I can’t remember a worse day in British politics than October 4th, 2016. Today ranked far below even last year’s general election, when 49 of my party’s MPs were defeated, and June 23rd, a date I thought had established itself as comfortably the worst domestic political event of my lifetime.
I have spent the day in a state of bewilderment, anger, disgust and despair at the way the Conservative government is dragging the country into a disgraceful mire. They claim to base this on a single vote, a vote to leave the European Union, that was decided on a knife-edge – a mere 1.3 million votes out of 33 million. On the basis of this vote, they claim to understand what “the public” wants, and even what it thinks. Just look at tomorrow’s Daily Mail front page, if you can:
That is the prime minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, calling other people elites. Making up non-existent elites that you can then blame for the country’s ills is textbook fascism.
Of course, this also illustrates another fundamental problem the UK faces: a media that is not just supine but more than happy to promote this kind of language in the face of the truth.
And the truth is utterly stark. The government that Theresa May is running can now only be described as overtly racist. The policy announcements made today by successive ministers were worthy of 1930s Germany and, as UKIP MEP Patrick O’Flynn rightly crowed, redolent of his party’s 2015 manifesto:
The fact that his party’s leader Diane James resigned tonight after 18 days in the job is no more than a depressing footnote to today’s events. The spectre of Nigel Farage’s inevitable return no longer feels threatening given what the Conservatives have become.
Theresa May was the one who popularised the concept of the Tories as ‘the Nasty Party’. Now she presides over some of the nastiest policies ever devised in British politics. It started early this morning with the announcement on doctors. When I read this I didn’t expect it to be the least worrying policy pledge of the day:
That’s the Defence Secretary promising that in future military conflicts, British soldiers will no longer be subject to the European Convention on Human Rights. In theory this would mean they were less susceptible to investigations into battlefield behaviour and abuses. In other words, because they’re beautiful British troops, we should just trust that they’ll do the right thing and remove the external mechanism designed to hold them accountable (you know, the one that British lawyers helped to draft after the second world war). Thankfully, it seems that this policy is actually unworkable in practice, but it certainly kicked October 4th off nicely.
It warmed us up for Jeremy Hunt and Theresa May’s main announcement of the day:
Ok, let’s think about this. There are innumerable problems with this policy. To list a few:
- Setting a deadline by which foreign doctors must presumably leave (or be deported?) makes working in the NHS far less attractive for current and potential new foreign doctors. Given the NHS has a massive staffing shortage at present, the government wants to expand its services, and there is a rapidly ageing population, this is shortsighted.
- Setting a deadline by which foreign doctors must leave makes it far more likely that they will leave sooner. Why would you want to stay in a country that doesn’t want your highly prized skills? There are any number of other countries you could work in.
- Further numbers of home-grown doctors being trained is a great idea, but recruiting people is currently proving difficult. That seems to be mainly a response from students to chronic mismanagement and confrontational behaviour by, oh, the government. Things have got so bad that this year medical degrees went into clearing for the first time.
- Even if you can manage to train enough new British doctors, they will be just that: new. These foreign doctors have probably been here for a while, and if by some miracle they stay for another nine years, they’ll be very experienced. So the NHS will lose a lot of experience and institutional knowledge regardless, decreasing the quality of care for its patients.
- Finally, even if you replace all the foreign doctors with British ones, you’ll have the same number you started with, when the problem is that there’s a shortage. I need not explain this further, but for Jeremy Hunt’s benefit, if you have no more doctors at the end of the process than at the beginning, you have spent a lot of time and money on solving nothing.
You’ll notice I’ve left out the biggest problem with it. That is, naturally, that it is racist. There is no justification given for the policy other than their foreignness. That is simple racism. Explicitly discriminating against foreign doctors purely because they are foreign is unequivocally wrong.
Next up was Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary. She had a smart idea about cutting immigration too. Here it is:
In case you don’t know, providing education to international students is one of Britain’s most successful exports. Our universities make a ton of money from it. That money massively subsidises British students, keeping tuition fees lower and helping universities plan their financial future.
