Six-or-so years ago, a very dangerous idea was brought to prominence in the UK. It was the idea that a foreign superstate was controlling every aspect of the UK’s governance, allowing us to be flooded with immigrants and drowning us in red tape while limiting us to unfavourable trade deals. The idea had been around for many years before then, but what brought it to prominence was the fact that said foreign superstate was preparing to enact legislation to enforce corporate and personal tax transparency, close tax loopholes, and eliminate offshore tax havens for member states. Guess where most of the people who brought the idea to prominence have most of their financial assets? And guess how much tax they pay in relation to their income?
So, four-and-a-half years ago, a non-binding referendum was held, and the result was a 4% margin in favour of Leaving the EU.
Four per cent. A difference of 1.2million people, most of them (statistically) pensioners. Final result 52-48, turnout just under 75% of a reduced electorate, overall just under 25% of people in the country wanted to Leave the EU.
The government looked around and panicked, they clearly hadn’t planned this. They had entered into this as a means of re-solidifying their own party, and maybe as a way to strengthen their hand in negotiations for further membership benefits with the EU. They certainly hadn’t banked on all the racists in the country shouring louder than everyone else. So, they were got rid of, and incompetent people who wanted to compromise were brought in – never mind that the result of the non-binding referendum was powered by illegal funding and brought about by people who would be dead of natural causes before anything could be negotiated, the UK was Leaving the EU double-quick, only just wait a bit to sort out some sort of palatable exiting arrangements. Only, they didn’t turn out to be palatable to anyone. So the new lot were got rid of as well, and were replaced by a coterie of rabid ultra-capitalist lying sociopaths whose only care was their personal enrichment, never mind the laws they had sworn to uphold when they took office. They dived right in, took the brakes off, and started heading as fast as they could for No Deal, whilst shitting on and tearing up protections for human rights, equality of all kinds, personal privacy, environmental legislation, and workers’ rights. And everybody who voted – no matter who they voted for – knew that that was exactly what they were going to do.
And this is the result. An incompetent crony-capitalist government, led by a misogynistic, racist, compulsive liar and egotitst with no sense of personal responsibility, doing his very best to destroy the economy of the UK, because that’s the result that will get him and his mates the most money. No Deal Brexit not just looms, it beckons, and it beckons with the twin spectres of a pandemic and the climate change crisis looming over its’ own shoulders.
It is documented by multiple sources that Brexit will cause food shortages. The UK government has done absolutely nothing to address this problem – nothing to ensure that food is delivered to all parts of the country, nothing to ensure that those who cannot get to distribution points receive food anyway, and has not even begun looking into a system of rationing to ensure that everyone can receive sufficient food to survive. Anywhere more than 30 miles or so from a major port (London, Dover, Felixstowe, Bristol, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Hartlepool, Grimsby) is going to experience extra difficulties in being supplied with food, due to the extreme delays caused by border/customs checks meaning that if the food hasn’t gone off by the time it reaches its’ destination, the cost of the truck driver’s wage will make completing the delivery prohibitively expensive, and therefore making the stuff being delivered prohibitively expensive as well. Where I live is more than 30 miles from the coast, and even further from a major port. It has been rumoured that martial law may be imposed to ensure that food supplies reach where they are needed – if it is, I do not think it will ever be un-imposed.
The UK government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been execrable. No one has been sure of exactly what restrictions or advice applies to whom (apart from the members of the government and their friends – no restrictions or rules apply to them). Areas of the country that traditionally vote Conservative are given less-restrictive preventative measures; areas that don’t are given harsher lockdowns. There has been no effort to ensure that everyone receives prompt and effective treatment or testing – how soon and how effectively you are tested and treated depends on how much money you have given to the Tory party. The NHS, already chronically under-funded, under-staffed and under-equipped, is being put under even more pressure correcting the mistakes of the private companies with no healthcare experience who have been handed tender-free contracts to supply PPE, run test & trace schemes, and provide treatment. The UK may have been the first country to authorise use of the Pfizer vaccine, but no provision has been made for prompt or full distribution, there are no systems in place for proper transit and storage of doses, and there is a lack of appropriately trained people to administer them.
In the last six years, the UK government has been investigated at least three times by special investigators from the UN, on suspicion that the UK government is willfully neglecting or outright persecuting certain demographic groups. On all three occasions, the UN special inspector found that the UK government were indeed persecuting certain demographic groups – to whit: Disabled people, people in poverty (ie. with an income less than 2/3rds of the national average), and people who are long-term unemployed. I have a disability, my only income is state benefits, and my last paying job was in 2007, so I am in all three groups.
Over the last four years, and particularly during the last year, the government of the UK has moved away from being a laissez-faire capitalist flawed democracy, towards being an ultra-hard neoliberal-capitalist fascist dictatorship. It has repeatedly made statements to the effect that Brexit will give them the chance to remove the last safeguards and barriers between the current veneer of participatory democracy and open totalitarianism. It is a matter of historical record that governments of the type such as that which the UK one is heading towards have purges of people who disagree with them, of people who criticise them, and of people who they deem to be “other”. “Other” being whoever they feel is a suitably despised demographic that they can safely be blamed for all the problems the government has created for the average citizen. Preivous “others” used by the UK government include (but not limited to) benefits claimants, the poor, and the disabled.
Therefore, since I have no wish to be purged, or caught in the car-crash that is Brexit, or left to the spoils of COVID-19, or simply tormented by the government for not being a WASHMwnPoMDaaDI (White, Anglo-Saxon, Heterosexual Male with no Physical or Mental Disabilities and a Disposable Income), as of this time next week, I will be in Sweden on a more-or-less permanent basis. But mainly Brexit.
Sweden is regularly rated as one of the top ten places to live in the world, whether the criteria be air quality, general education levels, health service, eco-responsiblity, whatever. They have no ridiculous ideas about selling their public services and infrastructure off to the highest bidder, who then recoup their investment by over-charging the public and receiving state subsidies. Sure, taxes may be higher, but that’s because they pay for a lot more things than in the UK, and a damn sight more efficiently than the UK does too. And, yeah, I will have to learn to speak a foreign language (have been learning since I made the decision to go, about a year ago), but that’s a pretty small price to pay to be free from persecution and state-planned starvation. Kronor may not be Euros, but both are a damn sight more stable than than the Pound, and within a year even SEK may be worth more than GBP.
You may perceive that this is rather sudden, and late-in-the-day. You may be right – I have never really got the hang of doing things before the last minute. But if it hadn’t been for COVID, I would be there already. I started the process of applying to live there before the UK left the EU, before the Transition Period started, and I will be there before the Transition Period ends. I didn’t want to tell anyone before now because I have been worried about repurcussions.
The UK twice refused to take the only option that could have stopped this madness, by electing a Labour government (as detailed here and here, they really were the only chance of stopping Brexit), and so I wash my hands of this benighted country. And if you disagree with any of the above, particularly the bits about rising fascism or Labour under Corbyn stopping Brexit, then do feel free to fuck right off, because you are part of the problem.