The debate raging on the other side of the Atlantic is an important one, whether the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will Remain part of the European Union (EU) or Leave. Generally speaking, two issues have become central, immigration and the economy, with a kind of implicit nationalism forming the backdrop. On June 16, 2016, that nationalism burst to the forefront. Jo Cox, a pro-EU Labour MP and supporter of the third world colonization of Britain, was assassinated by a Thomas Mair, a middle-aged Briton who shouted “Britain First” or “put Britain first,” depending on eyewitness accounts. Fully laying the question of Mair’s motive to rest was his first appearance in court, when he gave his name as “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain.”
Given that Brexit has—in public—focused on mostly the material issues of EU membership, a Remain politician being assassinated by a Leave advocate seems completely out of left field. How could anyone feel so passionately about such a materialistic referendum as to take a life? Isn’t the EU just regulations and a common market? But the Cox assassination, a tragedy for her family and for the occupation government of Britain, has highlighted an issue that the staunchly polite British press was not really including in their framing of Brexit. And that is the identity of Britain itself.
Leave is essentially fighting with one hand tied behind their back on this front. Remain, the preferred choice of the occupation, has no trouble muscularly asserting what they believe British identity is. To the pro-EU camp, Britain is a civic country like the United States, where a set of shared values determines membership in society, and a subdomain of the EU, also defined by a set of shared values. These British/European values are social democracy, open migration, multiculturalism, and anti-nationalism. (The motto of the EU is United in Diversity). All of these positions are 110% politically kosher and give Remain the upper hand in any debate because it has dominant moral authority and falls within the respectable range of a curated Overton window. Leave cannot really come out swinging against any of these without being characterized as Hitlerite.
This moral hegemony goes a long way in explaining the weakness of mainstream Leave advocacy. Anti-EU public figures awkwardly end up calling the EU a Nazi empire or saying they want to control immigration by having Britain released from EU laws but that they aren’t anti-immigration because they still want skilled Commonwealth immigration, i.e non-white immigration. Surely you can’t be called a racist, xenophobic bigot if you call your opponents Hitler and say you want more immigration from Ghana, Pakistan, and Jamaica! Alternatively, Leave gets into economics debates as to whether or not GDP will go up or down, which are totally devoid of emotional appeal. Essentially, Leave politicians cannot make an identitarian case for why Britain should not remain in the EU, which would be the most effective one. They are Britain’s cuckservatives, who cannot even articulate what their nation’s interests are let alone why Remain are wrong on any existential issues. Their Britain is a neoliberal isolationist state with no ethnic character, as opposed to a social democratic statelet with no ethnic character. But in an act of terror that would make a British Frantz Fanon blush, Mair has refocused Brexit.
Why “Death to traitors?” Who is and is not a traitor depends on your definition of the object of loyalty. As a Labour politician and a Remain advocate, Cox was certainly not a traitor to the British government and its third-world clients in her constituency; she was an ardent supporter of multiculturalism and Islam. In supporting the Remain campaign, Cox also supported the eventual right of millions of Muslim Turks to move to anywhere in Europe, including Britain. So if Cox is loyal to Britain and the EU politically, who are these people that feel Remain are traitors to Britain?
An otherwise lousy (((New York Times))) article suggests that English nationalism is what fuels Brexit. Among the ethnic English, once rulers of a globe-spanning British empire, many feel neglected in their rump state which has been reduced to a satellite of continental Europe. United Britain remains one of history’s and Europe’s oddities—officially a quadrinational union of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The latter three have devolved parliaments separate from Westminster, while England is only represented in the multinational legislature. England makes up about 84% of Britain’s population, though the ethnic English are probably a lower share due to foreign immigration and internal migration from the rest of the archipelago. Indeed, their own capital city is ruled by a Pakistani. So it is understandable that the English feel underrepresented in both Britain and Europe, and why they are the driving force behind Brexit. They will have more power in a sovereign Britain than in a client state of the EU. It is logical for Englishmen to view Remain as treacherously anti-English and anti-British in terms of identity politics, but is anyone going to make the case that a majoritarian English-ruled Britain needs to leave the EU to maintain its identity? Cox would never suggest the ethnic English had any right to a self-government; they are a subpopulation of the European Union just like Punjabis or Bengalis. Even Leave would have a hard time saying so plainly what is ultimately at stake.
The politically-correct atmosphere and hostile belief system of Remain and the multiculturalists are increasingly intolerable for both British and English nationalists, and have led to this act of political violence. Imagine for a moment that Britain was still the colonial power in Rhodesia and that instead of a Remain politician in England being assassinated by a British nationalist, a British governor in Africa had been assassinated by a Zimbabwean nationalist. All other things equal, how would the world feel about that? There would be an army of apologists for whatever dindu took out Lord Crumpet! Britain finds itself in a similar position as France when it comes to multiculturalism and nationalism in the aftermath of decolonization—nationalism for the former colonies is permissible but multiculturalism is the law at home, even when it results in civil unrest and violence. So who is the real traitor?
What about “Freedom for Britain?” This statement is uncontroversial among Leave, because Freedom is an inherently vague and notoriously slippery term, and saying it is generally a good way to get low-information voters who agree with you mobilized. (Not to say Remain doesn’t have their own low-info drones…) Freedom is an important idea in politics and an emotionally appealing one. Who would oppose the freedom of a people? Well, opponents of secession during the US Civil War argued that there was no logical end to breaking away from central authority, that the States leaving the Union would be unable to explain why their counties couldn’t leave their States. They were… correct. West Virginia left secessionist Virginia to join the Union, and mini-civil wars were fought in the border States between Unionists and Confederates.
In Britain there is similar talk of a post-Leave Scotland ditching the UK to rejoin the EU, or of Northern Ireland becoming destabilized since the border agreement with Ireland that helped end the Troubles will have to be redone. So freedom for Britain does indeed mean some status quo conditions are going to be up in the air, that Britain might balkanize, but it also means freedom from legislators and bureaucrats in Brussels. And that is a major demand of nationalism, to be free of foreign control. If Britain wants to be free of the EU and Scotland free of Britain, only from a position of paternalism or foreign self-interest can one really argue against it.
I would have liked an honest Brexit debate, but that was never going to happen on a platform that millions of Britons would be able to engage with. The BBC was never going to discuss whether Britain should be in the hands of the four nations of Britain versus whoever happens to be let in by the occupation government as loyal clients and their domestic allies. But that might not matter. Polling in the immediate aftermath of the assassination suggests Leave has gotten a slight edge. Perhaps some voters are seeing the debate in a different light. Perhaps they are seeing that a Britain which enables Rotherhams and black race riots to happen will not be able to protect its democracy from retaliatory and identity-driven violence. Perhaps they are seeing that a British-ruled (and a British-populated) Britain is the only way to live in peace and satisfaction for the majority. It is an absolute tragedy and deplorable that British parliamentarians have to live in fear of violence. But it is also true that diversity + proximity = conflict. We can only hope they see the errors of their ways before it is too late to save the civil society cherished by Anglo-Saxon peoples. What’s missing from Brexit is that it matters whether or not Britain is British.