This policy achieves an impressive triple whammy:
- Telling international students they aren’t wanted – thereby reducing demand
- Telling universities they can’t be sure whether they’ll be able to recruit international students in future – throwing their plans into disarray
- Ensuring that tuition fees will almost certainly rise for British students
Another irony of this particular policy is that evidence suggests a vast majority of the public understand the difference between student immigration and employee immigration, and think people coming here to study for a short period is a great thing. But it’s probably simpler for Amber Rudd to pander to racists.
That certainly seems to be the case for her other policy, a requirement for… well, here’s the Times headline:
Firms must list foreign workers. And if they don’t employ enough British people, they will be ‘shamed’.
Can the Tories even hear themselves saying these things? Surely this runs counter to all their instincts. Even if we’re only talking about being pro-business – the most mercenary of all possible considerations – this is going to be a nightmare for everyone; enormous bureaucracy for no discernible purpose. Meanwhile a lot of the people who invest the most in our economy or have the best skills are foreigners – think of London’s tech industry, which is one of the world leaders.
But again, the real question for Amber Rudd and Theresa May is how they sleep at night. How do they live with themselves? This is bordering on fascism.
Speculation has raged since this announcement on how these pledges might be implemented. My money’s on yellow stars for the foreigners so they’re easy to spot. And for those unpatriotic firms with too many of the blighters, maybe the UK Border Force could smash their windows. I’m sure that would get the message across.
Last but not least in this parade of political putrescence comes our old friend, disgraced former minister Dr Liam Fox, who was forced to resign in disgrace until Theresa May graciously gave him a Cabinet role heading up all the non-existent trade deals we will try to strike after leaving the EU.
It was pretty difficult to identify the most egregious moment of this spectacular shitshow, but I think this statement by Fox takes the prize. We already knew that May’s government had not ruled out using EU citizens in the UK as a negotiating tool, but this particular description betrays how infantile these people are.
Fox really appears to feel hopeful about the tricky – to put it lightly – negotiation the government has to perform with 27 other EU member states. And one of the ‘main’ reasons for this hope is the number of EU foreigners living in the UK. And the reason Liam Fox is hopeful is that the British government will be able to threaten other countries about the future welfare of their citizens.
Consider that there are 3.2 million EU migrants in the UK at present, around 5% of the population. Let’s assume you know 100 people. 5% means you almost certainly know some of these people personally. They almost certainly go to the same school as your children. Depending on where in the country you’re from, there’s a not-insignificant chance you might be friends with them or your relatives might be married to them.
If what Liam Fox said does not disgust you, appal you, and make you sick to your stomach, then I don’t really want to know you.
Some final thoughts. I am angry. I want to do something to stop this awfulness from continuing and succeeding. I intend to use the minimal tools at my disposal to do so. That means campaigning for the Liberal Democrats, even from afar, and supporting all other ways I know of to fight this danger, including trade associations, independent (and sane) media, and online debate.
You might be wondering what Labour were doing all day. A lot of other people were too. Surely, on a day of such infamy and disgrace, they would stand up as the opposition the country needs? Especially after Jeremy Corbyn chose to defend immigration at their recent conference?
Eventually they tweeted this:
As a fellow Lib Dem on Twitter put it:
I couldn’t have put it better myself.
If you are anywhere near as angered by this litany of disgrace as I am, then please join the Liberal Democrats, today, and help us campaign. David Cameron’s resignation has caused a by-election in Witney on October 20th. A victory for the Liberal Democrats would send the loudest possible message to Theresa May and her pernicious ministers that this approach to Brexit and to government is completely unacceptable.
69 thoughts on “Theresa May’s Britain: disgraceful, unpatriotic and openly racist”
You are everything that’s wrong with Britain in 2016 and you seemingly can’t even see that the liberal elites that the PM is referring to on the DM front page are people like you.
Your sanctimonious drivel is exactly why the LibDems are the laughing stock they’re viewed as. It’s not immigrants the average Brit has an issue with – it’s people like you.
Thanks for your comment
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Since the LibDems seem to be sweeping all before them in the elections you might want to rethink your comment. Britain is the laughing stock of the world – they are even telling “This stupid Brit goes into a pub” type jokes in Sweden, cartoonists world wide are having a field day.
