Where are we? How did we get here? What the fucking hell has happened to tear the UK out of the European Union and put Trump in the white house? The reasons for both are widely accepted to be the same and it put down to a “lack of faith in the establishment”. How did such widespread disillusionment happen?
Lets go back ten years to 2007. Remember the credit crunch and the bank Bailout? Well lets review what happened . Simply put, the banks gambled everyone’s saving on people not being able to pay the mortgage or, gambled on the premise that no matter how tight money got, they would always pay the mortgage over their credit card. US banks -notably “Fanny Mac “,”Fanny Mae “(http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/business/economy-watch/timeline/) but with others, got greedy. US & UK policies of soft ” 3 wise monkey “regulation, in collaboration with breathless criminality at Lehman brothers & Uk bank RBS.lit the crash touch paper. “Short selling “(Betting on loan defaults) at JP Morgan ,Merrill lynch & others lit the powder keg and everything went a boom. greed,recklessness,down right criminality and willfully ignorant governments caused the ball to be dropped spectacularly .billions of over ruined. Billions of dollars lost. That was sub prime mortgage lending and the repackaging of these high interest loans to hedge funds and their overextension, brought down the house, collapsed the casino and broke the financial system.
Or should have done. . But what happened was that in order to maintain the status quo, a handful of bankers were disgraced, disciplined and stripped of knighthoods but none were prosecuted. ( https://www.coll.mpg.de/pdf_dat/2010_31online.pdf ) A few banks were fined and Bernie Madoff was sent to prison. But ultimately, the governments in the US, UK and around the world, used my money, your money and the money of every hard worker in their country along with IMF loans to bail out the criminals, so it could carry on being business as usual. London and Wall street are the leading financial centres of the world, this meant their respective countries were hit harder than most. Because of long term and systemic corruption, banks were too big to fail. The reasons for the reliance are too long and complicated to explore here and its old news anyway, Im just bringing it up to form a seed and provide the basis of my argument. Lets move on to something a bit more modern.
The government had to recoup the bailout money so the IMF didn’t screw UK plc with interest and so that “Standard and pour” didn’t demolish its credit rating. It doesn’t seem a lot but charging even 0.1% more on the money owed would have cost UK billions yearly, so I can get that. But guess what the government did to balance the books?
IT Imposed austerity. Now those people who were unaffected by austerity were those who could use private schools, private healthcare, access premium services ,afford to own their own property in affluent and well maintained areas. These people are the high earners. What profession in the uk earns the most by a country mile? Yep you guessed it Financial services or to put in another way, city Bankers, the ones who had caused this mess in the first place. They have been cosily insulated from the mess like favoured children. (http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/article-2269520/Best-paid-jobs-2012-Official-figures-national-average-UK-salaries-400-occupations.html )
Meanwhile, people like you and me are having to cope with Soaring private rents, cuts in schools and the NHS , cuts to local council services such as social care and mental health, community schemes, homelessness but most of all an imposed pay freeze and in many cases, a pay cut. ( https://www.ft.com/content/53fe06e2-dc98-11df-84f5-00144feabdc0 ) “Financial Times” 20/10/2010 It doesn’t take an unreasonable person working hard all day and then going to wait in line for a food bank, to look at this and think “you know what, this doesn’t work for me”. It doesn’t take a racist to work all day and then wait in line for a food bank- who sees the influx of eastern Europeans in his town trying to get the job he just lost, to wish they would just go home. To him they are extra compition for a handful of jobs. If resources were plentiful no one can mind sharing them out, when they are not, there is scrapping over morsels. This leads to a resentment of outsiders, where ever they are from. To call these people racists strikes out the real reason and helpfully stifles discussion. They’re not racist, they government made them desperate people.
It didn’t have to do this, there is an equally respected economic argument ,that to increase GDP and income receipts you invest infrastructure, Trains, motorways public buildings. That’s right folks they decided NOT to invest in, improving things that really need to be improved instead, they engaged in ideological crusade to cut tax on corporate receipts, inheritance tax and impose austerity. (William Keegan –The Guardian 13/12/2015)
And so, right in the middle of this climate, the government make another reckless and purely ideological decision, to ask the pissed off British people if they would like to make an objective decision about foreigners. They ask a lot of people who have nothing- to blame foreign immigration for not having anything. It wasn’t a general election, it was a referendum, EU migration had just been trussed and bowed as a reason for their own shit state. They ask the very people using food banks and trying to hold down insecure jobs, whether we should leave the union that is sending all these “excess workers” their way to muscle in on a crowded job market.
Trouble is, the politicians are so out of touch because they live in a thriving echo chamber of ethnic diversity and wealth that can’t possibly believe that the massive extent of the resentment towards a European work force is real. All they see is a Happy polish waiter, a French accountant and an Italian plumber. They see but don’t understand the impact that mass immigration has had on struggling post industrial towns, they have never had a temp job and do not stand in line at a foodbank. (http://www.theweek.co.uk/65410/bullingdon-club-inside-the-elite-oxford-society ) They also all assume that voters are such timid animals that they will keep the status quo. They don’t understand that the fascist who want us out of Europe have found a poverty scapegoat they can herd right through the centre of the UK . Witness the unstoppable rise of the extreme right.
