Brexit is a false revolution. It all started when UKIP burst on to the scene in 2014, with their anti EU, anti-immigrant agenda and starting declaring themselves champions of the working class because of their desire to take power away from the EU, and give more powers to the equally undemocratic House of Lords and Monarchy. That same mind-set is now being promoted by Boris Johnson and other hard right figures in the Tory Party. Coming at the Brexit revolution stance from a different angle, are left wing figures in the Labour party like Dennis Skinner, who argue that they do not want to be part of a European Union that forces free market policy down the throats of member states, ignoring the fact that the Brexit campaign has been led by people so right wing, that it is almost beyond belief that anyone could put them in charge. The most depressing part of the Brexit revolution myth, is that people are falling for it, people are already lining up the ballot box to free themselves from the shackles of Europe, only to wake up on Friday morning, and find themselves in the clutches of a much more deadly beast. This is extremely worrying for those of us that know what an actual revolution looks like. It finds itself in movements such as the Miners’ Strike, The fight for the eight hour day in Chicago or, to give a more recent example, The Nuit Debout movement, currently going on in France. It does not come dressed in purple waving a pint around, and moaning about immigrants.
Why I am Voting to Remain
Before I let you go and decide how you want to vote for yourselves, I want to reassert my position that voting to leave under the current circumstances would be an absolute disaster, no matter how well intentioned that the Person voting to leave may be
Let’s look at the current situation we are stuck in. Working class wages are miserable and pathetic. Employers like JD sports treat their employees horribly. Businesses and shops are constantly shutting down. People cannot afford to buy homes, schools are being stretched by extortionate class sizes and NHS waiting times are too long. Amongst all this, the immediate reaction from most people is to blame immigration. It is understandable why as well. Big companies have the power to advertise abroad and bring in a cheap migrant workforce, which capitalists can easily exploit. Also, through migration, the ruling class have been able to have a weak working class that constantly bickers among themselves. But do you really think a Brexit led by Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson will make these problems any better? These are people who have fought tirelessly to take power away from the working class and give more power to bosses. Indeed, many leading Brexiters are people who want to privatise the NHS. They supported Thatcher during the 1980s, when workers communities were being torn apart by mass privatisation. On the subject of Cheap Labour, people in the Brexit camp are far from wanting to end it. What they are actually likely to do is cut wages and scrap workplace protection Laws. The only difference will be with these low paying, long hour jobs, is that it won’t be migrants doing them, it will be the same British workers, some of whom would will have enthusiastically supported Brexit before the referendum. Should there be a work shortage, Ian Duncan Smith can always get his old job back of making severely disabled and sick people, go on degrading workfare schemes, designed to cut benefits and provide cheap labour for capitalists. Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage pretend to be working class heroes, when in reality they are anything but!
Some people living in cloud Cuckoo land, are saying that if we leave there will be a general election, from which labour and Jeremy Corbyn (who backs remain) will emerge victorious. However, the chances of this are extremely small. While there may indeed be a general election if Cameron resigns after losing the election vote, it is likely that it will result in yet another Conservative victory. Firstly, Brexit is likely to cause division in the Labour party, with lots of Blairites lining up to accuse Jeremy Corbyn of failing to put up a fight during the referendum. Furthermore, if there is a general election, all those newspapers and Leave Campaigners that put so much energy into running scare stories about migrants, will channel all that energy into running scare stories about the Labour party, making sure they do not win the election. The truth is that it is the Hard right that are setting the terms for this debate. You might as well be asked at the ballot box if you want a swing to the right, or a return to the status quo.
How will Brexiters react if they lose?
One of the best arguments Brexiters have for their platform is ‘we didn’t consent to be a member of the EU’, and they are right. However, if remain wins tomorrow this argument will be invalid. No doubt Cameron and Corbyn will be touring the studios, thanking the British public for keeping them in a job. Also, David Cameron will most likely apply the in work benefits for migrants concession immediately. Despite this, at the far right end of the debate, things could get a bit sourer.
Behind its diplomatic image, UKIP have always been a racist party dominated by Xenophobes and an opposition to multiculturalism. The referendum gave legitimacy to this agenda, a Remain vote will take it away. A group of Young voters energised by the Tory right will be wondering where to channel their frustration, and the far right themselves are likely to get even harsher on the subject of immigration. Britain First might even show up and call for race war. It is up to those who see the value of migration and freedom of movement to defend it. We should demand short term measures such as a higher minimum wage and increased funding for public services. We should stand up for the rights of Syrian refugees seeking a better way of life, and we should not be afraid to confront far right groups on the streets. This will not be achieved solely through voting for Jeremy Corbyn or the Green Party. As such, we should obviously be prepared to use methods of protest in order to push our cause. That is how we tackle the rise of the right, which has dominated so much of public debate.
Overall, do not be persuaded by Nigel Farage, when he says that a Brexit vote is a revolutionary action. They only appropriate the language of the working class in order to win support for a hateful agenda. Real revolution lies in the confronting of the far right on the streets. Until we can do that, we have no right to say we are fighting for fairness!