The Great Meltdown

Read Tom Slater’s editorial from this week’s spiked newsletter.

Tom Slater

This was the week the British bourgeoisie officially lost the plot. Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue parliament – shaving off a few days of time MPs were counting on to thwart Brexit – has excited elite Remainers’ feverish imaginations like never before. They have compared it to the Reichstag Fire and themselves to the French Resistance. They have wept and hollered and protested – puntastic placard in one hand and designer dog in the other.

This isn’t about Johnson’s cynical – though hardly dictatorial – prorogation. This is about Brexit. What horrifies these people is not Johnson’s trimming of the parliamentary timetable, but the temerity of the 17.4million to demand more democracy, and the chance that they might just get it. The cognitive dissonance is perfectly summed up in the Remainers’ new favourite slogan – ‘Save Democracy, Stop Brexit’.

But The Great Meltdown has shown us something else, too. That these people haven’t just been driven to rage by Brexit, but to a kind of madness. The Brexit vote was for them not just a defeat, but an abomination. It shouldn’t have happened. It couldn’t have happened in any reasonable world – in which People Like Them call the shots and People Like Us are quietly grateful.

By challenging the elites’ right to rule, Brexit tugs at the threads of the intellects of our supposedly rational betters. And the unravelling continues. Brexit continues to drive them mad – and so it should.

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Reginald Blank

1st September 2019 at 7:03 pm

The last two paragraphs are also an exact description of the meltdown of the establishment left in the US after Trump’s election in 2016. And they are in denial still, and are insanely desperate to undo that “mistake” in 2020.

Bella Donna

31st August 2019 at 1:52 pm

If you can keep your head when all around you are losing theirs you’ll be a grown up! Let the children stamp and throw tantrums. I’m having a quiet day relaxing with a glass or two.

Dominic Straiton

31st August 2019 at 4:49 pm

Good one! Iv enjoyed Paul Mason and Owen Jones doing a Tommy Robinson

Jonathan Yonge

31st August 2019 at 9:20 am

“And the unravelling continues….”
IMHO Ultimately this will be a far bigger benefit to the UK than Brexit – even if Brexit somehow doesn’t happen (or a BRINO) nothing can now undo the change.
The UK has finally lost its deference to the great and the good. It has lost the class system which has held it back so many generations.

Bright future ahead.

Dave Brexit

31st August 2019 at 1:31 am

The beauty of thls whole episode is that the remainers now no longer which argument to advance in their continued efforts to extinguish the will of the ordinary people in this country. These obsequious EU fanatics are now eating themselves from within and their vexation over the proposed departure of their treasured federalist dream becomes more apparent and pathetic by the day. I don’t know what is more amusing, the upper middle classes crying over spilt milk or the upper middles classes claiming to care for the less well off in society by stamping their feet in support a German industry protectionist racket, aka the EU, entrenched in the interests of the banks and big business.

Michael Lynch

31st August 2019 at 12:34 am

Their hysteria is hysterical! The snobs are stuffed and they know it. Many suggest that Bojo has made a mistake with this move. But this is just Remainer wishful thinking, gibberish. What he’s done is quite clever – he’s called their bluff and is also flushing them out from behind their fake masks. They are now looking even more foolish to an already fed up electorate. What Boris has done is actually quite Churchillian – he’s shoving their own duplicity down their throats until they gag on it. For the first time in three years I’m feeling quite excited – he’s definitely got them on the run.

As far as the Major/Miller challenge – he’s a hypocrite as he prorogued Parliament himself for something really dishonest back in 97. Wonder if the media will revisit his ‘cash for questions’ scandal or will there be more convenient amnesia from them?

Jane 70

31st August 2019 at 3:38 am

Well said and the Grey Man does seem to have overlooked his enthusiastic deployment of prorogation to fend off awkward revelations about cash for questions.
Come back Fluck and Law, we need a new series of ‘Spitting Image’.
Meanwhile, north of the border, we have to endure regular eruptions from the High Priestess of Hyperbole, Ms Sturgeon, now in full outrage mode:

Michael Lynch

31st August 2019 at 11:15 am

Oh, if there was ever a time for ‘Spitting Image’ it’s right now. However, the ‘woke’ generation wouldn’t be able to stomach it. They’d all die from stress!

Bella Donna

31st August 2019 at 2:02 pm

I cannot remember a more ‘interesting’ time in politics. It certainly has woken us up to something most people didn’t know. Just how nasty and vile half of this country really are! I find it hard to imagine how this will end. In bygone days there would be a civil war lots of bloodshed and then the winner takes all. Only the destruction of the EU will resolve it.

Jane 70

31st August 2019 at 2:53 pm

This is all starting to have a Catch 22 flavour : Yossarian, Milo Minderbender and Major Major Major would fit in perfectly -Yossarian for Leave and the other 2 for Remain.

