What did you do in the run-up to Brexit

The current situation in the UK has many parallels with pre-war Germany

26 August 2019

A question once posed to parents – especially by young Germans – was: “What did you do during the War?”

The underlying and puzzling question was: “How was it that Hitler and his cronies gained the support of so many millions of supposedly decent ordinary people that they could carry out their appalling, barbarous acts?”

The current situation in the UK has many parallels with pre-war Germany. Using Hitler, and popular support to crush the left and the trades unions – and with the Jewish and other peoples as an excuse – the German ruling class let him loose, with every expectation that they’d continue to maintain control over him. What a tragic error.

Winding history forward, the UK finds itself in a reasonably parallel situation. Using blatant nationalism and the social media to blame the failures of the capitalist system on the EU and foreigners, the British ruling class has enabled the whipping up of such a degree of hatred that the majority of Conservative Party supporters now seem prepared to see the breakup of the UK and the collapse of the Good Friday Agreement.

What worth has a system that breeds ever-increasing poverty and dissatisfaction, while piling up obscene wealth for the few?

Nigel Farage and his motley crew have succeeded in manipulating the hearts and minds of much of the populace. They are capitalising on the sense of alienation of millions of people, just like typical fascist ideologues. They use the same techniques: fear-mongering and prejudice to befuddle people’s minds, and they pose a major and oft-unrecognised threat to decent societal living.

Let’s hope that when the next generations of children look back, they won’t be asking their parents: “What did you do in the run-up to Brexit?”

Steve Lytton, Arcy-sur-Cure

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