You could say that in terms of the reality of Brexit, the vast majority of people who voted for it have:
been sold a pup.
In the days following the Brexit vote, I heard many stories from non-white friends about an increased level of racist attacks. They were harangued at bus stops, in shops, just walking through town by people demanding to know why they were “still here” when the Brexit vote was to “take our country back.” This anecdotal evidence is sadly backed up by numerous reports and actual scientific research.
Now, I’m not saying that everyone who voted leave did so for racist reasons but let’s look at the issues around that campaign in the form of this handy tag-cloud generated by ITV at the time:
Hmmm… what’s that big word in the middle? I can’t quite make it out? Oh yeah – IMMIGRATION! STOP THUH IMMIGANTS STEALIN OWR JOBS!!! AND WIMMINS!!111!! BRINGIN OVER THEH SEASONED FOOOD AND NON-ROMAN NUMERALS!!!!!
Now, you may be reading this and thinking, “This is an outrage! I voted for Brexit and some of my best friends are darkies!” Well, fucking congrats to you ~ you’re the one person who voted in Chancellor Hitler purely because of your concern for train timetabling. But let’s be honest about the company you keep, eh?
Moving on… the hilarious thing about the fuckwit racists having a go at my fellow non-whites is that their votes will mean that the first people to leave Britain will be foreign European workers. I know Poles, Lithuanians, Germans and others who are thinking of moving back to their respective homelands because of Brexit. All of these people happen to be as white as new-fallen snow.
Do you see?
The Brexit campaign whipped up a xenophobic frenzy, promising, in the eyes of the people it was swindling, a return to GREAT BRITAIN, a Britain free from immigrants. And when racists hear the word ‘immigrants,’ the first ethnic groups they think of are not white, trust me.
And then what happens? SURPRISE, WE’RE ALL STILL HERE!
Which leads me inexorably back to:
The idioms pig in a poke and sell a pup (or buy a pup) refer to a confidence trick originating in the Late Middle Ages, when meat was scarce, but cats and dogs were not. The scheme entailed the sale of a suckling pig in a poke. The bag, sold unopened, would actually contain a cat or dog, which was substantially less valuable as a source of meat. The French idiom acheter (un) chat en poche (to buy a cat in a bag) refers to an actual sale of this nature, as do many European equivalents, while the English expression refers to the appearance of the trick.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pig_in_a_poke)
I feel that the massive lurch to the right of Brexit is a perfect opportunity to inform people that con jobs aren’t new; they are so commonplace that we have enshrined this particular scam in languages from Britain to Vietnam.
Nationalism is a perverse stupidity necessarily contained within borders. Wisdom is truly international.
So, be careful when you see those buses emblazoned with how much extra money the NHS will get if you Vote Boris. Because you’re probably being sold a pup. Or, as the Zulu say, ” Ukuthenga ingulube esesakeni!”