“Which if not Victory is Yet Revenge”
Thoughts on the Tory Apocalypse
by Sean Gabb
1st December 2018
As I write, those who demand a second referendum on the European Union seem ever more likely to have their way. Their argument is: that it is now two years since we were asked to vote on leaving; that no one expected the process of leaving to end in the present shambles; that we should be asked what we now think of leaving. These calls are an obvious fraud on the electorate. Since the Danes rejected the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, the custom in Europe has been for any unfavourable referendum result to be followed by another vote, in which the preferred result is given. This was done to the French, the Dutch and the Irish. It is now being done to us.
You should never overlook incompetence as a cause of great events. Even so, the present crisis in British politics does look like a conspiracy. Theresa May had more than two years to announce a clean break, and then to negotiate whatever arrangements with Brussels would minimise disruption in the short term. Given moderate firmness and a few bribes, she could have had all this in place by the Christmas of 2016. Instead, she promised and promised while delaying. At last, with no time for any easy alternative, she announced a “deal” that amounts to treason. It has united both sides of the argument in outrage – most of it, I have no doubt, genuine. Thus softened, thus brought within four months of what we are assured is the cliff edge of leaving without a deal, the idea is that we are to be asked again.
I do not know if there will be a second referendum, but I suspect there will be. I would like to think that a vast mass of anger will descend on our rulers, and the 52 per cent of 2016 will become the 75 per cent of 2019. But I doubt this. There are enough two-legged sheep in this country to vote as they are directed. Even if there were a fair set of options on the ballot paper – the existing Deal, no deal, or remain, and some kind of proportional voting so that a fifty per cent majority can be had – there would be a majority for calling the matter off. However the European Court of Justice decides if our notice of withdrawal can be unilaterally withdrawn, I do not doubt that, for a crippling price, our “friends” in Europe would let us stay.
If this were to happen, what next? There might be civil unrest – though I doubt this as well. But one thing is reasonably sure. This is that the System will have delegitimised itself. The European issue will not go away. Nothing will be the same again. Here is what I think will happen – and partly what, even when I am less angry than I am, I may want to happen.
First, the Conservative Party will die as an electoral force. We gave these people one job to do in 2016. Indeed, as I recall, they took exclusive control of the job, freezing out everyone else. Whether from uselessness or wickedness, they messed it up. They will be punished as soon as there is an election. Speaking for myself, unless a Conservative Government leads us out of the European Union in March 2019 with a better deal than Theresa May has brought back, I will not vote Conservative again.
Second, there will be a Labour Government led by Jeremy Corbyn. This will do nothing to increase immigration – which has already been running at full pelt since around 1990. It will make the country into no more of a police state that it has already been made or projected by the Conservatives. But it may abolish the Monarchy and the House of Lords, and disestablish the Church of England, and remove charitable status from the public schools, and load real taxes on the rich, and drive a lot of financial business from the City of London.
Again speaking personally, I am inclined to welcome these changes. The Queen has failed in every duty she promised at her coronation to undertake. Her progeny are embarrassing trash. It would be nice to change the line of succession, as in 1701. But, since this will not be done, a republic will free us from a century of Charles the Mad, William the Insipid and George the Almost-Certainly-Useless. The real House of Lords was abolished in 1998. Its successor is a clique of leftists in ermine. I will say nothing of the Church of England. But the rich are mostly fair game. In any community but the openly despotic, they are suffered to exist so long as enough of them show what the Italians called virtù. All the very rich I can see are either sucking like mad on the public nipple, or beneficiaries of more complex scams enabled by a bent financial system. Away with them all. They are none of them our friends. If Jeremy Corbyn wants to rid us of them – even if for other reasons than mine – I will shed no tears.
Third – well, that remains to be seen. All I will say is that, unless they pull off the greatest diplomatic coup since Disraeli went to Berlin, the Conservatives have lost my vote. Short of that miracle, every road away from our present state of public degeneracy leads though the total and irreversible destruction of the Conservative Party.