I heard something profoundly depressing on my local radio station recently. A local fruit farmer was talking about the difficulty of recruiting labour to pick soft fruit, partly due to the fall in the £ and also the perception of being ‘less welcome’ since the referendum vote.
Currently, they have a large group of Bulgarians every year for around 3-4 months over the season. There was a lovely sounding Bulgarian lady interviewed about the work. She said she loved to come here, the money was good and it helped because her town was a winter resort and so this filled the off-season. But what was particularly telling was that when asked if she had experienced any negative comments personally. Her response was basically, “No I haven’t but I have heard stuff on the news”. This has been entirely my own experience when talking with people I work with from outside the UK.
Based on practically every study since the vote, the vast bulk of pro-Brexit social media comment and everyone I know personally who voted for Brexit, people did so fundamentally to re-establish democratic accountability and national sovereignty. In my case it was also to re-position the UK for the next 50 years and beyond as an outward-looking global citizen, good friends, neighbours and trading partners with Europe but not locked-in to a technocratic supra-national political body that did not serve our best interests. Immigration was very much a second or third or fourth consideration. All we were asking for was a semblance of control, the ability to manage and plan resources like housing, health services and education to match the demands over time and to create the time and space for communities to adjust to the changes. Not unreasonable I would have thought?
The “progressive” left (the very definition of an oxymoron), the emotionally incontinent (and consequently very noisy) hardcore Europhiles (who are in love with the idea and ignore much of the reality), the middle class socialists who see the EU as a preferred proxy government to an elected conservative one, the virtue signaling, dopamine addicted, behind security walls living, wealth cushioned celebrities who don’t have to face the consequences of mass uncontrolled immigration and of course the BBC, the funded under threat of prosecution broadcasting arm of the liberal left ‘intelligentsia’ have all, despite the lack of credible supporting evidence, chosen to poison the well of public discourse to salve their bruised egos after their worldview was rejected by millions of honest, decent, quietly patriotic (it’s not a character flaw by the way) everyday British People.
So with their constant portrayal of Brexit voters as, thick ignorant xenophobes, their relentless promotion of the so-called ‘surge’ in hate crimes (we never talk about arrests or prosecutions do we?) and their self-loathing negativity about our country, they have convinced thousands of both EU and non-EU migrants that they are unwelcome, despite the vast majority never having experienced any personal enmity themselves? Marvellous. They have brilliantly created exactly the conditions by their actions that they accused Brexit voters of fostering.
They are probably feeling very pleased with themselves. For that, they have my contempt.