Fortunately most Brits occupy the middle ground, not the far Right or far Left you seem to imagine – and pretty much all of British history we have been a liberal, outward-looking country. Ultimately, liberal democracies always win against the extremists like you, because they include everybody – the far Right, such as the current Conservative party, cannot force people to accept their revolting agenda so will always find themselves frustrated at every turn. Read your history – Communism and Fascism alike were, ultimately, defeated by liberalism.
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Really? In WW2 fascism was defeated by the USSR, Great Britain and the USA. ‘Liberalism’ wasn’t much of a force in any of those countries (to say the least).
This government isn’t ‘far right’ or even close to it, and you are cheapening the term each time you use it to describe them. This is a risky activity – I presume you know the tale of the boy who cried wolf.
Looks like it’s easier to be racist in the UK than to call out racism. What’s new.
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Brits at the moment occupy the ground of honesty. With pledges on education being reversed, Nick Clegg was always leading the charge of the Light Brigade. Nothing seems to have changed. The blindness continues with ignoring the public’s desire to leave the EU quoting only a knife edge majority of 1.3 million. Lib Dems are still in la la land. Tune in to what the public really want rather than what they think they should want. Mentioning racists communism and fascism is to slur the public who have concerns not with immigration itself but feel the need to have control of it.
Which ‘Brits’ are these? The 17 million who voted Leave, or the 16 million who voted Remain? There is no single definition of ‘the public’ and what ‘they’ want.
Finally, racism’s still racism if it’s honest racism, and often, it’s a worse kind of racism the more honest and brazen it becomes. Just look at Trump if you want a non-UK corollary.
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Great article! As someone who is as English as you could find – I trace by ancestors back hundreds of years within the vicinity of Cambridge as farmers – I totally agree with your sentiment.
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Thanks for reading, Dan. I’m the son of an English father and an Indian mother; without immigration I wouldn’t exist. It will take all sorts of people to stop this slide into barbarism.
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By the conventional narrative ‘we are all immigrants’, so presumably without immigration none of us would exist, and there is nothing remarkable about your case?
We’d all exist one way or another, regardless of which individuals did or didn’t migrate at which time.
Very true. I’ve never claimed to be remarkable.
Odd, given the point you’re making, that so many people think we should discriminate against immigrants, isn’t it?
I don’t think it’s odd – it’s something that’s been evident in various forms across most countries throughout history. I don’t think anyone can honestly claim that they’re unaware that there tends to be at least some friction between incomers and settled communities, especially when the numbers and cultural differences are large.
And I think the real issue is that people (generally) want to limit the number of additional immigrants that come in the future, rather than be unkind to the ones already here. People have increasing concerns about an ever-growing population and the ability of our infrastructure, food production capacity and habitable land to support it (as well as concerns about wage compression and social cohesion, which also have validity).
Fans of mass migration have had a pretty good run over the last 20 years – I don’t think you can deny that. Maybe it’s time to slow the influx down for a few years and work on stabilising society, allowing public services to catch up with demand and helping the poorest and most marginalised re-enter the housing and labour markets they’ve pretty indisputably been edged out of over the last few decades? This would seem like a responsible approach to me, and I reckon a majority of the public would be supportive.
“And I think the real issue is that people (generally) want to limit the number of additional immigrants that come in the future, rather than be unkind to the ones already here.”
This was the belief of many ‘liberal Leavers’ during the referendum campaign, something that has subsequently been shown to have been hopelessly naive by the reality of post-referendum racism, hate crimes, and the enormous shift in government policy. Our international trade secretary is talking about EU citizens – the people who are “already here” – as bargaining chips and a ‘main card’ in negotiations.
We’ve had a good run in the sense that more immigration is better for the UK, and over the past two decades we’ve had that. We’ve had a bad run in the sense that no political party – not even the Lib Dems, to our shame – has sought to repudiate completely the now ingrained lies about the impact of immigration (some of which you mention – habitable land, wage compression, etc). Accompanied by a similar abdication of responsibility on the positive impact of the EU, an extraordinarily toxic environment has been created which is now reaching political maturity.
Today has been the most politically terrifying day of my life. Listening to May, Rudd, recalling previous rants of Boris, Fox etc., I really wondered whether we are going to see people with tattoos on their arms, religious or national identity emblems enforced on clothing – or internment camps opening up.
