We are often told that Leavers are blinded by their xenophobia and hatred – and that facts and figures of our imminent demise are lost on us, solely because our vision is clouded by this bigotry and ignorance. But I would argue it is the privileged middle classes and metropolitan elites who are the blind ones. However, rather than being blinded by (alleged) bigotry, they are blinded by greed and personal gain.
The average working person in this country voted, bravely, to grasp their freedom back from a foreign power and to part the privileged few from the Gravy Train of the EU, who buys its loyalty with the taxes of the poor. For years EU officials, unelected goons and pencil pushers within their sprawling Leviathan of a government have enjoyed salaries higher than our own Prime Minister, seemingly endless expenses and private healthcare allowances. Not to mention the on site perks like shopping malls and nail salons (meanwhile back in Britain the High Street is struggling to survive).
We are told to be grateful and that the EU showers us with riches too. But for most people living in the ‘left behind’ Brexit heartlands of this country, it is pretty hard to work out what exactly the benefits are. Yes, the EU funds Universities and more kids than ever have had the opportunity to go to uni – but the fact of the matter is that far too many people are going to university and training to do jobs in entirely saturated markets where there are poor job prospects. Meaning that the poorer young people who went to university to try and make a better life for themselves, remain unemployed and underpaid. Fat lot of good all that the EU funding for training and educational establishments has done, eh? And the UK is a net contributor to the EU; why can’t choose how to spend the money we send to Brussels ourselves?
To add insult to injury, these young people can’t even fall back on traditional industries within their communities any more. Why? Because the EU is destroying them and dismantling them piece by piece. In coastal or farming communities, quotas and regulation make it hard to eke out a living, and our fish end up getting caught by foreign boats in our own waters. As an island nation, this is cuckoldry to the highest degree. The EU have even paid our Fishermen to destroy their boats and bring to an end the generations of family history in these communities. Then, in the cities and towns, small businesses and sole traders are held back by reams of unnecessary regulations – making it impossible for them to compete fairly and effectively with the big corporations, multinationals and monopolies; all of whom have lobbyists permanently embedded within EU buildings, corridors and conference rooms.
Not content with leaving these people behind and decimating their communities, the poorest in society and the young unemployed are then blocked by, EU protectionism policies, from accessing cheaper and often better produce from nations outside of Europe, because of tariffs. A total immorality when we consider that there are still British children, who are so poor, they are qualifying for free school meals because their parents can’t afford to feed them. A concept all the more enraging when we remember Europe’s history of artificially raising food prices to benefit French farmers and disadvantage poorer consumers.
Even our neighbourhoods are being broken up by EU policy. Our once tight knit working class communities are being annihilated by the influx of seasonal workers flooding and over saturating the market. I think back to the Cambridgeshire constituency I grew up in, that neighbours our Fenland farming communities. During the harvest, locals are passed over for jobs, not because they aren’t willing, but simply because they can’t support their families on the poverty wages being offered by the agencies supplying seasonal workers.
Indeed, lured to Britain with a promise of work during the harvest, often our European brothers don’t always find work, leaving many struggling to survive. This glut only drives pay down further, meaning once bustling streets of pretty Victorian terraces are now being bought up and turned into grotty bedsits and boarding houses by big agencies to stash their workers, outbidding hard working families looking for a place to call home. Is this how we want to treat our neighbours, communities and European friends?
People in these areas came out in force to vote Leave, not out of hatred for people from other countries, but because of a system and an institution that failed them over and over again. And when they complained, they got laughed at or ignored. Brussels; Parliament: you reap what you sew.
Let us be frank about this. It is very hard to worry about fatuous, imaginary threats to the economy when you are already so dissatisfied with the status quo. Many have worked hard to keep their small businesses afloat and to send their children to university; but now, that all means nothing because it’s been devalued by that far away power siphoning off their hard earned money to fund an art gallery, dying industry or failed business that they think we’re all too dense to understand. It’s insulting to ask our people to remain as supplicants and whipping boys to the EU so you can keep on receiving funding into your big businesses, NGO’s and corporations.
No matter how bumpy our road to freedom may be – and Remainers are making it their business to ensure it’s as bumpy as possible – it is better than being chattel to privileged European demagogues who care not one bit for your people or your freedom, but purely for their own already plump pockets, filled with wads of British money and the souls of our dying communities.
Charlotte Winterton is a Political Science graduate & blogger. Follow her on twitter: @charlotte_w1991