Thursday, 29 March 2018

Exactly One Year To Brexit!


It is now 11.00pm on the 29th March 2018. In exactly a year from now, we walk out of the European Union, not on the terms that we would like, and the aftermath will be pretty messy, but we will walk out.

Brexit, sadly, is not going to be an event, instead, it will be a process that has only just begun. We need to start arguing for the type of Britain that we want after March 2019, otherwise, our former allies on the political right will make all the running.

We voted for many economic things in 2016 and many of them are already starting to come true. When I wrote Brexit: For a New Country over a weekend in May 2016 I included this appeal to ordinary people:
Forget changing the law to restrict the entry of scab labour, forget rebuilding the unions that we once had or the Labour Party that we once had to speak for us.

Forget all that for the moment and concentrate on the notion that if foreign labour ceases to flood into the country, then almost by definition your wages will start to rise. If there is no longer a reserve army of unemployed and underemployed people then management scum will have to start offering decent wages to you and to people like you. They may hate you as much as you hate them, but they are not stupid and they need someone to actually do the bastard work that creates the wealth which they then skim off and enjoy. That someone could be you, with for the first time in your life, a decent bloody wage packet burning a hole in your pocket. 
Who can deny that this is now happening? Wages are rising and conditions are improving precisely because scab labourers no longer feel welcome in our country. That is why my 17-year-old son has more work than he can handle flipping burgers at a McDonald's and why he eagerly anticipates his 18th birthday in a month's time when he will get another pay rise and can then work the night shift which pays even more money. 

People like us understand that bastard fucking work is the price we pay for our money and companies like McDonald's know that they have to increase the wages to keep the workers now that Britain is a cold land for immigrants.



Those of us who are on the left, the real left, the left that believes in economic matters and has no interest in cultural ones, argued that case for years. It was one of the roots of our opposition to the whole EU experiment.  We were told that the economy would collapse after a Brexit vote, but two years later the economy, our economy that is, booms as it has not done for years.

Looking ahead, Labour needs to accept that position as dictated by us. If it wants our votes, then it must revert to its old, protectionist, state-support for industry base, otherwise, it will stay out of office no matter what Jeremy Corbyn says or thinks.

That is for the future. For the here and now, let us take a deep breath and look forward to the next year as we head inexorably towards the exit from the European Union.

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