Brexit is not solely a failure of the right but also of the left. So many of the so-called working class blamed Europe for the demise of British owned manufacturing industry: the Germans wreaked our car industry, the E.U has destroyed our steel industry, this was the response I was receiving from people over the phone. The unions, and Corbyn instead of challenging this narrative, enthusiastically embraced it.
The decline of British owned manufacturing started before it joined the E.U. The policies of both the left and right contributed to the fall of British industry. One can argue that there is a collective belief held by both the right and the left that the world owes Britain (because we won the war).
Margaret Thatcher accelerated the process of Britain’s industrial decline. The mantra of the right and centre (Tony Blair) was that car manufacturing was not economically strategical important. Yet again another example of starving the country of much-needed investment: the Populus was all too busy cashing in on the shares of the former nationalised companies, and the selling of council houses. Brexit, one can argue, represents an exercise in cognitive dissonance (blame the Europeans, the Southerners, it has nothing to do with us)
Another lie swallowed primarily by the ethnic minorities was that in leaving the E.U. Britain would reinstate the rights for citizens from it ex-colonies to migrate to Britain. I recall a conversation between two Windrush individuals in a supermarket, arguing that they had contributed to the success of Britain. To this they added that the Europeans had contributed nothing, ‘they come here and get access to free housing and benefits which means that there is less for us’, we who have worked so hard. The most bizarre conversation was with a woman from Morocco. The Brexit party had informed her that voting for Brexit would increase the chances of her son, who was in Morroco, being allowed in the country.
Now we have the leader of The Labour arguing that Brexit was an exercise in democracy and so we have to accept the will of the people. You lost the argument, so therefore you were wrong. We have Lisa Nandy again fighting for those hard working-class people whose jobs have been taken by the Europeans.
From this train of thought, it appears that for the Labour Party to get back in power, it has to embrace the rhetoric of populism. The leaders of the British political establishment are offering no leadership. They are instead following the will of the people. One may ask who defines the will of the people (the right-wing bias press?). Brexit is a reality, long live Brexit. It is as they say the will of people, lets us hope that they willingly accept the consequence (Britannia gloriously regaining its powers and lost glories), back to the age where the working class lived a carefree life.
The focus for the decline of the industrial heartlands has now shifted to London. These Londoners are having a wonderful time at the expense of those in the Midlands and the North. So, now we should starve London of investment.