Rob on Brexit

I’ve been agonising about writing this post for ages. On one hand I don’t want people to think that I’m the kind of person for whom the most important thing is a silly satnav idea, but on the other hand I don’t want to say something and then instantly turn half my readers against me. However I really can’t keep silent on this one. I promise that there will just be this one post, and tomorrow I’ll be back onto the daft stuff. So, here goes.

The biggest thing about Brexit for me is that quite a few people I know, admire and respect think it is a good idea. I start a conversation with them about how horrible the whole thing is and half way through they say something like “I wish we could just leave and have done with it”. Which I think is a very bad idea. I’ve rationalised this in two ways. The first is that there are some things about the EU that are very open to criticism. The second is that the UK press, lazy politicians and civil servants have found the EU a very useful thing to blame when things aren’t as good as they should be. And a lot of this mud has stuck.

I end up just going quiet on the matter, because I don’t think that Brexit is something that you should lose friends over, and I’ve not found a way of talking folks round. And it doesn’t, shouldn’t, mustn’t, make me think any less of them, any more than they should think less of me for wanting to stay in the EU.

One solution would for me to be like the chap at the end of the novel “1984”, when he actually learns to love “Big Brother”, the leader of the tyrannical state in which he is unlucky enough to live. Perhaps if I became a true believer it would would all make sense to me and I’d be happy about it, rather than the despair that I find myself in at the moment.

The way I see it, Brexit is only good for three kinds of people:

  1. The rich. It doesn’t matter to them whether the UK is in the EU, out of the EU or a smoking crater in the ground. They’re rich. They can just take their money somewhere else. But if the price of everything in the UK drops, their millions can go that bit further. And with the UK out of the EU they can bend rules and relax standards to allow them to make even more money. Which brings me to speculators….

  2. Speculators. While it is not legal to bet on a horse and then shoot all the other horses in the race, it seems that is is perfectly OK to place bets on the financial markets and then do things that drive them in the direction you want them to go. And if you are cynical enough to build up your brand at the same time you can make it into the Brexit circus.

  3. Brexit circus. This includes nasty businessmen who drive down the economy whilst profiting from this and building their horrid little brands. It also includes TV pundits who do solemn pieces to camera about “the worst political crisis since the corn laws”, having completely forgotten that their lack of due diligence when all these matters first arose has led directly to the problem. And then there are the social networks which don’t just allow falsehoods to fester, but also provide tools to better target the lies, all the time making profits. Ugh.

Anyone else is going to have to suffer through this whole affair, while the good name of the British is dragged through the mire. I never thought I’d be ashamed to be from this part of the world. I thought that folks out there would always celebrate our honesty, openness and natural tendency to try to do the right thing.

I can’t seen an end to this in the short term. I know that eventually we will be back in the EU at some point because nothing else will be found to work. But there is going to be a lot more pointless pain and upset until then. Oh well. At least I feel a bit better for having written something about it.