by Leon Tressell
The vote to exit the EU has shocked the financial and political elites and led to massive turmoil on global stock markets. The corporate media is full of shocked pundits lamenting the democratic decision of British people for Brexit. Brexit voters are being blamed for everything from the rise in racism against immigrant families to the increased dangers of terrorist attacks.
The corporate media both in Britain and internationally are furious with the British electorate for voting for Brexit. They never saw it coming and still don’t understand why ordinary people voted for Brexit. More than this, they still don’t understand how the Brexit vote reveals how completely out of touch the corporate media and the political/financial elites are with the millions of working class people who voted for Brexit.
Let’s be very clear about this: the vote for Brexit was a working class rebellion against the financial and political elites of Britain who have presided over a massive redistribution of wealth in favour of the super rich leaving a fifth of the population in poverty. Analysis of the referendum vote shows how the poorer an area was the higher the vote was for Brexit.
The working class stood up to massive pressure from the Bremain camp that included: all of the mainstream political parties, the Bank of England, CBI, IMF, ECB, Obama, the World Bank and the trade union bureaucrats.
The vote for Brexit shows how out of touch the establishment advocates of the EU are with working class people. Millions of working class people are struggling to get by with declining wages, incessant benefit cuts, zero hour contracts, mass unemployment, food banks and poor housing that are putting their families and communities under intense strain. On top of this, working class people suffer the most from the cuts to the welfare state and the incessant cuts to local council services.
Working class people are not stupid they can how the EU is a fundamentally undemocratic organisation that is completely unaccountable to them. The secret negotiations between the EU and the Obama administration over TTIP, which members of the European Parliament have no say over, proves conclusively how this is an organisation run for the benefit of the too big to fail banks and the multi-national corporations.
They can see how the undemocratic EU has bludgeoned the people of Greece into living in permanent austerity and mass poverty despite a referendum last year that decisively rejected austerity measures. Obama’s favourite economist Paul Krugman called the EU’s intervention into Greece last year a ‘coup d’etat’.
The advocates of Bremain such as Mark Carney (ex-Goldman Sachs), Prime Minister Cameron (from a tax avoiding banker family) George Osborne (son of a Baronet) warned working class people that Brexit would lower their living standards more than any other group in UK society.
However, millions of working class people were not taken in by the crocodile tears coming from those responsible for creating a massively unequal society. Quantitative easing and ZIRP have made the super rich fabulously richer as they have benefited from the massive bubbles on the stock market and in property. The top 10% of society own 45% of all wealth totalling over £5 trillion while the bottom 50% of society own a pathetic 9% of the wealth.
Prime Minister Cameron’s government has presided over a savage attack upon welfare benefits which have led to one and half million benefit sanctions leaving people totally destitute and leading to hundreds of people committing suicide. The attack on welfare benefits for disabled people have been so severe that it has prompted the UN to launch an investigation into the human rights violations of disabled people.
The political and financial elites who advocated that Britain should stay in the EU are puzzled as to why so many working class people stubbornly support Brexit. They are incapable of comprehending the anger, pain and suffering of millions of working class people who feel increasing contempt towards a political and financial elite that has no understanding of their daily lives. Over 13 million live in poverty (1 in 5 of the population) while 15 million live in inadequate housing conditions.
This inchoate anger at the daily reality that confronts them has few outlets in life. The EU referendum provided working class people with a means of sticking two fingers up at the political and financial establishment which now presides over a very divided country along lines of class and geography.
The Brexit vote has led to unprecedented turmoil in both of the main political parties in Britain.
A weak, divided Conservative government now faces a further period of infighting as it selects a replacement for David Cameron. The raw wounds within the Conservative Party will not be able to heal as Brexiteers such as Justice Secretary Michael Gove and former Defence Secretary Liam Fox go head to head with those who backed staying in the EU such as Home Secretary Theresa May and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb.
The financial and political elites have suffered a major defeat. The Conservative Party is one of the oldest and most successful political parties in history and has served the British ruling class well for over two hundred years. Now it faces an unprecedented crisis and is unable to effectively govern. It will face huge challenges as the world economy slides into another recession.
This situation presents the opposition Labour Party with a golden opportunity to deal a knock out blow to the Conservative government’s programme of endless austerity and huge public spending cuts. However, the right wing of the Labour Party known as the Blairites, after former Prime Minster Tony Blair, have seen fit to launch their long awaited coup against its socialist leader Jeremy Corbyn.
The ‘Red Tories’ within the Parliamentary Labour Party have let the Conservative government off the hook and are going to launch a leadership challenge to Corbyn. They have remorselessly attacked Corbyn in the corporate media and effectively acted as agents of the ruling class in the Labour movement.
This has provoked a furious backlash from thousands of trade unionists and socialists all over Britain who see Corbyn as offering an opportunity to defeat the austerity agenda of the Conservatives that has inflicted hardship and suffering upon millions of people. If Corbyn can harness the huge mood of discontent revealed by the Brexit vote he has the opportunity to not only defeat the right wing of the Labour Party, but to go on to defeat the Conservatives in the next general election. An election that may be months away.