It’s often said that “voting doesn’t matter, they’re all the bloody same”.
Whilst the merits of this point could be debated endlessly it’s fair to say that, from the apparent public perception at least, this is how the supposed false dichotomy of a Tory/Labour Brexit was viewed. Sure, when you get into the minutiae of the matter there are differences and distinctions but ultimately, there didn’t seem to be much nuance when it came to the most notable and contentious issue – namely single market membership.
Now you can pick at the validity of Corbyn’s quite possibly flawed interpretation of the single market easily enough but that’s somewhat besides the point. Labour’s Brexit plan didn’t include single market membership – that’s all you need to take away.
In recent days of course, that’s all changed:
Wow. Quite the difference, huh?
“But that’s just for a transitional period!” I hear you cry and whilst initially this is indeed the case, there’s one very significant factor hiding away amidst the details:
Ah, so a sneaky bit of hope for us unreconciled Remainers, yeah? I mean sure, the article goes on to state that it all hinges on the EU agreeing to Labour’s terms (the likelihood of which I suspect is minimal) so it’s still a few continents away from being the golden ticket to remain.
Of course, that didn’t stop Nigel from popping a coronary – displaying indignant rage amusingly befitting of a man lumbered with a chronic lack of self awareness.
In any case, a lot has been made of this. Are Labour now “Soft Brexit”? Or does the rabbit hole go even deeper and they’re trying to sneak a Brexit reversal via subterfuge? There’s all manner of theories flying through the ether but there’s at least a near universal synopsis emerging – a resounding distinction now exists between Labour and Tories when it comes to handling the acid smeared potato of Brexit.
The reaction has been varied with many a sceptical Remainer noting that, despite it being obviously more rational than the Tory’s lemming inspired proposals, it’ll still end up being a journey to an undesired destination – Brexit.
A fair point but don’t be giving up the good fight just yet, there’s still hope to be had from all this. It’s just that perhaps you’re looking for hope in the wrong location.
Take a look at the transitional proposal and ask yourself this – have you noticed that the closer to Remain a plan resides the more sense it seems to make? Further to this – ever picked up on the fact that the more time saunters by, the strength of Brexit dwindles? That what began as a roaring, rallying cry fuelled by fully leaded jingoism now finds itself in a state of perpetual decay, all the while being eroded by the scrutiny of time?
Time. That’s the concept we need to zero in on.
It all may seem very nebulous, as though you’re grasping at straws in a hurricane whilst wearing a blindfold, but the impact of time on the validity of Brexit cannot be understated. Take a peek at what mere hours did to the credibility of the Leave cause for instance. Even in their moment of greatest triumph, victory was significantly undermined before the new day had really begun. A revolution painted as the downtrodden majority rising up against the caviar sampling elitist establishment, seizing the reigns of power with that good, honest British bulldog spirit had already been cut off at the knees.
And, as with all wounded animals lying vulnerable whilst the vulture of reality circles overheard, they’ll do anything to avoid being exposed further.
They’ll hide, they’ll misdirect and they’ll attempt to shut you down so vociferously you begin to wonder as to whether the debate is even worth your effort. They’re acutely aware that longer Brexit is dragged out, the more time you’ll have to pick at their ideological corpse.
And that is exactly why you simply can’t allow yourself to be deterred. Pick at that rancid cadaver. Bite entire chunks out of it if you can, attacking it with everything you’ve got. Brexit is weakened and it’s deteriorating with each passing moment but it’s not dead yet. It’s still slithering towards the point of no return, stubbornly refusing to stare its desperate predicament square in the face.
You won’t ever convince the true, dyed in the wool Brexiteer. They’re far too ideologically entrenched by this point so don’t grow despondent when you inevitably fail to drag them from the mire. It doesn’t matter as they’re not your target demographic to begin with. As with all democratic swings, it’s the middle ground where the victory is eventually gained.
Your refutation of Nigel’s anti immigration rhetoric isn’t for the Brexiteer. It’s for the curious onlooker, passive up until this point and pondering which side of the fence to set foot upon. It’s for the Leave voter who cast their ballot in good faith, confident in the belief that breaking free from EU shackles would actually improve life for their family who now suspect they were swindled.
For with every debunked argument, for every changed mind a tiny battle is won – with the ever stumbling Brexit having its momentum further curtailed. Time is our greatest weapon but it must be utilised effectively. Keep on fighting those seemingly insignificant skirmishes and convince people to join the cause.
Because with every extra set of eyes on guard duty, there’s less chance Brexiteers will pull off a Weekend at Bernie’s and smuggle the festering carcass of Brexit over the line.Follow @grahamlithgow