BREXIT: the beginning of the end or the start of something better?

I wasn’t going to write about Brexit but my country is tearing itself apart and I can’t look away. We’ve strapped ourselves into a rollercoaster that’s coming off the rails. It probably won’t end well – at least, not for the poor. But then, it never ends well for the poor.

Over the last week or so I’ve been glued to the news, trying to understand what’s going on and where we might be heading. Before the referendum I didn’t pay much attention. I’ve never been particularly interested in listening to politicians lie. I knew which way I was going to vote. Since then I’ve realised the whole Brexit farce was one great confidence trick. It’s not just the Leave supporters who were conned; we all were.

Drinking Milk
The young will have to live with this mess for the longest – and they didn’t get a vote

I voted Remain because I’m pro-Europe. However, I’m against centralisation and the Euro (which was probably a stupid idea right from the start). Plus I don’t like people in authority telling me how I should live my life. Bureaucracy brings me out in hives. I get paperwork rage. Anyway, the EU clearly needs reform because it doesn’t work, but you can’t reform an institution you’re not involved in, hence: Remain.

The shock of Leave winning the vote tipped the country over the edge. We’ve seen a spike in violence and racist attacks, an eruption of the collective shadow that could be a foretaste of more to come. The EU backlash began with threats and sulking, and then British politics went into meltdown.

It’s probably not true that more lies have been told over recent months than at any other time, it’s just that the potential consequences are more dire than usual. That didn’t stop certain politicians using the opportunity to further their own agendas. Both David Cameron and Boris Johnson have self-destructed as a result. Cameron put party politics ahead of the future of the UK and his arrogance blew up in his face. When he lost, he ran away, bailed out and left us with a zombie government.

Johnson used UKIP to engineer a political coup to steal the premiership from under Cameron’s nose, and that blew up in his face too. Johnson didn’t even believe the UK should leave Europe, he was just hustling for power. I don’t think he expected the Leave camp to win the referendum. I wouldn’t be surprised if he somehow engineered Gove into backstabbing him in the Conservative leadership race so he could bow out and get some sympathy (now that everyone hates him).

And if that isn’t enough, there’s no real opposition party either. Labour are having another meltdown. Jeremy Corbyn’s enemies have waited until the least appropriate time to try and drive him out of office. The saga rumbles on and things are changing so fast that whatever I say here will be out of date as soon as I hit publish. In fact, as I was writing this I heard that Nigel Farage had resigned his leadership of UKIP.

Now the United Kingdom might break apart and both the main political parties could split. How Britain actually goes about leaving Europe is open to question and there’s even a move by business demanding a vote on it in parliament – all stalling tactics for something nobody seems to want to be responsible for initiating. They’re playing pass the parcel with a ticking bomb and no one wants to be left holding it when it goes off.

British politics has been sucked into a black hole. Nobody is driving the bus.

The whole thing was predicted by Martin Armstrong and his incredible (and slightly disturbing when you think about it) computer model. By analysing millions of data points through history he has created a system that appears to track movements in the markets and big cultural shifts. Whatever you think of his interpretations of the data, it was the computer that predicted Brexit for June 2016.

There’s a deeper cycle at work – one that we have little control over.

from http://www.armstrongeconomics.com

And this is where I start getting cynical. It seems that Brexit took the elites by surprise. The underdog fought back and won. The underdog isn’t supposed to do that, hence the kerfuffle. But part of me (the bitter and twisted cynical part) thinks all this confusion and chaos is deliberate.

We’re being played.

