Drifting to disaster with the inmates in charge of the asylum

“No 10 takes a very long-term view of Brexit and the opportunities it brings.”

Arch Brexiteer James Forsyth in today’s The Times.

I have tried, I really have tried, to get Brexiteers to tell me what these “opportunities” are. From before the referendum, during the campaign and since I have never heard of one genuine tangible benefit that leaving the European Union brings us. Plenty of nationalistic flimflam about “Sovereignty”. Plenty of headline grabbing rhetoric about “taking back control”. But one properly costed real benefit ? Nah.

In the “long-term” we will all be dead of course and by then the grotesque damage of Brexit may have worked its way out the system. But for the foreseeable future whatever facile fudge the government manages to walk away with we face years of political, economic and social stress for no advantage. My European citizenship was confiscated without reason – a culpable breach of my human rights without precedent. Our nation will be the only one in Europe without established trading relations – except for Belarus who we come closely to resemble. Except that the natives are rather less supine in Minsk than they are in Manchester.

It all seemed very silly for quite a while and those of us who deep down believed that at heart we are not idiots thought common sense would prevail. Since 2019 it has become clear that the idiots are alive and well and that they have taken over the asylum. And that their position has shifted from one where Brexit would bring immediate benefit to one where we are asked to take a “very long-term view”.

Nations sometimes drift towards disaster in deadly cumulative steps. Alliances, treaties and deals can stop the drift as allies help us to think again. In Germany in 1930 the German people, with no checks and balances in place, chose a course of action that was ultimately deadly. Their “sovereignty” permitted them to do this – for the last time for 15 years as it turned out. Maybe they took a “very long-term view”.

3 thoughts on “Drifting to disaster with the inmates in charge of the asylum

  1. In one sense, Brexit was inevitable. The British have always remained politically and emotionally semi-detached to the core of Europe. Never truly committed except perhaps during the Blair years. The narrow strip of sea that separates the British Isles from the mainland is more than geographic. History and conflict have seen to that. It’s what shapes the British. It’s ingrained in their soul. The culture and politics of the nation have become inward and backward. Far from becoming a global nation as the rhetoric promises the country will turn ever more nationalistic and become politically isolated.
    If Trump is reelected Britain will align ever closer to the US. The Conservative government will allow itself by necessity to be dominated and manipulated by an administration that is dangerous, ugly and self-serving. As long as Britain belonged to Europe there was hope that decency and sanity would prevail. Now that hope is gone as the main opposition parties in the UK row back from Europe and they consign Britains membership of the EU to history.

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  2. I cannot be as defeatist as you Logan, or Paddy because I am sure that the majority of Brits do not want Brexit….. with or without ‘a deal’. We are being dragged into oblivion by a bunch of liars that do not allow real scrutiny of any substance….. hence the disappearance of the ‘Russian Report’. I am now ashamed to be English and for the first time in the fifteen years that I have lived here in Germany, am seeking to qualify as a citizen; something that I’d never felt necessary before.

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    1. I was optimistic once I campaigned as hard as I could for Remain. In 2016 after the referendum result, I felt since the majority to leave was relatively small a decent pluralist government would take note. I anticipated a soft exit with associate membership of some sort, remaining in the customs union et al; Surely I thought common sense would prevail. The general election dashed all my hopes. Confirmed all the worst fears imaginable.
      British people may feel as you say. I think many probably regret the vote very much. However, they are now politically impodent and without a voice. The opposition has given up. This travesty of a government will lead the UK along the primrose path to economic catastrophe. Johnson may go soon. Sunak is likely to succeed him and he is a more hardline Brexiteer than most. His interventionism in the Covid crisis will both disguise the coming Brexit consequence and lead to massive tax hikes and austerity once more. He’s eyeing the future.
      So please forgive my defeatism. I normally always have hope but sometimes there really just isn’t the cause.
      Best of luck with your change of nationality.

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