FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Brexit “Who Dunnit?”

OK, I admit it: I couldn’t follow this season’s Westworld and got more and more lost as each episode moved deeper into a narrative veered further into the multi-temporal, back-and-forth trajectories.  I gave up after the fourth episode. And this is exactly how if feel about many subjects that cause my eyes to glaze over when I hear (or am forced to hear) about anything to do with: business management, mobile phone apps, financial brokers, and how exciting someone’s wedding is going to be (which it probably will be for some guests unless they offer marijuana to their guests which is now apparently a thing at weddings).  I’m pretty good at following complex narratives, but like everyone, I have my limits and just as I am finding Westworld impossible to follow, I am finding that following this third season of Brexit an even more arduous task then the previous two seasons.

Let’s recap shall we.  In 2016, there was a referendum by those in the UK to decide whether to vote to leave or to remain in the European Union. Sounds simple? Well it is, if you organise such a referendum in tandem with the media promotion of a series of lies and vast misrepresentations such that nobody has a clue as to what they are voting for (aside from the PR spin they were handed) and believe that said referendum is consultative and not binding (as we were told). Roughly speaking the “vote leave” folks tended to sold on the false promises of working class “revolt” with several promises among which were: a fall in NHS waiting times thanks to the £350m diverted weekly from the EU to the NHS; a cut in immigration; a free trade deal; a rise in wages and increase in jobs;  a reduction on school class sizes; and a cap on rents. Since the first episode of Brexit (and let’s not forget the left’s Lexit), things have not gone as planned. 

Scripts were rewritten, principle actors left the production, others went on to become BFFs with U.S. President Donald Trump, and there has been such an extreme shift in characters, that nothing about the 2016 opening season of “Brexit, the musical” looks the same today. While the Tories have demonstrated breathtaking incompetence given that every single actor involved in pushing for Brexit has resigned, disappeared, or changed campaign promises, I am equally as concerned by what is going on the other side of the aisle, where the situation is no better and astonishingly falling into it’s own tragicomedy. Some pundits critique the failure of Jeremy Corbyn to step up to the challenge to address the reality that two-thirds of Labour MPs are Remainers and the looming problem that Gina Miller’s court case present for the sovereignty of Parliament. And just yesterday it was announced that SuperDry co-founder, Julian Dunkerton, has donated £1m to the campaign for another EU referendum. As if we need another season!

As soon as the Brexit result was announced two summers ago, I immediately saw reverberations within academia as many colleagues had grants in the air whcih depended on EU money.  Most didn’t go forward. Many other colleagues chose to return to their homelands of France, Germany, and Austria seeing the writing on the wall.  In recent months U.K. scientists have expressed extreme concern as to how Brexit has already begun to affect the country’s ability to draw in the best talent through research fellowships. There has already been a 5% decrease by scientists outside the UK noted from 2015-2016 to 2016-2017.  Since it was launched last month, leading British scientists to include two Nobel prize winners are among the 687,000 who have signed the “Final Say” petition launched by the Independent asking for a referendum on the final Brexit deal.

Brexit is awash in a series of myths that have led to this massively confusing situation today. We are witnessing an abuse of public confidence from the stories we were told two years ago to the promises made to those on both sides of the aisle about what would happen either way. And not surprisingly, we wake up every morning to a flurry of news that is so enigmatic, that we quickly switch over to the business news or another article on the latest smart phone for “light reading.” Yes, it’s that bad.

Brexit has become so confusing that it is quickly becoming boring.  So boring that I am now considering giving Westworld another go-around since it’s either that or to assume that Mrs. Peacock killed Colonel Mustard with a bridge trophy in the study when it comes to the future of the U.K.  At least a Cluedo ending, even if confusing, is far more entertaining.

More articles by:

Julian Vigo is a scholar, film-maker and human rights consultant. Her latest book is Earthquake in Haiti: The Pornography of Poverty and the Politics of Development (2015). She can be reached at: julian.vigo@gmail.com

Weekend Edition
January 18, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Melvin Goodman
Star Wars Revisited: One More Nightmare From Trump
John Davis
“Weather Terrorism:” a National Emergency
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Sometimes an Establishment Hack is Just What You Need
Joshua Frank
Montana Public Schools Block Pro-LGBTQ Websites
Louisa Willcox
Sky Bears, Earth Bears: Finding and Losing True North
Robert Fisk
Bernie Sanders, Israel and the Middle East
Robert Fantina
Pompeo, the U.S. and Iran
David Rosen
The Biden Band-Aid: Will Democrats Contain the Insurgency?
Nick Pemberton
Human Trafficking Should Be Illegal
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
Did Donald Get The Memo? Trump’s VA Secretary Denounces ‘Veteran as Victim’ Stereotyping
Andrew Levine
The Tulsi Gabbard Factor
John W. Whitehead
The Danger Within: Border Patrol is Turning America into a Constitution-Free Zone
Dana E. Abizaid
Kafka’s Grave: a Pilgrimage in Prague
Rebecca Lee
Punishment Through Humiliation: Justice For Sexual Assault Survivors
Dahr Jamail
A Planet in Crisis: The Heat’s On Us
John Feffer
Trump Punts on Syria: The Forever War is Far From Over
Dave Lindorff
Shut Down the War Machine!
Glenn Sacks
LA Teachers’ Strike: Student Voices of the Los Angeles Education Revolt  
Mark Ashwill
The Metamorphosis of International Students Into Honorary US Nationalists: a View from Viet Nam
Ramzy Baroud
The Moral Travesty of Israel Seeking Arab, Iranian Money for its Alleged Nakba
Ron Jacobs
Allen Ginsberg Takes a Trip
Jake Johnston
Haiti by the Numbers
Binoy Kampmark
No-Confidence Survivor: Theresa May and Brexit
Victor Grossman
Red Flowers for Rosa and Karl
Cesar Chelala
President Donald Trump’s “Magical Realism”
Christopher Brauchli
An Education in Fraud
Paul Bentley
The Death Penalty for Canada’s Foreign Policy?
David Swanson
Top 10 Reasons Not to Love NATO
Louis Proyect
Breaking the Left’s Gay Taboo
Kani Xulam
A Saudi Teen and Freedom’s Shining Moment
Ralph Nader
Bar Barr or Regret this Dictatorial Attorney General
Jessicah Pierre
A Dream Deferred: MLK’s Dream of Economic Justice is Far From Reality
Edward J. Martin
Glossip v. Gross, the Eighth Amendment and the Torture Court of the United States
Chuck Collins
Shutdown Expands the Ranks of the “Underwater Nation”
Paul Edwards
War Whores
Peter Crowley
Outsourcing Still Affects Us: This and AI Worker Displacement Need Not be Inevitable
Alycee Lane
Trump’s Federal Government Shutdown and Unpaid Dishwashers
Martha Rosenberg
New Questions About Ritual Slaughter as Belgium Bans the Practice
Nicky Reid
Panarchy as Full Spectrum Intersectionality
Jill Richardson
Hollywood’s Fat Shaming is Getting Old
Nyla Ali Khan
A Woman’s Wide Sphere of Influence Within Folklore and Social Practices
Richard Klin
Dial Israel: Amos Oz, 1939-2018
David Rovics
Of Triggers and Bullets
David Yearsley
Bass on Top: the Genius of Paul Chambers
Elliot Sperber
Eddie Spaghetti’s Alphabet
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail