The Slur of Anti-Britishness

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  • As the sad, sorrowful and misguided adventure that is Brexit slowly trudges towards its inevitably hopeless conclusion, I’ve been looking back and have been saddened by the way that, throughout this period in our history, those like myself who have challenged it have been labelled ‘anti-British.’


    “Anti-Britishness” has, over the last three years or so, been consecrated into an ideology. The term has been used, not only by the Conservative government but by those parts of the public who do not possess the wit or articulation to do anything other than spit out, by rote, soundbite rhetoric that enables them to avoid having to accept truths that are presented to them or, in some cases, are staring them in the face.


    “Anti-Britishness” is a phrase used to discredit or – inaccurately – define critics of the Referendum campaign, the crimes committed during it or the behaviour of Brexiters since the referendum that has seen a rise in hate crime, homophobic assault and racism. Once somebody is branded anti-British it is highly likely that he or she will be judged and dismissed before they’re heard and the argument will be lost in the welter of bruised National ego.


    But what does this term mean? Does it mean that I have a problem with the Union Flag? That I’m opposed to liberty or free speech? That I don’t want my country to hold regular elections or that I don’t take delight in the Last Night of the Proms or reading Charles Dickens or William Shakespeare? Do they suggest that I have some sort of quarrel with the Angel of the North? Do they think that I don’t admire the hundreds of thousands of British citizens who at various times have marched for civil rights, or protested against nuclear weapons at Greenham Common, or the war resisters who tried to prevent Britain being sucked into the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?


    This sly conflation of British music, theatre and literature, the breathtaking physical beauty of our land, the strength of ordinary people – when they rouse themselves – to criticise their government’s national and foreign policies, is a deliberate and highly effective strategy for avoiding the truth. It’s like a retreating army taking cover in a highly populated urban area in the hope that the risk of hitting innocent citizens will deter enemy fire.


    To call somebody anti-British is not only racist, it’s a failure of the imagination. It’s an inability to see the world in terms other than those that manipulative scoundrels have set out for you: If you’re not with us, you’re against us. You cannot be British AND European.


    Over the last 3 years or so I have often scoffed at all the post 24 June 2016 “Take Back Control” rhetoric, dismissing it as foolish, but deep down inside I knew that it wasn’t. It was more subtle than that. It was a canny recruitment drive for an appalling, misconceived project. All the way through I have become amazed, and more than a little disgusted, at the number of Britons who believe that opposing Brexit amounted to treason.


    Uppermost in all this, particularly among the baby boomer generation is the knowledge that those who cling most to the referendum result are willing to close their eyes to the fact that it was massively influenced by crime, lies and promises that they knew then were undeliverable and what’s more, they knew that those making the promises had no intention of delivering them even if they could. And yet they went and voted for them anyway, for those most ignoble or reasons: Xenophobia, racism and tunnel-visioned nationalism.


    They knew they were sacrificing the future of their children and grandchildren. Most of those in their 60s and 70s now will probably not live long enough to see what their decision will do to their descendants. They will go to their graves happy with what they’ve done and not a care or regret for any of it.


    And I know the extremists on this site are going to launch into me for this. That is as predictable as the bitterness of the bile they will spew forth because nobody is allowed to criticise Brexit. Dissent cannot be tolerated and must be ruthlessly stamped down lest tolerating it breed further dissent. In the act of denying what I say, they will only be confirming the tenor of my words. But who will listen..?


    The referendum made their pulse race. It got flag waving crowds out onto the streets and ensured that The ERG would be able to control whoever occupied 10 Downing Street. They must know that if democracy has been subverted at all, it has been subverted by the Brexit politicians, spin doctors and a sociopathic anarchist in a blue body warmer, who they cheer to the rafters at every pronouncement of British “independence” from Europe


    Leaving the EU cannot make life better for Britons. It can only be a brutal desecration of our way of life.


    To fuel yet more discontent - by manipulating the print media and social media - they have cheapened and devalued their descendant’s future... drained it of all meaning. We are soon to witness a pillaging of our nation’s resources for the benefit of disaster capitalists and American medical insurers and pharmaceutical companies. It is a terrible.... utterly, utterly, terrible thing for a nation to do to its own future generations.


