This morning, I received an e-mail from a friend. He writes from a conservative point of view, one that historians would qualify as isolationist. Will this latest move bring about a dissolution of the present political establishment built on masculine power, money and lies? Will we see the radiant dawn of principled politics with the Common Good in view? Would we see the end of cultural Marxism and “political correctness” founded on the principles of Frankfurt critical theory?
Will we see a resurgence of nationalism like at the end of World War II or in the heyday of the Empire under Queen Victoria or during the period preceding World War I? I have the impression that we are reading too much into things. Do we really want Donald Trump, Mme Le Pen or Farange? Is that really what we want? We are warned about the succession of Scotland and Northern Ireland, the breakup of the United Kingdom. The first thing parents ask a teenager who wants to leave home is whether he has a job, something to live on and decent digs. It is said that the Empire subsists in the form of London’s City banks, but is that true? The era of top hats, moustaches and snuff boxes seems to be over!
We are buffeted and swayed by politicians and medias who don’t seem to know more about it than we do. I have felt for many years that the hitherto quagmire needed to be broken. What will we get under nationalism? Perhaps a good dose of Trump, Le Pen, UKIP, etc. – and then chop their heads off to find something new. All most Frenchmen have to say is how odd the English are for things like eating Marmite and for having beaten Napoleon! Not very helpful!
Most serious analysis attributed the success of Brexit to nationalism and the ham-fisted way the waves of immigrants are being handled. No one can afford them, and Europeans in need are pushed further to the back of the queue as Syrians, Afghans, Turks, etc. get first service and rich pickings. I am definitively “exiled” because I could never afford a house in England, not even something grotty in the north-east. One problem I see if how the UK can afford independence without the old Empire plundered from everyone who now wants to come and colonise England.
I look to the first major cracks in the EU monolith. Perhaps we will live our very own 1989 (I was 30 when it all happened in Germany and eastern Europe). It is an Orwellian monster, and would eventually become a dystopia if left unchecked. We are losing money over the plunge of the pound Sterling.
Will this cause mainstream British politics to go back to the 1930’s and Winston’s bulldogs and Department of Dirty Tricks under the pavements of Whitehall? I doubt it. We can’t expect too much unless we are truly at the gates of a revolution. Usually, when revolutions happen, heads roll, and we have to be careful that those heads in the baskets won’t be ours!
In brief, I am not triumphalistic. We have to wait and see what happens. The political elite might just ignore the result of the referendum and it would be business as usual with Brussels. There could be a big backlash against the right-wing Conservatives and nationalists and we go back to the 1970’s and everything on strike like with Callaghan and Wilson (when I was in my early teens). All over Europe, it is up and down, mostly chickening out at the last moment from bringing back right-wing nationalism. Indeed, where is it all going?
These are momentous times or one big boring anti-climax.
Let’s just keep our eyes and ears open.