Wednesday, July 17, 2019

About Brexit (sorry)

In his review of Rod Liddle’s new book, Fintan O'Toole sums up the gaping vacuum at the heart of arguments for Brexit:
Tellingly, Liddle specifies the moment of perfidy. The conspiracy, as he sees it, began as soon as “the establishment” started talking about a “hard Brexit” and a “soft Brexit”, “whereas hitherto we had simply been talking about Brexit”. In other words, the betrayal started as soon as “Brexit” acquired any actual content. Once “Brexit means Brexit” became “Brexit means this or that”, it was being sold out. There is here a kind of truth – the pure, unbetrayed Brexit could exist only in the abstract. To give it concrete meaning was to sully it. Nowhere does Liddle ever tell us what he himself actually thinks Brexit means in the real world. How could he, since by his own definition that would be an act of betrayal?
A concept so achingly pure, it becomes irredeemably tainted the moment it comes into contact with sunlight, fresh air, empirical reality. Schrödinger’s Brexit anyone?

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