Welcome to Trump’s Britain

It’s often been said that the UK follows the trends that America sets. There’s one trend I wish would stay on the other side of the Atlantic – hate.
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It’s often been said that the UK follows the trends that America sets. My 50 years in the music business was driven by the ability to read the signals and respond quickly whenever I saw trends emerging across the pond.

But there’s one trend I wish would stay on the other side of the Atlantic – hate. Finally, all Trumps’ fighting talk has spilled over to action, with bombs sent to CNN – the news network he loves to hate – and to a number of political opponents.

Sadly, it is now obvious – and in no small part thanks to Brexit – we are following suit. The country is divided. Villages are split, communities are split, even families. Old friendships are souring, the country is fractured, and our government is powerless to do anything about it.

How have we allowed this to happen? For one thing, we’re assuming that, once the whole thing is over, we can forget about Brexit go back to our normal lives and everyone will start getting on with each other once again. Wrong. Brexit has scarred our country in a way that could take generations to recover. Whatever happens, certainly in the short- to mid-term, we are all going to be worse off.

Right now, everyone is focused on what kind of Brexit we are going to have – and actually, whether there should be a Brexit at all, even another referendum. After all, critics are predicting that a no-deal Brexit will mean food shortages, medicine and fuel in short supply, riots and public disorder. Who is to blame? The Brexiteers? Yes, if you ask the Remainers, but do you think the Brexiteers will accept, at this point, they were wrong? No.

They will blame the government for messing it up, they will blame the Remainers for not ensuring a smooth passage to Brexit Day, and they will blame the EU for being nasty and not giving us a lovely deal. They will blame the French for imposing customs posts on their borders and clogging up the ports.

Remainers will blame the Brexiteers for lying about the £350 million. They’ll blame them for the racial attacks, the sinking economy and the deep rift dividing this country. They’ll blame them even as its chief architect, Nigel Farage, is filling his pockets thanks to a £150,000 bonus, compensation for losing his job as MEP.

In fact, blame will play a large part of any kind of Brexit with both sides blaming each other, and no one taking responsibility for the final outcome. Never ones for shying away from a trend, us Brits have taken Trump’s signature whataboutery and made it their own.

And while the national mood is grim now, in every scenario this smouldering civil war won’t suddenly stop on March 29th – my view is this is just the beginning. I even joke amongst friends that I’d go on an extended holiday abroad if we actually do storm out of the EU and slam the door behind us until we know things are safe – but the same might apply to other scenarios like a reversal of the referendum, a no-deal Brexit or anything that could cause substantial civil unrest.

The only way this might not happen is if there is a deal and a long implementation period, which means we have the status quo for the time being – but even then, there will still be huge antagonism that the whole process has been delayed.

Let’s just hope that the bad feeling doesn’t become action. That’s when we’ll have fully embraced the trend of hate that has drifted here from Trump’s America.


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