Saturday, 23 July 2016

To blame or not to blame...

So it is a little while since I've blogged. In the interim my initial flush of excitement around the EU referendum (suddenly everybody wants to talk about politics!) has been replaced by the dawning realisation that the older and generally richer (in property and wealth security rather than in cash or status) classes who are largely unaffected by migration in their rural havens have elected to leave the EU at the almost certain future expense of the younger and more financially insecure sections of society that actually live in cities and thus encounter people from abroad daily. The irony of this is eclipsed by the fact that a Tory wheeze to net a few more voters has blown up in their collective faces to the extent where the grizzled survivors of their messy leadership contest are left enforcing policies that they have no faith in and would have far rather avoided.

The press have of course scurried to find somebody to blame. It is Cameron's fault, Johnson's fault, the EU's fault or even, bizarrely, Labour's fault for not stopping the Conservatives from appeasing their xenophobic fringe. Saner voices have presented a countervailing argument that we must pull together and accept the result (no second referendum) because what is done is done and further scapegoating is unproductive.

I'm broadly in sympathy with the second argument. Why waste time lambasting the Brexiteers who scuttled for cover as soon as they saw that they might have to follow through on their ridiculous lies. They have already absented themselves from affairs or been marginalised by the Remain-lite politicans who have taken the reins of government. The gutter press have their victory but it is hard to see them profiting from a full blown recession.

However, this doesn't mean that those who voted Remain should take the result lying down. A thin majority in a referendum that held no legislative binding power does not give the Tories carte blanche to cut the link between us and our main trading partners. A compromise must and should be found to allow us to remain in the EU or to secure the best economic deal with them possible. No concessions should be made to those who want to seize an opportunity to slash migration. Migrants help the economy and free movement is one of the central tenets of modern Europe. The bombastic campaign of the referendum was not the place to hold such a delicate debate about the type of society we want to be and until a General Election is won by a party openly campaigning on an anti-migration basis we should not allow a closed Britain to be sneaked in by the back door during a time of crisis and uncertainty.