22 Jun

I find that phrase “Brexit” just a little worrying. After “Grexit” you just knew it would become the new “-Gate” applied often incorrectly to as many situations as possible. Someone somewhere is trying too think of a catchy headline to reflect the removal of David Cameron and xit..ill wait for that zinger.

The Referendum on leaving the EU though has shown what UK politics might look like under Proportional Representation or maybe if the party system hadn’t stopped at 2 and 1/2. We are seeing this in some of the regional elections and it may well continue. The Social Liberal anti EU brigade, the Christian Democrat, The Blairites, The Soft Left,The Lib Dems ( I guess they are still a thing ). The Socialist Nationalists on the Celtic Fringes, the Orange blooded ( and Green ones ) as well. Even UKIP the anti-politics faction has the Welsh lump who are a law unto themselves.

The Referendum may seem entertaining, like a giant its a knock out series. But it’s also confusing. That most binary of solutions , a yes or no vote , being reflected by the most fractured and multi-polared campaign in most people’s memories.


The campaign though, how did it end up like this. Harold Wilson, Ramsey MacDonald and even David Cameron Mark 1, managed to keep their disagreement agreements very narrow. Tariffs,Trade or the voting system. The Conservatives though are falling apart, throwing any and every issue into the mix. Many of them combustible. Its like the mid 90s again. Cameron Mark 2 will probably end earlier than anticipated or limp along. And that Campaign, the master strategist of Conservative campaigns wrote ” concern about immigration remains the leave campaigns strongest suit…” Don’t we know it. Don’t we know it.

Did it all get too much, jousting celebrities on barges on the Thames. I am not sure what this was meant to achieve. They weren’t even famous. In 1975 we had a picture of Richard Briers and Arthur Lowe backing the Yes campaign. The idea was to keep angry anti-politicians from succeeding ( as in Norway in 1972). Just one of many ways this is fundamentally not like 1975.

And how does a Government propose risking a referendum on the issue and then campaign that it might start Wars or ruin the economy to do so.If the issue is so risky why are we even going to have a chance ? It’s not because of democracy , we could be allowed to vote on many things. It was Cameron’s concession to save his 2015 skin, only to lose it in 2016. The Zombie Government of John Major is returning, held to ransom between Osborne and Gove, egged on by Johnson and the ever resilient Farage. He seems to have no Far-Exit plan of his own.


For a brief moment I thought there was something humorous in a Pub chain providing campaign beer mats. Wetherspoons printed 200,000 vote leave beer mats. In fact they printed a second mat. They sell beer and coffee, apparently, and hot meals, oh and “facts” about the EU. The “fact” they are printed on beer mats , something I had forgotten even existed, perhaps tells you that the core demographic for them, is , well is not me.

If only it had stayed at unhinged drinks mats(disposable ones)and meaningless opinion polls. If only this had been about trade, even the NHS discussion was interesting. Watching 2 wings of the Government accuse each other of putting the NHS at risk. How will they ever come back together ( answer easier than we all think …for now ). If only they hadn’t started to claim that entire nations were about to take over your living rooms. Turkey or Iraq or the Moon. It didn’t matter . They were coming. They are not like you. The UK, who have assimilated immigrants remarkably well for ever is now frightened of ancient religions. Though not Protestants it seems. ( Not frightened of them, it seems they are frightened though.) They are taking your job, your way of life,your beer mats, your Boris Johnson. They may even take Field Marshall Guthrie, who apparently defected during the campaign. A very unmilitary thing to do.It took me some time to recall who he was , a bit like Gordon Brown and John Major …does anyone really take note.


And then against a backdrop of hysteria over immigrants and foreigners and Political parties tearing into each other of debates that misunderstand immigrants and refugees a Woman was shot dead. She happened to be an MP who had spoken out in empathy for the plight of refugees. Some will assume no link with this turgid TV spectacle of a campaign and the death. I find it hard not to. When we have had a good 10 years or so of Howard,Kilroy-Silk.Boris and Farage making us hide behind the settee. Farage felt that he was being victimized, its hard to comprehend. His supporters no doubt did so. The murder will never be comprehended without an understanding of the campaign. Was this what UKIPS people’s army was about ?

I have thought before about Farages Toxicity.The Milosovisation of British politics. He’s not gone away, and despite the likelihood of a Remain vote, he is unlikely to. Now we have had a debate at Wembley Arena ( sadly reported as Stadium on New Zealand Radio ) its hard to see where the spectacle of Politics goes.

Even the Queen is joining in. She wants 3 reasons to stay in Europe. Well Ill try your Majesty.

  1. You’re an Unelected Monarch, so you should shut up.
  2. Refer to 1.
  3. And again point 1.

I have never been hugely exorcised by “Europe” I accept it like I accept Local Government. It does not threaten Sovereignty anymore than the Welsh Assembly does. There was always an acceptance that it requires co-operation, that is not a negative. There are bigger and better issues and gains to be made. Leaving would only add to the UKs problems, the Bristeria of a Leave vote would not even satisfy the Tory Right wing. (I can never recall a member of the Government claiming they wouldn’t feel safe on public transport near another Government Minister.) I doubt it would create better environmental politics, social conditions, workers rights or well anything. Yes it is cumbersome and needs reform, but it provides for something more than isolation.


In years to come I wonder what  narrative will be remembered for the 2016 Referendum. Lets hope that the murder of an MP is not forgotten. Lets hope that it is the tipping point for UKIP and divisive politics.




One Response to “Bristeria”


  1. Breferendum | kuneblog - July 1, 2016

    […] have written some rambling thoughts on the campaign before Bristeria and thoughts on the whole UKIP thing ( though somewhat outdated ) UKIP a racist string of […]

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