On June 23, 2016, the leaders of Britain’s three establishment political Parties smiled outside their carefully chosen polling stations. They had every reason to feel triumphant. The Remain campaign had enjoyed the open support of Government, mainstream media and a host of popular celebrities, whilst a cacophony of big donors had enabled them to spend five million pounds more than their Leave rivals. Bookmakers estimated the status quo had an 82 per cent chance of victory, with pollsters predicting a comfortable win for the ‘Stronger in Europe’ campaign.
Against all the odds, a patchwork coalition of 17.5 million Brits voted to leave the European Union – the biggest vote for anything in the nation’s history.
What we have seen since has been nothing short of vile.
The incensed establishment immediately abandoned any pretence of commitment to the common good, launching into a vitriolic smear campaign designed to discredit, belittle and bully the ‘uneducated bigots, who could not possibly have realised what they were voting for’.
Their message was clear – ordinary people can scream out for change at the ballot box as much we like, but only the elite know what’s in our best interests. If that means totally ignoring us, ‘so be it’. Hardly surprising that Theresa’ May’s deal — the vote on which has been postponed — fails to honour the result of the referendum.
Such open contempt for the common man is far from a distinctively British phenomenon. From Davos to Brussels to the offices of the ‘Open Society Foundation’, elites are waging a deliberate war against the values of ordinary people.
In Australia, the commentariat’s bitter disdain for the Liberal Party’s grassroots supporters is striking evidence that their electoral support is conditional upon control. In the US, big donors, appalled by President Trump’s appeal to blue-collar workers, have abandoned the Republican Party. The new House of Representatives will see 21 of the nation’s 22 richest districts represented by Democrats.
Some claim this is symbolic of a ‘new class conflict’, but this is inaccurate. Conservatives recognise the inherent value in the hierarchy and permanence of a class system based on lineal heritage within a set community. Such a system provides fertile soil for cultural excellence, literary brilliance and architectural beauty.
The political enemy is not the upper class, but fluid elites, divorced from historic inheritance, sense of duty and communitarian engagement. Attributing their material prosperity to ‘meritocratic triumph’, possible in any ‘economically free’ urban metropolis, they feel no connection with their nation. Detached from historic notions of societal value and objective truth, their post-materialist cultural expressions rely exclusively on shock and humiliation.
If we are truly going to ‘take back control’ we must first redistribute advantage.
Global corporations are investing billions of dollars in an attempt to undermine tradition institutions, leaving only their alter of consumerist consumption. Ironically, whilst these companies claim to love diversity, they constantly reject it. Yes, their plush offices might comprise a majority of women and Trans people, but all are graduates from the same universities, grew up in the same bourgeoisie suburbs and have the same narrow liberal worldviews.
Our response should be to elevate those at the bottom. This requires an interventionist state, willing to break up hegemonic globalist businesses that choke local enterprise, cooperatives and mutuals. It also means an immediate end to low skilled migration, which provides big business with a pool of easily exploitable labour, drives up competition for jobs and drives down the wages of workers. Tax cuts for low and middle-income families, alongside investment in crumbling infrastructure, should be funded by tax rises for corporate businesses and hyper-wealthy individuals.
Contrary to mainstream media narratives, the Coalition for a Prosperous America has shown tariffs are starting to bring meaningful jobs back to America. The rise of automated intelligence will only exacerbate dangerous social disparities, and we must resist attempts by the ‘expert class’ to subjugate workless households with welfare payments or universal basic income.
Secondly, we must reform higher education. Education achievement is no longer measured in knowledge but by a student’s ability to regurgitate the political orthodoxies of teachers and peers. As a result, level of education is now the strongest ideological indicator, with the most partisan and radical leftists almost exclusively society’s most educated.
The vast majority of people enrolled at university don’t need to be there. Higher education should be the preserve of those whose specialist scientific degrees deliver demonstrable societal benefit. All state support for liberal universities must be removed immediately, rechannelled into local, practical training programmes equipping young adults with a skill or trade. Remaining universities must be compelled to enrol 90 per cent of their students from the local area, and national legislation implemented to guarantee free thinkers can speak, learn and teach without harassment.
University is the only way to join the ranks of the elite – they guard it jealously, heavily privileging those who share their worldview. It is unsurprising that, out of 27 social groups, practising Christians were discriminated against most often in academic hiring.
There is now a real chance that the elite will steal Brexit. Should they do so, they will tear wounds into the fabric of the United Kingdom that will never heal.
Elites may never understand why ordinary people don’t want to be like them. Nevertheless, whatever the Brexit outcome, it is our duty to reassemble the Brexit voter coalition, dismiss those libertarians who insist economic elites have our best interests at heart and ensure ordinary people reclaim our stake in society.
The political battle with elites isn’t empty rhetoric – it’s a moral imperative.
David Sergeant is a Conservative researcher in the UK House of Commons.
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