The British Establishment is doing its damnedest to torpedo Brexit.
For an insight into the worldview that motivates this sclerotic, illiberal, self-serving, arrogant, anti-democratic elite, look no further than this tweet:
My father attacked on today's front page of @DailyMailUK – he's a man who has stood up all his life for fairness, equality and working together with all people from all countries and creeds to eradicate poverty. He's 82 and I am more proud of him today than ever. @LibDemLords pic.twitter.com/xSrDxkwl5k
— Gareth Roberts (@GarethRoberts3) May 1, 2018
Ah. Bless. Such filial loyalty!
But what exactly did Gareth’s dad Lord Roberts of Llandudno do to make his boy so proud?
Why, during an impassioned House of Lords debate on Brexit, he went and compared Prime Minister Theresa May to Hitler.
May was trying to push through the parliamentary bill which will speed Britain’s path to the Brexit which 17.4 million Britons voted for in June 2016.
But according to Lord Roberts – a fairly undistinguished Liberal Democrat peer (a Welsh Methodist minister who was rejected by the electorate on the five times he tried to become an MP) – this just the sort of thing the Nazis would have done.
Here is how Lord Roberts put it in the debate:
‘My mind went back to Berlin in March 1933, when the Enabling Bill was passed in the Reichstag.
‘Perhaps I’m seeing threats that do not exist, but they are there, they are possible. Who’d have said before the 1930s that Germany, this cultured country, would involve itself in such a terrible war.’
I think the operative phrase in that bizarre outburst is “perhaps I’m seeing threats that do not exist”. Because, of course, as is perfectly obvious to anyone with even half a brain, Brexit is the very opposite of what Hitler would have wanted. Just like the European Commission, just like Angela Merkel and Martin Selmayr, just like all the crusty old farts in the House of the Lords yearning to frustrate the British people’s democratic will, what Hitler would have much preferred is a united Europe run on lines not wholly dissimilar from the meddling, authoritarian bureaucracy of today’s EU.
But obviously I don’t want to be accused of breaching Godwin’s Law – heaven forfend. I’ll leave that to windbag, hysterical Liberal Democrat peers.
No, what I want to concentrate on is that telling phrase used by Lord Roberts of Llandudno’s son in order to explain why his Dad – and his ermine-clad mates – was perfectly justified in attempting to ride roughshod over the democratic will of the majority who voted Brexit.
“Fairness, equality and working together with people from all countries and creeds to eradicate poverty.”
It reminds me a bit of that South Park episode The Death Camp of Tolerance.
Like so many of the cant phrases loved by the liberal elite, it sounds superficially attractive. Who, after all, would wish to set themselves against causes as lovely and cuddly as “fairness” “equality” “people from all countries and creeds” and eradicating “poverty”?
Well I’ll tell you who: the 17.4 million people who voted Brexit.
What they were explicitly voting against – the reason they turned out in such numbers because here was their last and only chance and boy were they going to take it – was what Quentin Letts calls “the post war liberal Brussels consensus.”
All those cozy hurrah words used by Lord Roberts’s boy – “fairness”, “equality” etc – are just code phrases for what the liberal Brussels consensus likes to do: invent new rules and regulations, stick its nose into every nook and cranny, raise taxes, impose targets, strip away personal freedoms and national sovereignty in the name of the ‘greater good.’
This is the point Hayek makes in his classic The Road To Serfdom, published in 1944 at the height of the Second World War.
No matter how good the intentions of the bigger state, Hayek notes, it always and invariably creates injustice, inefficiency and unfairness on its mission to improve. And this applies, he stresses, not just to totalitarian regimes like Hitler’s Germany or Stalin’s Soviet Union – but also to all those countries who believe that at least a bit of socialism is necessary if the people are to experience social justice.
I’m not suggesting that many of the 17.4 million people who voted Brexit will have read Hayek. But they will have understood instinctively his point: all this political correctness that stops them saying freely what they want to say, all this diversity being imposed on them in the name of social justice, all these weird regulations imposed on them by European Commissioners they can’t boot out of office, it’s all the kind of statist meddling that is serving to make their lives more constrained, more complicated, less prosperous. And they don’t like it. And that’s why they voted out.
If the British Establishment succeeds in its ongoing mission to overturn that massive democratic vote those people will not be happy.
As Letts says: When the masses give up on democracy, bad things happen.
Just ask Adolf Hitler…