I thought of the wonderful doctors of all nations and hues I have encountered as someone with a dodgy spine; the gracious Lithuanian electrician who went beyond all to help with a problem – and told me a personal story of how proud he was to be in the UK – and showed me a picture of the home he had bought from working incredible hours – and the party in it celebrating his son’s birthday.
I thought of all the shopkeepers where I live,open from 6 am until midnight and sometimes later – from everywhere – Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Poland and across the globe.
Never have I felt so ashamed, mortified, enraged. Germany in the late 1920s and early 1930’s came starkly to mind.
Thank you for expressing it for me – I was for once unable to find the words.
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I think you found very good and moving words. Thanks for reading and commenting.
I can assure you that we won’t be seeing ‘people with tattoos on their arms’, internment camps or any of the other things you rather hysterically listed – something of which I think you’re actually perfectly well aware.
If you don’t like this government then vote them out at the next election. They’ve barely got a majority anyway.
I’m delighted by your reassurance. Are you perhaps a senior minister in the government? Maybe we can share your view more widely and publicly and reassure the millions of people who are currently afraid for their livelihoods and homes.
If you’re not, then your assurances isn’t worth a damn, and the next election isn’t for another 3.5 years, so I’ll carry on fighting this bullshit for now, thanks.
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By all means Tom – keep up the fight. I just think that people drawing direct parallels between Britain in 2016 and Germany in ca. 1933 are making fools of themselves because the two things have objectively so little in common.
And I think that people who are still relaxed about the current political trends in the UK are in for a very nasty surprise.
Tom – you are no different to most LibDems with your drama queen outpourings.
If you really think the vast majority of people who vote Tory are not decent, fair-minded people but are people who wishing for the oppression of foreigners in the U.K. you’re naive, bordering insane.
Our ire is against people like you for creating this disharmony, not foreigners (simply for being foreign). This is why, after 20 years of the left riding roughshod over the wishes of the majority of British people, the centre right have risen up and are pushing back against your progressive ideology. And we will continue to push back until the proper balance is restored.
1) Thanks for the slur
2) I have never said that the vast majority of people who vote Tory are not decent, fair-minded people. You’ve simply made that up.
3) ‘Our ire’ – who is ‘we’ in this? Are you legion?
Good luck to you, thanks for commenting and goodbye.
Oh, and I see you didn’t actually respond to my question. I’m shocked.
The 24th June was perhaps the most depressing day of my life – until yesterday. Can it get any worse?
Sadly I fear it will.
I’m British, my parents were both in the British army and met in Palestine in 1947 ( a soldier and a nurse ). I grew up in the 60s in a London suburb. I was a Met Police officer for 30 years retirning as an Inspector in 2005. Living as an EU member country all my working life, building partnerships for peace and prosperity has made our country what it is. UK is often seen as moderate and influential around the world but like all countrys we have our own distinct character. The UKs character has come to represent a multi cultural nation and it is someting that I have been proud of. I am one of the many millions of former Tories who will never vote for them again. This article is spot on and represents the views of many. Bravo…
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Thanks for reading and commenting.
To be fair, if the Lib Dems had supported Gordon Brown after the 2010 election instead of selling their souls to get power with the Tories
a) The Lib Dems wouldn’t have been kicked out of their seats at the last election by voters who were disgusted by their broken manifesto pledges, and
b) We wouldn’t be dealing with the current lot of Tories in the first place.
You have only got yourselves to blame.
The Lib Dems negotiated with both Labour and the Tories after the 2010 election. The Lib Dem/Labour coalition was not possible as a) it didn’t add up to a majority b) senior Labour MPs signalled very quickly that they would not support it c) the Labour negotiating team was unprepared and did not offer the same concessions as the Tories did.
Gordon Brown resigned prior to the coalition being formed, by the way, so David Cameron was already prime minister by the time the agreement was made. It’s likely that the Tories would have governed for a while, then called a second election which they would have won easily with the other parties out of cash and (in Labour’s case) possibly leaderless.
All true and the response to Julia is spot on, but until the Lib Dems and ‘both’ Labour Parties get their act together and provide an effective opposition to the Tories, there seems no way of overcoming the current government and their press lackeys.
The only thing I would take issue with is that it should be remembered that our reliance on foreign doctors and other trained professionals means that the resources provided for their training is lost to their native countries.which also do not get the benefit of their skills.