A well known political tactic is to create a paper tiger opposition from your own likeminded ranks to hold the opposing ground and have that argument so wide ranging but weak, it doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. It performs so poorly as opposition, it is intended to weigh the argument in one particular direction from the offset. The official, Leave campaign was never meant to be a success. It was arranged like two sides of the university debating team coming from the same university class. (http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/boris-johnson-a-talented-populist-on-the-rise-a-1099802.html So to mobilise this “opposition” a pocket of handpicked and disposable establishment Tories tried unconvincingly to convince you that they want us to leave the EU, why would they? Really, Deep down? They have just been asked to formulate a lacklustre token leave campaign with Clearly improbably promise’s such as the NHS bus and a rhetoric of “cheekily” casual racism. Boris joined the Political bandwagon knowing it would only help his career- a natural enemy of the prime minister but a man of such political support he could ride out a losing position if he had to…. but hang on…….
What they didn’t bank on was another rival more right wing , with a more extreme campaign and with genuine belief in its cause willing to do anything amd so,stealing it’s position . And so, because of UKIPS highly offensive , nationalist and divisive campaign,- that seemed to be ignored by the election commission, the ignorant , racist disenchanted ,disillusioned, those angry with the establishment and opposed to a European union, voted to leave the EU.
The airing of dirty laundry was evident for the world to see the morning after, rather than shouting from the windows like Ebenezer scrooge at Christmas, Boris was no where to be seen. Almost cowering in Buyers remorse under his continental breakfast. he had woken up the news he dreaded“HOLY SHIT” he thought-“what happens now? We’ve actually got to do this” (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/24/a-pyrrhic-victory-boris-johnson-wakes-up-to-the-costs-of-brexit
Equally, the remain campaign torpedoed themselves with their own arrogance. Still benefitting directly from the financial sector and being products of a very wealthy capitalist upbringing,.they didn’t realise how angry people were about having to go to food banks and how angry they were about insecure or non existent employment.
People who owned several houses, earnt good salaries in cast iron secure jobs and who had assets ,were telling people who had nothing ,they were stupid and racist. They didn’t understand that to them things couldn’t get much worse, their house wouldn’t be repossessed and they were already going to food banks. If the George and David- who had taken it all, wanted them to stay in the EU, they were going to give them the finger. They needed any sort of change to see something different.
So, to deflect from the fact that “leave “ was a vote against the status quo and an indictment of austerity, the establishment then seek to label all those who voted out as racists and the reason to why the majority felt this way, is not meaningfully explored. The leavers are called stupid and racist or both and this idea is largely encouraged by majority pro government media. The country is cracked down the middle. And according to the media, its The liberal, culturally integrated , city based educated, professionals against the blue collar small town high school racist drop outs. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38762034 )
Now, many people who voted leave didn’t do so because they felt the poles were muscling in on their job or didn’t see a while supremacist UK, they voted because of the EU itself. They voted after months of soul searching and weighing up of pro’s and cons, they were educated socialists, Eurosceptic conservatives academics, who had a real problem with what the EU had morphed into. The ever greedier beast eating up a larger remit, unchallenged from within and ignorant to the pleas of reform from its members, dominated by a powerful few with its own agenda. So here we are beginning to come to a common theme. The EU made up of career politicians, largely out of touch with the problems on the ground.
Much like the governments that they bind together, they are not the animal that was once intended or imagined. Unintended corruption, extreme bureaucracy , undemocratic processes and an autocratic nature operating with impunity, that has disenfranchised the ordinary electorate.
For one reason or another, everyone who voted to leave the EU did so, because they felt the system was broken, not because they didn’t want to go to Spain on Holiday , buy cheap prosecco or their Latvian friend at work to be kicked out the country. They felt so strongly that people in power were not listening to them , or were operating their own agenda to such a point that they felt they had to destroy it in order for their lives to be improved. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/8197672/British-Social-Attitudes-survey-trust-in-politics-hits-new-low-over-MPs-expenses-scandal.html )
Their lives really do need to improve as well, food bank use and child poverty is at an all time high…. The future ruin of this country can be laid squarely at the door of the establishment and particularly the UK Tory party, who support , apologise for, remain entrenched with and culturally beholden to the financial sector. Their ties to this corrupted, ruthless and amoral sector , lead to austerity, austerity lead to disillusionment, it lead to suffering, blame , anger and persecution.
The government have taken the view of a few shouting leavers to paint a whole rebellion. This has been done to demean and discredit the rising opposition to their rule and it was all seeded with the banking crash 10 years ago.
Don’t blame leave on the people who voted for it, blame the banks and the tory turkeys who voted for Christmas with punishing and amoral austerity.
“Leave” and Trump are the bastard cousins of the Financial crash. The establishment have only themselves to blame.