The journalist to whom they’d passed the material, Edouard Perrin, was found not guilty of handling stolen property.

Private Eye seems to have been the only media outlet in these islands to cover the trial.

Yet Juncker remains a man of great prestige, respected everywhere he goes.

The barbed-wire exclusion of families fleeing misery and death, the crushing of democracy in Greece, the imposition of austerity economics, tax corruption and militarisation; these define the EU. Its presentation as a benign institution to which we all are in debt is propaganda.

The EU – or Common Market or EEC – may to some extent have played a positive role in the ‘70s and into the ‘80s. But times have changed. The crisis of capitalism which has been rumbling since 2007 at least, and which still sends shockwaves rippling out across continents, has switched the priorities of the system and the interests of the elite and transformed the prevailing ideology. There is now nothing at all progressive about the EU.

I voted Leave after considerable heart-searching. Nothing good would have come from allowing clowns like Johnson and the sectarian rapscallions of the DUP to have the anti-EU platform all to themselves.

The EU will soon disintegrate anyway. Maybe the Republic should get out now. Hyper-excited Amy can’t wait to tell Sheldon her news. “One of the monkeys in my smoking experiment has started using a pipe.”

 

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