Our Friends, the Remainers
Time to get all Rick Astley on their case
I know, I know, they’ve called me a racist, an imperialist-nostalgic, a hate-filled xenophobe, a low-information Northerner, a know-nothing Russian dupe, a race-to-the-bottom free trader, and, of course, over and over again, an economic saboteur. And that’s just the ones who like me.
If you supported Brexit, you’ll have had it in your ears for years now.
Nevertheless, it’s time to talk to our friends the Remainers, because many of them are just discovering the dumpster-fire of Britain’s economy, society and politics that motivated so many of us to vote Brexit in the first place.
Our message should be: We didn’t start the fire. “But now you’ve noticed, finally, what’s been happening, perhaps you could join us in our mission to repair and rebuild.” That, after all, is what the Social Democratic Party is about. To do that, we needed to break from a EU’s liberal consensus which for decades provided all that respectable cover whilst the damage was being done.
Right now, the argument of vocal Remainers has corroded into something so noticeably stupid that even they can begin to feel the vulnerability of their position. The argument goes like this: I’ve just noticed that X is Wrong or a Bad Thing; I hadn’t noticed it before Brexit; ergo, X was caused by Brexit. Rinse and repeat, and repeat.
Ten days ago, I succumbed to the temptation of getting into a Twitter-bout with a Remainer. For once, it was an interesting experience because, seeing past the misrepresentations and false perceptions that they’ve been fed, you could feel the cracks beginning to open. To be honest, I admired the energy he brought to the game, and - guess what? - it was plain that there were plenty of areas of agreement. Yes, X is a bad thing. You think the EU is the answer? Why not [place SDP initiative here]? Right now, he remains incapable of seeing that we share many of the same concerns, share some of the same anger. Because, after all, he knows I must be a racist/imperialist nostalgic etc. . .
He doesn’t know it yet, but he’s increasingly uncomfortable parroting the Remainers liberal consensus, and ever-more likely an SDP ally in the making.
So, to repeat the admirable Caroline Ross (the Uncivil Savant): “It's time to practice goodwill now while it’s still easy, or at least possible. By which I mean, let’s stop cutting channels in ourselves, our communities and our countries, because it’s how all the nutrients we’ve accumulated (over centuries or more) are draining out. Before we can do anything, we first need to let go of the compulsion to slice everything into finer and finer segments, delineate all our differences and oppose those only marginally different in view or allegiance. I have been quietly returning to noticing real-life behaviour, without being convinced by labels, whether self-applied or not. It feels possible to come together to work with people I might have judged or shunned years ago, because I assumed they stood for something oppressive or narrow-minded.”
I’m not extending the hand of friendship to all Remainers, however. There is still a brand of Remainer who I cannot contemplate without scorn: the Revanchist Remainers. These people are marked out by two things. First, their Remainer lies are outrageous, shameless and transparent, and they are used deliberately and only to mislead the gullible. Caroline Lucas is a particularly grotesque example, but there are plenty of others. I hope you feel for them the contempt I feel. Second, their resentment against the British public for voting out of the EU is such that they welcome any and all setbacks and problems Britain faces. I call them Revanchists because that’s what they are - bent on revenge against the British public.
The aim must be to pummel the Revanchist Remainers whilst love-bombing and de-programming the far greater number of Remainers who only now realize just how wrong things went during our EU membership, and who have the political energy to help us fix it. So they voted the wrong way once upon a time? Hey, all but a very small handful of Ur-SDP members share a similar history of voting-error.
And after all, the media’s determination that the Brexit vote caused fissures between friends and within families which cannot be healed was for many of us, complete fiction. My elder sister is a genuinely sincere Remainer, a romantic Germano-phile, and without her love I’d be very diminished. So let’s Rick-Roll.