There are two fascinating parallel situations ongoing right now, one on each side of the Atlantic. I’ll deal with the British one first.
The front page of today’s Times carries the headline:
Brexit risks closing door on economy, bosses warn
The leader of Britain’s biggest business group has warned Theresa May that she risks “closing the door” on an open economy with her immigration clampdown and Brexit policy.
All week Times contributors on Twitter have been railing against Brexit, and pointing to this headline as if it means something. What I find so astonishing is how deluded and out of touch both the media and political establishment is showing itself to be.
That “business leaders” should want to remain in the EU is not news, and only somebody as cloth-eared as a Times editor would think it was and stick it on the front page as if it were an argument for Remain. Business leaders were clamouring to stay in the EU before the vote because remaining suited the interests of business leaders. The people who voted to leave could not care two hoots what “business leaders” wanted, because it was blatantly obvious that such people were only looking to feather their own nests, as they have been for decades. Citing the concerns of “business leaders” over Brexit would be like citing the concerns of the Soviet Politburo over Lithuanian independence. It still hasn’t sunk into the thick skulls of these idiots that the Leave voters were in part specifically rejecting the wishes of “business leaders” as well as the media and political establishment.
In the same period Oliver Kamm, also of the Times, has taken to Twitter bemoaning the appalling state of Labour and the need for there to be a strong opposition in order to make the case for the EU, single market, and immigration.
To which I say: WTF? Did Oliver Kamm miss the period between 1997 and 2010 when New Labour was in power and made such things a central plank of their policy? It is precisely this which voters have rejected, both in the 2010 and 2015 General Elections and this year in the EU referendum. They lived, ate, and breathed the EU, single market, and immigration for 13 years and more. What sort of bubble must one live in to think that a resurrection of New Labour’s policies would swing public opinion back around when it these exact same core policies which drove people to vote Leave in the first place?
And that’s the issue, isn’t it? Those who wanted to remain are so convinced of their moral and intellectual superiority that they think the only reason they lost is because their arguments weren’t made forcefully enough and/or those who voted to leave are both thick and racist. They have made no effort whatsoever to understand why somebody who does not have their educational and career advantages might not be able to see the benefits of EU membership and ever-increasing immigration, and instead just double-down on the arrogant, condescending behaviour which was a primary cause of them having lost the vote to begin with. The establishment set failed to understand the chasm between them and the ordinary person they seek to control and govern, and having had it demonstrated to them in stark fashion they continue to act in a manner which will only see it grow. Do they really think this will end well for them?
As for Theresa May, well she’s turning out to be just the sort of authoritarian, nannying control-freak of a Prime Minister that she was as a Home Secretary. Her latest wheeze is some rubbish about making firms list their foreign workers, something which is sending establishment Lefties into fits of pompous outrage. But whose fault is this? It was Tony Blair’s government that decided politicians should be allowed to poke their noses into every aspect of business and personal life, and privacy and civil liberties were old-fashioned concepts with no place in modern Britain. How many of those people complaining the government wants companies to list foreigners think the government should take an interest in how many women and minorities these firms employ? The overlap will be substantial.
Let’s be clear, there is no principle being upheld here. Most of the complaints about idiotic Tory policies are not based on the principle of limited government and keeping a healthy separation between government and the individual, they are merely complaining that the busy-bodying and nannying is being targetted at the wrong group.
The same goes for people complaining that the post-Brexit process is a mess. Yes, it is. The government thought it would win the Remain vote hands down because the entire media, business, and political establishment was on board and hence they didn’t bother planning for the event of a Leave victory. And now they’ve been caught with their pants down and are making it up as they go along. Apparently, according to our liberal elite, this clusterfuck means that the media and political establishment was right all along and those who voted Leave should listen to them.
The arrogance is breathtaking.