Today is the anniversary of Britain's vote to leave the EU.
I think it's no exaggeration to say that this was the public event that brought me the most joy, in my entire life. I can remember the Berlin Wall falling, but I didn't really understand what was happening. I can't actually remember the fall of the Soviet Union.
I'm too tired to write a post commemorating it properly. But it was a watershed moment for me, for two reasons:
1) For the first time in my life, my implicit belief in historical inevitability was shaken. For all my reading of Chesterton, who constantly poured scorn on this idea, I really did believe in historical inevitability. I would have denied such a belief, but I still believed it. I thought that, perhaps, things had changed since Chesterton's day. The juggernaut of ever-greater European integration seemed unstoppable.
2) The reaction of many of my Facebook friends shocked me. They didn't just disagree; they sneered. The British people were idiots. They didn't know what they were doing. They'd regret it immediately. It was unbelievable, apocalyptic. It provoked the same reaction in my workplace. It seemed to me like a reaction conditioned by years of globalist propaganda.
Because I had some EU nerds amongst my Facebook friends, who could write at great length about fisheries and the Treaty of Rome and so forth, I was nervous about getting into a debate about this. At one point, I was so irritated at the sneer-fest that I did post something. However, I blocked quite a lot of people from seeing it, and I kept it very much on a philosophical level. I was surprised and heartened at how many people "liked" it-- quite often, people I never would have expected to sympathise with me on this subject.
I was certainly pushed to the right by the general reaction to Brexit. One reader warned me I had drifted to the "hard right". I guess I have.
Nobody who has followed this blog for any length of time will need me to explain why I was so happy. It had nothing to do with economics and everything to do with national identity, national sovereignty. I am too tired to go into it now, but I have to admit that, in terms of public events, the day of the Brexit result was probably the happiest of my entire life.
what do you think of thev alleged conspiracy of the queens hat?ReplyDelete
I believe the real Queen has been kidnapped by the Eurocrats and is being held in Brussels! The hat was worn by an imposter!Delete
There was something in a newspaper, last week I think, about the European Commission regulating the blanching of the potatoes that are going to be used for French fries throughout Europe. For once it was Belgium itself where opposition to the rule was strongest. One often hears of the bizarre regulations of the EC.ReplyDelete
What I'm curious about is: Do all EU countries listen to these depts. with the same gusto? I really can't imagine anyone that sells fruit in Moore Street being bothered with EU regulations.
Through the years I've read ,now and then, Anne Widdecombe's column-I can't remember the name of the newspaper now, it's quite expensive to buy in Australia, but it usually gives very different views than any other secular paper- and she once remarked that coming back to GB after being on holidays in Portugal she could see such an obsession with EU laws at home which they didn't have in Portugal despite the latter needing probably needing the benefits of membership more so
I hear about these petty regulations but I'm not much interested in them either way. The reason I'm anti-EU is because I believe in national sovereignty and national identity. No matter how good or bad the EU was, by any given metric, I would be opposed to it.Delete
It's the reaction, particularly among my generation (the young generation), that has kept on shoving me, ditherer-in-chief, towards siding with Leave voters. Not the official campaigns, but the ordinary rank-and-file voters. I don't think it's worth being pushed to the hard right over, but I have certainly been angered or annoyed by a certain streak of Remainer sentiment into sympathising with the other side. Just as Barack Obama's remark about being sent to the 'back of the queue' if we left (concocted, notice (as I didn't at first), for a British audience; an American would say 'line') was a strong point in favour of Jolly Well Leaving.ReplyDelete
I don't think there's necessarily anything irrational about such reactions, as social and cultural attitudes are very real facts and ones that have to be taken into account.Delete
By the way, double brackets make me feel queasy.
Do you mean my reaction or the Remainer reaction I single out for criticismDelete
Sorry about the double brackets! It's a bad habit, but I think I know what you mean. I sometimes indulge in them and see how many layers I can before the sentence topples over...
They're ten a penny in algebra...
I mean your reaction! I think it makes perfect sense to take into account, not only the issue itself, but the forces that are at work in society.Delete
It's funny about the double brackets. I love stories within stories and Russian dolls and various other regressions-- but in some other categories, they induce this strange (figurative) nausea. I once saw a block of apartments which had a mural of buildings on them, and it irked me beyond words.
Ah, good! I'm glad you feel similarly. (Sorry for the missing question mark: not my day for punctuation today...)Delete
I usually don't care about punctuation and typos. Double brackets are a special case!Delete