Originally posted on 29th June 2016.
The warning signs that we are entering a new epoch have been a long time coming, but the events which have occurred in the last few weeks have hurtled us towards it. The epoch I speak of, is one where casual racism and extreme nationalism rules and dictates the political weather.
If you've been living under a rock and haven't noticed, just take a look at the hate reports that have come flooding in over the past few days. Polish-origin schoolkids get cards calling them “vermin”, who must “leave the EU”. A halal butchers was petrol bombed in Walsall. A BBC reporter was called a paki in her home town. A TV correspondent notes that within five minutes three different people shout, “Send them home.” Neo-Nazi stickers being posted all over Glasgow. An 11 year-old girl racially abused in Sussex. Another child being told to go back to Romania, in the girls toilet at a school. More Nazi graffiti being daubed on walls in Belfast. Numerous people saying they voted to leave the EU to "keep the Muslims out". I've even seen someone post that their sister was racially abused and assaulted on the day we voted for Brexit. The list goes on.
No surprise, then, that anti-Muslim abuse soared by 326% last year. But this isn't just about Islamophobia anymore. The fetid build-up to the referendum and the result itself, has brewed a multi-headed attack; not just on Muslims, but anyone else who looks like their ancestry hasn't dwelled in England for the past 500 years. It's tempting to say, the solution would be to just legalise the execution of any human filth caught spouting racial abuse, on the spot. Although they don't deserve anything better than that, the catalysts for such wretchedness runs much deeper.
As it always has, xenophobia trickles down from the top. This is what happens when influential politicians and prime-ministerial wannabes (you know who I'm talking about), sprinkle their campaigns with the seeds of intolerance and bigotry. They don't just sprinkle it, they outrightly indulge and encourage their vulgarity. In times of uncertainty, there is always a place for a scapegoat. Disabled people had their benefits cut and were labelled as skivers by ministers last year, que a rise in hate crimes against people with disabilities. This time, the intensity has been cranked up and now, not just immigrants, but anyone who looks like one of their ancestors was an immigrant, has been made a target.
So, what can we do? Very little, unless we decide to burn the establishment overnight. That being unlikely, we need to prevent these quasi-fascist fuckwits, on all levels, from producing any more fertile ground. The referendum has been a masterclass in 'divide and conquer' tactics - I don't think the nation has ever been so carved up in my lifetime. But this must stop now. Without sounding a little bit sensationalist, hyper-nationalism and economic turmoil have had cataclysmic ramifications before. We are only a few false moves away from allowing that to happen again.