If you were paying attention to the European Union referendum campaign, you will have noticed that the voices that advocated so-called ‘Lexit’ were drowned out by the sound and fury of right-wing Brexiteers on the one hand, and the Remain camp on the other. If there is a left-wing alternative to the Brexit of Britain’s right-wing fantasists, will they please make themselves heard now?
Somehow I don’t think those voices will ever be heard. There is a reason for this: the official media continues to promote the narrow-minded, bigoted Little Englander discourses of the likes of Jacob Rees Mogg, Michael Gove and Nigel ‘Fag Ash’ Farage as the only legitimate point of view. The same crowd of Empire nostalgics have urged Theresa May to “ditch” the Working Time Directive, which limits the hours people can work. The Tory press has been resolutely opposed to this, because apparently, overwork is ‘good for you’. Meanwhile, according to the Huffington Post, Gove has been accused of wanting to steal “holiday days from workers”. The S*n (I won’t link to it) tells its readers that they’re in line for “an overtime bonanza”. Yes, people, you’ll be able to work until it kills you. No one should have to work overtime to survive.
For what it’s worth, The Cat feels that if Britain leaves the EU with the right in charge of this country, we will find ourselves in a situation in which workers will have no rights, and with the same class of halfwits lording it over us, and getting ever richer on the backs of labour, we will be no better than serfs. If you think the situation is dire now, just wait until we’ve left the EU. You will be required to work until the day you die.
I don’t think the EU is a particularly benevolent institution and it has many flaws. Equally, Britain doesn’t have a proper democracy and the political institutions of this country have been corrupted by the Conservative Party, which believes that it, and it alone, has the right to govern in perpetuity.
If you don’t get off your knees and fight back, you will be forever in chains.
You have been warned.
Historically speaking, Britain has been the European Union’s worst member. It constantly demanded special treatment and blamed almost everything it could on the institution. Now it’s leaving. In one sense, Britain’s relationship with the EU can be likened to its joining a swanky golf club and abusing its membership privileges. Below is a short story about that relationship.
For ages, a man (we’ll call him ‘Tommy’) wanted to join this really exclusive golf club, but each time he applied, his application was rejected. This happened for 20 years. Then, finally, Tommy’s allowed to join. So what does he do? First, he celebrates by getting hammered on bottles of Gold Label barley wine in The Dog and Duck. Then he walks down the road to the club, waves his membership card at the concierge and promptly relieves himself in the potted plants near the front door. Then as Horst walks past, he shouts “Oi! Jerry! Faaaack off”! [makes lewd gesture]. “Remember the faaaaacking war? I faaaaaacking do”!
Staggering towards the pro shop, Tommy proceeds to fill his pockets with golf balls, tees and whatever else he can stuff into them. “I wish I’d brought a faaaaacking bag for this shit”, Tommy mutters as he grabs a wad of cash from the till. “What are you faaaaaacking looking at, froggy?” he demands, as Jacques looks on disapprovingly. From there, Tommy, worse for wear, walks into the club’s swanky restaurant and proceeds to take a dump in the middle of the room to gasps of astonishment. Pulling up his pants, he shouts “I don’t want to be a member of this shit-hole any more. You can all faaaaaack off” and stumbles out of the golf club swearing as he goes down the road. Minutes later, Tommy falls into the gutter dribbling and mumbling something about cancelling his direct debit.
Helen Lewis is the deputy editor of the notionally left-wing journal The New Statesman. Her views on Jeremy Corbyn are well known and she’s a regular on the BBC’s Sunday Politics. Today, while Harriet Harman, Labour’s former interim leader appeared on the Andrew Marr Show, she issued this Tweet to her followers.
Come again? Harriet Harman did what? Lewis has got this arse about face. Harman has stood up for the establishment, not “stood up against it” as she claims. Indeed, she even ordered Labour MPs to vote for the government’s damaging Welfare Bill. Weeks later, Harman changed her mind and told Southwark News that she’d “oppose it” – that’s after she ordered Labour MPs to vote for it. And she’s thought of as leadership material?
In the last few weeks, the media has paraded a series of Orwellian neologisms like “post truth politics” before us. Can we therefore regard Lewis’s Tweet as “post-reality”? Let’s remember that Lewis herself comes from a privileged background and is, for all intents and purposes, like Harman, a member of the establishment. So it’s unlikely that she possesses the ability to identify anti-establishmentarianism and is more likely to characterize it as something else.
Later on, and perhaps spurred on by the appearance of Harman, Lewis went a little further and began banging the drum for Corbyn to quit.
So what was the reason for this? Corbyn has ordered a three-line whip on the vote for Article 50, which triggers the Brexit process. What hacks like Lewis and her colleagues in the anti-Corbyn media fail to understand (frankly odd for a political journalist) is that Article 50 is merely a Parliamentary mechanism. The actual debate on the precise nature of Brexit takes place later. Instead, the mass media has been misleading the public with the notion that Article 50 is the final stage in the process, thus they rely on the general public’s ignorance of Parliamentary procedures. This is the same ignorance that was exploited during the referendum campaign itself. It’s yet the latest stage in an ongoing attempt to remove Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, and the likes of Lewis won’t rest until they see someone picked by them in the role. That, friends, is not only contempt for the democratic process that elected Corbyn, but it is also contempt for ordinary party members.
Fake news? You’ll get loads of it from Lewis and her fellow hacks.