    And so, now that an uncountable number of innocent young people – some who were not born or even conceived on 24 June 2016 will have their future blighted for no other reason than to satisfy the xenophobia and racism of a dying generation, are the people of Britain happy now? Do we feel better for it?


    Writing the above is difficult for anybody. I don’t say these things because I enjoy it, but because I feel they need to be said.


    Doubtless the slur of anti-Britishness will continue to be heaped upon those who defy Brexit, and it ill behoves a country that was the cradle of Parliamentary democracy..... had the spirit of adventure to once forge the biggest empire the world has ever seen, has blessed the world with such wonderful art, music, dance, cinematography and literature. That same nation gave the world so much and yet, still cannot see the ugliness that lies beneath their government’s rhetoric of “Brexit Means Brexit” and worse still, now seems to be hurtling towards it with the joyful enthusiasm of children hell bent on self-destruction. They seem to have no understanding of what they’re doing, but most worryingly of all, wouldn’t do anything to stop themselves if they did.


    I've had my say. Today I can do that. Tomorrow..? Who knows.

  • I have never thought of it as "anti British", that is an interesting point. Comments such a "traitor" and an indication that anyone who did not vote Leave is somehow mentally challenged have certainly been banded about

    I think is simple, the whole Brexit notion was devised by those who saw a chance to make a quick buck with a campaign designed to get the sheeple to follow them

    I will join you on the Aunt Sally stall

    A Hand Up Not A Hand Out

  • Thanks for the reply, Brian. I didn't even vote in the referendum. When it was first called, I rather liked the idea of Britain being improved by an ability to negotiate free trade deals. It was when the campaign began to develop that I began to ask questions.... questions to which the answers didn't look at all appealing. In the end I abstained rather than vote for something I believe is bad to the bone, and driven by the sort of people that nobody should place the slightest trust in.


    And that's when the "Anti-British" comments began... well, that and other. At various times I've been called a snowflake, anti-democratic, a traitor a betrayer and also informed that if one person jabbing his finger in my face and getting so close I could smell the beer on his breath, had his way my head would be on a spike at Traitors Gate.


    Nice man.


    I'm not alone in these things. Many of us who had genuine and serious misgivings about what the country is doing have suffered them. Jo Cox paid with her life, something which Brexiters will either not acknowledge or if they do, will trivialise. As if a brutal murder was ever trivial.


    I don't like such things but I won't be silenced by them.


    So, welcome to the Aunt Sally stall. Between us we'll just have to see how well we bat away the bricks.

  • JO Cox??? here we go... let it all out then take deep breaths. Its very sad for you both, you exercised your right to vote in the referendum.. I assume? OK, lets say you did vote...

    Tell us exactly when it was you opposed the referendum wording.. In or Out from which ALL of us accepted when we entered the voting booth? Let me guess... was it AFTER you found out you lost??

    Just a guess but I am sure you will correct me. Throw in Jo Cox again for good measure.

  • JO Cox??? here we go... let it all out then take deep breaths. Its very sad for you both, you exercised your right to vote in the referendum.. I assume? OK, lets say you did vote...

    Tell us exactly when it was you opposed the referendum wording.. In or Out from which ALL of us accepted when we entered the voting booth? Let me guess... was it AFTER you found out you lost??

    Just a guess but I am sure you will correct me. Throw in Jo Cox again for good measure.

    You have just proved Jenny's point

    Well done

    A Hand Up Not A Hand Out

  • This country is fucked either way. All the the time we have a ruling power and/or currency and the rich keep getting richer and poor get poorer there is no hope and it makes no difference whatsoever who is voted into power. There are far worse things going on to worry about than a stupid petty label or bit of name calling. If anyone is concerned about it then that's their own inner insecurities.

  • This country is fucked either way. All the the time we have a ruling power and/or currency and the rich keep getting richer and poor get poorer there is no hope and it makes no difference whatsoever who is voted into power. There are far worse things going on to worry about than a stupid petty label or bit of name calling. If anyone is concerned about it then that's their own inner insecurities.

    I like to prove points.

  • When you were classified as a “bad loser” of the referendum result and were accused of being anti-British wasn’t that a normal reaction from people who wanted to leave the EU because, quite reasonably, they saw it as a threat to British sovereignty, tantamount surrendering to the rules and regulations of what seemed to be a German-led cartel - and might even be a German-cum-French-Vichy-poodle cartel.