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I agree with you on the need for a more collegiate opposition. It would have helped if Labour hadn’t spent the five years we were in coalition attacking us rather than the Tories (something that directly enabled the Tory majority in 2015).
I am all for better and more training of British doctors and nurses, which is sorely needed. The way to sort out brain drain from elsewhere is both to improve the skills of the British workforce and to support developing economies with intelligent aid (not Priti Patel’s bungs to international investors).
A decent article until the bit where you tear into Labour for supposedly remaining silent. Corbyn said this today: “Conservative Party leaders have sunk to a new low this week as they fan the flames of xenophobia and hatred in our communities and try to blame foreigners for their own failures.
Drawing up lists of foreign workers won’t stop unscrupulous employers undercutting wages in Britain. Shutting the door to international students won’t pay young people’s tuition fee debts, and ditching doctors from abroad won’t cut NHS waiting lists.
The Conservatives will instead foster division and discrimination in our workplaces and communities.
Once again, they are making false promises on immigration they can’t deliver. Instead of turning people against each other, ministers should take action now to deal with the real impact of migration.
They should stop the abuse of migrant labour to undercut pay and conditions, which would reduce numbers.
They should support communities with high levels of migration and they should set out a positive agenda for fair migration rules as part of the Brexit negotiations for a new relationship with the European Union.”
Or are you too continuing the mainstream media policy of misrepresenting, ignoring, twisting what Jeremy Corbyn does or does not say?
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He hadn’t said that when I wrote this.
Even so, it’s a problematic statement. It starts strongly but quickly descends into what appears to be a call for Tory ministers to go faster on dealing with “the real impact of migration” and even mentions reducing numbers. That doesn’t sound good given the impact of migration is positive, and as such Labour should be opposing any reduction
Calling for the Tories to ‘deal with the real impact of migration’ is not calling for a reduction in numbers. Nor is contending that enforcing existing laws (to prevent unscrupulous employers undercutting existing pay and conditions) would actually reduce numbers. Corbyn is as vocal as anyone about the positive impact of migrants in our country as anyone I know. Labour is opposing abuse of people, whether they were born here or not, and that is the right policy.
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If he doesn’t mean a reduction in numbers it’s a very badly worded statement. And the clear implication of the sentence on the real impact is that it’s negative. Contrast it with Tim Farron’s unequivocal statement that “immigration is a blessing, not a curse”.
Would there be any level of net migration that you consider too high?
Nope. Net migration is a very silly way to measure immigration anyway. It includes students, for example, and it falls when more British people leave.
Reblogged this on writerchristophfischer and commented:
Please avert your eyes if politics offend you. I rarely do this but issues such as immigration and tolerance are dear to my heart and my writing.
In the 1930s Germany slipped into fascism and nationalism – I feel something similar is happening to us now in first steps into that direction.
We all need to speak up to voice our dissent and fight these politics of hate
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Great aricle. Thanks. I was wondering what happened to the front page of The Times overnight… This morning I went to the newsagent to pick a copy and the front page was not the same as this one you include here. Any ideas?
This was Wednesday’s front page. I wrote this very late on Tuesday night.
Thank you for an excellent article. I’m thinking of applying for Spanish nationality (my wife’s Spanish, and I’ve lived here since 1989). In all that time I always said “I’m quite happy to stay British”, even though for years I have been unable to vote in UK elections. June’s result was a shock, and with these latest developments I’m afraid I may have to take that final step. So, at the age of 70, I would become a “foreigner” when visiting my family and my home country. Sad.
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Thank you for reading. I think a lot of people are in a similar position, wondering where to go or what to do. It’s desperately sad.
Reblogged this on texthistory and commented:
The lunatics have taken over the asylum!
I’m American, but this sounds a lot like what we have going on here with Donald Trump. God help us all if he gets elected.😕
I agree with every word Christoph, and came to the same conclusion independently, as you know, by joining the Libdems, when I have voted conservative all my life. This was before the speech. Theresa May is on some crazy power trip, making fun of the man she made FS, abusing ‘foreigners’, threatending to ‘come for’ business people who probably contribute to Tory funds, and promoting racism and saying you should be ashamed to say you’re a citizen of the world. She has made me ashamed to be British. She may be PM but ultimately she is a public servant, something that Cameron and Blair always understood.
