AN ACCIDENTAL REVOLUTION HAS CHANGED ALL OUR FUTURES

JOHN McGURK

Suddenly everything is clear: we are facing the most profound economic, political and diplomat crisis since 1939. The Government has been toppled and its opposition has imploded.

The nation is divided. Scotland is again demanding independence and, this time, will probably get it. The fragile peace in Northern Ireland is back at risk. Those continental countries who were our friends are out for revenge.

And at the centre of it all is a man who is a known philanderer, liar and opportunist. He has put the lives and welfare of millions of families into a melting pot.

Thousands of jobs may be lost. Big businesses may well flee elsewhere. Border checkpoints may have to be erected between Scotland and England to stop illegal immigration north to south.

And all because he wants to be the leader of the Tory party and therefore the next Prime Minister.

The biggest irony of all is that he didn’t really mean to cause all this trouble. All he wanted was to narrowly lose a brave fight and end up as the hero of the obnoxious Conservative Right.

Then he would be in pole position to challenge a Prime Minister who had already signalled his intention to quit at the next general election after letting his intentions slip during an unthinking moment in his kitchen with a reporter.

Instead, this plot for power triggered what we now realise has been the first civil war in Britain since Oliver Cromwell faced up to the monarchy between 1642 and 1651.

Never in his wildest dreams did Boris Johnson think that his burning ambition would result in such a monumental crisis. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. It was an accident.

The dishonesty of the Brexit campaign, supported by the madness of UKIP and Nigel Farage, has consequences which surely cannot be exaggerated. We are all likely to pay a huge price in savings and pensions. Young people will no longer have an unrestricted future to study or work in Europe

This was a war of words which inadvertently tapped into, and finally laid bare, the prejudices and hatreds of a nation which were much misunderstood and which have been lurking under the surface for decades. Finally, the fury erupted.

The battlegrounds were the once thriving communities which are now industrial wastelands; which have bred unemployment and resentment; where families live on the poverty line with little hope for the future; which are a world away from the establishment and the elite.

The masses finally clashed with the classes and it’s the masses who have won. This was not a referendum. This was a revolution.

Already we are hearing ugly stories of racist street bullies, without the intelligence to understand reality, abusing immigrants and threatening them with deportation. The lynch mob is out for a hangin’.

The settled will of the British people has not produced a constructive result. Instead, it has created bitterness and hatred demonstrated by those endless BBC vox-pops with punch-drunk Brexiteers who make idiotic statements such as: “At last I’ve got my country back”.

David Cameron is already being compared to Neville Chamberlain. His appeasement towards the eurosceptics, or “bastards” as his predecessor John Major described them, by agreeing to stage an In/Out vote on Europe must now be seen as a disastrous mistake.

He made the same misjudgement over the Scottish independence referendum when the nationalists would  happily have accepted Devo-Max.

Cameron thought he could win the EU referendum outright and settle the matter for once and for all.

Perhaps he forgot one of the most elementary lesson in politics: Don’t ask the electorate unless you know the answer.

And what now for Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, the two amigos who were hardly seen over the weekend as the country clamoured to know their plan for the future prosperity of the United Kingdom. Yesterday they remained AWOL as Parliament debated Britain’s future place in Europe.

Boris chose the newspaper he writes for, The Daily Telegraph, to make his first announcement to the nation. This was an essay which read and sounded nothing like the confident proclamations he was making just days ago.

Despite his battle bus claim that £350 million a week could go to the NHS, he now says EU money “could” be used on the health service.

There was hardly any mention of the biggest issue of the campaign, his promise to take back control of immigration. Other statements such as “nothing will change” were meaningless because, even if he does become Prime Minister, the EU may well take a different view. 

* We will be able to work, travel, study and continue to buy homes in Europe. Let’s see what the French and Germans say about that.

* We will be “intensifying cooperation and partnership” in areas like the arts, sciences and universities. Let’s see what the French and Germans say about that.

* EU citizens here will be fully protected as will Brits living in Europe. There’s nothing to worry about. Let’s see what the French and Germans say about that.

* Crucially, there should be no “great rush” to leave the EU. Both the French and Germans are already in disagreement.

Yesterday, despite the claim from Boris Johnson that the markets had stabilised, the Pound hit a 31 year low; some £6.5 billion was wiped off RBS, Barclays and Lloyds; shares in the FTSE 250 dropped by 7% and the UK lost its triple credit rating as volatility and uncertainty reigned across the world.

Apparently, the most googled questions in Britain on referendum day were “What is the EU?” and “What is Brexit?”

Nicola Sturgeon is to be commended for announcing her intention to fight for Scotland to stay inside the EU no matter what the rest of the UK says.  Last night she was attempting to build an alliance with doomed Gibraltar.

As for Boris Johnson, we must hope that he who wields the dagger never wears the crown.

 

jcmcgurk@blueyonder.co.uk

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