A lot of us in the Remain camp (and a lot of Leavers to be honest) have spent a lot of time trying to convince ourselves that the Brexit vote (and everything else) has an economic justification in its core.
People are marginalised by globalisation, capitalism, neoliberalism, whateveryouwannacallitism. They are ‘left behind’. They are unrepresented by normal politics and turn to the extremes. They wanted to ‘stick it to the man’, to express their dissatisfaction. This is why they voted for Brexit, why they support Trump, why they vote for neonazis across Europe.
While this is a wonderful explanation, in keeping with our Marxist methodological frameworks, it is sadly not true. Also, it is inconveniently passing the blame for all this mess back on us, university profs, the metropolitan elite, normal politics, the 1% (etc etc).
We know how to blame (and deal with) neoliberalism, austerity, unemployment and the rest. We do not know how to deal with bigotry and racism. We do not know what to make of this alliance of the rancid rich with the racist poor, of the snooty Londoners and provincial bigots. We are at a loss. We are also responsible. Read this great piece by @zackbeauchamp in VOX, and you won’t be able to pretend anymore either.
Why are we responsible you say? Because we found ourselves appeasing the bigots, of saying things like: Immigration is a legitimate grievance.
It is not. Do you hear me? Immigration is not a legitimate grievance.
I can prove it.
I can prove it on the systemic level by showing you rims of statistics that prove migration to be a net benefit to the UK, to Europe, to USA, to everyone.
I can prove it on the personal level too.
Next time a cousin comes along who says ‘You know they do have a point on immigration’, do not accept it. Question him. We have gone along with this lie for so long, we handed the referendum on a platter to the likes of Farage.
Ask people: Why is immigration a problem for YOU? What have YOU experienced that makes immigration a legitimate problem?
Try it and you will discover a surprising thing. They have read a lot of headlines from Nazi-like rags like the Daily Express. They have heard other people complain. They have seen once a brown person on TV.
Enough of that. Enough of the bigotry and racism. Enough with the pretense that this is somehow legitimate. Did you miss a council house to an Afghan? Did you lose your job to a Pole? Where you handicapped by a Greek doctor? Did you have to wait at A&E while they pulled a knife out of a foreigner? Do people speak foreign languages in the bus? Do you see a lot of headlines about all those 70 million Turks on their way here?
No Sir, immigration is a fiction. Other people are supposedly affected and you are scared. You are a fat, tatooed English-man in Manchester, scared of brown people on TV. This is why you voted for Brexit. And we let you do it. Well done to you, now you can vote for Andy and complete the circle.
The left lost this game because it abandoned its core principles and internationalism. You have now Labour MPs talking about ‘restrictions’, taking about reducing immigrants, talking about ‘legitimate concerns’. Talking the UKIP talk. To hell with them.
You are scared of foreign people on TV enough to cut your own legs off via this idiocy of Brexit? You deserve what will happen to you, but do not expect me to cry along about your legitimate grievances. The time has come to make a stand. Yes, you are all racists.