While the Labour party continues to be in don’t-frighten-the-horsy-people mode and therefore utterly useless, it occurs to me that there really needs to be a rejoin-the-EU movement that campaigns for as long and as hard as the ‘Kippers did. The entity known as UKIP may have existed in some form before 1993, but let’s take that as its origin date. Essentially, then, those fucking bastards whittled away at UK politics until 2016, when fuckwit Cameron held the referendum that led us to our current disaster. So 23 years.
And therein lies the problem, because the thought that it might require another 20+ years of campaigning to get us back in the EU just makes me (and everyone else, I’m sure) feel tired. Britain first applied to join the EU in 1961, and it took 10 years to get in. But what would it take to even get us to the position where we’re applying.
For a start, a lot of the people who voted to leave will have to die — and not be replaced by a new generation of racists/idiots. I read the other day that the movement in public opinion over Brexit isn’t about people changing their minds, but about people who voted to leave dying off, and younger people reaching voting age. Which ought to give us hope, I suppose. But merely holding an opinion isn’t enough. It needs a movement. And it needs people with an obsessive energy, entirely focused on one issue, to make it happen.
Which is where I lose hope. Because the so-called culture wars have proved to be an excellent way of diffusing progressive politics into a series of arguments over personal identity and – even worse – personalities. And if there is one big issue that is going to unite the young and energetic for the next ten years or so, then it’s not going to be rejoining the EU. It’s going to be climate change. And even that issue has been successfully incorporated into the culture wars so that people end up arguing about tactics.
Like the left always has! If there’s a universal truth about leftwing politics its that they put more energy into opposing each other than they do into opposing their actual opponents. Which is not to say that internecine warfare is confined to the Labour party.
The Moderate Flank claims that it is going to try to reframe the argument on climate, away from counterproductive grand gestures towards more conciliatory and level headed discussions. Fingers crossed for that. Meanwhile, none of this helps me with my burning desire to be back in the EU.
In the end, I think my only option is to physically go there and seek citizenship. There really ought to be an exchange programme. For every boatload of refugees coming to this blighted island, they ought to let the same number of British citizens escape. I volunteer. There may not be a Movement, but perhaps I can move.