It’s becoming more apparent by the week – almost by the hour – that Brexit is a disaster, led by idiots, clowns and vagabonds, voted for by a misled population (misled, not stupid), enabled by a deeply flawed political system, stirring up the worst passions of our people, and being implemented now – on our side – by incompetents.
Looking at it as a historian – one historian: others will disagree – it seems to me to mark an extraordinary stage, possibly the ultimate one, in the story of Britain’s decline from a position of perceived ‘greatness’, which in my view was never based on either ‘splendid isolation’ or ‘imperialism’, which is what the Brexiteers appear to be harking back to; but always on high ideals (not always lived up to), generosity (ditto), pragmatism, adaptability to a changing world, and good relations with our immediate neighbours. The end result will almost certainly impoverish us as a nation: materially of course – that’s becoming obvious; but also in terms of reputation, and, for those of us whose patriotism, such as it is, is not founded on illusions of past power and domination – national pride.
I’ve been energised by this to return to an old abandoned project of mine: a collection of essays analysing Britain’s ‘identity’ as a nation, and her historical relations with the rest of Europe: see https://bernardjporter.com/2017/10/10/cosmopolitan-britain/. (I know, I keep announcing new projects. It’s the conception that excites me. Let’s hope this one isn’t aborted, like ‘Essex’ and the rest.)