In 2016 we were introduced to the pejorative epithet “Little Englander”, a term which embodied the inward and exceptionally backward thinking of a group of uncultured British voters who were overwhelmingly in favour of Brexit. The Little Englander was derided as archaic in his beliefs, racist, uncouth and someone belonging to Britain’s rural back waters perhaps even of incestuous consummation. A village idiot no less. These little idiots nonetheless revolted en masse and in their millions found their way to polling booths across the country. Who could have known they had the ability to find their ways to the schools and town halls in order to cast their votes. I for one certainly had little understanding of quite how many villages there were across our green and pleasant land. As the results filtered through the “progressive” mind was confronted by a new reality, by the rise of a new idiocy. It was a reality that no education could prepare us for, after all how could intellectual cognizance even begin to understand the workings of the suburban cretin?
As a nation, we were now separated from our socially democratic destiny and above all from our utopian future. The cultured man, sorry, that’s not man, but man, woman, transgender, non binary’s and ICMMMUWIABs: (ICMMMUWIABs are I Cant Make My Mind Up What I Am Beings) had been assigned to the whims of these xenophobes, homophobes even omniphobes. Of course, Liberals detest racism, that’s why Turkey’s wish to join the EU was always refused under one convenient banner or another, but surely never due to the fabric of their nation consisting overwhelmingly of Muslims. Currently their entry is barred due to their human rights abuses. Of course Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia may have been intensely abusive towards their gypsy minorities, as were the Baltic states to their Russian minorities, but we cannot see any form of double standard between these comparisons, it is a truism that every situation must be judged according to its merits and no two cases are the same. Certainly a 30 year rejection of Turkey’s EU membership has nothing to do with racism, after all the EU as an institution has always despised any form of discrimination. Indeed, the Union has always promoted a heterogenous society as defined by its intrinsic “freedom of movement” a sacred ideological cornerstone that is fundamental to Europe’s theoretical edifice. Naturally this freedom of movement is restricted to certain countries and certain peoples, again this in no way represents a form of discrimination against certain peoples or nationalities, after all since when has discrimination had anything to do with treating different groups of people differently?
This freedom of movement policy has often been manipulated and criticised by those on the right, in other words by racists, but being a social progressive union the freedom of movement alas had nothing to do with reducing the wage bill for the biggest cooperation’s from Germany, France and the UK, otherwise we would have to consider that a form of gross capitalism, equally outsourcing production was a move designed for the common good, you cannot seriously expect me to believe that moving a factory to Romania was all about profit and the exploitation of an incredibly cheap labour force. Of course all across Europe benefits are being slashed and intense austerity is being applied, while simultaneously a welfare state that contravenes the principles of the free market is being established to bail out the banks. Brexiters complain that this is an indication of what neoliberalism is truly about, but they would do, wouldn’t they, as an intellectual I will not be fooled by populism or any other attempt to mask true racist intentions.
Anyway let’s get back to the freedom of movement and anti-Semitism, being a Liberal I always found feudalism, sorry, I mean laissez faire capitalism a tricky subject to comprehend, so before I digress let’s get back to the Syrian refugees, yes, the EU may have paid the Turkish government billions to hold back all those poor Syrian refugees that were fleeing to our Western paradise, but this was never due to Brussels refusing to welcome them. Again this has nothing to do with racism and of no significance is the fact they are in general Muslim. I repeat again! The EU is not anti-Semitic! The EU welcomes everyone, well, almost everyone.
A second cornerstone upon which the EU is born is its indelible commitment to human rights and I do contend that Syrians are privileged to the same laws as any European.
In the build up to the referendum, the Guardian, Independent and the Remain campaign were all explicit in informing the nation as to how exactly the EU would protect human rights. Of course they might have blurred the issue somewhat, the EU after all is not a party to the European Convention on Human Rights as the above tried to insinuate, Brussels in fact refuses to cede jurisdiction to Strasbourg, just as well, can you imagine what would happen should the EU be brought before the Strasbourg courts for allowing migrants to drown in the Mediterranean following the cessation of the mare nostrum rescue operations? A decision taken in order to deter others from making the journey? In an article in the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung Heribert Prantl summed up the policy and the nonchalance with which Europeans greeted the loss of life thus: “Their deaths are tolerated, accepted; they are supposed to act as a deterrent to other refugees, to stop them fleeing. Europe is using dead refugees to protect itself from refugees”. Again it was a decision that had nothing to do with not wanting these people to come here, certainly nothing to do with racism or an end to a policy such as the freedom of movement. After all there has never been anything discriminatory by treating people of different ethnicities according to a different set of rules.
