Friday, 14 October 2016

Donald Tusk didn't "attack Britain" he injected a bit of realism into the debate

On Thursday 13th October 2016 the EU Council President Donald Tusk made a speech in which he dismissed the idea that the UK could wriggle out of free movement of labour whilst keeping access to the single market as "pure fantasy" and stated that the only realistic alternative to "hard Brexit" is "no Brexit".

At no point in his speech did Donald Tusk attack Britain or criticise the British people. He simply stated the obvious case that the EU wouldn't be giving a super-special deal to the UK. In fact he actually said that the UK quitting the EU would be "a loss for all of us".

This didn't stop the hard-right pro-Brexit press (like the Daily Mail) from characterising Tusk's comments as an "attack on Britain".

The idea that by spelling out the truth of the situation and exposing the dangerous lies peddled by the likes of Boris Johnson, Tusk is somehow guilty of attacking Britain is indicative of the pathetic victim mentality of so many Brexiters.

It was astonishing that so many people bought so easily into the bullshit, bluster and outright lies of Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage and Michael Gove during the referendum campaign. It amazed me how easily millions of people simply accepted the way the Brexit campaign pinned the blame on the EU for the toxic social and economic consequences of the UK electorate voting in one neoliberal government after another since 1979.

None of that mattered to millions of people. The Brexit campaign had their simple narrative that the poor, weak, pathetic British were being bullied and abused by the powerful, dictatorial EU, and it was time to "take back control". Millions of people bought into this pathetic victim complex and decided to vote in favour of unplanned Tory Brexit chaos.It's unbelievable that people haven't learned that we're dealing with a fundamentally dishonest bunch of Tory charlatans from the way that they immediately dropped their "£350 million to the NHS" lies after the EU referendum.

Now the Brexiteers are describing a guy who is trying to inject a bit of truth and realism into the debate as an attacker simply because his comments contradict the fantasy land nonsense still being spouted by the likes of Boris Johnson.On the very same day that Tusk tried to inject a bit of reality into the debate Boris Johnson was still peddling his fantastical nonsense by telling the foreign affairs select committee that "we are going to get a deal which is of huge value and possibly of greater value".

The idea that the UK is going to get a better deal from the EU than it had before is spectacularly unrealistic from a pragmatic perspective, and that's before we even account for the fact that Theresa May has put useless Tory buffoons like Liam Fox and Boris Johnson in charge of developing our negotiation strategy!

Just look at it from the EU perspective. If they give a wonderful special deal to the UK where the Tories get to cherry-pick all of the things they like about EU membership whilst throwing out all of the things they don't like, which results in an EU settlement that is of "greater value" than full membership, they'd clearly cause the inevitable destruction of the EU by incentivising all the other states to quit in the hope of securing an even better deal than they had before. Protecting their own interests by telling the Tories that they can't "have their cake and eat it" isn't attacking Britain, it's spelling out the reality of the situation.

What Tusk said wasn't an attack on Britain at all. In fact he was doing us a favour by trying to expose Boris Johnson's spectacularly over-optimistic prediction of what the Brexit deal is going to look like as the abjectly unrealistic nonsense that it is.

Sadly an awful lot of people still seem to believe in Johnson's fantasy that the UK will be able to simultaneously scrap the free movement of labour and secure a trade deal that is as good as, or even better than what we had before. People still want to believe that the UK is suddenly going to turn into the land of milk and honey for all (apart from those pesky foreigners of course) as soon as Brexit is completed.

I guess some people will never learn. They want to believe comforting fairy stories, and it doesn't matter how many times the guy telling them has been caught out lying before, they'll continue believing him because he's saying what they want to hear. Meanwhile they'll react furiously and insult anyone who tries to inject a bit of truth and realism into the debate because they will always prefer comforting lies to uncomfortable truths.

These people are in for a rude awakening, but judging by the way things are now, they're sure to cast around for someone else to blame (Donald Tusk, the EU, remain voters, Jeremy Corbyn ...) rather than accept that they were duped into voting for a shambolic unplanned Tory Brexit that could only ever have ended up with ordinary people bearing the brunt of it while the Tories work tirelessly shield the corporations, bankers and inherited wealth land monopolists (who bankroll the Tory party) from the worst of the fallout.

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