The Unasked Question Of Brexit

There’s one question concerning Brexit that is seldom asked of those vehement in their opposition to the UK remaining a member of the European Union. When broached, only vague responses are forthcoming, like “take back our sovereignty,” or, “control immigration,” or, “stop those bloody foreigners from taking all our bleeding jobs.” Of course, that’s from the rank and file, ordinary folk who simply re-mouth what they’ve heard on the internet, or from media owned and controlled by the Murdoch’s News Corp (the Sun), Jonathan Harmsworth, 4th Viscount Rothermere (Daily Mail), Evgeny Levedev, one of those rich ‘bloody foreigners'(The Independent & Evening Standard). Then there’s the Daily Telegraph owned by the billionaire Barclay brothers, the UK’s equivalent of America’s Koch brothers, who also owned ‘The European’, (you gotta larf!) and ‘The Scotsman’.

They are, of course, just sound-bites lacking true substance. Facebook’s vast database coupled to Cambridge Analytica’s expertise with algorithms churned them out en masse prior to the 2016 referendum; catchy ads and videos that castigated the EU and cleverly assaulted the deep, often subconscious, fears of ordinary people in what could only rightly be described as mass brainwashing.

The problem with sophisticated brainwashing is that the victims don’t know it’s happening. Often they’re not even aware their fears have become heightened to a point that a) pushes them to get out and vote, when otherwise they may have not bothered, or, b) alters their mindset so they switch how they vote.

Fear has been the weapon of dictatorial leaders throughout history. That, plus a promise to the masses of a Utopia to come. Throughout the whole sordid Brexit saga we’ve witnessed both an elevated fear of remaining in the EU, and the promise of Utopia once the UK leaves. Only recently, after being undemocratically chosen as Prime Minister, Boris Johnson prophesied, “a new golden age dawning.” It hardly seems likely, now does it?[1]

The one question that should constantly be fired at the Brexiteers, and with concrete answers stipulated, is seldom if ever asked by those in the media responsible for demanding answers on behalf of the British, and European, public.

Why, and how, will the United Kingdom be a better country for ALL its people by leaving the European Union?

Every survey; CEOs of virtually all the companies located in the UK; the Bank of England; even the government’s own economic departments, have issued dire warnings of the consequences of leaving – and especially leaving with no deal in place. Yet the politicians presently in power all disagree. The billionaires who make their money in the markets, disagree.

Why? Why, when asked to explain their reasons do they flounder and flutter and talk bullshit, using those same old soundbites uttered by the rank and file?They add a little more decorum to their answers. Oxford and Cambridge universities taught them how to do that. “Stopping those bloody foreigners from taking all our bleeding jobs,”. becomes, “…we need to manage our own immigration policies,”  and “taking back our sovereignty,” becomes, “we will govern ourselves, not be governed by Brussels…” (‘Brussels’, incidentally, is a democratically elected parliament in which the UK participates via its MEPs. There is nothing undemocratic about it).

There’s a mountain of evidence to confirm the foolishness of exiting the EU, even with an agreement, but scarcely a smidgen’s worth to discount the aforesaid mountain, or offer evidence to favour getting out despite said mountain.

There are two types of individual who are enthusiastic about Brexit: a) the relatively poor, who have suffered harshly under austerity measures imposed by successive British governments since the turn of the millennium. They find the EU a convenient scapegoat, helped on by dishonest politicians anxious to avert responsibility from themselves, and b) the obscenely wealthy who are gambling on Brexit and stand to profit hugely once the UK leaves.

This man, Jacob Rees-Mogg…

…is just one of them. He’s an ardent Brexiteer, is head of the so-called European Research Group – a bunch of hard-headed ‘Get out of Europe’ fanatics who exist within the Houses of Parliament.  Rees-Mogg’s business interests,  Somerset Capital Management, have just set up two investment funds in Eire (an EU member) to circumvent the negative effects of Brexit.

This from the Guardian:

A City firm co-founded by the influential Conservative backbencher, Jacob Rees-Mogg, has set up an investment fund in Ireland and is warning prospective clients about the financial dangers of the sort of hard Brexit favoured by the Tory MP.

London-based Somerset Capital Management (SCM) described Brexit as a risk in a prospectus to a new fund it launched in March, which has been marketed to international investors who want to keep their money in the EU long-term.[2]

Of course, only Rees-Mogg knows how much he’ll make from Brexit, but rumour has it it’ll be in the millions. And he’s not alone.

Boris Johnson has just awarded Rees-Mogg the powerful political position of Leader of the House of Commons. The smell of corruption is overpowering.

The true answer to the ‘why’ question is painfully obvious. It’s not just that the wealthy will make vast fortunes from the Brexit event, that’s just a sideshow of profit. The European Union makes regulations governing money and goods, and other things. It irks the wealthy that they are subject to the regulation of people they see as ‘foreigners’. Also, they wish to do away with those regulations because they’re designed to keep people safe, help ordinary citizens to live less frugally, and hamper those who would profit unfairly.

Leaving the EU, with a UK government in place prepared to deregulate in areas advantageous to wealthy businessmen, opens up a whole new arena of possibility for those in a position to benefit. Needless to say, they will not be from within the rank and file of ordinary British citizens. The proportion of those  who scream out loudly for Brexit,  on the streets or on social media, have been hoodwinked and manipulated by the ruthless and powerful.

It’s comforting to believe our politicians are there looking after our interests. Sadly, that’s rarely the case. Mostly they just look after their own, short-term, interests and to hell with the rest of us.

That’s why it’s so important to not always believe what they tell us, at least until we’ve asked ‘Why?’ and not settled for a soundbite.

[1] “Boris Johnson: Premiership will be the start of a golden age” BBC July 25th 2019

[2] “Brexit warning from investment firm co-founded by Rees-Mogg” The Guardian, June 14th 2018

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