Use Your BRain, Vote BRemain.
Arthur Price here, your local part time Leader of the Resistance and Independent Candidate for Central Devon at last year’s general election. I’ve been quite quiet for the last year (silent even) but now, on the eve of the Tory Party leadership election – sorry, the EU Referendum – I feel compelled to share some thoughts with you, especially with my friends who are on the verge of voting to leave the EU, or BRexit as some tosser in a press office office somewhere decided to brand it.
Here’s the thing right, I’m gonna vote BRemain (that’s the first time I’ve used that word and when I’m President of the Peoples’ Democratic Republic of BRitain I’ll make sure it’s excluded from the dictionary).
But here’s the other thing BRexiters – you and me have loads of stuff in common. First of all, I’m no fan of the way the EU works and for a while I was considering voting BRexit, after all my great socialist heroes Bob Crow and Tony Benn couldn’t be wrong, right? They maintained the institution was undemocratic, unaccountable, and was created to satisfy the needs of corporations and worked against the welfare and rights of the workers. They had a point, one I find it difficult to argue against, so I was looking forward to all this being laid bare in a balanced and open debate. But that didn’t happen did it – it’s become a total fucking circus, a freak show cage fight between the right and the extreme right, and you’ve been duped into thinking that a victory for the BRexit camp will be some sort of revolution of the common man, the chance to ‘take back your country’ (whatever the fuck you think that means), the chance to give yourself a voice and rid yourself of the shit hand you’ve been dealt in life.
But if you win, none of that is gonna happen. The EU referendum isn’t about any of that. It’s about the future of the Tory party, it’s about Cameron taking a gamble to keep his job. The only reason we have this referendum in the first place is because Call-Me-Dave was losing support hand over fist (as my nan would say) during his coalition Premiership, both from the electorate and his own MPs who were defecting to UKIP, so he offered them a referendum to win back support. And it worked – just – by squeezing him into Downing Street with a small majority, and now he has to go through with it. So, for me, being asked to vote BRexit or BRemain is like being asked to vote whether I’d like to be deaf or blind. Although looking at the press coverage and social media commentary I’d say both deaf and blind were victorious in the polls a long time ago.
Look, BRexiters, I share your view that modern life is shit and things were better in the old days. I’m just as fucked off as you are with mainstream politics, with everything getting worse year in year out, with feeling powerless to do anything about it and feeling totally depressed about the future for our kids and grandchildren. I’m fucked off with the way the wealthiest get even wealthier without doing any fucking work and just seem to be having a laugh at our expense, while kids who leave school and work for these chancers get paid rubbish wages, have no employment rights and will never be able to buy a house, or have any control over their own destiny. I look around me and see legions of middle aged people who have worked hard all their lives, done everything that was asked of them…and for what? To arrive at mid-life and the discovery that the promise of more money and less stress was a big fucking lie. Work sleep bills shop telly car work sleep lottery work bills telly Facebook work. Unfulfilled dreams, unfulfilled potential, romance, travel, creativity. It’s bollocks innit? It’s enough to make you angry. It’s enough to make you look for someone to blame…
But, if you get your victory and pull up the drawbridge on immigration, you’re soon going to find that absolutely fuck all will change in your favour. Boris and his mates may bang on about the lack of democracy in the EU, but it’s completely disingenuous as him and his fellow BRexiters (you know, Gove, Farage, Britain First, Nick Griffin, Philip Green…) all support policies far less democratic than anything the EU has in place. Blocking immigration is not going to make any difference at all to your wages, employment rights, the NHS, the housing crisis, terrorism or any of the other other things that you and I worry about. Things will just get worse. All you’ll get is more power to corporations and less power to you. What is rightfully yours has been robbed from you by those you voted into power and their corporate donors. These very same people have manufactured the lie that immigrants and the unemployed are to blame for your misery, and the people have swallowed it wholesale.
I’ve spent years banging on about the futility of elections that require you to vote for the lesser of two evils, and to my shame I’ll be doing exactly that tomorrow. Staying in the EU is not indefectible, but leaving it and unleashing the hell of an unregulated extreme right wing assault on the people of Britain is not something I can ignore. I’m British, therefore I’m European. I love Europe, I spend a huge amount of my working life in Europe, I have many European friends and I feel we’re all safer, happier, culturally enlightened and stronger when we stick together. The way to beat to evils of the EU institution is to stick to together and work from the bottom up.
So, tomorrow, don’t fuck it up, use your BRain, vote BRemain.
One Love People,