    Even three or so years ago political correctness/hypocrisy was in full swing and what many accusers really meant was that immigration was getting out of control. That was easy enough to rationalise in the form of benefit free-loaders, machetes and suicide vests in public places and stealing jobs by accepting low pay. Only a minority ventured to voice the argument of selling out or diluting “the quintessential ethnic and religious identity of Britain” (although that’s not quite how they put it!).


    I guess Samuel Johnson was right on the money when he said “patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel”. But back in Samuel Johnson’s time I think he recognised the civilised nature of Europeans and at the same time was disapproving of the cruelty and racism meted out to conquered and downtrodden native inhabitants that we sought to colonise. I suspect that if those same native inhabitants were arriving on British shores in truck- or dinghy-loads Mr Johnson would not feel that patriotism was a scoundrel’s word.


    My reasoning is that before immigration threatened to be getting out of control (sparked off by Merkel-mania) I suspect it was easier for the upper classes to avoid rubbing shoulders with ever increasing numbers of immigrants, many of whom form into ghettoes. Even today, such separation is still possible in up-market white collar areas, enabling its inhabitants to be much less affected by the problem. This is why Remainers tend to be more upmarket. They can afford the benefit of social insulation. Much less those in the lower middle and working classes, forced to live brown-cheek to white-jowl. It is all too easy to talk of patriotism still being a disguise for xenophobia or racism as it was centuries ago, based on fear, ignorance or bigotry but, today, for many white-collar lower classes and most blue-collar working classes, the accusation of ignorance is untrue, the resentment and fear is real, while bigotry is just a neo-liberal accusation of what could be viewed justified prejudice. Even if we don’t realise it, we live our lives (sub-consciously) estimating probabilities and this necessarily leads to stereotyping.


    So what you see as a hostile anti-British label pinned on Remainers or Remoaners, I see as an expression of an increasingly feral Britain, which has reached such unpleasantness through such causal developments as:


    - the trend from Feudalism to the Industrial Revolution and 2 World Wars


    - that lead to no-longer acceptable privations


    - to an uprising of the working classes


    - to the creation of Thatcher’s Children


    - for whom affluence and entitlement counted for more than eligibility, education and manners


    - from which arrogance morphed into belligerence, identity politics and protestation about anything and everything.


    For you to suggest that “anti-British-ness” has been consecrated into an ideology is to offer an un-deserved compliment to a faction most of whom can’t even spell ideology let alone know what it means.


    Why take personally the hostility of such people any more than one would the barking of a mad dog? You’ve near enough rightly described such people in those terms, so why waste time taking offence? Yes, be upset about it but recognise that it is part of a bigger hard-to-alter picture of an increasingly malignant British psyche. I say hard to alter but it surely be; it is a downhill trend that must be stemmed and then reversed. Otherwise God help us.


    The rest of what you say is a wonderfully eloquent definition of the criticisms, insults and suppressions hurled at people like us by those we have described. If you know you are In The Right on what you’ve been writing about – and God help all of us if you’re not – then I suggest that instead of analysing it to death or distraction (a distinct British shortcoming) why not jump straight to what needs to be done about it. And when I say “it”, if you think I’m talking concentrating on Brexit, I’ve failed in this posting.


    Brexit shouldn’t have mattered as much as it did. It certainly shouldn’t matter any longer. Britain is always in a state of negotiation somewhere on this globe. Why remain a fixation on EU negotiations. One way or another, if we can produce something saleable we’ll find buyers.


    Thank goodness we have a proper majority in Parliamentary because the last thing we want to do is let British people decide. Boris has a majority. Yet the majority of British citizens are anti-Boris. I’m not how that worked in Boris’s favour. But as long as there is a system by which to create a government for this country that is smart enough to win a commanding parliamentary majority while being vociferously disliked by what seems like most of the electorate, I see a ray of hope!

  • The Sky is Blue?

    Wheres the link?

    Its just not true

    I can not think.

    What will I do?

    Help please help!

    Call Greta or Soubry, cant think for myself.

    But wait, please wait, do not blink

    Someone said "the sky is pink"?

    I know its right, the are not speaking shite

    coz they showed a link and google is might

    I went to school, I am no fool

    not all you see is true

    but one thing is for certain

    the Sky is blue it dont need a link

    so over to you.

  • Let me guess, this was written by Will Self?