Bloody foreigners eh? Stealing all our jobs and all our women and buying all of our houses and using our NHS services like they bloody well live here… and using our libraries and closing down all the Surestart clinics and rape clinics and crisis centres and bloody well bailing out the banks and causing the financial crisis in the first place and causing all the potholes and making it rain and causing the harvest to fail for the seventh year running… and denying climate change and the Holocaust and simultaneously causing climate change and being behind the bloody Holocaust… it’s all a health and safety political correctness gone mad loony lefty nightmare innit?
One thing is true right now – more or less everybody is angry as fuck about the referendum result. Nobody knows what’s going on really, beyond a vague inkling that we’re living in this era now known as the anthropocene, and because of that we’re all doomed, but everybody is angry right now. It helps. Even most Brexit supporters claim that they haven’t really got what they wanted. So they carry on moaning about foreigners getting access to free widescreen tellies for their suburban mansions, where their British butlers serve them lobsters, champagne, oysters and caviar, using their arse as a fucking table no less! And they get all that for free when they have to queue for three hours outside a food bank in the pissing rain just to get a packet of poo-flavoured crisps.
Obviously, there’s something missing whenever a UKIP type starts on a rant. It isn’t a brain as such. It’s politics.
Voting UKIP and Leave is perfectly understandable given the shitty circumstances involved. Now, UKIP, via the BBC, which effectively turned into Farage TV for about a year, have drip-fed the masses a continuous and nauseating junk diet of righteous self-pity grounded in foreigner hatred. Paul Nuttall is so obsessed with his own victim status that he even fantasised his own attendance at the Hillsborough disaster. Ain’t that something?
That precious victim status is as addictive as crack because it lets you off the hook whenever you fail to live up to the absurdly high expectations placed on you by liberals from positions of privilege in the midst of an ongoing economic crisis when there is zero social mobility. You can see how relieved they all are, whenever they get together in a pub and start banging on about foreigners stealing all their jobs and getting in the way of them living an affluent middle-class life like they were supposed to before everything broke. When other people are being judged you aren’t being judged yourself and you aren’t judging yourself either. For people who can’t frame their experience using ideology or religion or progressive politics or empathy, it’s a respite.
None of that is their fault particularly. Not everybody can hack their way through their own jungle of self-loathing using revolutionary socialism and auto-psychoanalysis as a machete. Some have to become flippant weekend racists instead. Those smug middle-class Remain tossers who say that Leave voters are all racist simpletons who are too old or too poor fail to understand where xenophobia and racism comes from. They fail to understand that it’s like an addictive substance really. It can really get out of hand with some people, but most people can enjoy it in moderation and it doesn’t fuck up their lives. It’s relaxing.
When those hectoring Remainers say the working classes voted Brexit because they are “inherently socially conservative”, or have “xenophobic tendencies”, or are just flat out “racist”, they seem to be completely oblivious to the fact that they’re being just as bigoted and small-minded as the people they’re actually slagging off. They’re presuming that there is some “essence” behind the actions of an entire strata of society that leads them inevitably into pursuing a destructive line of thought – one that is against what they believe is completely right. They’re like the racists who believe that the Koran and the Islamic way of life promotes paedophilia and terrorism and wearing pyjamas in public. What the referendum has pointed out is that there is a sizeable minority of Remain voters, probably the same people as those Labour members who spend most of their time blaming Jeremy Corbyn for the 1795 bread riots, the 2008 financial crisis and everything in-between on Guardian message boards, who like to blame everything on the British working classes.
The really awful part of that is that this hatred stems from people who see themselves as having left wing, progressive pretensions.
UKIP and leave aren’t exactly expressions of something that has come from nowhere. 20 years or so ago the BNP ended up hoovering up a sizeable number of protest votes in working class areas across the country. This wasn’t because there was a sudden spike and an equally sudden decline in racism in working class communities. It was because there was nobody else to vote for who didn’t treat the working classes like shite. Blair had stolen the Labour party and fine-tuned it all to appeal to swing voters in wealthy constituencies. I personally knew several BNP voters and they weren’t mad skinheads who injected meth, headbutted walls and collected Nazi memorabilia. They were sick of being shat on by political parties that all appealed to this one voter who was a prick.