Reblogged this on Frank Parker's author site and commented:
Yesterday Theresa May claimed she was standing up for the ordinary citizen against some imagined ‘elite’. An elite, that is, that abhors racism and fascism and stands for human rights. The author of this piece is a political consultant, an aspiring poet, and an enthusiastic photographer. He’s also a member of the Liberal Democrats, the party to which I belonged until I left the UK. I still support them. Even more so today when so many on the left and right of British politics seem determined to take us back to a disgusting past. I could not have put my own feelings better than this writer has his.
Thank you Frank. That means a great deal. And it has also reminded me I need to update my description!
This is shockingly foolish, narrow-minded and shortsighted behaviour on the part of the government, on a par with what one would expect from a (hopefully purely hypothetical) Trump administration. No doubt the same ‘elites’ will somehow be blamed for the disastrous consequences of an EU exit as those slowly become clear to even the dimmest observer.
If I was a physician or a graduate student, the UK would already have been struck off my list of potential countries to work or study. In the 21st century few things are as mobile or as scarce as top talent in intellectually challenging fields, as Britain is about to find out to its cost.
I suppose this lays to rest once and for all any wishful thinking that May was a closet Remainer giving the Brexiters enough rope to hang themselves. Poor Britain.
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The public back plans for list of foreign workers (even LibDem voters):
Whether things are right or not doesn’t depend on their popularity.
Ah, as we all knew, you’re really the LibNotDems.
That has nothing to do with democracy. A simple thought experiment for you: if 60% of people thought it was ok to lynch immigrants, would you think they were right?
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You’re comparing lynching immigrants to companies listing the number of immigrants they employ? Incomparable!
No, I am asking you to do a simple thought experiment.
1) Your argument is that the will of the majority is always right and that it’s undemocratic to say otherwise.
2) I then asked you to give your opinion on whether a majority of people supporting the lynching of immigrants would make that policy right or wrong.
3) According to your own argument, it would be right, because anything is right when a majority of people support it.
I’m still awaiting a response.
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If a group decides to make decisions by direct democracy then it is right for those people.
But, again, you’re comparing providing numbers of foreign workers with lynching of immigrants. If you’re not, then focus on the democracy of what’s been proposed and not hypotheticals. Asking companies to list numbers of foreign workers is ‘right’ if the aim is to get them to try harder to employer British workers.
My priority is the British. Yours is not and that’s why we disagree and will never agree.
So, if we held a referendum on lynching immigrants, and a majority was in favour, it would be right. Good to have that clarified.
My priority is people. You are a racist. Goodbye.
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The German public backed an awful lot of things in 1939…
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The hyperbole about ‘fascism’ is pathetic and undermines your argument. Please remind yourself about what actual fascism was like and then ask yourself whether life in Britain today bears any relation to it at all (it doesn’t).
And as for ‘diversity’ – are you serious? The last 20 years have drowned us in diversity. Whatever tweaks this government makes to the system aren’t going to change that.
The point is that we are on the path towards fascism, and it doesn’t start with internment camps or yellow stars. It starts with people who are prepared to lie and lie again about the causes of social problems, to foster resentment against specific groups of people, and to use the power of the state to discriminate against those groups.
In that light, I wrote this post to set out why that is EXACTLY what is happening in the UK.
Good article, but I have to take issue with one thing: it is not “bordering on fascism”. Comparison with the deeds and rhetoric of the 1930s makes it quite clear that this *is* fascism.
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Very true. Curse my mealy-mouthedness.
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Great article I never thought we would get where we are.
I seem to recall businesses being asked to list Jewish workers in 30s Germany. Blaming everything on foreigners/jews/ whatever convenient minority even problems that emigration had helped relieve not make worse lying was exactly how hitler started. Some of the rethoric coming from tories sounds exactly the same word for word as some speeches of the nazi party. Btw hitler never had a majority at any election he just counted on the passivity of most people to go along with it excuse the extremists and devalue the more extremist behaviours. The views of the average german vis a vis the Jews in 33 are remarkably similar to how I hear many Brits talk of foreigners today.
