Snake Oil Factory

I don’t hate Brexit voters. I know and love too many of them to imagine that all those who voted to leave must be automatically terrible people. I am sorry for all of us that they were so receptive to such a con. I can’t really even say that I actually hate the Brexiteers, beyond intense but fleeting emotional responses. They are gaslighters and can have my caustic contempt and bitter snark, with pleasure. I do hate Brexit, though, just in case you still weren’t sure.

A significant number of people have been coerced into acting against their better interests through a systematic glamouring. They have bought a giant vat of snake oil and many are more angry at the people who tell them that it is snake oil than at the manufacturers who have sold it to them. It’s so disheartening. I always thought the British people had a bit more nous than this.

But Britain is dominated by gaslighters and blind folk. A grey kind of magic plays with people’s justifiable angst, their natural hopes and fears and twists them into fantasy and superstition. Some of these charlatans have done this deliberately, knowing full well that they were peddling a scam from which they could personally benefit. Others have done this because they believe the hype of their own over-simplistic ideologies. And what do over-simplistic ideologies lead to? Distortion and irrationality; disingenuous narratives with inadequate and even dangerous solutions.

Britain feels as if she were breaking down, inexorably, as if no one will stop it; as though no one can. Worse, there are people who think they can play god at creative destruction and they actively welcome it. Disappointment and frustration have become daily constants. It’s tedious and exhausting, so much so that occasional bursts of righteous fury can bring as much cathartic relief as does a sense of humour.

The Brexit atmosphere is an all-prevailing fog of interminable, mind-blowing cynicism and ineptitude that has our country running simply to stand still. Britain is not ‘Great’; the Kingdom is not ‘United’. It is confused and miserable. Even if you are paying only a little attention, Brexit is going to overshadow everyone and everything for years to come and you surely cannot fail to feel at least uneasy at how it is unfolding, whether you are for Leave, Remain or Don’t Care (only absolute fools and those fortunate and selfish enough for it to make no difference don’t care).

It is not Remain’s fault that Brexit is collapsing under the weight of its own cognitive dissonance and does not know or agree on what to do. It is not Remain’s responsibility to come up with ways to get it out of the shitpit it is in, even though those who are able to are still trying. Not for the sake of the snake oil factory and its owners, of course but for the sake of the country. Brexit is a collective act of self-harm and this is increasingly self-evident. It would be unpatriotic to say otherwise. Even less patriotic to nod along, saying nothing.


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