Brexit is merely the latest development of this ugly racist British nationalism. In the past two decades ethno-nationalism and racism have played a growing part in British politics, forcing both the Conservatives and Labour to lurch to the nationalist right to win support from an entire section of the British public that has had its mind and soul poisoned by a really horrible and bitter angry nationalism. We might even be correct in seeing in Brexit a completion of what was begun in 1982 with the limiting of British citizenship to those “born here.”
Lying – or pure and unadulterated political “bullshit” as Harry Frankfurt would call it – has become the norm in how the right wing Brexiteer British government does business. It has realised that just enough of the population is gullible enough to swallow whatever it is told and that the rest are too docile and controlled to do anything real about it. This puts us all in an incredibly dangerous position, one that cannot be overstated.
Sooner or later we are going to have to accept this as a cold hard reality of dealing with Britain and stop acting so surprised every time the same thing happens. Nothing the London government says can be trusted – not now, not ever. Only when our own government and media accept this fact and begin to act accordingly can we hope to get what we want from these people. Its promises are worthless and the longer we sit on our hands hoping that the next one might just maybe be kept the more damage we are allowing to be inflicted on our country, our people, and our interests.
States simply do not survive this level of internal division, and – as we can see from the headlines on every newspaper – Britain is no exception. The very forces that held the United Kingdom together in the past; a strong English state, a sense of shared hostility towards everything on the other side of the English Channel, and England’s willingness to exert brute force on its possessions, are now wholly evaporated. The dominant opinion both here and around the world is that England is in a tailspin, the centrifugal force of which is pushing Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales out.
Making this fraudulent argument and propagating it with the help of vast sums of dark money and media and social media manipulation was always about giving life to the real Brexit; a plan for the economic remodelling of the UK the public would never have supported. We do not know the details of this plan, but we know that it is so important to those in the hidden spheres of power in London that it trumps even the personal misgivings of the Prime Minister.
Britishness has no meaning without the arrogance of the presumption to possess which is everywhere Britain’s hallmark and calling card. It is for this reason people of colour – no matter how long their families have been established on these islands – find it impossible to construct a sense of their own British identities, thus compounding the crisis. By its degrees and categories of imperial domination Britain has become both the mother and the father of modern racism.
Theresa May is many things but she is no Tudor autocrat. She is in the middle of proposing far-reaching changes to the constitutional settlement of the UK that will effectively relegate Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland to regions of the state.
None of this is rocket science. It is a simple case of cause and effect. Cuts hurt people. Worse than this, the government’s austerity programme is killing people. While it is near impossible to examine every death across the UK in order to assess the true scale of this problem, one indicator is particularly useful – the suicide rate.