Scaremongering seems to have become somewhat of a buzzword in recent times. For each and every warning of Brexit induced economic calamity that passes the lips of an intellectually sound and extensively qualified expert, a caddish, booze drenched perpetual parliamentary failure will immediately materialise to indignantly dismiss it all as “Project Fear” – a phrase which would be far more at home adorning the bass drum in a sadly forgotten 70s progressive rock outfit than it is muddying the waters of British political discourse.
If you’re expecting something more substantial, I’m afraid I can only disappoint. There are no robust counterpoints, no detailed mathematical breakdowns which clearly demonstrates exactly how and why the experts are wrong – those two words are really all that’s on offer here. Save for the insinuation that such gloomy predictions are all the work of a nebulous cabal of globalist Remainers funded entirely by George Soros – a man who invokes such unbridled rage within Nigel Farage that I can only presume Soros ran over his dog at some point.
As illogical as such flagrantly empty propaganda is however, it’s undeniable that it does the trick. So much so that it’s allowed disconcerting amounts of bona fide scaremongering to slither its way into the zeitgeist – alarmingly unchecked.
Case in point being this recent screed of stupefying insanity from Tony Parsons – a piece which includes a leap of logic so vast, it circumnavigates the globe twice.
Upon first coming across this festering morsel of unfettered bilge, I was initially expecting to have enough in the way of usable material in order to craft a moderately detailed response. However, having waded through this especially sorry portion of the septic swamp that is Parsons’ mind, it became apparent that there wasn’t anything even vaguely substantive to respond to. All I got was that there’s a considerable far right presence in Germany, Merkel’s power is waning and as such we must proceed with Brexit otherwise violence will ensue in Britain. An argument so lacking in logical coherence, it’s rather difficult to view it as an argument at all – instead being easier to categorise as an oblique threat should Tony and his fellow travellers not get their own way.
Not to do Mr Parsons a complete disservice, there was a sliver of a rationale behind his ramblings – albeit one with such a flimsy structural integrity that it would buckle under pressure in a similar manner to ladder constructed entirely out of paper.
Namely, the betrayal of democracy argument.
It’s an argument you’ll hear a lot. Fantasist enabler in chief Nigel Farage is most certainly a fan, going as far to threaten to “pick up a rifle” should the great Brexit swindle not come to pass. Of course should Brexit be defeated in a second vote, this would merely be democracy in action as opposed to a treasonous act of betrayal; a fact which should be clearly apparent to anyone possessing sufficient intellect to outwit the average pebble. So why, despite the absurdity of the argumentation and the staggering hypocrisy behind the promises of civil unrest, does it remain so popular?
Simple. It appeals to the base.
There’s nothing quite like perpetuating a victimhood narrative should you wish to invoke fury amongst your ranks. Everyone remembers the propagandist nonsense that was spewed out in the run up to the referendum after all. You know, how swathes of suspicious dark skinned chancers are flooding onto our shores from far off foreign lands, destroying what it means to be British and hell bent on stealing your specific sense of freedom in particular? Xenophobic bollocks perhaps, but it got people angry and inspired the Brexit base to mobilise.
Though this tactic is far from self sustaining. Not only do you lose the mantle of ‘downtrodden underdog’ when you’ve supposedly won the day, there’s also potential repercussions that come with the victory being so Pyrrhic in nature that it’s only a matter of time before your disciples realise they’ve been hoodwinked.
So what do you do? Why switch to another teat of imperceptible persecution of course. Keep stoking those fires of resentment, continue to blame the EU for Brexit’s every failing and, most insidiously of all, implant the idea that the self absorbed elitist establishment are somehow trying to subvert the will of the common man – an act so heinous that, by way of unscrupulous implication, violence is presented as the only solution; a two pronged assault on the very foundations of a functioning democracy that serves to both intimidate and spawn dissent. If it’s good enough for Donald Trump, it’s certainly good enough for his most simpering of lickspittles.
Most depressingly of all, this leads us onto perhaps the most bitter of ironies. The truth is, widespread civil unrest only really occurs in a country that is crumbling under the weight of its own dysfunction. Things haven’t really been too bad in recent times for Britain. There’s been pockets of disruption for sure, but nothing that has infected the general populace to the extent that it’s created a self sustaining uprising of revolt capable of bringing the country to its knees. As long as there’s food on the shelves, employment opportunities to be had and a functioning healthcare system people are generally happy to mind their own business, never letting their sense of disgruntlement escalate to chucking a Molotov through the window of their local police station.
Should Nigel Farage get his way and a no-deal Brexit does indeed transpire however:
Scaremongering? Perhaps – but this isn’t the work of the eternally nefarious George Soros trying to swipe the sovereignty out of your back pocket.
This is our own government.Follow @grahamlithgow