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Snobbish, patronising Remainers got what they deserved

PUBLISHED: 12:27 13 December 2019 | UPDATED: 16:59 13 December 2019

Steven Downes says some Remainers pushed voters towards pro-Brexit parties in the General Election       Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Steven Downes says some Remainers pushed voters towards pro-Brexit parties in the General Election Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

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I hate to say I told you so.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has destroyed representative left-wing politics in Britain, says Steven Downes     Photo: Joe Giddens/PA WireLabour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn has destroyed representative left-wing politics in Britain, says Steven Downes Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Actually, I'm adept at being smug, so I rather like it.

In April, I wrote that I would vote "leave" in the event of a second referendum on Europe. And I explained how the attitude emanating from some (possibly many) Remainers was alienating swathes of the electorate - and threatening to push more people into the arms of the Conservatives and Brexiteers.

Among other blatherings, I wrote: "Too many people have dismissed pro-Brexit voters as racist, narrow-minded, stupid and uneducated.

"Some are, yes, but then some Remainers are Champagne-sipping snobs who believe themselves superior, and have no understanding of the social and economic factors influencing people."

I went on: "It might seem OK to light up the dinner party with your shimmering witticisms about "leave" voters, but maybe we should all try walking in their shoes.

"If you ventured out of London and the Home Counties (and the Golden Triangle) you'd find a fair amount of resentment."

Today we see, in part, the results of that behaviour - a massive swing from red to blue, a sizeable Conservative Party Commons majority, and the Liberal Democrats almost extinct (poetic justice, perhaps, after pledging to reverse Brexit?).

We also see Labour reliving the past.

In the 1983 General Election, the party was led by far-left Michael Foot, who was hammered by the Tories under Margaret Thatcher. It took 14 years before Labour took back Number 10.

In 2019, led by far-left Jeremy Corbyn, Labour was hammered by the Tories under Boris Johnson. Right now, 14 years seems like an optimistic estimate of how long it'll be in the wilderness.

The second referendum is a moot point, for I cannot see it happening. However, in the light of the General Election results, the reasons still ring true.

I'd far rather stay in Europe. But I have just as much disdain for the patronising, snooty Remainers as I do for the Little Englanders who supported Brexit.

In the end, though, only one side had the backing of democracy. And, as so many wound-licking failed candidates are today discovering, you dismiss democracy and look down upon voters at your peril.

Why have so many industrial Labour strongholds turned Tory? Why have marginal Conservative seats become so safe that they could put Baldrick up for future elections, with a Free Turnips For All manifesto?

People prefer certainty, so Get Brexit Done was always going to resonate more with voters than Jeremy Corbyn's promise to make no promises. While he was deciding not to decide, Mr Corbyn was effectively staring out of the window while the Labour car crashed.

History may well judge him as the man who drove a stake into the heart of representative left-wing politics in this country.

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I lean to the left (steady...) and I am disgusted with how Mr Corbyn has operated.

I think voters also prefer not to be taken for fools.

When voting "out" in an in-out referendum, there is an expectation that we will soon be out. Three-and-a-half years later, we are still in, but doing the hokey-cokey: "In, out, in, out, shake it all about."

Mr Corbyn could come up with nothing better than putting his left foot in, then taking his left foot out. The Lib-Dems wanted to turn around - which is not what it's all about.

People are tired of the uncertainty, tired of being ignored, tired of being tired.

A Conservative vote probably felt the most certain, the most likely to end the impasse. And that comes despite a fairly stagnant nine years in power.

What a badge of dishonour for Mr Corbyn, that he achieved a Commons collapse at such an opportune moment to be in opposition.

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