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The peasants’ revolt.


THE PEASANTS HAVE begun to revolt. They’re not on the barricades, filling the Molotov Cocktails, or rioting down the streets (not yet, anyway), but their frustration and anger have disturbed the establishment. Disturbed them to such an extent that Cameron, the biggest chancer in recent British history and the Chamberlain of our time, has allowed them a referendum on the EU. Given the ignorance of the electorate on EU matters, the drag of apathy and the huge weight of the establishment bearing down through the media, I suspect he’ll pull it off. It won’t, however, be the end of the matter.

We have a Conservative Party led by a self-declared progressive who does not espouse a single conservative principle; a Labour Party led by a man whose career has been one long adolescent socialist posturing, whose previous opposition to the EU has now had to be flipped into reluctant and unconvincing support. A Conservative Party that is as social democratic as its supposed opponent, a Labour Party that no longer works for the interests of the people it was set up to help but who it now finds rather distasteful. Both parties collude with a European project that is dissolving national sovereignty and identity. Both parties pretend that such dissolution is not happening.

If you ever wanted an example of hubris, self-interest, and the total betrayal of political duty, then you could not provide a better one than the European Union. Our establishment — politicians, think tanks, academia, civil servants, the media — have all colluded in this. They’ve told us that our ability to given ourselves has not been reduced, when it clearly has; they’ve denied that the goal of the project is a single European state, when the panjandrums of the Commission declare in public for a United States of Europe. And they tell us it is all right for us to be worried about immigration – as long as we don’t talk about it, because that’s racist.

The establishment attitude to the EU is the same as their attitude to everything else: they know what’s best… irrespective of the consequences.

The establishment attitude to the EU is the same as their attitude to everything else: they know what’s best because they agree with the political establishment throughout Europe about what is best, irrespective of the consequences. These are the people who can, without a scintilla of shame, state that the EU protects and creates jobs, when unemployment rates across the Union are horrendous. Unemployment in Greece, for instance, stands at 24 percent, youth unemployment at 48.9 percent. In France unemployment is 10.2 percent, youth unemployment at 24.6 percent. These are the unpalatable facts the media fail to mention when interviewing MPs.

That the political elites have proved themselves to be a gang of liars is not surprising, given they’re politicians. But perhaps the scale of their deceit and self-delusion is worse than ever, as is the utter contempt with which they now treat the electorate. You can get away with this for quite a long time but eventually the peasants will get uppity.

The passions aroused by the referendum, the divisions opened up by it, the fact that Cameron felt he had to give it the go-ahead as a means to lance the boil of discontent, are indicative of a sizable rejection of the political establishment. They are no longer trusted. They prove, day in, day out, that they deserve no trust.

A vote for leave will not quench this discontent even if it is accepted, because the same establishment will still be in place, conducting business in the same old way. A vote for remain will not quench it either, however much the establishment will crow over its victory, because the problems will accumulate and worsen. Too many peasants have become aware of what’s going on. This is not the end of the argument. It is only the beginning of a long revolt.

suxcoverCurrente Calamo columnist, poet, writer and lecturer Michael Blackburn lives in Lincolnshire . From 2005–2008 he was the Royal Literary Fund fellow at the University of Lincoln where he now teaches English Literature and Creative Writing. His poetry has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies over the years, including Being Alive (Bloodaxe) and Something Happens, Sometimes Here (Five Leaves Press). His most recent collection is Spyglass Over The Lagoon. A selection of his Fortnightly Currente Calamo columns, Sucks To Your Revolution: Annoying The Politically Correct (US), is available as a Kindle ebook.



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