The result of the historic referendum on whether Britain should remain in or leave the European Union has delivered a political earthquake. It has further deepened the crises and widened the splits in both the Conservative and Labour party.
With a high turnout of 72.2%, 52% have voted to leave the European Union, an institution set up with the purpose of serving in the bosses’ interests. This was despite the horrendous campaign of fear and intimidation that was carried out by David Cameron and the Tories threatening economic catastrophe and even war! Most of the 48% that voted to remain didn’t vote to support this bosses’ club but on the myth that EU is an international institution.
This referendum wasn’t called because of the demands of ordinary people but rather to try and mend splits in his party. Earlier this year, when David Cameron announced the date of the referendum he was confident that the results would be a secure ‘Remain’. However, the prime minister didn’t expect half of his party to turn against him and campaign for a leave vote.
In this EU referendum both official campaigns have used immigration and racism to dominate the debate. ‘Project Fear’ was used to scare people into voting to remain while the racist campaign of UKIP repelled many people. Ordinary people did not get a real representation in this debate and their voice was silenced. But nonetheless the vote became a “roar of anger” against the establishment.
All the establishments and their representatives are completely detached from the masses of people. They did not understand the conditions in which the majority of the people are force to live in.
The current Tory government has been pushing on huge cuts to public services and welfare, including cuts to NHS, schools, benefits etc. For working class people, survival was a daily battle and they constantly struggle to make need end. Demands for food banks have increased. The seven years of austerity measures further decreased the living standard and put strains on vital services. The anger against these cruel measures increased. This government policies was constantly challenged and in the space of one year that they were in power they had to make changes and give little concessions to people but at the same time they are continuing to push for further cuts.
In the last week of the campaign, the remain side campaigned that everything would collapse if we leave the EU and George Osborne Chancellor of the Exchequer proposes emergency Brexit Budget as an attempt to secure the remain votes. For many ordinary people their conditions couldn’t get worst.
Some of the poorest working class areas live without secure jobs, services and are ignored by the government – these areas have had the highest percentage of the leave vote. This is the referendum in which the poor have turned against the rich and the establishments that ignored them.
However, racist groups and the pro-Tory media are feasting on this genuine fear of the lack on investment in jobs, homes and services and directly this anger towards immigration by blaming migrants for the lack of services available. Those that voted to leave are now called racist and anti-migrants. This is not true, a leave vote doesn’t equate to being racist.
This approach will isolate ordinary people with genuine fear and will aid towards increasing that sentiment. Instead it is vital to build a movement against austerity, for more investment in the vital services that are necessary so that the fear of not having enough will not be taken advantage by the far right.
It is important to highlight the lie that there isn’t enough money in the economy – to reject the lie that austerity is inevitable. Britain is the fifth richest country in the world and simply taxing few businesses like google will bring in enough money to save our National Health Service, to build affordable homes and for more jobs and services for all. It is only such a programme and united struggle that will be able to unite everyone from different background and undermine the racist arguments of the far right, establishment and their political representatives in the parliament. We need to build movement for such a programme.