The referendum wasn’t based on a real choice. Whether Britain is in Europe or not, it’s still subject to the markets and the neoliberal globalisation agenda:

“Europeans face one fake and one actual choice. The fake choice is between: (1) a globalised, financialised version of capitalism that is run by a transnational technocracy, tolerates minorities and turns parliamentary democracy into an empty shell, and (2) a xenophobic, socially conservative, passionate nativism that invokes national democratic sovereignty only to forsake it soon after. The real, actual choice is between (A) a vicious cycle between (1) & (2) above, and (B) a pan-European democratic project addressing the actual challenges humanity faces (e.g. the deflationary moment in our history, the inexorable devaluation of human labour, TTIP like attacks on sovereignty, climate change, etc.).” – Yanis Varoufakis

Except we’re not being given a real choice.

Perhaps Brexit is another manipulation to force more cuts and tax rises on people already struggling to pay their bills. In other words, business as usual. No matter what happens, the elites will continue their “reverse Robin Hood” project to bleed the rest of us dry until the entire system crumbles at their feet.

Just no

If the UK does leave Europe, it won’t make any real difference to the average person’s life. The rich will continue to get richer, and the poor will continue to get angry (and hungry, and dead).

In the end, it’s not just the EU that needs to be reformed. Democracy itself must be overhauled, because what we have now isn’t democratic. Not when the elites enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else. It has always been thus, of course. It’s one of the problems of civilisation.

What’s really needed is radical reform of the whole system.

Brexit was in the making for decades. Europe has been disintegrating for years, and with the migrant crisis and the rise of far-right movements, amongst many other problems, the EU could become even more authoritarian as it attempts to hold itself together and force compliance with the union.

Brexit could make that disintegration happen faster and Britain will probably get the blame for triggering the end of Europe, even though the end was written into its structure from the start. Britain leaving Europe won’t protect it from the aftermath either. We’ll still be part of the common market and bound by the same trading rules.

“At the heart of the Brexit is a paradox worth articulating. England wants to withdraw from the bureaucratic, administrative control of Brussels, control seen as compromising its sovereignty, in order to be better able to organise the dismantling of its sovereignty (by way of more radical submission to the logic of global capital) on its own. Does this not have the markings of the death drive? The organism wants to die in its own way, on its own terms. This is the paradox at the heart of American Republican thinking: we want to ‘take back our country’ in order to be better able to submit it and pretty much all of life to the logic of the market.” – Eric Santner (quoted by Zizek here)

Even if Britain leaves Europe, we can’t leave the markets. Independence is a fantasy. We’re interdependent, not just with our European neighbours, but with the rest of the world. As Europe continues to collapse, it’ll drag everything else down with it, including Britain – in or out. Whatever happens we’re still tied to the economic bandwagon that’s driving us all over a cliff.

The elite’s economic pyramid scheme is collapsing worldwide. We need a new way of running things – and fast. This could be an opportunity to build something better, although at this point it looks like we’ll have to wade through a world of shit to get to there. As Mark Blyth has said:

The Hamptons is not a defensible position.”

Welcome to the revolution.


12 thoughts on “BREXIT: the beginning of the end or the start of something better?

  1. I think that this will bring many benefits in the end. While a plummeting pound seems bad, it could have a very stimulating effect on the economy, most specifically on exports, manufacturing, and jobs. I think all of the threats to punish Brits for this will go away. The E.U. was done by stealth and is very much a big brother game. Yes it brings advantages, but the long term doesn’t look good for democracy. 3¢.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One thing Brexit has achieved is that for the first time I can remember I find myself in agreement with Simon Jenkins. I mean you got rid of the leaders of all your major parties in one fell swoop and trashed Boris Johnson’s political career to boot. And I thought voting never achieved anything.

    If forced to vote at all I probably would have held my nose and voted Bremain, simply to avoid finding myself consorting with racist thugs. But when you think about it, the EU is nothing but a gang of racist thugs writ large. They especially like to beat up the little Greek guy.

    Regarding Corbyn, I have no idea whether he’s incompetent or not though that strikes me as the sort of insult neoliberals toss at anyone who doesn’t subscribe to their dead-end doctrine. But what I found particularly revealing was the way the latte Labour supporters have all turned on him because he didn’t shoehorn working class Labour into voting Remain. They don’t need a party leader, they need a used car salesman with a whip.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, we’ve chopped off the heads of our leaders, but what will the new boss be like? Same as the old boss? Worse?

