On Language, Lies, and Reality

The British voters supported the referendum proposal to leave the EU. Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty (which describes the exit process, as as 261 words can) requires that the constitutionally represented leadership call for the cancellation of the treaty.

Oops. Britain does not have a constitution. Does Cameron press the button? His party leadership? The Queen?

In the meanwhile, all the major selling points touted by the ‘Leave’ promoters have already been “rolled back.” This is code, I think for “we lied.” The regrets Britons feel among those who voted to leave are already being heard. As are the complains by heretofore legal EU workers being asked when they’re going home so they won’t take “British” jobs. Not that the askers would do the work these migrant workers are willing to do. (See case studies in every country in the globe with any immigrant population, legal or otherwise.) These are disingenuous comments, as honest as the reasons for Britain leaving the EU; hate speech would be much more accurate.

Finally, referendums do not have the force of law in Britain. This means that the government can be advised by them — although with Prime Minister Cameron’s resignation, it seems that the (deluded) will of the people will be heard.

It’s entirely possible that between the Lisbon Treaty clause and the referendum-level of the vote, all British leadership has to do is select a scapegoat to declaim the referendum and then everything can return to normal.

Except that the genie out of the bottle isn’t the referendum, but the magnitude of the isolationist, xenophobic, sentiment.The bottle is shattered, and, stay or not, Britain needs to focus on basic needs such as education and deprogramming that the right wing there, as it has here, has done on major population and ethnic segments.

This is yet another example of the use, misuse, and ultimate semiotic nullity of words of power.