Let me begin by saying there’s a minority on the left who have supported Brexit from the start: the Lexit contingent. This group have stuck to their guns on the issue of the EU. They’ve acted honestly and appear not to have been corrupted by the modern left’s attachment to politically correct identity posturing.
But they’re a minority. The new metropolitan left, on the other hand, is in thrall to identity politics, and has become publicly distorted by image obsessed, preaching celebrities. On the issue of leaving the European Union, it has confusedly painted itself into a thoroughly unenticing corner.
This is the left of Owen Jones and Will Self, Lily Allen and Bob Geldof, Eddie Izzard, Russell Brand and, well, pretty much any highly privileged actor, musician, comedian or academic you might care to mention.
For months now they’ve barraged us mercilessly with the idea that Brexit is a manifestation of bigoted, right wing populism—and the word populism is always employed as a euphemistic slur, insinuating a kind of neanderthal group-credulity.
In this world, Brexit is a cold-hearted exercise in rapacious capitalist exploitation, designed to enrich the few at the expense of—and this is the ultimate cruelty—those who voted for it.
But here is the real conceit. Despite having become utterly detached from, and disliked by, working class people, the modern left must still somehow maintain the pretense that it speaks for and works in the interests of these same people.
So how do they reconcile fighting for the working class interest with battling to overturn the working class vote? Well, they gripe solemnly that the poor, vulnerable unfortunates were ruthlessly manipulated by a powerfully dishonest Leave campaign. As a result, a lot of gullible saps went out and voted against their own interests, for something that they didn’t really want. An astoundingly arrogant and insulting mantra of the Remain camp has been that Leave voters literally didn’t know what they were voting for.
The modern left has repeatedly told working class voters, very slowly and deliberately, how stupid, easily controlled, and uninformed they were.
Not surprisingly, the voters have turned round and told the metro-leftists exactly where they can shove their presumptuous sanctimony, in no uncertain terms. The voters’ rebuttal has been unequivocal—the vast majority knew exactly what they were signing up for by voting Leave (that Britain would exit the EU, even if a precise negotiating stance couldn’t possibly be known in advance), that they possessed entirely valid, well-informed reasons for doing so, and that they have zero regrets about the result.
Despite nobody who voted Leave swallowing the left’s unpalatable narrative, the left itself has become quite fond of it. After all, it allows them to continue pretending that they represent the working class, even if they must now do so directly against the will of the working class.
And now some concrete challenges to Brexit have come along. First, Gina Miller, a multi-millionaire investment manager, has undermined the UK’s negotiating position and hindered the Brexit process by challenging the government in court. She contends that a Parliamentary vote is required before Article 50 can be activated, and the judges concurred.
Following that, we have news of the upcoming reappearance of Tony Blair, a man despised along the length of the political spectrum. Our obscenely rich former prime minister, who spends his days jetting around the world in the pay of sheikhs, oligarchs and dictators, is planning a new organisation to restate the case for the globalist ideology, which is intrinsically pro-EU.
At the same time, Sir Richard Branson, along with millionaire philanthropist Sir Clive Cowdery, who made his fortune as an insurance broker, will be partly funding a separate group, which is explicitly determined to stop Brexit from taking place.
Tony Blair is worth an estimated £60 million. Branson likes to pass the time on his private island in the Caribbean hosting movie stars and aristocrats. You can join them if you like, it’s £40’000 a night, but don’t expect to meet many humble socialists.
And these are the people with whom the left is now aligned. More than that, in many ways, this now is the left.
Witness what happened when the Daily Mail attacked the judges in Gina Miller’s Article 50 court case. Many left wingers threw an almighty tantrum, and demanded that the judiciary receive partisan coddling to selectively shield it from the non-genuflecting, pro-Brexit press. A puritanical whimper of campaigners calling themselves Stop Funding Hate rallied to cut off offending newspapers’ advertising revenue, and snowflake virtue signalers such as Gary Lineker, now adored by social justice blowhards, joined the attack via social media.
This too, is the new left in action. It’s a left that has abandoned liberalism, demands that dissenting points of view be censored, and attempts to discredit elements of the media that challenge its agenda.
This left claims to be the voice of the oppressed, and yet it sides with the interests and representatives of the very wealthiest power brokers on the planet.
The members of this left wear the costume of radicals speaking truth to power, but attempt to silence criticism of judges.
So what the hell is the British left-wing now, on the issue of Brexit and beyond? By trying with all its might to keep Britain in the EU, it’s openly fighting against the working classes; ignoring their votes and over-ruling their voices. In this battle against the people, the left is now allied and entwined with globalist billionaires, out-and-out free market capitalists, and hyper-elitist technocrats.
It sneers at, contradicts, or ignores completely the hopes and opinions of the ordinary, working people it still—without shame or self-awareness—falsely claims to represent.
On the EU and Brexit, and more fundamentally, on democracy, the nation state and liberal values, the modern left has now lost itself completely.