Brexit and working-class politics

the-rise-of-the-right-updated-fc-4webTo mark the timely publication of the ebook of The rise of the right by Simon Winlow, Steve Hall and James Treadwell, we are offering the postscript to the book FREE on our website.

Read the intro here, then click on the link to download.

We wrote the majority of this book in 2015. Our project was at an end by the time the nation went to the polls in June 2016 to vote on Britain’s continued membership of the European Union.
Roughly 52% of those who voted wanted to bring Britain’s membership to an end. More than 33.5 million people voted in the referendum, and almost 17.5 million people voted to leave.
Most columnists, commentators, pundits and broadcasters – and the enlightened liberals who dominate our academic institutions – were shocked by the result. They just could not understand how and why so many voters had been persuaded by the fearmongering of the Leave campaign. How could voters place their trust in Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove? These men represented the elite, and they were committed to ensuring the continued dominance of capital over human life. Couldn’t people see this? How could so many voters fall for the absurd claims the elite made about the economic benefits of leaving? Didn’t these voters find the Leave campaign’s blatant demonisation of immigrants distasteful? Didn’t they know that the EU generally benefits Britain’s economy, and that a vote to leave the EU was a vote for economic uncertainty and a reduction in living standards for the majority?
The economy did indeed enter a period of crisis immediately after the result was announced. As we write these words the road ahead remains uncertain. The great fear of ongoing economic turmoil – a fear lodged permanently in the British psyche after almost 40 years of neoliberalism – now frames the pious soulsaving of those whose job it is to promote a progressive liberal worldview that seeks, but hopelessly fails, to mitigate the social, economic, cultural and personal disasters free market capitalism has wreaked on the western world.
It quickly became clear that many of those who occupy the nation’s dead and decaying deindustrialised zones had voted to leave. This prompted the beautiful souls of the metropole to begin their own process of demonisation. The atavistic white working class were too stupid to recognise their own economic best interests, and they seemed to be dedicated to the task of tearing down all the towering achievements of multiculturalism.

 

Didn’t they see the great benefits of cultural diversity? How could they not be sympathetic towards the millions of people who had left their countries of origin to journey thousands of miles in search of something better? The nation was in the grip of a new and virulent form of racism, the liberal commentariat claimed, and regressive elements among the old white working class were its driving force.
Guileless proletarians had been duped by career politicians who had played on and exacerbated an extant cultural antagonism towards the non-white population. There can be no excuses for racism. The sources, reproductive cultures and incidents of such idiotic bigotry need to be challenged at once and held to account. The white working class, quite clearly, had fallen victim to dark forces keen to stir up racism and xenophobia. A new age of stupidity and blind prejudice was beginning to emerge. Now was the time for the forces of light, civility and progress to mount a determined fightback against the forces of darkness. Every weapon available should be called on.
In the midst of this national soul-searching many headed out on to the streets to take part in impromptu demonstrations against the Brexit vote, especially in London. The initial sense of shock endured. There is still, in the broadsheet press and across the mainstream media, a palpable sense of wonder and disbelief. Why had Britain decided to act against its own best interests? What inspired this weird form of national self-flagellation? Could it all have been just a colossal mistake? Should the government ignore the majority, fudge around Article 50, and remain?”

 

Download the full postscript here (pdf).

 

You may also be interested in: Trump, Brexit and the EDL: the left’s failure to capture the electorate’s trust

 

The rise of the right by Simon Winlow, Steve Hall and James Treadwell can be purchased here for £10.39. Ebook and Kindle available now, print copies will be out in January.

Remember that Policy Press newsletter subscribers receive a 35% discount – sign up here. 

The views and opinions expressed on this blog site are solely those of the original blogpost authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the Policy Press and/or any/all contributors to this site. 

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