Brian Perkins

31st August 2019 at 12:28 am

We all know why Boris is doing what hes doing. Thats worrying. And there is no Brexit. Weve had years of this shit. Nobody can figure out what was promised, it was all lies. Thats why people are fed up and want to try something different. You knobs have had 3 years to deliver this phantom brexit. But its not possible. Nobody knows what the fuck it is. Time for a new approach. Stop your crying and rage writing at people who disagree with you

Ven Oods

31st August 2019 at 10:12 pm

Wouldn’t your last sentence apply to both sides?

Jim Lawrie

3rd September 2019 at 9:55 pm

We voted to leave. The preambles to the Act made clear that this meant out of The EU, its Institutions, laws and jurisdiction. Glad to have cleared that one up for you.

Peter Jenkins

30th August 2019 at 11:40 pm

Those ruling the Tory Party just now, think they can exploit people more being outside EU’s regulations. Their power driven by ordinary Brexiters will enable them to build a more divisive, unequal society. Perhaps we can then dump them and with new national freedoms build a radically different democratic alternative, but I wouldn’t bank on it. Why? Because the impetus for Brexit is about borders, control, nationalism and freedom to make money and not democracy. Whether we are in or out makes no difference to underlying power structures in the UK. This debate is a huge distraction from what really matters (equality) and this magazine inflames the distraction for its own class and culture war amusement.

Davy Hayes

31st August 2019 at 9:22 am

Really? So how come all those years ago Tony Benn and his disciple Jeremy Corbyn, etc regarded it as a capitalist construct to drive down wages, using freedom of movement to create a reserve pool of labour, etc. Also let’s not forget that until the dear leader became the dear leader,, he never voted for a single piece of EU or the then Common Market legislation? Was he wrong for something like 30 years? Of course many might not remember back all those years, but some of us do…..

Jerry Owen

31st August 2019 at 10:23 am

‘ Equality ‘ such a noble word and yet so meaningless as well.
Why do you think making money is opposed to democracy ?


30th August 2019 at 11:37 pm

Recent footage of PM Johnson relaxing with friends in the Lake District:

Jerry Owen

31st August 2019 at 10:26 am

You are pathetic !

Robert Sleigh

1st September 2019 at 3:31 pm

Godwin’s Law (also known as Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies) is a saying made by Mike Godwin in 1990. The law states: “As a discussion on the Internet grows longer, the likelihood of a comparison of a person’s being compared to Hitler or another Nazi reference, increases. (Wikipedia)

Comparing Johnson (or Corbyn or May or Merkel or Trump) to Hitler just shows your ignorance and stupidity.

Peter Jenkins

30th August 2019 at 11:18 pm

‘People like us’ ? I think you know there is madness on both sides and you revel in the chaos of the culture war. Enjoy !

Jules Hardiman

30th August 2019 at 9:56 pm

You have to admit that when all this is sorted we are all going to be sooooo bored, whatever are we all going to talk about?
For all the fun and games at Westminster and beyond, it shows how robust parliament is that it is coping with Bercows little games and MPs trying every trick they can come up with to beat Brexit, I think this is cause for celebrations.

bf bf

30th August 2019 at 9:08 pm

I find it hard to believe that a demented antidemocratic remainiac could have found his way to the Spiked comments other than to be a deranged troll.
You nonsensical blather will convince no one who has the intellect to read and comprehend the real world logical arguments it contains. So please stop wasting ever-ones time and shuffle back of to the Guardian or Daily mirror et al of the same ilk.


30th August 2019 at 8:23 pm

‘demand more democracy’ —

Where was the ‘democracy’ in decades of anti-EU propaganda and lies emanating from the right-wing bourgeois press? Demagogic instruments such as the Daily Mail are hardly known for their concern for ‘democracy’. Their agenda is to manipulate public opinion in the interests of a small cabal of Randian capitalists, people like Rees Mogg, who stand to make huge amounts of money from any dramatic fall in the value of the pound or general economic collapse of the UK. Such people are traitors.

The English and Welsh fell for these lies, blaming the EU for the glaring inadequacies of the UK’s so-called ‘constitution’ and the systematic destruction of regional powers along with regional autonomy and prosperity. A country in which an unelected PM forces an unelected head of state to prorogue part of the legislature in the interests of a restricted number of anarcho-capitalists dares to call the EU ‘undemocratic’! Oh the irony!


paul cusworth

30th August 2019 at 8:53 pm

I think you’ve got one sandwich short of a picnic.


30th August 2019 at 9:31 pm

No arguments, no evidence, just a puerile statement. Is that the best you can do?

