Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Getting to the heart of the matter

Poor old Raphael Behr. As someone who has hit 40 and is still accelerating, I am naturally sympathetic to anyone struck down while exercising. But there does seem to have been a slight silver lining in that he has put his finger on the biggest problem with the entire Remain referendum campaign, and continuity Remain guerilla campaign:
Remainers lost the argument with arch, eye-rolling negativity. In 2016 the pro-European case was made exclusively in terms of loss – forfeited growth, shrunken prestige, jettisoned jobs – while the leavers advertised gains. After the referendum, those Brexit promises were assailed by fact-checkers, myth-busters, expert debunkers, but what was the counter offer? What would leavers get in exchange for surrendering a prize for which they had voted, to which they were democratically entitled and which they had not yet received? 
On we went, rubbishing the idea that Brexit was a bounty of freedom, sovereignty and control, irritating more than we converted, until Boris Johnson came along to lift the siege. By December, the liberation he could realistically offer voters wasn’t from Europe any more, it was from the argument encircling them. It was from us, the remainers.
I was a Remainer, and still think that the wrong decision was made in 2016. But the overwhelming tide of sneering negativity has done more than anything else to change my mind. The lack of any positive message destroyed the pro-European movement. All it has now is Terry Christian hoping that old people die.

The persistent miserabilism of the left, coupled with their self-righteous sanctimony, has been a real obstacle for them gaining power. If you want to persuade people to support you or your point of view, it's not a great idea to start by whingeing on about how awful they are, and how much you look forward to their death...

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