Monday 22nd January
They say that turkeys do not vote for Christmas, but the British electorate have in their millions voted for a royal basting (to say nothing of being well and truly plucked). And I still find it hard to explain. All the arguments about Sovereignty and making our own laws simply do not stack up. The only argument which I think can begin to explain this irrationality – because the whole decision was completely irrational – is immigration. And by immigration we are uncovering a whole nest of vipers. If it were simply concern over European workers coming to Britain, and possibly undercutting British wages, or being upset by Polish shops in English High Streets I could understand that a few people might have voted for that reason. Although the truth is that it if wages are being undercut it is down to the illegal activities of gang-masters. And why shouldn’t there be Polish shops? We could say the same about Chinese or Indian restaurants – except we have had longer to get used to them maybe.
No, sadly, when people say they are concerned about Immigration it is almost certainly Muslims they are concerned about – or, more specifically, would like to kick out, if that were possible. And why this should be I find just as inexplicable. Perhaps, because I am practically an Atheist, Religion doesn’t bother me – or rather, other people’s continued belief in Religion as a solution to our problems. I can see very little difference between the major religions – they all seem to put their ‘faith’ in some unknowable ‘God’ who is all powerful, and yet doesn’t actually exercise that power on our behalf, no matter how many prayers are offered up by devoted followers. And why people get so upset by people who follow a different God, who maybe pray in a different way, who dress differently, I find just as hard to understand. Maybe it is the fact that new immigrants tend to settle near each other and take a couple of generations to assimilate. Maybe it is because people are drip-fed hatred by the Daily Mail and the Sun. Maybe it is because they are so disappointed at the paucity of their own lives that they are looking around for someone else to blame.
And the Referendum was just the chance to kick out; at Politicians who had ignored them for too long; at the Metropolitan Elite in London; at Common-sense itself. I did detect a mood of nonchalant ‘We don’t give a f.,…k’ in the few weeks before, but was still shocked at the result itself.
And now we are stuck with it. Theresa May seems to be on a mission to deliver the very worst Brexit that can be imagined. And Labour are stuck between that very metropolitan elite who voted Remain and more traditional Northern voters who voted Leave.
I see no solution. This is a self-inflicted wound that will take many years to heal. The recriminations will go on for years, and it was all so avoidable – if people had only stopped and really thought things through. But turkeys very rarely do.