Reflections on Brexit and British politics on the anniversary of the Brexit vote

Yesterday marks a full year’s departure from the UK referendum on membership of the European Union. Because we voted to Leave, some of us (myself included) have decided to mark June 23rd as our very own Independence Day, in recognition of the fact that we are becoming independent of the influence of the European Union.

One year later, I think we are still on the path towards the Brexit, but it seems things have been bungled in recent months. I regaled you all already with the outcome of the snap general election from just two weeks ago, but I will briefly explain again: Theresa May called the election thinking that she would snag a decisive majority in order to secure the “ultimate mandate” for Brexit even though she already had the democratic mandate to begin with, only to lose her majority through hubris, complacency and a terrible manifesto, forcing her to form a minority government with the DUP.

In the time between the Brexit vote and the snap general election, I have felt some changes in me politically, both in terms of my own political alignment and my opinion of British politics and the government. Before the EU referendum, I was constantly unimpressed with British politics to the point that I never voted in any elections or referendums until last year. In addition, when I look back, I realize that though I had a specific ideal that I wanted to uphold, I often times did not have a strong or precise ideological framework through which to pursue that ideal. That’s not a meaningless thing: freedom is an ideal and goal that is claimed by a diverse range of political movements in the modern age, what the difference between all of them is (1) what a free society looks like to them and (2) how they wish to achieve it (like with liberals vs conservatives for instance). Through my youth I’ve gone through self-styled anarchism, liberalism and libertarianism but without being all that well-read in either of them.

Because of my cynicism and lack of political knowledge, I was at one point sort of pro-Remain, even thought I didn’t like the EU at all, and there was no positive argument on my part – I only thought it would stop the Tories from enacting their more deeply authoritarian legislation. When I realized that such an argument made no sense and contravened my values, and I learned about what else the European Union actually did, I became more staunchly anti-EU, and from there an opponent of globalism in general. When I voted to Leave and found that my side had won, I felt meaningful democratic and national pride for probably the first time. We elected to kick the ass of a giant anti-democratic superpower in the making that didn’t give a damn about liberty, and we were in the process of saving the nation. But almost as quickly, the British government wasn’t having it, and with the help of progressive (and supposedly liberal) activists tried to block the democratic will of the people. They didn’t have their way, fortunately, but for the next year I would soon become reminded of everything I despise about British politics and the government.

I voted for the liberty of my nation state and its people, knowing that , only to see my government continue in the direction of authoritarianism that, let’s face it, it was probably already heading in by this point. The government seeking further control of the Internet, the police arbitrarily arresting people for “hate speech”, and in general not caring for the concept of freedom of speech very much to the point of still very much having a decidedly more European than American approach to the matter. Coupled with the fact that I’m pretty convinced that the British government doesn’t like the idea of strictly the democratic will of its people and principles of liberty, I remain thoroughly convinced that I fit more in the United States of America than in my own country.

However, in spite of all that, I’m willing enough to stand by the country on the issue of leaving, unless they compromise too much and the EU ends up taking us for a ride again. In the mean time, I am looking to form a strong ideological framework based on liberty, so that I can at the very least contribute to the battle of ideas that shapes the country, along with the West. I see pro-freedom ideas being on the decline in my country, so until the time when I live the dream and emigrate to America, I think I should try and spread those ideas in my own country. I’ll try and make time to read about politics, economics, history and related subjects (yes, in addition to my other reading plans) to build up my own framework.

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