Friday, 17 June 2016

We aren't engaged in a referendum, we are engaged in a civil war

It is fairly clear that this referendum has become less and less about the EU and more about a struggle between two ideas of what we want The United Kingdom to be. We are in fact engaged less in a democratic discussion about the merits or otherwise of Europe and more in a protracted, non-violent (until yesterday), civil war about the direction that we as a society wish to go. Whoever wins this gets to choose the direction of travel.

As with all tipping points, this "war" represents a fork in the road. If Boris, Farage and Brexit win we turn hard right and disappear down an un-charted track to pursue an agenda of isolationism, anti-immigration and possibly trade with the people who live in the woods - but only if we can find them. They say it's about engaging with the outside world but frankly, for the most part, they are lying. They are set on a course and a very dangerous one indeed. One that will get us entangled in the thicket while kidding ourselves that at least we have 'rid ourselves of that expensive and undemocratic tarmac' that gave us the chance to turn off it in the first place.

Brexiteers are like the adventurers who set out in the 16th Century in search of the mythical golden city of Eldorado. They have convinced their followers that there is a "better" place out there. One of fabulous riches, which will instantly solve all the problems of the modern Britain that they appear to hate so very much.

It's a reckless endeavour and one that anybody with an iota of sense could see is doomed from the start. Still, if they want to go on alone well fine. Perhaps we could loan them an island somewhere and let them create their thatched cottage and no foreigners idyll. We could give them Ascension perhaps and they could shout their angry platitudes at the fish.

If, on the other hand, Remain wins - we get to stay on the open road. The great highway drifting on. It has its dangers and its flaws yes - a little dull yes and we have to pay the toll every now and then - but it's broad and full of promise and rich with opportunity.

What do you want from life? I can tell you what I want. I want my kids to be happy and safe and grow up in a prosperous and progressive and contented world. There are other things I want sure - that book deal - a bigger car - the odd cigar and a cellar stuffed with fine wine - but the thing that matters to me most is that which I want for my children and all of our children's futures.  And for that to happen we need these spits of land on which we live to prosper and be contented and decent liberal places.

Buried just beneath the veneer of patriotism in the Brexiteer narrative is a deep and dangerous loathing of progress. Progress is what has made our very species thrive. It is what has made Britain such a great place to live. The UK of today, as I have said so many times, is far better than that of the past. There is not a single country in the history of this world that has improved itself by giving into the darkness of hate and prejudice and that, frankly, is the foe we are fighting. To win this civil war we must vote Remain.


  1. Dear Otto English,
    You seem like a nice fellow and clearly have a big heart. You're also a patriot and, if just, would likely bear arms like your late father in defence of Blighty.
    Your arguments for Remain were well argued and you tried your best.
    The British People spoke - those same Brits you and your ancestors grabbed arms to defend (they fought for the voice of the British people to be heard in a free and democratic way rather than in German under the thumb of a one-bollocked Nazi).
    Therefore, can I say - without getting my head ripped off, as is the tone of your tweets these days - hey, Otto, the vote's gone. It's history. Brexit is an inevitability.
    And can I say also that we Brits could do with you. Not against the inevitable but in on the act. Chipping away at any dumb moves. Coming out with your wisecracks and jibes to expose the genuine loons who might get a look in on the British act. We could do with you sinking the likes of Juncker, Schulz, Verhofstadt - those limp tools - who daily cock a snook at GB and get away with it. I tell you now, we need you. In 14 the Generals' orders had to be followed. In 39 it was Chamberlain's white note that set the tone of an unwanted battle. But we still fought and we won. Together we can do anything. But, excuse my use of the phrase, remoaning we are the targets of foes. Personally, I feel the EU is a sinking ship. It lacks currency cohesion, Germany won't put up with its downsides. A looser common market with certain aspects (security, joint grants for research, erasmus etc) will emerge. Reunite. 1 in 2 people in GB are not fools. You are not a loser, as we all expressed our vote. If there are any losers it is those who did not vote. Take care. God bless.

  2. Speaking of war. If a ship is hit and starts sinking the captain takes the responsibility of remaining on board until satisfied that every surviving crew member has been safely evacuated or rescued. Farage claims he would emigrate if Brexit goes pear shaped. In other words if his ship was sinking he'd look after number one. I wouldn't want him in the trenches with me either.

  3. This is my recent investigation into the far right UK Conservative Pressure Group and their Vice President John Kersey.
    Do you feel comfortable with men pretending to be Bishops and Doctors? Do you want to fight the Tories who threaten to smash the NHS. shutdown charities, and destroy all public services?
    The Traditional Britain Group Conference had included talks by members and guests such as the US far right nazi Richard Spencer, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, Keir Martland (who is the new young leader of the Libertarian Alliance), as well as many others.
    The facts in my investigation have the power to end this organisation. Please help me by Sharing and RT.
    Help me fight against UK fascists. Starting with their co Vice-President John Kersey.

    "The Talented Mr. Kersey: The Tory Pressure Group, the Diploma Mill, and the Tesco Tax Manager" by @JohnnyVedmore