Still behind the vpn in China, but despite the inconvenience I have decided that a personal response to the Brexit is required, as it, of course, affects me personally. Ultimately it could have brought Scottish independence closer and that ultimately might mean a Scotland in the EU, a Scottish passport for ego, and, with most of my adult life spent in another particular EU country, it has the acquiring of another EU passport a distinct possibility in the even shorter term. Moreover, one might even suspect that when the storm has died down and the negotiations have finished life will go on almost as before anyway with the UK negotiating some sort of “Norway-like status”.
“Might”, but the academic caution is well-advised. After all, it appears that there is a thoroughly divided, not-so united, little country in the north west of Europe and that small island appears to have about as much substance as the big icebergs a bit further to the north. Stormy waters, indeed, for little England, but also for Scotland and the rest of Europe. Hardly a value judgement coming from a supporter of Scottish independence, but with Lizzie Windsor about to rush up to Scotland and then over to Northern Ireland the entertainment is wonderful.
However, enough of the cynicism and Yanis Varoufakis’s article in ‘The Guardian’, “Brexit won’t shield Britain from the horror of a disintegrating EU” and his conclusion that all of the continent is sliding into a “xenophobic, deflationary, 1930s-like abyss” makes interesting reading, as does Kathryn Gaw’s piece “Northern Ireland’s greatest fear from a Brexit is the return to conflict” in the same newspaper. Of course, critical thinking is advised when reading Varoufakis’s contention that Greece’s “permanent surrender to punitive EU austerity made it so hard to convince the British working class that their rights were protected by Brussels” and it is hardly likely that the British working classes gave the Greeks a second thought when they voted for Britain to leave the UK.
Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that a there is a thoroughly alienated, massive underclass in Britain, and elsewhere in Europe, which no longer looks to a socialist alternative for protection and it is here that Varoufakis’s more important argument that Europe is drifting into a “xenophobic, deflationary, 1930s-like abyss” becomes all the more relevant.
The “other” European passport is available and further down the road there might even be a Scottish one, humour means that the shenanigans from the very small country can be laughed off; Lizzy and the establishment rev up their rearguard action, Boris and Theresa vie for power, the soundbites are spouted out and the message is Britain was great, is great, and will always be great, and the band plays believe it, if you like!
However, there are bigger issues at stake and while in the shorter term an independent in Scotland might be seen positively, a conflict in Ireland is a real danger and, even more importantly, there are portents of dark days ahead. With Europe and the rest of the world unable to force the neoliberal demons back into their bottles, there might indeed be a déjà-vu just around the corner and while the lights are not quite yet going out all over Europe, the xenophobic abyss has certainly arrived not only on the shores of middle England, but also elsewhere on the continent.