This morning, Tim Montgomerie, former editor of The Times, tweeted “A year ago, British people voted to put ourselves in charge of laws, borders & our relations with they world. In other words: to be a proper nation again.”
He’s right. 1 year ago the battle lines were very clearly drawn: the anti-establishment, some of whom want more power in the hands of the people, and the establishment, who cling to the EU and quiver at the mere idea of those pesky proles. This establishment is now well and truly finished, the Tony Blair’s of the world who denounced populism so readily have shrivelled back into darkness. In the 2017 election, 85% of the electorate voted for a party committed to brexit. We won.
There are those who still cling to the idea that brexit was a ‘Little Englander’ backlash, and denounce those who don’t have an unhealthy obsession with the Guardian as the unintelligent, racist, proles. But those people are losing. Those ‘unintelligent proles’ cast their vote, and if democracy is to prevail, they shall get their way. Britain voted to regain its sovereignty and reinstate its democracy, we voted to take power back from those who tried to keep it from us.
A lot of people ask me if I regret my brexit vote, they usually do so with a snide sense of superiority that you can only get with being born in one of the home counties with a copy of The Guardian in hand. They have that kind of champagne socialist attitude where talking to an actual poor person makes them feel like they’re losing an IQ point. But my answer is always the same as it was on the day after the referendum. I’m neither happy, nor am I disappointed. Brexit is messy as hell and I do not think May can negotiate it, but it has put Britain at a crossroads of what will replace Britain’s establishment- and that’s the important bit.
Britain could choose to go down the root of neo-liberalism on crack, supported by the Daniel Hannans and the Douglas Carswells of the world. Business would run free, the market would rule all and the state would be diminished. The mantra of profit before people would be ingrained. Sound terrifying right? But these people are also staunch democrats, and proud libertarians, power would be transferred away from Westminster and back to the people. Which sounds less terrifying. Sadly, these people aren’t the wing of the Tory party who are winning.
We could also choose to go down the root of an increasingly authoritarian Conservative party. Theresa May, Priti Patel and the like. Not quite sure about the market, but really sure about how much they don’t want you to have your civil liberties- you enjoy not being spied on? Tough.
Of course, that’s the blue corner, and I never was a fan of the blue corner. In the red corner, we have Jeremy Corbyn and co, my kind of party. The internal workings of the Labour Party would surely fight tooth and nail to prevent further democratisation, but if the Labour Party carries on its process to become people led, we could be seeing a Britain “for the many, not the few” *eye roll*. The era of reduced states and big business would be over. The establishment of 40 years would have crumbled entirely and Britain would be pioneering the continents backlash against the far right with an anti-establishment, socialist revival. Mmmmmhmmm.
These 3 options are all radically different. But either way, they’re options. Britain is no longer tied to a sinking ship. We have the ability to choose our own future, if we don’t like one of the above options, we vote it out. Those people who seek to keep the power from the hands of the masses are on their way out. I’d say that’s a cause for a drink.