Naturally all of this changed once a photo of a poor poor Syrian child washed up lifeless on a Turkish beach struck the combined European consciousness. This photo lead to a public shaming of a policy that literally trumped Trumps (yes, the Donald’s) current immigration stance and forced the EU bigwigs to sit together in order, we suspect to protect their political careers, and together they to varying degrees allowed an influx of migrants access to our promised and peaceful lands. This benevolence would finally take an ironic turn when the same leaders decided enough was enough and that from now on we would pay that great Turkish president (yes, that’s the authoritarian one who commits human rights abuses and thus blocks Turkey’s entry to the EU) to look after them for us with love and tenderness.
Of course, exiting the EU, Britain would escape the yoke of its court in Luxembourg. Contrary to what liberals believe, this would increase the depth of the European Convention on Human Rights via the ratification of the treaty that passed into English law and is known as the human rights act of 1988. A mere inconvenience to the remain campaign, who swiftly found a handful of conservatives who wished to remove elements of the ECHR. It’s still uncertain if this incredibly unlikely scenario would actually mean the UK would face a less broader application of the ECHR, but the Liberal has no need to consider this because he is an intellectual unlike the village idiot. Of course Liberals did not want to consider that this small posse of Conservatives have no chance of overturning the 1988 human rights act, nor did they seek to inform the public to the lengthy procedure required to overturn it. Equally prominent Remainers failed to mention that the UK as a signatory to the UN Convention on Human Rights, hence would still be bound to a wider more encompassing piece of legislation then the EU is currently offering. Yes, that’s now two pieces of legislature that need to be overturned, but those Conservatives currently in power are particularly devious and represent the most ominous of threat to our rights, only the EU can protect us from them and their treachery.
After all the conservatives represent big business, austerity and the banking fraternity, it was Thatcher no less who helped introduce market fundamentalism to the world! Of course, this neoliberal fabric may be the ruling light by which the ECB is guided, but this is inconsequential, the EU is after all a pillar of social progression, the EU only promotes bankers with a conscience, bankers that put morality before profit, that’s why we can feel safe that neoliberalism has been codified into the EU treaties. Yes, perhaps that does appear on the surface at least inimical to the leftist idealism inherent among the universal principles of the Remainer and, yes, on paper that means we are not allowed to maintain a state monopoly over our holy NHS, but between the treaties and the EU non faltering high morality is where we will find protection. Equally it matters not one iota that the EU recently signed the CETA agreement, the CETA agreement allows for cooperation’s to bring governments to court if they feel their profits have been inhibited by government regulation through mechanisms of ISDS that’s Investor State Dispute Settlements to you and me or is it me and you? It’s hard for the snowflake generation to ascertain if the self must take precedence ahead of all else or if this is still a social taboo that needs to be masked. That the CETA regulations seem set to undermine both workers rights and the Paris Environment agreements obtained in 2015 again is solely a matter of fact. As a Liberal I felt no need to research such phenomenon, I am after all blessed with a form of social gnosis that enables me to know what’s right. Naturally I rejected TTIP, hence I must make do with CETA, I don’t need to understand that CETA contains a sub clause opening the entire agreement to the NAFTA zone, CETA therefore is TTIP but let’s not get into such trivialities because I simply have no time for them. Why waste time on investigation when all I need to do is read the Guardian, yes, those stories which corroborate my beliefs and not those small number of detestable and unsightly Lexit opinions, which somehow made it from time to time into the paper. I guess a token effort to maintain some semblance of balance. My father too would always read the Guardian, thankfully as a liberal I have not been subjected to fake news so I have had no need to diversify my source, my source is pure and protects me from populist bubbles. Quite what those bothersome Lexit articles represent is still news to me. I am sure nonetheless that the EU instead will prevent TISA, we need to be in the EU to help protect us from TISA, the conservatives will sign a deal to confirm TISA. I am not perturbed by precedence, psychologically I only seek to confirm my biases and before my thoughts divulge beyond the superficial, I can simply be diverted by Trump’s next outrageous comment.
It did not phase me that while I campaigned to remain in Europe under a banner of social democracy, French workers were protesting to protect their rights, it did not matter to me that Greek democracy was overridden by the ECB, that the Euro itself is on the verge of collapse (that’s why the Iranians, the Russians and the Chinese have been exchanging it for gold) and that the currency alone undermines everything I believe I stand for. How could I have time to absorb such information while the likes of Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage would splutter their visceral, divisive hatred throughout our country. Unlike my nemesis, the village idiot, I am a beckon of cultural and intellectual enlightenment. I am a Europhile, I am not a racist, I don’t see that Brexit could open us to the World, to Asia, to the Americas and to Africa. I prefer to stay within this European zone. No, that does not make me a racist and, no, I am not a little Englander unaware of the events and world beyond my confines, but above all I am not a racist! I don’t believe the EU is merely a bunch of states with common interests that work together to maintain their positions in the global economy. I represent the left and see no contradiction in supporting a capitalist Thatcherite elite and, no, I am not simply herded into supporting the establishment by politicians that deride others as racist or idiotic, I am an intellectual no less. The EU is like me a beckon of social democracy and therefore without contradiction I must fight for everything I believe in.