Could Brexit Win Over This Sceptic?

Great Britain


Facts first. Every economist agrees that Brexit is starting to cost millions, possibly billions. The economy is slowing, house prices are falling, the pound is weaker, there’s no extra money for the NHS, no more EU grants for deprived areas, and we are inches from recession even prior to the triggering of Article 50.

How does it affect us on the ground? I’m of the generation that was commanded to save, and like a mug I did as I was told, so that’s me screwed. Like millions of others I have an EHIC which entitles me to free healthcare in Europe. This may have to be surrendered – but there are a lot of ‘mays’ right now, including one running the country who may negotiate that part in.

The upside? A feelgood factor based on nothing at all. So why do I feel less outraged than I did about a mainly working class protest vote driven by racism and fear of the country being full up? (see fig.2)


Because I wonder whether people do need to feel that they’ve reclaimed something – however intangible – for themselves. Feeling upbeat is a surprisingly tangible commodity when it comes to the stock market. And a strong economy doesn’t always mean grassroots improvements. City centres don’t get nicer just because exports are up. Look at any of our coastal towns. Or rather, don’t. I watched Ken Russell’s ‘French Dressing’ the other day, set in Herne Bay in the sixties (where part of ‘Goldfinger’ is located) when it looked like the Cote D’Azur compared to the pissed-up pensioners’ dogging ground it is now.

Herne Bay


And as the idea of the nanny state is abandoned, perhaps, as in parts of Europe, we could learn to do things for ourselves. Certainly, no-one has argued about politics so much in 30 years. I joked about Millennials here, but I’ve great admiration for the start-up companies and pop-ups that they’ve created with minimal resources and maximum creativity.

Perhaps, if we ignore boring things like facts and predictions, we could parlay this new hard-won self-reliance into a fresh sense of community and innovation. The worst characters have left. After creeping off to America to advise Haystack Head on how to run his campaign and then vanish, Farridge will  presumably creep back to the suburbs, where Hell is still Other People, and BoJo has been shuffled off to endless embassy dinners in Bongo Bongo Land, as he’ll doubtless refer to one shortly in a sherry-fuddled speech.


That just leaves us with the one person who stands against everything a new spirit of enterprise might summon up, ‘Jeremy ‘Back To The Future’ Corbyn. I can only hope that the Ayatollah of Primark fatally succumbs to one of the photo-ops he loves so dearly, be it lying in a train corridor or flashing his furs, and totally forgets to engage any member of the opposition in any meaningful debate at all – but of course he already did that during Brexit. That faint squeaking noise we heard was his first opposition speech. Owen Smith will ‘get round the table’ with ISIS, emerging headless, and we’ll get back to doing what we were once best at, punching above our weight and telling everyone else ‘No thanks, I can manage’, and not doing the job terribly well.

Millennials won’t remember but in the seventies we had a catchphrase – ‘It may be rubbish, but it’s British rubbish.’ It’s still too early to call yet, but so far the sky hasn’t fallen in. Now, if only it would become the limit.

8 comments on “Could Brexit Win Over This Sceptic?”

  1. Matt2 says:

    Thats quite a British thing too isn’t it. Looking on the bright side. Carry on regardless. Make it happen and become the best at being whatever we have a go at. How about those young olympians that came back victorious at our best games ever….. YAY.

    Like you say the sky hasn’t fallen in….

  2. Stephen says:

    Hi Chris, I’m sure we’ll cope with whatever happens.

  3. Brooke says:

    Psychologists call “identity anxiety” when you need to reject “others” so you can feel good that you belong to a select group. The rest of us call it racism. Economists like Richard Florida have shown that this is not a strategy for prosperity by any measure. Witness the welfare states of the US South; we now want them to secede–they cost too much, the people are unpleasant, and there is little return on investment.

    At a dinner party last night everyone was from UK except me, Ishiguro’s comments were roundly endorsed: Think about it.

  4. Wayne says:

    If I could have been convinced by David Cameron that he actually wanted to remain…I might have voted that way too. The Tory party heading both sides of the argument didn’t help either. Putting Boris, probably the most popular Tory figure out there, in charge of the leave campaign, convinced me that Cameron wanted out himself. Mrs May, secretly relishing the opportunity to take on those that failed her in Europe over the extradition of hate preachers, sat quietly in the background waiting to lead Britain out of Europe. I bet she has already been reminding European leaders of the embarrassment they caused her, let alone the cost. Also, I don’t remember the Remain party reminding everyone, every 5 minutes like they should have been, that there are near 4 million UKIP voters out there putting Brexit 4mil to the good by 11:00am on the, 23rd June, leaving the remain vote needing something like 7 out of 10 votes off the rest of the voters.

  5. George Mealor says:

    Kazuo Ishiguro might consider, Brits just may be concerned their culture might be overwhelmed by massive uncontrolled immigration. The Italian Coast Guard has found it difficult to halt the invasion from the sea. The Turks have opened their borders. Can a Dunkirk be far behind, this time with French boats?

  6. Vivienne says:

    We are having a good summer, so no one is very worried at the moment. The Olympic Games have given a huge boost in confidence, but I still wonder if Brexit is going to happen. May is very good at playing her cards and keeping them close to her chest, so who knows what strategy she is working on in those clear alpine airs? What won’t change is the immigration/refugee crisis. And it’s sad that the argument just became a matter of cash rather than friendship and cooperation. But I agree, the exit prospect seems less grim.

  7. Steve says:

    Legtimacy is not the same as racism.
    And an identity is a basic human need, and for non-elite people it’s all they have.

    Dont forget there are 300000 irish voters and 1.2 million commonwealth voters in the uk, and on top of that scotland, all pretty much solid remain. That was why Cameron was so lazy about the campaign, because he thought the result was pretty much “gerrymandered” (if you like) because of this huge starting lead which the Brexiters had to overcome. Neither he nor anyone else anticipated that the core English /Welsh vote would be 70-80% Brexit. I still dont think many of the remainers truly grasp how overwhelming was their defeat.
    A rerun would probably give an even greater majority is my guess. In fact I would stake a hell of a lot on that.
    I know some parts of continental europe quite well and am personally ever more persuaded that it was the right decision. There’s a quite great commonslity of interest in europe which in the uk is much much less. In Hungary for example there may be great anger of and distrust of the EU but they know they have no choice.
    Ther’s between Europe and the UK a terrible depth of ignorance and deep resentment – in BOTH directions – which for me can be quite depressing.
    The only strong reason for voting remain for me personally (apart from self-interest, I’m registered in Frankfurt where I am typing this and Sofia) is being in anything on the same side as Farage. But oh well.
    But as to whether it was the right decision, I think around 2030 will be a good time to decide that, not 3 months after the vote and before any legal steps were even triggered. The endless mood music in the guardian on one side and the mail on the other is inboth cases nothing more than mood music pandering to their readers’ prejudices.

  8. John Griffin says:

    Just to be contrary, try a different thesis. May is going to do whatever is best for the 1%, and this will appear to include many from London. Outside that area, most will not prosper. All that really happened (because it didn’t matter whether Cameron stayed or went) is that the iron grip of the 1% on this country was strengthened, and the anti-Corbyn business is simply to ensure that the interests of the 1% continue to be paramount even if it means the formation of a new centrist party of patsies. The ‘ us taking back power’ was not you, the ‘us’ was the 1%.

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