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Saturday, 9 December 2017

British Fantasy Novelists for the European Union

In their attempts to reverse the democratic decision that is Brexit, the imaginations of many Remainers have become quite feverish. Yes, Remainers have resorted to fiction/fantasy about “Brexit lies”, the false consciousness of Brexiteers, and all the monumentally disastrous things which will happen once we leave the European Union...

Basically, some of the claims of Remainers are so outlandish that it's worth discussing some of the reasons why that may be the case.

English Remainers are overwhelmingly leftwing or Lib-Dem. They're also mainly based in London, the Home Counties and British universities. (Students and professors are generously funded by the EU.) This isn't the same as saying that “the North voted for Brexit” (as it's been put) because, according to some accounts, slightly more southerners voted this way. However, that doesn't stop it from being the case that Remainers are mainly from London and the Home Counties; as well as being disproportionately made up of recent immigrants (again, who're mainly based in London).

On the whole, these Remainers don't see the dark sides of the EU. And even when they do, they're quite happy with what they see.

This means that it's not surprising that most writers and artists are Remainers too.

Particularly, it's clear that it's those infamous Brexit lies which have strongly inspired various novelists and writers. In other words, many of them decided to advance the Remain cause through their fiction or fantasy.

So let's see what various authors and novelists have had to say on the subject.

Novelists for the EU

An early “post-Brexit” novel was Michael Paraskos's Rabbitman; which was published in March 2017. This book ties together the election of “a right-wing populist” American president with Brexit. The new American president also happens to be a rabbit (which is, I suppose, hilarious). Both his victory and Brexit were the results of “Faustian pacts” with the Devil.

This book also chimes in with Remainer end-times' prophesy because not longer after the UK leaves the EU, society collapses and - wait for it! - the British people then become dependent on EU food aid! (Really? Germany, for example, depends on us: in 2016 it sold about £26 billion more to us than we sold to it.) I'm surprised that Michael Paraskos didn't also paint a picture of the UK becoming a Nazi state led by a white-supremacist serial killer who was formerly a member of Brits for Trump. However, the EU food aid is almost as good a touch.

In the introduction I mentioned Brexit lies.

This takes us neatly on to Amanda Craig's novel, The Lie of the Land; published in June 2017. (Yes, note the title of this book.) In The Lie of the Land we find ourselves in 2026. At this future date, a posh couple from Jeremy Corbyn's Islington is forced to move (because of “austerity”) from London to Devon (which, the Guardian tells us, is full of “casual racists”). The author sees Devon (which is “poorer than Romania”) as a pro-Brexit heartland. Not surprisingly, Amanda Craig gives a more or less Marxist/Corbynite account of Brexit in which it was the case that “the disparities in society that led to June’s result”. (I don't know, perhaps, being superior and so utterly non-provincial, this fictional Islington couple could no longer afford three foreign holidays a year and the fees for their kids' private school – such austerity!)

Now what about Douglas Board's Time of Lies; published, again, in June 2017?

This is perhaps the most over-the-top of the lot. In 2020, Douglas Board has it that a retired football hooligan wins the election! (He wins it in a “populist power grab”.) Not surprisingly, there then follows an almighty clash with the “pro-European Union metropolitan political elite”. I suppose that all the peaceful and extremely tolerant Remainers were put in concentration camps too; in which they were forced to read Mein Kampf and the Daily Mail.

One piece of fiction which occurred after the Brexit result was that “hate crimes” immediately increased. On close inspection, this was shown to be, at worst, false; or, at best, extremely speculative. That didn't stop politicians, anti-racists and Remainers going on about this ostensible “spike” in hate crimes. (See this account of these hate crimes.)

The novelist Mark Billingham might have picked up on all this Brexit hate when he wrote his book Love Like Blood (published, yet again, in June 2017).

Love Like Blood charts Brexit and the subsequent rise in “xenophobic hate crime”. (The Guardian talks about “Little Englanders” in relation to this book.) What I never understood about this supposed spike in hate crimes is that if Brexit was seen as a positive result when it came to the amount of immigrants coming into the UK from oversees, then why would that cause an increase in racist crimes? Surely if the result had been negative (i.e., in favour of remaining in the EU), then that would have caused rage and then an increase in racist crimes. If British racists found out that there would be less immigrants coming into the UK in the future, then why the increase in hate crimes?

However, forget the crimes of those racist Brits (basically, all non-leftwing whites): what about conspiracies about a government quango?

In David Boyle's The Remains of the Way (yes, published in June 2017), Brexit was brought about not by the votes of 51.89% of British voters; but by an old government quango which, miraculously, still worked within Whitehall. It gets worse. This quango was set up by Thomas Cromwell under King Henry VIII. What did this quango want? It wanted a “Protestant Brexit”. In addition, after Brexit the UK suffers famines and general destitution. However, I'm not sure if the EU then supplied the UK with “food aid”, as with Michael Paraskos's Rabbitman.

On a very similar theme, we also have Stanley Johnson's Kompromat.

According to this work of fiction (replicated by some Remainers), Brexit was the responsibility of “Russian influence” on the referendum. (But what about that Protestant quango?). However, thank God that Stanley Johnson believes that his book is “just meant to be fun”!


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