SNJ Morgan

31st August 2019 at 4:00 am


Ashley Giles

30th August 2019 at 9:17 pm

While the ‘gutter press’ were anti EU, the BBC (which I dare say most ‘gutter press’ readers watched as their go-to evening news channel) was waging an underhand campaign for the EU – at least readers knew the bias of the ‘gutter press’, the Beeb however was supposed to be giving us balanced, even handed, fair reporting/analysis – it took a lot of us a long time to realise we were being indoctrinated.
Incidentally, that kind of suggests that the ‘plebs’ who read the tabloids & watched the news on the Beeb, were in fact more rounded in terms of the breadth of their news sources than the Guardianistas who shut themselves off in their increasingly deranged bubble.

SNJ Morgan

31st August 2019 at 4:05 am

All the media, including Sky News, are part of the bourgeois set. The only voices for the people came from Breitbart or similar online channels, as far as I’m aware.

So Brexit was one in the eye for all of them

Neil McCaughan

30th August 2019 at 10:38 pm

You’re having hysterics. Ask someone nicely to slap your face.

Michael Lynch

31st August 2019 at 12:52 am

Don’t know why you’re complaining about puerile statements in reply to your comments because you are rather good at that yourself. Hiding behind a fake handle to rattle out insults is also childish and rather dishonest.

Rupert Grant

31st August 2019 at 9:19 am

You either embrace parliamentary democracy and respect the result of the Referendum or you don’t. Remainiacs don’t get to pick and choose the results they support or disregard. It really is that simple. All else is deceit.

This government acknowledges the fundamental truth of the above: you are suffering from Brexit Derangement Syndrome and should seek help.

Neil McCaughan

30th August 2019 at 7:48 pm

Only someone who didn’t care about the sandwiches could write such a thing. Will no one care about the sandwiches?

Jesse Tomlin

30th August 2019 at 7:34 pm

They are behaving exactly like the Democrat leftists here in the US. I fervently hope that the wish of the people prevails.


30th August 2019 at 8:24 pm

Trump is hardly the guardian of liberal democracy, the open society and the US constitution now is he? The orange-faced buffoon knows little of reality, and even less of freedom.

Amin Readh

30th August 2019 at 9:49 pm

You’re good! Whoever you are.

Davy Hayes

31st August 2019 at 9:37 am

At least the “buffoon” has dropped considerably less bombs on people than Barak O’bomber and most of his predecessors for the last 20 odd years, I believe….

Jerry Owen

31st August 2019 at 10:30 am

Examples of your claims if you dare ?

terence patrick hewett

30th August 2019 at 6:57 pm

@Jerry Owen


terence patrick hewett

30th August 2019 at 6:39 pm

These poor deluded people believe they run the world – they don’t, the sciences do.

This is the usual enervated jealousy we have come to expect from the so called humanities; they envy our power and creativity. It was electrical engineers who created the BBC at the IET headquarters at Savoy Place, Waterloo, London. We all make mistakes!

Those in the sciences are not noted for their limp wristed introspection; it probably has a lot to do with the ruthlessness with which we get rid of anything which doesn’t work. Our creativity enables us to take 430 tonnes of assorted scrap metal, fill it with 500 people and propel it thorough the air at 500 mph, millions of times a year without significant loss. Have the liberal elites ever given birth to anything as magnificent as a Spitfire, a thing of aching beauty and of death; you see we do art, drama and history as well. You depend on us for everything you do, even the medium we are now using, the sciences created: you cannot switch on a light, turn on a tap or go to the lavatory without our leave.

So when you decorate your next tea cosy; remember we created the scissors as well.


30th August 2019 at 8:29 pm

A rather pathetic and hysterical post, displaying the usual, rather odd and disturbing, Brexiteer obsession with Spitfires and WWII. Your ranting underscores your lack of rationality. I fail to see what connection there is between voting remain and being anti-science. London, Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Bristol, etc. voted overwhelmingly to remain and they are all centres of scientific excellence. Also, the parallel drawn by ranting leavers between Naz-i Germany and the Germany of today is absurd, stupid and offensive. The Germany of today is a more prosperous, democratic and balanced country than either England or Wales. Yet again, Brexiteers prefer unthinking nationalism and racism to reasoned discourse.

Neil McCaughan

30th August 2019 at 10:39 pm

Do you always react in such an irrational fashion when you can’t have your own way?

Rupert Grant

31st August 2019 at 9:34 am

You really don’t get the EU and their democratic deficiency, do you? Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Ever more power in the hands of unelected and unaccountable beaurocrats is a very bad idea indeed.

But no matter. The more these grey suited men cry ‘more Europe!’ the more sovereign nations resist. The EU will either roll back the political project or collapse under the weight of its’ own contradictions. Federalism across national borders has never, and will never be sustainable. Read you history book!