Working class people deserve some relief. Over the last 40 years, their entire culture has been destroyed, and their relevance in society has vanished. New Labour and the Tories have successfully managed to reinvent most of them as scum. Most people from middle class backgrounds do not understand how difficult it is to try and live a life where the game is rigged against you from birth and everybody around you is still programmed to blame you for losing. There is no credible left-wing working class voice, and the supposed “centre left” is saturated by infuriating snobs who nostalgically pine for the glory days of pre-Iraq Blair. They think the most important thing to fight for is giving men with fake tits the right to piss into female toilets. Meanwhile, a sizeable minority of working class people are faced with a stark decision:
“cripple myself with self-loathing or get it all out by blaming foreigners.”
Britain has the lowest rate of social mobility in Western Europe (barring Portugal). If you’re born poor here you’ll die poor. Also, conversely, if you’re born into a position of power, you’ll die in a position of power. This explains why so many people seem so utterly incapable of understanding why Brexit happened and why it’s similar to the Donald Trump phenomenon. Hillary Clinton seemed genuinely baffled about why her talk about the continued existence of a glass ceiling for female millionaires in boardrooms failed to resonate with former factory workers on the rust-belt shooting squirrels for food. The Guardian’s all-too-predictable response was to say it must have something to do with working class misogyny. Such a line efficiently sums up how the working classes of the United States and the UK have been treated by elements of the bourgeois left – as unenlightened objects of transference for whatever continues to beset the liberal class with pangs of guilt.
Indeed, what is strange about the social mobility problem is that it leads to the development of completely divergent class interests. Although the very people who attack the working classes do so out of the same impulse – the need to arrange the world in terms of good versus evil – they are treated in spectacularly different ways. One is a small-minded bigot, the other is a proud, outspoken, defiant voice of liberal sanity in the wilderness.
If you’re working class, you’ll probably have to try ten times harder to succeed at anything at all. Now, because it’s a “classless” society, you’ll find yourself surrounded by people who find everything so much easier than you do. You’ll be compared to them, every day of your life.
Let’s take employment. When you fail over and over again, you’ll start comparing yourself to all of those comfortable middle class people who have successfully applied for jobs. These jobs will be in places staffed with other middle class people, who give jobs to people based on their “first impressions.” That “first impression” will be the same whatever you do. But people will always look at you strangely because you’re working class. They don’t even realise they’re doing it. They just instinctively dislike you, or you instinctively dislike them. Something isn’t right. You’ll get mocked for your accent, people will think you’re stupid. Or if you don’t act stupid you’ll get seen as a weirdo instead. All that subtle discrimination will be funny. If you complain about it, you’ll be seen as “chippy.” “Chippy” is the word middle class people use when working class people express pride in themselves.
If you give up trying out of despair or going mental or whatever, you become unemployed. As well as having the second lowest level of social mobility in Western Europe, Britain also has some of the most viciously punitive policies towards unemployed people in the western world. It’s a beautiful combo.
Unemployed people are routinely kicked down, sanctioned, starved, paraded on exploitation shows on television, imprisoned, laughed at, jeered at, sneered at and mocked. They are commonly called scroungers, parasites, chavs and dossers by people who do work. Unlike other forms of discriminatory language, the use of this kind of terminology is encouraged, and doesn’t qualify as a hate crime as it should be. Generally, if you’re unemployed people believe that you’re stealing people’s money. Other people are programmed and encouraged to hate and judge you.
Finally, and this is the funny bit, it’s all your fault. Remember that, as well as having zero social mobility, Britain is also a country where 4 out of 5 people believe that they are in control of their own destinies. So, when you fail because you’re discriminated against, there is a 4 in 5 chance that you’ll be mad enough to see it all as your fault. It’s all because you aren’t good enough.
All of that guilt, fear, shame, anxiety, humiliation, self-loathing and despair is there because working class people are routinely deprived of the right to live up to, and conform to the standards expected of them by a fake-meritocratic quasi-liberal society. When UKIP come along and put it all down to “mass immigration”, all they’re really doing is exploiting the sense of relief some people get when they aren’t judged, and exploiting the sense of purpose they get from their lives when they are actually listened to. UKIP is a symptom, not a cause.