Strangeness is a part of the make-up of Brexiters. Foolish though I am, I read posts that flow from articles on Europe. Inevitably in the agreement with negative statements and the disagreement with positive statements there’s a “justification” that takes a distorted view of history. Several themes are common. One is: Britain stood and stands alone against evil, folly and sloth. Another is: Collapse, chaos and catastrophe happens on the Continent. Yet another is: “they” need “us” more than we need them.
Underlying this are nostalgic fictions, separatism and an exceptionalism that is out of touch with reality. It’s like Brexiters cover their eyes for the love of a dream state that doesn’t have to address practical day-to-day concerns.
In this dream state calling for a new Royal Yacht Britannia, blue passports or a return to pounds, ounces, feet and inches when the UK’s health and social care services are straining every sinew, doesn’t seem so crazy. In this dream state branding any view you disagree with as “project fear” or somehow traitorous is standard. In this dream state deflecting blame for anything that goes wrong is quite normal.
The longer that we take to wake up from this hallucination the more harm will be done. The seeds of change are in the air but we may need a good shaking before our eyes are opened. Expect a rocky year.