It is not nationalism that endangers democracy. Imperialism is to blame for the major conflicts in the last century. The ‘nationalism’ of independent European nations is actually what resisted Hitler and all the other fascist dictators. A common love of country and a way of life / society that people could coalesce around and fight for us the only way to describe the British People’s determination to resist Hitler.l, for example. Nationalism doesn’t cause wars. Imperialism does. Exactly the kind of imperialism displayed by the EU in fact, in their subjugation of Greece and their increasing interference in the sovereign affairs of nation states

Jane 70

31st August 2019 at 10:54 am

Why do you persist in flinging these aspersions around? Ranting,stupid, offensive, etc,etc.

Having done this,you then accuse all of us who voted leave of being incapable of reasoned discourse. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

Why this strident attachment to the EU hegemony and its overpaid apparatchiks,with their arcane salary arrangements? ( Tax avoidance as part of the package.)

As Rupert Grant has pointed out-see above-the EU has steadily removed ever more autonomy from the member states,and there are now rumbles of discontent: Brexit being the most overt to date.

He also mentions the disgraceful treatment of Greece and its hapless people-one of the main reasons why I voted Leave.

I cannot understand why so many apparently superior Remainers lapse into ad hominem attacks , insults and meaningless pc-speak when asserting their claim to the one true faith.

Philip Humphrey

30th August 2019 at 8:47 pm

Replying to Terence Patrick Hewett. You are absolutely right. Unfortunately most of academia is obsessed with what is known as “critical theory” by which you don’t examine ideas and theories on their own merits – as in are they coherent and logical, are they consistent with experience, could they be true? Instead youngsters are taught to look at the author – has he or she ever said anything non-PC or not “woke” enough? If so then it’s all dismissed out of hand. And everything is considered in the light of sex, race, sexuality etc. Sadly this “disease” has started to infect science, especially the “soft” sciences. Needless to say, you don’t invent anything useful or discover anything of consequence that way.


30th August 2019 at 9:33 pm

Plenty of people involved in the humanities in British universities are not interested in ‘critical theory’ or ‘cultural Marxism’. Your sweeping generalisation is not helpful.

Ashley Giles

30th August 2019 at 9:36 pm

Having grown up in a split science/humanities household I can’t agree with you I’m afraid. Each, done right, has much to offer and both disciplines have contributions to make to the life of nations. I think however that humanities has lost its way in many universities as more social sciences (perhaps they do envy science!) have taken over. The advent of media and feminism/women’s studies has lead to the opposite of what the great academic subjects like history used to be all about – critical thinking. Such subjects have become so introverted and confrontational – creating their own self indulgent ‘intellectual speak’ which aims to do the opposite of communicate effectively, it seeks to exclude. It used to be all about communicating effectively and a process for opening one’s mind to the wide world of ideas around us and through our past. Humanities have moved so far towards narcissism they are now fit for no worthwhile purpose.
If I had a child now looking to go to university to study a traditional humanities subject, I’d say, ‘save your money, study from home, do your own research and try to engage online with like minded academics.’

Jim Lawrie

30th August 2019 at 9:54 pm

They despise the techies, not for developing planes and cars, but for reducing the cost to the point where everybody can afford them.

I remember my dad buying a PYE 22″ colour TV in 1974 so we could watch Scotland in the 1974 World Cup. £275. And all the men in the street cramming into our living room to watch it.

BTW that telly cost c.£1 per square inch.

Michael Lynch

30th August 2019 at 11:32 pm

Gosh, same as me. My Dad threw the old black and white one away whilst watching a 74 World Cup game. He got fed up when the Vertical hold threw a wobbler and he couldn’t get it to stabilize. We jumped in his MK 1 Cortina and went straight up to the Reddifusion shop to pick up a brand new color TV. Mom got a shock when she came home from work to find the houses crammed with the neighbors. More so when he handed her the HP agreement!

Jim Lawrie

31st August 2019 at 11:32 am

Thanks for the reply Michael. The £1 per square inch is £13 today, when the price is now 50p per square inch. I’m being an anorak.
My dad had just done a “homer”, as we call them them in Scotland, cash in hand, building trade. My mum was concerned about the power consumption.

If people need reminding, here are the 1968 prices, some of them in gns. £5,600 in today’s money for a 19″ colour TV. But TBF that did include the stand.

My mum baked scones, cake and bridies, and when the men in the street passed the hat round, they were more than generous. For all the cranking up of sectarianism we see in Glasgow now by middle class, privately maleducated loudmouths, it would not have occurred to us that someone might not be welcome or feel that way on account of what team they supported.

Jerry Owen

30th August 2019 at 6:35 pm

I’ve stocked up on popcorn !

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