Dr Robert Saunders of Queen Mary College, London has a very good take on the thinking of the Brexiters and how it is not so much delusions of empire that motivates them, but delusions of capability.
He calls it “The Tinkerbell Theory of History”. Tinkerbell was a flawed fairy character from ‘Peter Pan’ who was emotionally deficient.
So he suggests here that “ Britain’s glorious past can be traced to a single source. Not geography. Not empire. Not its natural resources or the immigration that birthed the industrial revolution. Just this: sheer pluck & determination.”
He continues: “Far from being nostalgic for empire, the dominant folk memory of British history is of “plucky little Britain”, standing with its backs to the wall in the face of overpowering odds. It’s the story of the underdog, hopelessly outnumbered but somehow finding a way through.”
but ends up with “This [failed memory, or] “forgetting” comes at a price: it tells a nation that has lost its empire, its military pre-eminence & its economic supremacy that (to coin a phrase) “Nothing has changed”. It reduces geopolitics to faith-healing, in which anything is possible so long as we believe.”
Of course, Britain was never alone – it was supported by the empire against Germany, and even then needed Russia and the US to avoid humiliating defeat. Plucky we may have been, but successful and alone we definitely were not.
But we still have to believe in Brexit.
Belief is a religion and not a political strategy.
As the conclusion he says “politics is not a fairy tale and history does not owe us a happy ending“.
And that is probably the most frightening.
Rather as Theresa May constantly cites what people tell her ‘up and down the country’, when we know she never, ever, meets ordinary people up and down the country, we have to conclude that our government is deluded and probably – let’s face it – mentally ill. That is what neoliberalism does to people.
No wonder, with troops on standby for the New Year, and a self imposed national crisis, which really amounts to the suicide of the UK, both as a country and as individuals within it – and all with the support of the UK’s own government, even the ‘Times’ suggests that with a no deal Brexit the suicide rate will increase.
I’m sure it will, as will crime and social disorder.
The government is beginning to become tyrannical – they need to listen.
Otherwise, having lost control of Parliament, they are likely, I suggest, to lose control of the country.
Which is why I reluctantly post this image: