Nick Cohen Nick Cohen

Brexit: The triumph of the right.

The only arguments that matter in politics today are the arguments on the right.  The only futures that are possible to imagine are those offered by the different strands of right-wing thought.

The right’s arguments are not good to my mind. Nor are the futures it offers desirable. It is just that the right’s opponents are all but absent from the debate. The future of the country is up for grabs, but only the right hand of England is reaching up to seize it.

The journalist in me almost hopes that the ‘leave’ campaign wins. The lies it has told will then be clear, and the liberal press will have years of fun tearing into Johnson, Gove and Farage.

They promised a bright economic future, and we will make sure that they are held personally liable for every disruption of trade and fall in tax revenues. They promised extraordinary sums of money for the NHS, to keep the subsidies for farmers, to cut taxes, to cut fuel duty…The paradise the British have always dreamed of : Scandinavian levels of public service and American levels of tax.  We will hammer them when their promised paradise never arrives, and make every tax rise and spending cut their responsibility.

They promised that they would end the free movement of European labour, which means that Britain will not be access the single market, which means that we will make sure that every lost job in every exporter will be down to them. They played on the dislike of established immigrants for new arrivals– the least discussed prejudice in multi-cultural societies, by the way – and promised British blacks and Asians that Brexit would allow them to admit their friends and family members from the sub-continent and Caribbean. Naturally, we will take great pleasure in proving the worthlessness of their words once they are in power.

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