Is Britain Heading For A Period of Civil Unrest?

by Neil Bamforth

I quite like that term, ‘civil unrest’. It sounds like a contradiction in terms doesn’t it? It sounds like you are going to politely hit somebody over the head with a baseball bat, which seems somewhat implausible really. “Pardon me sir, I need to hit you over the head with this baseball bat. I so hope you don’t mind too much”. How can you be ‘civil’ at the same time as participating in a revolution or a riot or something of that ilk?

“Excuse me, my good man. Would you mind awfully if I just twat you around the head with my iron bar? Thank you ever so much, sorry to trouble you”.

Anyway, odd terminology apart, it really isn’t looking good in Blighty.

Beliefs, opinions and guesses are holding sway over democracy and, if social media is to be even vaguely believed, the proverbial ‘shit’ is about to hit the fan.

You see, reasonable debate hasn’t just ‘gone out of the window.’ Reasonable debate has packed its bags, hitched a lift on a passing star cruiser from Sirius and gone off for a few decades of wandering around the universe – and not, necessarily, our universe either.

The Brexit ‘Remainers’ and the Brexit ‘Leavers’ are now firing on pure hatred for each other.

If you wandered into a pub and recognized somebody you got along fine with, and decided to have a chat about Brexit from your point of view as a ‘remainer’ or ‘leaver’, and this person you got along fine with happened to be on ‘the other side’, the likelihood is they would, if you were lucky, empty your beer over your head.

If you were unlucky, the likelihood is they would stick their glass in your face.

The British have this tradition about being ‘slow to anger’ – well, having been to Millwall Football Club as an away fan supporting Oldham Athletic, I am tempted to dispute this tradition but that’s another story.

‘We Brits are slow to anger’ is a mantra I have often heard, usually followed by ‘but when we do get angry’ and, I suppose, there is some truth in that. Hitler, Argentina and people not paying enough tax for the governments liking, particularly if they happen to be elderly and helpless sufficiently illustrates the point.

There are a quite alarming number of very angry people in Britain right now.

Somewhat bizarrely, the one thing Brexit ‘remainers’ and ‘leavers’ do have in common is anger.

It’s a heady mix is that. There’s no ‘may’ about it. There will be trouble ahead and, I suspect, in the not too distant future.

The rest of the world, probably including the European Union, peering in on this current British mad house, seem to be scratching their heads in bafflement.

Some wonder why so many people in Britain want to leave the EU while some wonder why we stayed so long.

Ultimately, all the arguments are, in general, waffle. They are opinions, thoughts, beliefs and so forth. They may be right or they may be wrong.

Stripped bare, there is only one fact. More people voted to leave than remain. That’s the nub of the matter.

Unfortunately the losing side will not accept it. They insist that we mustn’t leave. I understand their concerns. They believe it will be disastrous and, indeed, it might be.

It is, however, a belief and not a fact.

The only fact is that more voted to leave, for better or worse.

It’s a bit like Trump getting elected President in the USA. Those who hate him have never accepted it – I can’t say I entirely blame them either given his behavior since the election – but, at the end of the day, strip it bare and he won. Yes, he won courtesy of the anomaly of the electoral colleges but, the system is what it is.

Democracy isn’t perfect. No system of government is. It’s not the greatest thing ever, but it is a damn sight better than communism or dictatorships or theocracies.

If it goes wrong we muddle through. We have to or our democracy is threatened. We have to ‘bite the bullet’ when it doesn’t go our way.

America has to live with Trump, for example, until such time as they can democratically get shot of him. If he wins again, they cry into their beer and live with it again. Eventually, the worm will turn and they get to win the day.

Brexit is the same. It was democratically voted for.

“Oh! But the leave campaign lied!”

I have very little doubt about it but, guess what, so did the remain campaign. About the only thing they didn’t threaten if the vote was ‘leave’ was a Martian invasion and asteroids landing on all major UK cities.

Both campaigns were appallingly bad.

If ‘remain’ had won, I wonder what their thoughts would be if we left anyway? I bet they wouldn’t be very happy eh?

So, how the hell do they think the ‘leavers’ feel when they won, but our parliament is doing its utmost to prevent their victory from happening?

There is now talk of a further extension for up to a year or more!

Democracy is bigger than Brexit. Democracy is bigger than Trump.

Unfortunately, democracy is very fragile. Destroying it is alarmingly easy to do.

Refuse to accept a democratic vote because you don’t like it at your peril. Don’t be surprised if, the next time around, you win and the opposition refuse to accept it. You won’t like that will you? You’ll say “Excuse me! This is democracy at work!”, and they’ll say “Really? You think so? What was it last time when we won then?”

When a democratic nation asks its people to go to the ballot box, the votes are counted and, whatever the vote is about, the result is enacted – usually in a matter of days. Occasionally, for some reason or another, it may take a few weeks to enact but, enacted upon it is. That’s how democracy works.

A particular and, seemingly, reasonable point that the ‘remain’ side are currently raising is this.

The referendum was in 2016. It is now 2019. Circumstances have changed.


The ‘leave’ side remain, (if you’ll pardon the pun), the ballot box victors in 2016, yet their ‘victory’ was not acted upon. Hence they quite understandably feel robbed.

