Which is all rather odd because until the IMF released their figures, and without even the faintest trace of irony, these avid consumers of all things anti-Brexit had been blaming just about everything and anything on the very same Brexit they swear hasn’t yet happened!
According to the hard core anti-Brexit Guardian the UK is ‘the sick man of Europe.’ With estimated growth of 1.7% predicted in 2017, if the UK is indeed ‘sick’ then heaven only knows the newspaper’s prognosis for France (1.5%) and Italy (1.3%). Projected German growth of 1.8% hardly makes it a picture of rude health either.
Retailers such as Amazon and EasyJet announcing jobs and investment in the UK, falling unemployment, a buoyant manufacturing sector and some of the world’s largest economies lining up to strike trade deals with a post-Brexit United Kingdom, the IMF forecast merely confirms what many of us already know: Brexit is a golden opportunity, a once in a lifetime chance to forge a dynamic economy free from the shackles of the bureaucracy, inefficiency and corruption of Brussels.
Well it could be if only it wasn’t for a group of individuals whose egos were so severely bruised that 12 months since the UK voted to leave the European super state, they still have not recovered.
“But we haven’t left the EU yet!” Infuriating as well as exasperating, Orwell himself could not have dreamed up a better example of double-think.
Ironically, it’s not the supposedly ‘uneducated’ Leave voters engaging in these outrageous acts of self-deception, rather it’s the self-styled progressives, ‘educated’ clear-thinking types such as the insufferably smug Matthew Parris who are leading the way, cherry-picking whatever fits their pro-EU agenda, slyly rejecting that which does not.
They’re sticking to their guns too: Brexit is ‘madness’ a ‘disaster’ which ‘must be stopped.’ IMF forecasts? Who needs ‘experts’ all of a sudden? Hypocritical. Arrogant. Post-factual. And, worst of all, wilfully credulous. Remainers in a nutshell.
Indeed, as I write, usually sanguine individuals are working themselves up into a lather over chlorine-washed chicken, the BBC’s latest ruse to throw a spanner in US-UK trade deals. Last week it was falling off ‘cliff-edges’, this week it’s chemical chicken. Will there ever come a day when these self-styled sophisticates don’t go off like one of Pavlov’s the moment the BBC and Guardian press their buttons?
All of which goes to illustrate that you can hold any number of titles: PHDs, professorships and MBEs – no matter, any number of paper certificates cannot immunise against pride, egoism and sheer bloody mindedness.
The problem for Remainers is that they have dug themselves into a trench so deep, they can no longer see daylight. Whatever it takes, they must win the argument and if by doing so that entails subservience to an expansionist European superstate, then so be it. At least they will be able to say, ‘we beat Farage…’
Osborne and Cameron’s threats might have crashed and burned long ago, Soubry and Farron’s dire predictions might keep exploding in their faces compelling this duo of die-hards to keep shifting the goalposts of gloom ever further into the future, but with a fervour which can only be described as evangelical, the faithful still believe: Britain will fail. And just to ensure their prophecy does come true, Remainers have vowed to do all they can to undermine the UK’s exit from the union at every possible turn.
Just how often does Project Fear and its cheerleaders need to be proved wrong before ‘educated’ people start to view this desperate group of doom-mongers and naysayers with something even approaching circumspection?
The answer to that question is as old as the hills: self-interest and liberal doses of egoism.
For the majority of Remainers and (Leavers) Brexit never was about economics, not really. When Chancellor George Osborne made his outrageous claim that every UK family would be £4,500 worse off per year post-Brexit, working class shoppers shook their heads in disbelief. How could people compelled to do their weekly shopping in Poundland, forced to choose between eating or heating possibly get any worse off? They never even had £4.500 per year to start with!
But Osborne was not referencing Tyneside or Barrow-in-Furness. Oh no, his (erroneous) calculations were based solely on the middle classes, Waitrose shoppers, that class of people currently lamenting the difficulty of securing cheap European au pairs while keeping one eye on the cost of school fees.
Voting to Remain in the EU never did have anything to do with ‘us’ – the UK, and it most certainly did not have anything to do with the poor and the downtrodden who spend their lives combing the shelves of bargain basement supermarkets in an effort to make ends meet.
The referendum never was about ‘them’ rather it was all about ‘us’ – a relatively small corporate elite who have already decided the UK’s future path. All they had to do to succeed was to convince the credulous and the ill-informed that their fortunes and those of the EU were inextricably linked together. They didn’t fool Brexiteers, but alarmingly they did manage to hoodwink 48% of the populace.
Voting to Remain was always the ultimate act of vested interest: protecting EU subsidies for some, EU pension rights for others; it was about ensuring the continuation of EU grants and hand-outs for certain industries: universities, ‘social’ businesses, arts/community groups and a whole raft of other projects – some more dubious than others - sensed the end of the EU gravy train was nigh. And they didn’t like it one little bit.
For others still it was simply about keeping on the right side of the rich and the powerful. Politicians of all persuasions looked on with interest as failed colleagues such as the Kinnocks became millionaires courtesy of the EU. Food for thought indeed.
Personal gain or the future prosperity – economic and social – of Great Britain? For Remainers, it was a no-brainer. Money talks. And the EU has a lot of money. Thus we arrive at a situation in which vast numbers of individuals are propped up by EU cash, a habit seemingly just too difficult to kick.
Obtaining your fix though comes at a price: Acceptance of freedom of movement, dissolution of the nation state and ever closer union is, for some, a small price to pay for their dependency. What matters is the here and now. The future? For others to worry about.
Mass migration of cheap foreign labour might provide an endless supply of au-pairs, taxi drivers and fruit pickers, but it also makes the poor poorer. Tony Benn knew it. Corbyn and Galloway know it. John Mann knows it, Kate Hoey too. Cameron, Osborne, Blair and friends . . . does anyone seriously believe this trio have even superficial interest in the lives of the long term unemployed of Sunderland or South Shields?
Nothing but nothing though can shake Remainer resolve: not the incompetency, the greed, nor the breath-taking level of EU corruption and waste; not even the perilous situation of EU-induced austerity on sovereign nations like Greece. And as for Spain, Portugal and Italy . . . you guessed it, their woes are ‘despite’ not ‘because of’ the EU. Win-win.
What then of the disastrous Euro currency project? Or a state of affairs in which decisions taken in Berlin can condemn a whole generation of Greeks to effective servitude?
As thousands of migrants daily make the dangerous crossing from Africa to Europe, the EU sits impotently by. Action when it does arrive consists of bullying and threatening the Visegrad nations with draconian measures should they not take Western Europe’s path to self-destruction. Charming.
And still our intellectual superiors defend this entity. “Oh yes, it needs reform,” they will eventually concede. “It’s far from perfect . . .”
The EU project might be creaking on the point of collapse, but its adherents do not intend to let inconvenient things such as democracy stand in their way. To ensure continuation of their project, Europe’s corporate elite has craftily managed to marshal a snarling, credulous army of middle-class millennials and social justice warriors to do their bidding, a self-interested army of EU-addicts all of whom view the bloc solely through the prism of personal gain: grants, subsidies, pensions etc. etc.
Breaking this dependency will not be easy for EU tentacles have spread far and wide, but in order for the UK to swim rather than go down with the EU wreckage, that is precisely what must happen. Nobody said it would be easy, but like all addicts, once through the barrier and cured of their dependency a whole new life will open up for Remainers.