Today I saw a leaver having a go at a British born Indian girl in the underground until I stepped in. The majority of passengers mighty have disapproved but were silent. Words like we voted you out (never mind she kept repeating she was born here) why haven’t you been deported yet?
So different from 30s Germany?! Hardcore nazis were always a minority that counted on the passivity of the majority.
Btw foreigners pay far more in national insurance that they use the nhs, they pay far more taxes than services they consume. Foreign doctors and nurses prop the nhs up, etc… These are bloody facts not opinions. Anyone who says the opposite either is ignorant or racist or both.
It seems Theresa May subscribes to the “Mob mentality” source of political motivation and uses like minded speech writers. I lost any hope I might have had of her providing any inspiration to the nation when she came up with the “Brexit means Brexit” speech, at least Tom’s dissection of the conference speech puts her output into proper perspective.
That’s really a great post.
I’m a Germanic Frenchman having lived in Britain between 01.10.2013 and 04.10.2016.
I worked as a research associate at the university of Lancaster.
I could have stayed there for three more years but BREXIT coupled with a better job offer in a city near Paris pushed me to leave this island of yours.
Ever since the 60s, the French National Front has always had slogans like “France to the French” and they want to introduce the so-called “national preference” which stipulates that enterprises always have to hire (qualified) French people first.
But even they haven’t gone so far as to speak of SHAMING enterprises having the wrong number of foreigners.
They cannot be hired BECAUSE they are foreigners. This is sheer racism.
I was also appalled by the fact of being treated as a “bargaining chip” useful for putting the EU under pressure. This is deeply dehumanising.
Yes, Britain has become a racist country. It is interesting to note that this is mostly “white on white” racism, as Continental European immigrants are primarily targeted.
The odious racist acts towards Polish people are unforgivable but they are hardly astounding given the propaganda of right-wing medias lumping them together as scroungers. As a side-note, the Nazi considered Polish folks as being inferior and they systematically persecuted them.
I think I’d have no problem at all if Theresa May and her associates said things such as “Immigrants unwilling to work and despising us should leave our country”.
But telling the same thing to hard-working foreigners is egregious.
I really like the freedom of movement within the EU which allows young people like myself to apply for jobs in many countries such as France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden and so on and so forth.
If the Tories cancel this, it will be FAR MORE harmful to young Britons struggling to find a job in their own country than to us who will still have a huge geographical area at our disposal.
No wonder most young Brits voted for REMAIN.
It is so disgraceful that they will have to suffer from the choice of people who will not experience most consequences of that change.
Equally disgraceful is the refusal of Brexiters to acknowledge that free movement can be extremely beneficial to young British folks.
While I don’t believe we can realistically expect to reach a united world, I think it makes a lot of sense that culturally and geographically closely tight countries allow freedom of movement with respect to job-hunting.
I find countless words related to French and German in the English language.
I find it absurd that most English people deny being Europeans despite this and their culture which belongs to Europe according to all ethnological criterion you could think of.
So, I’m very glad to be back in my homeland. I call all my fellow Continental Europeans to leave this cursed Island behind and get back to the Continent.
You can count on the EU and the French, German, Dutch, Italian, Polish governments to categorically refuse to accept any advantageous trade agreement with the UK.
I am curious to see if trading with India, China and Australia is going to save British economy from collapsing.
That said, I feel really sorry for all the Brits who never wanted this madness and will have to live with its consequences.
Best wishes, Marc.
Marc, thank you for your comment, and for reading this. I agree completely with your view of the UK and the impact on young British people in particular. What’s been astonishing to me throughout this process has been the relative warmth shown to the UK by other EU member states even as we slid towards the exit door.
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This article is really good and do represent the view of many including myself. I am European married to a English/British citizen and have been living here for more than 20 years and have British children working and studying. I must say that I have never saw or felt a state of hate and intolerance like this after the Referendum. I have suffered the first racist attack a few weeks ago just for speaking another language in a bus. It is scary! One thing is to be told to leave this country as we are no longer wanted here, but another is to hear a fascist language used by Mrs May and some of her cabinet Ministers. It breaks my heart to see a once wonderful country heading towards the destruction of a civilised society. We do feel like leaving this country and let it for the ones who voted leave to sort it out.
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