Wednesday 8 February 2017

How did Brexit morph from an anti-establishment rebellion into an passionate defence of the Tory establishment?

One of the things that astounded me during the hastily rushed EU referendum debate was that people actually got hooked in by the faux anti-establishment rhetoric of millionaire right-wing toffs like Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, Iain Duncan Smith, Roger Helmer and Michael Gove.

A bunch of millionaire right-wing toffs telling us that we could stick it to another bunch of millionaire right-wing toffs by voting to quit the EU! Who could possibly buy into that?

I mean I fully understand the desire to give the likes of David Cameron, George Osborne and Nick Clegg a good kicking. Anyone who followed my work before May 2015 will know my opinions on that lot, but the idea of handing total power to the hard-right fringe of the Tory party to do it, well that's a plan that would have any sensible progressive mired in second thoughts.

And so it has transpired that Brexit did indeed empower the right-wing fringe of the Tory party to set about remodelling the UK as some kind of horrific right-wing dystopia. The level of dictatorial right-wing authoritarianism only superseded by the level of outright incompetence (they had seven whole months to come up with a Brexit plan, but they were still rushing to get it finished at 04:17 on the morning of the release and it was still riddled with embarrassing errors and empty rhetoric).

The really odd thing is that so many Brexiters have actually gone along with this total reversal from anti-establishment rebellion to full-on rearguard action in defence of the Tory establishment.

It's as if the word "Brexit" has some mystical power over people. It doesn't matter how barbarically right-wing things get, people have made their decision and they're sticking with it.

It doesn't seem to matter to Brexiters that Theresa May tried to scrap parliamentary sovereignty in order to set herself up as an all-powerful autocrat who can make and repeal laws at her own discression, with no parliamentary or judicial oversight whatever.

It doesn't seem to matter to Brexiters that Theresa May's long-awaited "negotiation strategy" is some kind of diplomatically inept toddler tantrum about how they Tories want a better deal for the UK than the deal available to remaining EU members or they'll turn the UK into the world's biggest tax haven.

It doesn't seem to matter to Brexiters that Theresa May gathered up her begging bowl and scuttled off to the United States at the first opportunity to plead for a Tory-Trump corporate power grab of a trade deal that would make TTIP look like a walk in the park.

Even if Theresa May announced that Brexit gives her a mandate to confiscate all newborn babies to be killed and cooked for a massive Tory banquet, it seems that a load of Brexiters would be yelling "shut up", "Remoaners", "will of the people", "traitors", "sore losers" "get over it" ... at anyone who dared to put their head above the parapet to object that Tory paedo-cannibalism wasn't even mentioned during the EU referendum debate.

The way Brexit has turned from an anti-establishment rebellion into a desperate rearguard action to protect the Tory establishment tells us a lot about the human psyche. Once you've sold people a simple opinion (based on fearmongering, misrepresentations, extremely dodgy propaganda,  Nazi style posters, staggeringly over-optimistic fantasies and outright lies), it doesn't mater if you subsequently rewrite the terms of the contract so it bears no relation whatever to the original promises, people will be loathe to change their opinions, because to do so would be to admit to themselves that they were a naive fool who allowed themselves to get totally duped by a bunch of extreme right-wingers.

How else is it possible to explain left-wing Brexiters still stubbornly defending Theresa May's terrifying authoritarian scheming, the bumbling incompetence of her three Brexiteers and the fascistic gloating of Nigel Farage?

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