Tag Archives: roger liddle

Fighting Brexit: The virtues of patience

Few presentations have challenged my thinking more than Roger Liddle’s talk at the meeting of the Social Democrat Group, reported earlier on LDV. Delivered with an almost Churchillian eloquence, it set out why a long term perspective may pay off in the end.

The clever thing about the two year transition period requested by Theresa May, he points out, is that it renders the exit itself painless. By means of this “Brexit now, pay later” ploy, the huge cost is kicked well into the future and the electorate robbed of an immediate reason to protest. But the good news, Liddle believes, is that rejoining the EU should be a feasible proposition when the country finally wakes up.

But we must stop Brexit now! That was the reaction of subsequent speakers. And indeed, I myself have emphasised the urgency for a second vote. We have nothing to lose, have we? Yes we have, says Liddle, because if we lost two referendums in a row, our long term prospects would be even worse.

And there is a high risk of such a defeat because referendums are inherently treacherous.

Furthermore we are severely outgunned. Much has been made of encouraging signs that the tide is turning, but the significant statistic about Brexit is that despite being unmitigated twaddle and a piece of criminal insanity, almost half the population still believe in it. That is, in large measure, testament to the success of the Brextremist propaganda machine – our rightwing press.

They were emboldened by their win last time, and are now cruising smugly along, so we are apt to forget their power. But the minute they sniff a referendum brewing you can bet they will go into overdrive.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 56 Comments
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