Sunday, 16 October 2016

The Pain of Remain

Michael Gove writes today in the Times (“Brexiteers don’t want a brick wall at our border”) comparing extremist Remainers still fighting Brexit to self-indulgent teenagers. He is aiming this, he says, at Liberals Tim Farron, Nick Clegg, Labour’s Ed Miliband, SNPs Nicola Sturgeon and those who are bringing legal cases against Brexit.

A few Remainers are still filled with anger and even revenge. Some of the most angry own large villas on the Continent into which they have poured their spare income with the intention to retire there in a couple of years. After all, the BBC unwisely ran almost nightly TV programmes about retiring to the Continent for many years. These Remainers openly scorn the masses who have ‘robbed’ them of their dream future of cheap wine and homes with vineyards in France, enjoying freedom of movement, without a passing thought for the downside of globalisation.

As a Christian, one has a duty to attend to distressed behaviour and to view it with compassion. I have spent some time reading their comments online. Some report:
  • a kind of ongoing rage and desire for revenge against those who voted Leave 
  • not being able to sleep and being in a constant state of panic and alarm for their own future expectations of the good life 
  • radical disorientation, a profound loss of identity, the ‘shakes’ 
  • huge shock at finding that others think so differently from them 
  • utter scorn for those who ‘robbed’ them : these people of ‘no intelligence’ who they call ‘pond life’ 
  • being very upset at being lumped in with 'the metropolitan elite' on the grounds that it is a slur on how out-of-touch Remainers were... 
I particularly sympathise with those who trained in EU-related careers who have seen their entire career path dry up, but surely their career ‘risk assessment’ was flawed? They have a case and on the whole most are quietly grieving in a dignified way. Others are stuck, like a damaged record, in the third stage of bereavement, where they started off, which is irrational anger.

Do such reactions lie within the range of normal human emotions? Is this sustained distress, a mild mental condition, like the passing hysteria one saw after Princess Diana died? There seems a lot of latent aggression in it and too much ‘prima donna' behaviour for hysteria, though no one would deny the real emotional and nervous pain underlying it. How can the human mind stand this level of distress for three months?

At first, I felt most sorry for those living abroad who say they now see themselves as trapped by Brexit, forgotten by history, stateless, left high and dry. Then I remembered that they still have a British passport and British relatives, if not a job in the UK, yet. They are not stateless refugees. Again, their risk assessment was flawed. There was always the possibility the UK would leave the EU, in spite of the Pied Piperish BBC’s endless relocation programmes. Aren’t they succumbing to dangerous illusions by indulging in hyper-exaggeration? Surely one must remain realistic, cool and logical, or risk one’s sanity? Remainers' exaggerated complaints include 'never meeting anyone from Europe again, in order to fall in love with them and marry them'. This is pure nonsense.

What can one make of it? Did the EU secretly control the entire British Establishment? Did it have invisible agents everywhere approving the appointment and advancement of only those who support the EU? See this. The Great Mother was suckling the baby but she suddenly vanished, leaving the baby’s narrative and even its sense of self, in shreds. What if your sense of self is not coming from within you or from education or from a superior divinity, but from an outside political body and it disappears? Is that the result of brainwashing and if so, how worrying is it? Why did some see themselves as ‘the elite’ and even Labour voters, while openly scorning the masses as ‘pond life’. Such a contradictory attitude is like that of the cocooned French aristocracy before the French Revolution. At least, Marie Antoinette said "Let them eat cake" not "Spit on the pond life".

Did some gain promotions, income, status, homes in the sun through willingly exchanging their own attachment to Britain for the stateless concept of being 'a citizen of the world' (I wonder why they never say they felt 'a citizen of the EU'?) Had they invisibly succumbed to the infiltration of the EU ideology into every nook and cranny of British society: Parliament, the left wing press, the BBC, the Civil Service, the FCO, the judiciary, the theatre, the Church of England hierarchy?

Did they not realise that the EU narrative had not conquered nor trickled down its benefits to the wider UK population?  Did they not understand that democracy matters more to those who have less? Democracy is the last defence against the remote, the complacent and the mighty.

Worse still, for them, this ‘world citizen’ dream was shattered in one day, not over months or years. In one day, the baby was motherless and bawling - and fighting - and now bringing lawsuits - against democracy. It had no time to build another identity before being hung out to dry on the wrong side of history.

To avoid facing sobering truths, people often turn to ‘displacement’. Instead of healing their own contradictions, they hit out at others, pouring scorn on those who they imagine did ‘this to them’ when actually, inadvertently,  the problem is that their contradictory internal value system has suddenly come to light. Instead of sorting this out, a few of the most resistant are trying to defeat a democratic mandate, through the Courts...

Have they not considered that if they undermine democracy, not only will our entire Parliamentary voting system lose its authority, but a metaphorical mob of pitchforks may suddenly arise. The outcome would be  anarchy. One must feel compassion for their distress while saying with Shakespeare that:  “This way madness lies….”

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