By David Price
Every Christmas, many British sun seekers leave their green and pleasant land (well, grey and dank) for a winter break in the warmer climes of southern Europe and north Africa. This year though, it seems the numbers may be dramatically down – because a Remain-supporting Twitter hate mob has declared that actually, Leave voters rarely travel beyond their hometowns. Indeed, most Brexiteers – if you believe these revelations – apparently live in Bognor Regis and have all the cosmopolitan credentials of Sid James and Bernard Bresslaw in Carry On Camping.
Pork pie hat, fag in mouth, dog-eared copy of the Sun on the back shelf of their Austin Allegro – meet the Remainer’s view of a typical Brexit voter. This fascinating snippet of contemporary social anthropology comes not from the Office of National Statistics or some other such respected body, but the collective imagination of the thousands of Remoaners who recently took to Twitter in a collective scream of indignation at the news of Britain’s new blue passports. Apparently, because some Leave voters really rather like the idea of returning to the passports they grew up with – midnight blue in colour and with no reference to the European Union – they have to be stopped at any cost, or at least pilloried.
Liking the new blue passport means – according to this ersatz crowd-sourced ethnographic study – that you’re a Little Englander who wants to revert to pre-decimal currency, and who has a morally reprehensible view of what being British means. The nineteen sixties was the last decade with “old money”, but listen to the Twitterati and you’d think it was the thirteen sixties we’re going back to. Enjoying the prospect of the new blue passport means you’re a suspect sort who openly identifies with regressive identity politics. But hang on, check the Twitter profiles of these keyboard warriors, and you’ll see that many of them post complex descriptions of their ethnicities, politics and chosen gender pronouns, like a badge of honour. So it’s fine for them to shout about their identity, but not for those they disagree with?
On the face of it, it is bizarre that so many people have got so angry about the colour of the new British passport. Yet in truth, this is a proxy war – it’s a highly visible sign of the referendum result, that changed so much after June 23rd, 2016. Think of it as a primal scream by Remoaners – not Remainers, who have taken things with good grace – who simply cannot accept that “their” world has changed. Their world was never supposed to change adversely, because they regarded themselves as the change-makers – yet Leave voters have come along and done to them what they thought only they could do to others.
For the past year and a half, the opprobrium heaped upon Brexiteers has been deafening. On social media especially, anyone who voted to govern their own country rather than be a colony of Brussels forever more, has been ritually insulted. We are now witnessing the collective nervous breakdown of this class of entitled, opinion-forming “liberals” whose behaviour has been anything but. They point out that had Remain won, Leavers wouldn’t sit back and simply let things lie, but do they really think their endless – often highly offensive – slander is going to pull the UK back into the EU’s clutches?
For over forty years, our political class – both Tory and Labour – has been largely for the idea that the United Kingdom should be subsumed into a wider United States of Europe, just as the EU’s founding father Jean Monnet called for. They have had direct access to an obedient media mouthpiece to get their message across. As every new EU treaty has come along, we’ve been told it’s not about deeper political integration, but rather “smoothing the way for easier trade”, and this lie has rarely been questioned. In short, they and their supporters are used to getting their own way. Blue passports are the first visible sign that things are changing, “and they don’t like it up ‘em, Captain Mainwaring!”
Remoaners are becoming ever more hysterical – witness the recent calls for people not being allowed to vote unless they have university degrees, and for an upper age limit on voting. Insulting vast numbers of your fellow citizens is not a good look, and is unlikely to win friends and influence people. A little more of the Christmas spirit – “peace on Earth and good will to all men” – would not go amiss.
Labour Leave shares a number of viewpoints from external commentators, both Leave and Remain, without necessarily endorsing any of the viewpoints therein.
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