Once the result of the referendum was in, we should have left as quickly as possible. Even a couple of months or so would have been fine. Once we had left, we could then have sat down with the EU and fathomed out what happens next.

In the meantime, ‘Remain’ could have set about preparing to campaign, for some indeterminate point in the future, to have us join again.

That is democracy.

To deny the ballot box victors their victory—regardless of the consequences, which are unknown as its never happened before—is utterly anti-democratic.

If you completely remove democracy from a democracy, what are you left with? Anarchy.

The Kaiser Chiefs sang “I Predict A Riot” and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few over the coming weeks and months but, anarchy in the UK? The Sex Pistols were possibly more accurate than The Kaiser Chiefs. I’ve a strong sense that it’s coming, and soon.

Blighty is in a lot of trouble and there seems to be no way out.

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Posted by on April 5, 2019. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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15 Responses to Is Britain Heading For A Period of Civil Unrest?

  1. jess Reply

    April 5, 2019 at 12:16 pm

    It seems both our countries are firing on hate of the other side right now. I know I am and it’s why I have been avoiding being online for a little bit.

  2. Neil Bamforth Reply

    April 5, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    Jess : Well, I have to say, it’s come to some’at when I find myself being moderate in debates!!!

    • jess Reply

      April 5, 2019 at 3:49 pm

      I can still be moderate but I’m not doing the time suck of arguing with morons on the internet anymore so I stick to running/health forums etc only putting my two cents worth in when something really really interests me on any of my political sites anymore. Life is way too damn short and I am currently enjoying the shit out of mine, away from online activity. Got me a new teaching job at a continuation school, doing a flip of a 4th house, with my best friend this time, so he can start making some money and I have this new boyfriend who is a treat and a half for me so life is fucking great right now and I don’t need it spoiled by morons arguing about politics with me when I know they are all kind of ways wrong.

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      April 7, 2019 at 11:19 am

      You moderate? Really old bean!

  3. Michael John Scott Reply

    April 5, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    There will be some civil unrest. People will wave flags and hold up signs outside of Parliament, and that will be it. The country will not go up in flames.

  4. Neil Bamforth Reply

    April 6, 2019 at 2:50 am

    Mike : You may be right… Or you may not old bean. I’ve never witnessed anger on this scale in my lifetime that’s for sure.

  5. Neil Bamforth Reply

    April 6, 2019 at 2:52 am

    Jess : You’ve made my day and more!! Enjoy!!! Xxxx

  6. Cherries Reply

    April 6, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    Well that was a diatribe by the usual suspect who ‘said?? he voted remain 🙄 he’s portraying a very misleading situation. The only people causing actual trouble are in the leave camp as witnessed on the news. He’s also equating the referendum result, which was advisory by the way, as if it was like our General Elections which, like in the USA, you can change your government every 4 years. This ridiculous referendum you can’t change in that way it’s years and years before you can change your mind if you decide to, and not on the same terms. So far it’s cost £billions on this fiasco and it’s a total mess!
    I’m a Brit who really voted remain and wouldn’t dream of talking like him. It isn’t democracy when a referendum was ‘won’ on lies, cheating and it’s proven, the leave campaign has been prosecuted. The whole stupid referendum was to appease the ultra right wing of the Conservative party and they’ve been infiltrated by the racist Ukip party. So Neil/Norman stop spinning the truth the leavers have the extreme right wingers causing violence in their ranks, not the remainers. I don’t believe you voted remain in a million years you’re much too right wing you admitted you joined an extreme group before and leopards don’t change their spots not that much!

  7. Cherries Reply

    April 6, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    Jess you’re right but it’s difficult not to some times 🙄

    • jess Reply

      April 6, 2019 at 7:43 pm

      I know it is Cherries but my husband’s death put all manner of things into perspective for me and I am not willing to worry about them anymore. Being nice to right wing, nutjob idiots on the internet is just one of those things.

  8. Cherries Reply

    April 7, 2019 at 5:01 am

    Yes I’m sure it must have and sorry.
    I haven’t been on this lately think messages went to junk but liked reading your honest comments. I do feel the need to respond to a fellow Brit (🤬) think you know who 🙄😂
    Good wishes 😘

  9. Neil Bamforth Reply

    April 7, 2019 at 7:05 am

    Cherries : I find it difficult to believe you actually believe half of what you write.

    Firstly : had I voted leave I would freely admit it. I have repeatedly and truthfully stated I voted remain. With reluctance yes, but I did and have explained why many times.

    Secondly : It is an outright lie to claim the referendum was advisory. From Cameron to Mandelson and from Clegg to Corbyn, they all stated on the record, and on TV at that, the result would be binding and once in a lifetime.

    Thirdly : Over the years I have supported causes that are right, left and center. All sides can have worthwhile ideas. I only shy away from extreme left and right. In my youth I was more inclined to extremes but have learnt, with age, extreme left and right politics are unhealthy.

    Fourthly : The extreme left are just as prone to being violent as the extreme right. That’s what comes of extremes.

    Fifth and last : Being human, as opposed to being a leopard, like most humans, I have the capacity to change time and time again.

  10. Cherries Reply

    May 1, 2019 at 8:07 am

    Erm just noticed no response 🙄

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