I walked from Liverpool to London. Brexit was no surprise

In Hanley, I started asking people what they thought about the referendum and if they wouldn’t mind telling me how they’d be voting. There was little reticence. “Out,” they would say. “No question.”

“Why?” I’d ask.

“Immigration,” would come the response. “We want our country back.”

The Potteries museum opened in 1981, the year of the People’s March. There I read about Stoke’s industrial heritage, the ceramics, the coal mines, the steel industry, employing tens of thousands of people. All gone now.

Stafford, Cannock, Wolverhampton. Different towns, same message: “There’s no decent work”; “the politicians don’t care about us”; “we’ve been forgotten”; “betrayed”; “there’s too many immigrants, and we can’t compete with the wages they’ll work for”. Nobody used the word humiliation, but that’s the sense I got.

The author, remember this is a “Guardian” piece,  blames “Thatcherism” for both Britain’s decline and Brexit yet the people themselves told him over and over that immigration was the reason. The very people the Labour party abandoned in their support of the Remain camp. If you are going to assign blame then place it where it belongs –  the entire spectrum of political class who don’t seem to have much need for or interest in ordinary citizens any longer.

Unfettered immigration was a Labour party policy, a deliberate effort to reshape Britain’s demographic and “rub the Right’s nose in diversity”.

The huge increases in migrants over the last decade were partly due to a politically motivated attempt by ministers to radically change the country and “rub the Right’s nose in diversity”, according to Andrew Neather, a former adviser to Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett.

He said Labour’s relaxation of controls was a deliberate plan to “open up the UK to mass migration” but that ministers were nervous and reluctant to discuss such a move publicly for fear it would alienate its “core working class vote”.

As a result, the public argument for immigration concentrated instead on the economic benefits and need for more migrants.

Our own political class has been busy working to the same ends, Conservative or Liberal it makes no difference.

  • BillyHW

    We are being ethnically cleansed.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    The Brexit vote was only 51.8% to leave the E.U..
    In my mind, that was a squeaker for a question of sovereignty that should have been bloody obvious.

    • Exile1981

      muslims make up over 8% of uk voters, they seem to have vote stay overwhelmingly.

    • Scotland voted for it’s own interests, they are commies like the EU Apparatchiks as did Northern Ireland. That leaves only London who voted for Remain and even there it was 60/40 though London is over 50% foreign born now. Wales voted out.

    • V10_Rob

      Too many focused on the shiny baubles and touchy feelies of the moment to extrapolate where surrendering sovereignty to the EU leads.

      Assuming British governments don’t squander the next decade or two, they’ll look back on it as necessary short-term pain that put the UK in a much better position than the EU which by then (if it still exists) will have totally degenerated into a cesspit.

  • mauser 98

    The author blames “Thatcherism”??
    Guardian can’t let go

    • Alain

      No matter Lady Thatcher was the best thing that ever happened to Britain since Churchill. But then that is the whole point as the Left hates national greatness and success.

      • dance…dancetotheradio

        When people talk about Thatcherism I see it through the classist lens.
        In the eighties, the so called lower classes hated Thatcher because they were constantly showered with propaganda from the media about how bad she was.
        All of my favourite bands from that period hated Thatcher, too.
        For instance, The Housemartins are well known for being crypto-marxists. Notably, though, the most famous alumnus of The Housemartins is Fat Boy Slim who seemed most entrepreneurial in his approach to the music business.
        But, that wasn’t enough.
        Some of the lower class people took up the challenge of Thatcher and the opportunity it represented to improve themselves.
        As a result you’d read sneering articles from failed academics deriding the plumber with a trade school education who managed to build up a string of shops and become well off.
        How dare the plebes become rich they’d say.
        If anything else, Thatcher shook up the ossified social strata of England and made it possible for anyone to become what they could be.

        • Alain

          Bang on, especially about the role of the media which has only gotten worse.

          • dance…dancetotheradio

            The more disconnected the media become from their traditional sources of revenue the more strident they seem to become.
            I was a paperboy when I was a kid.
            I adored the media.
            When they’ve lost me how can they keep anybody else?

        • A big reason Leave won is because Labour could not get out the working class vote for the Remain cause. Even Whatshername in Scotland could not muster much of a turnout but enough to win.

          • dance…dancetotheradio

            Jeremy Corbyn.

          • canminuteman

            When I was in England with the Canadian army in the mid nineties, there was an EU election going on and I was kind of interested in seeing if I could vote in it. The British officers who I was at school with, who would fall under the demographic “middle class professionals” where totally oblivious about it, had no interest in it whatsoever and I would bet that not a single one of them voted. The EU managed to get to where it did because the vast majority of its subjects weren’t paying any attention.

        • canminuteman

          The whole English class thing is weird. From genealogical research I have discovered that in the 19th century most of my male ancestors were coal miners in northern England. The women all worked in cotton mills. By the twentieth century they were all doing pretty well for themselves. That being said, the vast majority of them emigrated and I have family in the US, Canada, Australia and France. I really don’t have any family left in England.

          • dance…dancetotheradio

            I have family left in England.
            Not that I have ever met most of them.
            I’m so glad my Great Granddad, who I never knew, only knew that he lost his hand in the Great War during a gas attack, was a Canadian.
            And my Granddad.
            I can’t tell you how much I loved that man.
            That would be an abdication of my responsibility.
            I loved him.
            In my own way I can only try to pass that on.

      • John

        The author keeps citing Thatcher as the cause even when everyone else tells him that immigration is the principle culprit. Some just can’t let her go…

  • Hard Little Machine

    The political elite have never given the people a moment’s thought. If WW2 were happening to today they’d simply claim it does not exist.

    • Alain

      Or embrace Nazism like more than one did along with more than one business continuing to do business with the Nazis when it was illegal to do so. Different people today but same mentality as then.