      Brexit is a very different experience up north. I’m in the north east of the UK and it voted overwhelmingly to Leave. We’ve had the shitty end of the stick for so long, it wasn’t a surprise when people took the opportunity to have their voices heard. All the hang-ringing is happening in London and the south east. It can’t get much worse for us up here (although I bet it could 😦 ).

      It was only after the vote that I found out about the proposed “one government” federal constitution that the EU wants to move towards. Perhaps I would’ve voted differently if I’d known. It’s a very worrying idea – and probably doomed.


      1. Yeah, it’s true that revolutions tend to replace the system with the same thing under a different name. But at least the new leaders tend to pull their heads in while the old ones are still rotting on their gibbets and the mob still has the taste of blood.

        And yeah, explicitly moving towards one government and calling it that isn’t the brightest PR move. But as you suggest in the OP, we’ve already pretty much got that because power doesn’t reside in parliaments anymore but with the impersonal and implacable socio-economic forces unleashed by faceless technocrats.

        After my previous comment it occurred to me that Labour has already been led by a used car salesman with a whip. If the Brexiters are nostalgic for Winston “the wogs begin at Calais” Churchill the Labour Bremainders must miss Tony “dodgy dossier” Blair.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent piece Jessica. On the surface it’s very messy and confused – I doubt if anyone knows what’s going on. At depth it reflects undercurrents of tension between the fear of losing power and the desire for a more conscious civilisation. Looks like a bumpy ride ahead whatever happens, at least in the short term…….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hello Jessica

    Thanks for a most interesting piece, and one in which I broadly agree. Not sure I go along with the notion that the EU isn’t working. It may not be working anywhere near as well as it might, and wholesale change is certainly required. But it self-evidently is working. I would also ask you to beware of buying in to this bureaucratic control trope. For the most part, the right use this freely (and seductively) to mask their aim to reduce workers’ rights. Sorry Jessica, but bureaucracy in the modern world is pretty much inescapable.

    Do you really believe Jeremy Corbyn should remain as leader? You seem to be suggesting as such. Oh, dear. We hear a lot about his decency, don’t we; he even claims it for himself, which strikes me as being highly questionable – what would your reaction be if I told you I was a very decent chap? Think it would encourage you to buy a used car from me? But all right, let’s say he is the decent guy he says he is. Fine. But competence is better. Jeremy is a holy fool, unable to differentiate between what he ideally wishes and what can be realistically achieve. Stick with him and he will take Labour down the pan.

    All the best

    Dave Sweet



    1. Hello David – thanks for your comment. I didn’t mean to imply that I support Jeremy Corbyn. I don’t have a horse in this race, I was just commenting on the timing of the meltdown. I didn’t believe Corbyn would make a good leader when they elected him, and he’s generally proved me right.

      I agree with David Hare: “Are there politicians in waiting even competent to negotiate what they have promised? Those who indulged Cameron’s smug inadequacies as a prime minister have been brought up short. In the old days there was a division in politics between right and left. But we are coming to see that the deeper division was between those, such as Margaret Thatcher and Gordon Brown, who knew politics to be serious, a matter of life and death, and those who didn’t. Suddenly we are in the lethal hands of the non-serious.” (https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jul/01/david-hare-on-brexit-its-a-revolution-like-all-revolutions-own)

      Thanks for stopping by. I’m off to fill in some forms…


  5. I understand your worries, Jessica, but i suspect it’ll all sort itself out. I see a lot of good coming from it, potentially, along with all the problems. Time will tell. At any rate, I don;t think we need to see it as some great conspiracy or class thing. There were many reason to leave and many to stay. ‘Tis a worry though. Have we got the calibre of people we need? I wonder.

    Liked by 1 person


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