Sunday 23 July 2017

The extreme-right Brexiter victim complex bites again

One of the most insidious things about extreme-rightg Brexit propagandists is the way that they deliberately foster victim-complex thinking. 

The latest example is an article on the Arron Banks bankrolled propaganda page Westmonster crying that the nasty EU is punishing the UK for leaving by not immediately agreeing to let Brits keep one of the primary benefits of EU membership after we leave.


The EU referendum allowed the extreme-right fanatic Arron Banks a perfect opportunity to massively increase his influence over British politics by setting up a rival pro-Brexit campaign called Leave.EU (the one that used Nazi style imagery to fearmonger about refugees).

Instead of packing the campaign up after the referendum (like the official Vote Leave and the pro-Remain Stronger In Europe), Banks has opportunistically turned the Leave.EU into his own personal propaganda outfit.

Attracting over a million social media followers (867,000+ on Facebook, 133,000+ on Twitter) by waving a Brexit flag at them and then using this huge social media audience to promote the most fanatically right-wing interpretation of Brexit, bigoted xenophobia, pro-Trump propaganda, and endless links to his own Westmonster website (which is absolutely blathered in adverts for Banks' own Go Skippy car insurance company).

The EHIC card

The latest Westmonster/Leave.EU propaganda attack on the European Union entitled "Spiteful EU threatens to scrap free healthcare for Brits abroad" relates to the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which currently allows EU citizens to travel in Europe and claim back the cost of any medical treatment from their home countries.

The Tories are arguing that British travellers in Europe should still have access to the EHIC scheme even after we quit the EU, but the EU negotiators have said that they need to study the issue further before making a decision.

Despite Theresa May and the Tories using the lives of EU citizens in the UK as disposable gambling chips in the negotiations, the extreme-right Westmonster/Leave.EU mob are spitting bile that the EU aren't immediately caving in and handing the UK one of the biggest advantages of EU membership!

Project fear

The possibility of the UK losing access to one of the really big benefits of EU membership as a consequence of quitting the EU was always pretty damned obvious, but you'll remember how the Brexiteers shrieked "project fear" at anyone who dared suggest that Brexit might be a highly complex process fraught with pitfalls and dangers for Brits and the British economy.

The likes of Arron Banks and the Leave.EU mob operated on the model of pushing blatant fearmongering and lies (like the Nazi style anti-refugee posters and the "eek Turkey is joining the EU" lies) and then howling "project fear" at anyone who raised legitimate doubts about the fact that the Brexiteers were clearly just making things up as they went along, with no actual plan for what to do if they actually managed to win the referendum with such despicable tactics.

Now they're having an absolute hissy fit because one of the potential consequences they dismissed as "project fear" during the referendum debate is still a possibility.

Brazen Tory propaganda

One thing that jumps straight out of the article is the claim that the UK made a "fair and serious offer" on EU citizens rights.

Anyone who did the slightest research knows that the UK ofer was an absolute insult that has been severely criticised by EU citizens in the UK, UK citizens in the EU, and which came 11 days after the submission of a much better and more comprehensive citizens' rights offer from the EU that went completely ignored by the Tories.

The fact that Westmonster chose to uncritically recycle the "fair and serious offer" Tory propaganda word for word just goes to show what their real agenda is. 

They have no intention whatever to hold the Tory government to account for the inept way they're handling Brexit because their primary objective is to spread hatred of the EU, not to get a good deal for British citizens.


The word-for-word repetition of Tory propaganda appears in the most sickening paragraph of all:
"It's especially bad considering Theresa May has already made a 'fair and serious offer' to EU citizens living in Britain, allowing them to apply for settled status. But that was on the condition that British citizens living abroad would maintain their rights. So has the EU just kiboshed its own citizens getting a good deal too?"
There is no other way to read this than as a threat against EU citizens' living in the UK if the EU doesn't cave in and give Brits one of the main membership benefits of their "spiteful, vengeful dictatorship"!

If the EU don't let us keep our access to EHIC even after we've left, then the absolute insult of an offer on EU citizens' rights is going in the bin, presumably to be replaced with a very much worse collective punishment policy against EU citizens in the UK.

The Westmonster article basically says "give us what we want or we'll deliberately punish EU citizens living in the UK" and has the absolute gall to accuse the EU of being the spiteful bullies at the same time!

Endangering the negotiations

Framing the EHIC debate as a plucky honest UK taking on a "spiteful EU" is exactly the kind of extreme and divisive rhetoric that endangers the negotiations.

Just think about it for yourself for a moment: Which proposition would you be most likely to accept?

Arron Banks' extreme-right propaganda machine is poisoning the political debate over the EHIC card with divisive rhetoric accusing the EU negotiators of being "spiteful" people "sticking two fingers up at Britain" and the describing the EU as a "spiteful, vengeful dictatorship" all based on the fact that the EU aren't immediately caving in to Tory demands that Brits get to keep one of the primary benefits of membership of the ... err ... "spiteful, vengeful dictatorship"!
Could we continue with the existing arrangement we already have in this area because it has obvious benefits to both of us?
Give me what I want immediately you fucking spiteful bully or I'll collectively punish people you care about.
Even infant school children know that you're more likely to get what you want by being nice than by lobbing a load of insults and threats around.

Anyone who thinks that toxifying the Brexit negotiations with this kind of divisive extreme-right rhetoric is anything but an impediment to Britain getting a good deal has to be suffering extreme diplomatic illiteracy.

And only the most terrifyingly delusional of halfwits could possibly imagine that Brits will somehow retain access to the benefit of EHIC if the divisive rhetoric from the Arron Banks' propaganda mob succeeds in triggering a nuclear "no deal" Tory strop out of the EU.


The idea that the EU are horrible bullies because they won't immediately cave in and hand the UK one of the prime benefits of EU membership is a classic example of the extreme-right victim-complexing propaganda tactic.

It doesn't really matter what the story is, the extreme-right will always find a way of framing it as a piteous victim narrative in order to dupe people into wallowing in self pity instead of actually engaging their critical thinking skills.

This tactic works a treat because once the extreme-right have inflated people's victim complexes to the size of hot air balloons, it only takes the slightest puff of hot air to get them all floating in the political direction they want them to, and the direction the Arron Banks/Westmonster/Leave.EU mob are blowing towards a socially and economically ruinous nuclear "no deal" Tory strop out of Europe.

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