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What Follows Has Happened Before
TRINIDADIANS, NEPALESE, BOLIVIANS – anybody in the world – who thinks Brexit isn’t hugely relevant to them is making the mistake of the man weed-whacking, without a face-mask, a patch of grass where people walk their dogs; he’ll be swallowing faecal matter before the job gets done.
The world is more immediately connected today than when World War I ended 101 years ago (11 November 1918). If a relatively minor trigger like the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand precipitated four years of war and 40 million deaths, it is impossible to predict the knock-on effects of the biggest economic upheaval of the last five centuries.
So, I pass over Sunday’s Divali, my favourite religious festival (the pretty lights, naturally, not the mumbo-jumbo), and go back to Brexit, because, as wrong as it would be, Boris Johnson could yet sneak a no-deal Brexit past Parliament on Halloween.
Chasing the dragon of Brexit, Bozo the Evil Clown has misled the Queen, unlawfully prorogued Parliament, withheld the British government’s own impact assessments and attempted to ram through in three days a Withdrawal Bill that requires three weeks’ scrutiny (and will have effects for three generations).
Brexit’s great threat to world peace and stability, is what we might properly call, “the mind-firetruck” it has perpetrated on the British population.
On the eve of achieving their undefined and undefinable Brexit, the Leave campaign still cannot come up with a single advantage of taking Britain out of the largest single market in the world, membership of which for half-a-century is what made Britain as rich as it is today. Leave leaders long ago abandoned their lies that Britain would benefit financially from Brexit and, today, even their vague notions, deceitful as they are fanciful, of “independence”, “sovereignty” and – the worst – “taking back control”, have been rubbished.
But the Leave campaign and its principal individual movers, every one of them filthy rich, damages the world most though its chameleon-like assumption of the noble (or at least defensible) attributes of patriotism and democracy.
Most Brexit discussions today assume that the will of 17.4 million people who voted Leave in 2016 must be implemented, or democracy will be broken – although the implementation of Brexit is itself precisely what will break British democracy. The reality that Brexit means half-a-dozen different things to half-a-dozen of its own supporters (and a dozen to a dozen, and a score to a score) means nothing – and what means everything, to Leave, is the fiction that remaining in the European Union would be, somehow, a betrayal.
Brexit, essentially a stratagem for achieving the interests of a very small number of very powerful – and very rich – people, has twisted the national shield of patriotism into a weapon against democracy itself.
The only thing that could sort out the Brexit mess – another referendum – is the only thing the “patriots” behind the “democratic” Brexit will not agree to; because they suspect, probably correctly, that they would lose. They will not even countenance a referendum to approve whatever final withdrawal agreement is made, if any.
So they plough on, shattering everything in their way, to make their one shot at their insane goal count.
If they manage to conjure the con of Brexit into being, the real patriots of Great Britain – anyone who says, today, “Slow down, let’s think about something that will make our grandchildren poorer” – will be utterly silenced.
And a smaller number of ruthless, wicked – and filthy (it is the apposite adjective) rich – people will get their way.
And, little by little, what most people saw as objectionable, base, indefensible and utterly wrong will become normal.
And, by the time Leave voters realise they were conned, it will be too late.
We know, from living memory, what happens when a great lie replaces a basic truth and the chanting of empty slogans replaces thinking about what is being done right in front of your eyes.
And your country becomes much poorer.
And, led by a silly little man who cares only about himself, is disconnected from and made suspicious of and hostile to its neighbours.
And this is the great threat of this stupid firetrucking con.
And it won’t even matter that it won’t be the Government, but the Opposition, that supplies the final constituent element necessary for the social gunpowder.
Just add the anti-Semitism and you’ll see.
What follows Brexit is neither British sovereignty nor British independence.
What follows is Nazi Great Britain.
BC Pires is a one-eyed man in the Country of the Blind. Read the full version of this column on Saturday at www.BCPires.com