It was as long ago as 1962 that he famously called the Daily Express “a bloody awful newspaper” but, if Prince Philip still casts his eye over the daily British press these days, my penny to a pound would be on the proposition that he would finger The Independent – now an unashamed pro-Remain rag – as a worthy 21st Century successor to the title of the worst media organ in the land.
Former BBC journalist and now leftie political commentator/pundit Paul Mason holds forth on the need – once the UK has somehow ended up Remaining – it will then be both desirable and necessary for the UK to lead a ‘revolution from within’ to reform the EU into something more sensible and appropriate for modern times – see here – THE INDEPENDENT
Zoe Williams opines upon the fanciful prospect that if – joy of joys – by whatever means it takes the UK gets there (messing up the current Brexit timetable and/or a second Referendum/People’s Vote perhaps?) – we should remain within the EU then we will need to attend to rebuilding our relationship with democracy – see here – THE INDEPENDENT
What I find remarkable about these pieces – and many others like them – is the sheer hypocrisy that underlines the conceit of the ‘liberal’ (“We know better than the people and must save them from themselves”) Establishment elite.
If you asked me to specify the themes that prompted that proportion of ‘the people’ that eventually got the Leave campaign over the line to vote the way they did in the 2016 EU Referendum, I would probably point to (1) the corrupt and dictatorial nature of the unelected and unaccountable politburo EU Commission; and (2) the perception that, as one of 28 member countries, all of which have to agree all major EU policy decisions etc., the UK has so little control over its destiny that it might as well give up the notion that it is still a nation in which democracy has a say in the way it is run.
Ever since the UK joined the EEC (as it then was) in the mid-1970s it has had a love-hate relationship with it largely because – as one historic development towards EU centralisation and federal control inexorably followed another – there was a constant nagging and increasing sense in which the UK seemed to have less and less say or ability to influence what was happening.
As badly as the EU wished none of its member nations ever to leave and discouraged those that (horror of horrors) made any move even to attempt to apply a break to its goals – let us call in evidence one or two of them holding referenda upon new EU developments or treaties that produced the ‘wrong’ result and then being told to go away and come back with the ‘right’ one – it retained enough fundamental conceit and disregard for democratic principles that it presumed, for any and all occasional protests that might arise, no member state was ever actually going to have the balls to cut the EU umbilical chord and go its own way.
This arrogance, and indeed its general disregard for democratic principles, caused the EU to misread and dismiss events going on in the UK that eventually crystallised in the 2016 Referendum.
The EU effectively cooked its own goose by the manner in which – as that prat David Cameron travelled around its capitals with a “Reform of the EU and/or the UK’s relationship with it” begging bowl burning a hole in his luggage – it duly sent him away with a proverbial flea in his ear.
His attempt to emulate Neville Chamberlain and deliver a Remain vote in 2016 by waving at ‘the people’ the brilliant list of ‘concessions’ that he had prised from the dastardly EU bureaucrats was kyboshed well before his plane even landed back on British soil. It was so thin and pathetic that he had to get it quietly buried even before the Referendum campaign began simply in order to avoid the universal derision that it would have prompted those amongst those on both sides of the argument.
In short, the articles mentioned above by Paul Mason and Zoe Williams starkly reveal the deluded cant of the UK political Establishment and media.
Mason has somehow convinced himself that, as one member of a 28-nation EU which is run (top-down) by a small cabal, the UK will be able to lead some sort of reform group that will gradually do away with all the EU’s ills and thereby lead it to a Promised Land where limitless reserves of milk and honey will flow for the benefit of the people.
Meanwhile La Williams has seemingly recognised that – once, as she hopes, Remainers somehow manage to successfully bugger Brexit by whatever undemocratic and possibly unconstitutional contortions may have been necessary [after all the end justifies the means!] there will be a pile of work to be done to ‘restore’ the people’s faith in even the most basic principles of UK democracy that she and her Remoaner friends have just systematically trampled upon in order to achieve what they see as the ‘right’ result.
If they manage to do that, of course.
Lastly, to finish today, I wanted to comment upon the mantra often trotted out in the media, particularly by Labour politicians, union leaders and indeed Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the TUC, about any Brexit deal needing to have included in it as a condition “workers rights” – by which I believe they are referring to those protections and benefits in the workplace that have arrived and been applied in the UK after being developed and imposed by the EU.
In other words, if an independent UK wished, it could pass legislation giving workers whatever protections and benefits it likes – even, if it wished, those that were way more progressive than anything the EU might come up with and impose upon us from afar.
Or am I missing something?
Now I think of it, maybe I’ve got it all wrong.
Perhaps it is just that all these people demanding (or campaigning for) the protection of “workers rights” in any Brexit deal would actually rather be governed from Brussels than they would from Westminster.
Yup, I can see how that would work … it would certainly avoid any requirement to bother with democracy.