I feel now is the time to offer the Tory grandees our congratulations for their win in the referendum and, more chillingly for the working class, their win in the race to ditch EU employment laws and restore themselves as unfettered bosses in the UK again.
The Tories are well on track to succeeding in their “Grand Plan” to move the UK into a more Tory-friendly trade deal to benefit the rich and the elite without the encumbrance of the onerous employment laws that the EU has imposed on them.
Long-Term Grand Plan
Their win is no accident; it has been planned for many years and executed perfectly. The Tories have long been known as experts in playing the long game (as opposed to the immediacy of Labour politics) and it started early in the last decade with David Cameron being pushed to the fore of the Tory party. Cameron is, like his colleagues, Eurosceptic holding very anti-EU views but was persuaded to play a more central political rôle for the sake of the “Grand Plan”.
Central to the “Grand Plan” was the fixed-term parliament Act which was finally implemented under the coalition Tory government in 2011. This allowed the Tories a free run in the tail-end of the plan which is now being implemented post-Brexit vote.
Once the Tories had secured enough time to let the “Grand Plan” run its full course they set about winning the 2015 General Election outright. What easier way than to promise a referendum on Europe? The EU was unpopular with rank and file Conservatives in the country and a promised vote would ensure their support; to boost this vote the Tories played up to UKIP letting them play the fear card of the horrors of migration which boosted the xenophobic fears of the country at large and further increased those who voted to get the referendum, both near- and far- left and right xenophobes were added to temporary Tory voters in 2015 and Cameron won easily. The “Grand Plan” was well on track.
To appeal to the moderates in the nation and those who were undecided whether they liked or dis-liked the EU the “Grand Plan” had a further element: Cameron would offer to re-negotiate the UK’s deal with the EU before the referendum; both the pro-EU and the undecided in the nation saw this as reasonable and trusted that if the EU gave us a good deal then the referendum would be to Remain so they had nothing to fear. However the “Grand Plan” required that the re-negotiations be performed clumsily so as to produce anti-EU feeling throughout the nation prior to the referendum. Cameron and the Civil Service performed this admirably.
A crucial part of the hype surrounding the referendum was to ensure that no prior new deal was offered before the Brexit vote: the re-negotiations with Brussels were deliberately conducted in such a way so as to ensure all EU Commissioners and key EU leaders were offended and distanced from the UK; this ensured that prior to Brexit there was silence from the EU when they could have mollified the UK nation and ensured a Remain vote, it also ensured that as soon as a Leave Brexit vote was won there was an outpouring of vitriol from Europe preventing much of a UK “buyers remorse”.
The final section of voters that the “Grand Plan” had to tackle was the Labour vote. During the time that the Tories took us into the EU in the early 1970s the Labour voice was loudly against the EU; during the 1975 referendum powerful Labour leaders did their utmost to bring us out of the EU but they failed. They failed in part because they conducted a campaign based on fear, ie a 1975 style Project Fear, which didn’t cut ice with the nation. However many dyed-in-the-wool Labour members felt those fears realise over the next 20 years as Thatcher et al used the power of the EU elite to batter the working man in the UK and close industries and destroy communities. These working men have long memories and, despite the modern socialist realising the benefit the EU has brought to the working man in the post-Maastrict EU (and the reason why the Tories now want to exit the EU), these voters will vote Exit regardless.
The Tories, being ever-efficient, added more weight to these long-term Labour supporting working men; they ensured last year that a radical left wing leader was elected to the Labour party, a leader who has spent all his life campaigning to leave the EU and someone who would crush the modernist, enlighten pro-EU labour supporters. The #Tories4Corbyn campaign was no accident, it was carefully manipulated as part of the “Grand Plan”. The Tories must have been so delighted to hear recently how Corbyn worked against the Remain campaign while pretending to support it.
The Tories also borrowed another tactic from the 1975 referendum: Project Fear. In 1975 Tony Benn, Barbara Castle and James Callaghan (amongst others) used their version of project fear to try and bring us out of the EU; that tactic failed and so it was obvious that the Remain campaign this time should use again such weak tactics. During the hustings and in the media the Remain camp was roundly ridiculed for the use of Project Fear and many undecided voters were swayed into voting Leave by it.
As the Tories led us into the referendum they had done as much as they could: they had support for a Leave Brexit vote from:
- rank and file Conservatives
- right-wing xenophobes
- left-wing xenophobes
- the EU
- Dyed-in-the wool left-wing working class
- voters who rejected Project Fear
It was no surprise they won. In the week before the referendum they had leads of around 10% in the polls. There was a spanner thrown in the works when Jo Cox was sadly murdered; this was not part of the Tory “Grand Plan” and it caused a swing away from the Leave vote and led to a much closer result than it would have been.
Grand Plan Finale
The “Grand Plan” was not to achieve Brexit – it was to take the UK into a Tory-friendly Trade Deal without the employment laws that the party hates.
The Tory party now has until 2020 to ensure that they sign a new deal; the exit from the EU is no longer in doubt as it will have happened automatically before then due to Article 50.
There are a couple of challenges that could arise during the next three years as the Tories negotiate their “dream trade deal”; the Labour party could offer a challenge and Cameron’s association with previous trade negotiations could be detrimental and his stated desire to stand down before the next election.
A potential Labour party challenge to the Tory plan is being reduced as I write with the re-awaken leadership challenge in the party; the #Tories4Corbyn are working wonders and the party is closer to a split than adding its weight to any negotiations in a trade deal.
The Cameron problem has been dealt with in true Tory fashion, ruthlessly. Cameron had already said he’d stand down as party leader soon so bringing that forward is no hardship; Cameron will be amply rewarded and history will award him the accolades currently hidden in the murky annals of political history.
So let’s all applaud the Tories; they set out a plan many years ago and they are on the final stretch of achieving their desires. Labour has lost and must recognise this.
We, as a party, must learn from the Tories rather than reject them; they are masters at a political game that we play at like children. We must put aside our differences, recognise where, why and how we lost and save both the party and our allies in the European Union.
There is no time to lose.
This is a personal view and does not represent the views of the Labour Party.
Title: Tories win the Referendum