As we approach the widely publicised series of anti-Brexit events dubbed the ‘Autumn of Discontent’ I have been thinking about the seismic shifts in the way that ‘we’ Brits deal with unfairness, dissatisfaction and inequity. Up until fairly recently, the British were renowned for our long and grand tradition of not making a fuss, not creating a scene and definitely NOT moaning………
I clearly remember a time when people would rather risk salmonella poisoning by eating a meal of undercooked chicken in a restaurant rather than send it back for fear of ‘appearing rude’.
In fact, so reluctant were the British to openly complain about anything, that the BBC established a programme called ‘Points of View’ so that disgruntled television viewers could air their TV scheduling and content grievances in complete anonymity.
In a similar tradition was ‘That’s Life!’. How else could ‘Nauseated of Kent’ vent her spleen after having to choke down a bowl of soup in her local Berni Inn with what can only be described as something resembling a pubic hair floating in its potagey meniscus? ‘It was a family meal’ wrote Nauseated ‘and I didn’t want to make a scene or spoil the evening’.
A furious and strongly worded letter of complaint to be read out by Ester Rantzen following a segment about amusingly phallic shaped aubergines was the only acceptable recourse back in the day.
Expressing dissatisfaction openly or (heaven forbid) protesting is unquestionably inconsistent with the ‘British’ way of doing things, where the stiff upper lip was the quintessential national modus operandi.
Insofar as the referendum can be considered a revolution, it was a very ‘British’ one.
The unhappy, disaffected and hitherto effectively disenfranchised (mainly because of an inexplicable elector predilection to vote Tory) queued up ready to place a X in the box that would broadcast a gargantuan collective wail of unhappiness about the state of the UK, the only means to express a seemingly ubiquitous grave societal dysphoria.
As is evident though, ‘the people’ were led to give the middle finger salute to the wrong establishment. A mendacious posse of vainglorious fabulists with their eyes firmly on self-aggrandisement and their own bank balances saw to that.
As vociferous objectors and dissenters loudly articulated their fury about the referendum, its architects and as Professor Michael Dougan has described the Leave campaign’s “dishonesty on an industrial scale” the term ‘Remoaner’ was born. Rather than being correctly perceived as an essential and integral component of a well-functioning democracy, ‘Remoaning’ is a distinctly un-British ‘crime’.
A crime so heinous as to be on a par with treason, with sabotage and with being an enemy of the people and of democracy itself. The Remoaning criminals, according to some commentators – including a UKIP counsellor – should be shot, or hanged, or crushed, or at the very least banished to mainland Europe…… This kind of jingoistic rhetoric has been designed to silence the dissenters. It has failed.
The ‘Autumn of Discontent’ events bear testament to that. The Remain movement continues to be motivated and organised and retains its commitment to robustly interrogate the raison d’être of Brexit and to fight against the social, economic and cultural abomination that is leaving the EU.
Remoaners know that Ann Robinson’s sardonic delivery cannot help them now. We are looking forward to the marches and other events, eagerly anticipating banding together with other like minds and hearts to show that Remain is far from defeated and will steadfastly expose the lies and deceit by opposing Brexit to the bitter end.
May I suggest, though, that we Remoaners avoid the Berni Inn for any post-event socials? And if that’s not possible, I’d strongly advise against the soup.
Thank you to Andrea Carol for this great
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