Get over it

brexit-bus

I’ve read these three words, many, many times since the Brexiteers won the referendum vote in 2016 and I find them more troubling every time I hear them. So now I’m blogging about them.

I read them first on the morning after the result, when a young man, whom I knew about because he was a Trustee of the Blake Society and followed because I assumed he would be a man of principle, wrote a twitter message about the election. He was in a triumphalist mood, claiming it was the biggest electoral victory this country had ever seen and bragging that they’d overturned the establishment and that nothing could stop them. I wrote back to point out that there had been other victories even larger and with more resounding majorities, and quoted the election in 1945, stressing that it too had led to massive changes, among them the foundation of the NHS and the Welfare State.

It was a mistake because it made him angry. He wrote back to dazzle me with statistics to prove that he was right and I was wrong and ended by saying, ‘We’ve won and you’ve lost. GET OVER IT!’ It was unmistakably triumphalist and so full of hatred it reminded me of Oswald Moseley’s Blackshirts. So I blocked him. But not long after that, those of us who had dared to vote remain were being mocked as ‘remoaners’ and ‘Get over it!’ had become a signal of the Brexiteers’ power.

Now, two days ago, I read a tweet from a kindly woman who doesn’t think it’s right for anyone to criticise the government’s handling of the present crisis and wants us all to support them. I didn’t argue with her, partly because I haven’t got the energy and partly because I knew she wouldn’t listen, but my heart sank. Have we really become a nation of subservient yes-men? And if we have, does it matter?

Now I know that the written word can be misinterpreted. We don’t see the speaker nor hear the voice so we can’t be entirely sure how the words are being used. These particular words could be gentle advice not to let a difficulty overwhelm us, or they could even be a joke, but when they are used alongside an injunction that we should all ‘pull together and support the government and not criticise what they are doing’ they become a threat to our freedom of speech. We’re not robots. We don’t all think the same. We still live in a democracy – just about – and we are entitled to have different opinions and to speak truth to power. Or are we?

The millions who voted leave took Johnson’s words, emblazoned on his now famous red bus, in exactly the way he intended them to. Without thought. But they were skilfully chosen and were propaganda of a most potent kind. Johnson is a skilled operator. We were all supposed to think that the £350 million we sent to the EU every week was money thrown away. Whereas the truth, had anyone been around to explain it, is that the fund is used to support necessary industries, like farming and fishing, in all the EU countries,  as and when it’s needed, and that in some weeks we would get slightly less than the full 350 back in grants while in other weeks we  would get slightly – or even considerably – more. And the statement hinted at by the words ‘let’s fund our NHS’ is a complete and utter lie, which is becoming more and more obvious as the reasons for the tragic loss of life caused by this terrifying virus is revealed week by week and more and more people are beginning to understand that our NHS has been deliberately run down for years so that it can be declared not fit for purpose and sold off to the big private health companies  in America. The vote leave millions of the electorate were brain washed into that vote and now we are supposed to keep quiet, say nothing and let this corrupt government do whatever it wants. And that would be death to our democracy and an open gate to Fascism.

‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil,’ as Edmund Burke famously said, ‘is for good men to do nothing.’ We simply can’t stand by and do nothing. It’s too dangerous.

Edmund-Burke-portrait

10 thoughts on “Get over it

  1. At this point in time I am supremely glad that I live in New Zealand and that our government is lead by a woman with good principles. Although I’m glad for his family’s sake that Boris got better, it’s a pity it didn’t lead to an epiphany about what’s right and moral for the country. I hope you guys get rid of them next election and with a huge majority too. The chap in charge of our other party is a complete idiot and also I suspect misogonystic and very much in the camp of big business above all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If I could work WordPress I would have added a ‘like’ to both lesley2cats and sewsable’s comments. Agree completely. I’ve shared the blog on Facebook. Well said, Beryl.

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      • I totally agree. Unfortunately it has now got to the stage where I have to unfriendly people because they will not look at the evidence. They blindly put their trust in the MSM tabloids and when given evidence just shut it out. Why did the older generation, present company excepted, become so immune to loguc, reason and critical thinking?

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  3. Of course, I completely agree with you, Beryl. How your friend arrived at ‘the biggest electoral victory this country had ever seen’ I do not know. There were only a few percentage points in it! And given the small margin, the triumphalism was particularly hard to swallow. The country is split almost half and half, and the result has been disastrous for cohesion and consensus. The one good thing that may come out of the Covid disaster, is that the Tories will have little support for further emasculating the NHS. And that the low paid workers there and in the Care system, will now be valued in more than easy words. The same goes for the attitude to the BBC.

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  4. It’s rubbish isn’t it. I mean, if these yes-people were having an extension built and halfway through they could see there were no foundations – would they leave it until the builders had completely finished the job before questioning it?

    Following their line of reasoning – well, yes – yes, they would. They would think to themselves: ‘What do we know? We’re not builders. We just need to think positive and get behind the builders, and it’ll all be fine.’

    And then the job would be ‘finished’. The yes-people would ask about the lack of foundations and the builders would be like: Oh, get over it. No point in looking back. Just think positive! Bye-bye.

    And then the house would fall down and there’d be no comeback because the yes-people had accepted it as a finished job.

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  5. Excellent post, Beryl, which I agree with 100% – and think I can make a guess at the person who is telling people to pull together and support the government! Like you, I haven’t the energy to point out a few home truths to her. But there is no way I can support a party which has underfunded the NHS for so many years but which now proclaims we must must ‘protect’ our NHS. Nor can I forgive the present government for its appalling delay in acknowledging the crisis and for failing to provide the vital PPE for front line workers, Meanwhile, of course, we are heading for a no-deal Brexit since all energies are being diverted to the corona crisis.
    To me, the ultimate irony is that we still haven’t closed our borders and/or quarantined everyone entering the country – even though ‘protecting our borders’ was one of the soundbites of the Brexit campaign – while most of the other EU have closed their borders!
    Okay, I’ll stop ranting now LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

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