The last months have been a very sharp learning curve. When I started out, on my first active political campaign, I was a libertarian member of the Labour Party, and, even at the age of 52, somewhat naïve about what it was I was getting myself into. I expected a generally mundane, procedural affair to what would be the best option for everyone, and a 5/6% margin to remain in the EU. It quickly became apparent that was not the case. In Manchester we were very largely either politely or favourably received – it did vote 60.4 % to remain, not surprising really, given that people here, in an almost ridiculously diverse city for its size, knew enough outsiders to be able to flatly contradict, from first hand experience, the outsider fear whipped up in the press and by the Leave campaign. That diversity leads to tolerance, in both poorer mixed areas, or more wealthy. We are lucky. However, there was some shocking hostility from people from outlying towns, where that message was not contradicted. Either towns with a distinct and separated minority community, existing in its own sphere and separated from a poor white community, or towns where there was almost no ‘immigrant’ population at all, where narrow experience of the outside world leads to a natural tendency towards ANY outsider. That mechanism also applying in wealthier towns, just as effectively. A knowledge vacuum very easy to exploit.
And it was. At first my direct experience led very quickly to an awareness that outsider fear was being used as a main weapon of the Leave campaign, that they were using the press to foster and spread it. There were times when I felt very small in the face of the Sun, Mail and Express, even with the support of my colleagues and the Stronger In campaign. I tried to warn people about the awakening far right. I worried that the violent feelings aroused in some people could even lead to murder, even directly wondered that it would happen the day before Jo Cox was murdered. I did think people would wake up and realise something much more sinister than a vague referendum protest was unfolding, but, after a few days of revolting handwringing amongst the press who had helped give a damaged man a target for his inner rage, it was back to immigrants piling out the back of trucks. Didn’t matter they could not be EU immigrants. The fuckers in control of the press knew which buttons to press.
My own target has switched, almost entirely from those who voted to leave, to those billionaires who persuaded them that their interests were common, who, just as in times of war, use the people to further their own interests and prejudice. A victory for the man in the street? He usually dies in huge numbers, and is then told that he ‘won’, that ‘his’ country ‘won’. Sorry to repeat a point I made in my last post!
The anger and prejudice you are sometimes a target of from Leave directed sites was planted there. It had a source. If you want proof, ask yourself – did anyone give a fuck whether you wanted the UK to be in the EU or not a year ago? Why now then?
Our enemy is not leavers, they are being directed and manipulated, not kings, as they are being told, but pawns. It is the origin of the message. Not the pawns, but the chessmasters. We have to change the message, get another one out there; get the soldiers to rebel against the billionaire generals who could not give a shit about them, and certainly wouldn’t have them within a million miles of their stately homes.
Enough metaphors there for a useful billboard campaign? 😉
If the billionaires want a revolution, let’s fucking give them one! 🙂