The Remainders
Matthew Mahabadi
106

You are right it was a shambles of a remain campaign. Most of the fault lay with the Westminster elite who replayed the Scottish Referendum, failing to notice the bullying tactics nearly cost them that one. Cameron’s charade to change the EU on free movement did nothing to help and a lot to hinder. But we ordinary campaign folk were at least complacent enough to rely on them, because they had the big money. Remain was the Government’s position after all. And yes I did feel greasy lining up with Mr Smug in number 10 and Mr Thug in number 11. But that was then and this is now.

I also liked your reference to Enlightenment values and we remainers need to consider what we can be doing to prevent the dilution of human and worker’s rights and resist further austerity both now being touted as “a price worth paying” to win back our sovereignty. While I have great sympathy for your anger with the elite, there is a risk that we can both start to sound like part of the Donald’s campaign. That said there isn’t a decent politician at the UK level that we might build around. Corbyn has turned the labour party into a crumbling wreck that has confused everyone on the issue of Europe. I suspect he really does not understand the issues involved. So on this issue we have a few fragments, the Scottish and Irish dimensions and the mayors/councils of our great cities. We should be thinking how to draw these together into a coherent voice for Enlightenment values.

As well as keeping an eye on our own incredibly right wing government we need to keep up some pressure on European leaders. We can’t go on pretending that the EU didn’t need major reform. In the current climate there needs to be much more “subsidiarity” across the 27. The tendency of industry, money and power to centralise within the EU is much accelerated by world wide overproduction. Peripheral areas (e.g. the so called Northern Powerhouse) cannot compete, let alone re-industrialise, without a measure of protection and pump priming by local governments. If that isn’t addressed in the EU then it will shed more states.

I’m glad the scales have fallen from our eyes but lets get thinking forward from here. We cannot stop the negotiations going ahead now that labour has sold us. We can turn an intelligent eye on those negotiations, trying to capture some of the popular fury that greeted Trump’s racist executive orders for example.

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