We could, I suppose, reject the whole of Dr Finn’s article as just another outpouring of a left-wing academic who has been disappointed by the choice of the electorate. Even though the article was written and first published just before the actual vote, it has only been ‘slightly edited to reflect the vote to leave’ – and contains all the seeds of the snarling, bitter reaction of the establishment to the outcome of the referendum vote.
But these seeds contain archetypes of some of the ways in which establishment reacted to the largest political mandate ever delivered by the British electorate. They are worthy of a little further study.
Aside from the many factual errors contained within Finn’s article, there is a line of reasoning which hinges around the ‘myths’ that he claims to have exposed.
His central theme seems to be the idea of the ‘Bond myth’ that is ‘the living embodiment of Britain’s self delusion’. Despite his confident assertion that ‘successive generations of Britons have internalised’ this mythos, he offers not one single shred of supporting evidence that anyone in the country (far less the electorate as a whole) considers James Bond to be real; and that his escapades are representative of Britain’s place in the world.
Most children seem to be able to move happily between play, perhaps in a make-believe world of their own, and back to reality again as their mother calls them into a meal, bed and then school the following morning. The consciousness of healthy, well adjusted children seem to be able to make these transitions very quickly. Normal, well adjusted adults do similar things by flipping their consciousness between fantasy and reality when watching a film or play. For a brief period, we are involved in the story that is unfolding. When it has ended, we are once again in the present reality. For this reason, most sane adults (and most well adjusted seven year olds) consider that James Bond is an entirely fictional character and is not in any way representative of the nation as a whole. But it seems that the only person who thinks that James Bond is sufficiently real to have inculcated an entire nation with fantasies of our ‘supernatural powers’ is Dr Mike Finn. That assumes, of course, that he actually believes his own argument.
So let us list Dr Finn’s myths:
- The Bond Myth – as outlined above and Part 1.
- The Standing Alone Myth – see Part 1.
- The Escapism Myth – see Part 1.
- The Historical Myth – principally military, but also cultural and constitutional, see Part 1.
- The Economic Myths – the uncritical regurgitation of the full horrors of George Osborne’s, Wolfgang Schäuble’s and Barack Obama’s stage-managed prognostications.
- the Sovereignty Myth – The public is actually capable of distinguishing the UK standing as a NATO member or as a trading partner to many countries outside the EU, as being distinct from the erosion of our ability to control our own laws and manage our own destiny as a nation within the EU.
All of these so-called myths have been generated either by Dr Finn himself, or elsewhere within the Remain camp. They are summed up in yet another pejorative that Dr Finn has applied to those of us that he considers to be the knuckle-dragging proles:
- The Self-Delusion Myth – a general term thrown at us by the logic of the entire article.
There is a strange circularity in the arguments that Finn has presented. So let us just examine the sequence of his logic:
- Finn generates the ‘Bond Myth’ which he says has been ‘internalised by successive generations’ of Britons.
- Finn then accuses the electorate of preferring ‘sentiment over sober judgement’ and of believing the Bond Myth.
- That only those of sober judgement (i.e. Dr Finn and his highly educated elite) are capable of separating fact from fiction.
- However the electorate have manifestly failed to believe in the Bond Myth and have voted overwhelmingly in favour of leaving the EU.
From this, we can draw three conclusions:
- The ‘Bond Myth’ is, in fact, a fantasy of Finn’s own fabrication.
- The Remain campaign also believed in this fantasy, or variants of it.
- The Brith electorate is saner and far more intelligent and well informed than Finn and his elitist cohorts give us credit for. We have seen right through the fantasies presented by the Remain camp and have voted accordingly.
These ‘myths’ demonstrate the utter, unbridled contempt that the educated elite have for the ordinary public in this country. What has happened, to the horror of the Remainers, is that the Leave voters have spotted these fabricated narratives – and rejected them convincingly. Brendan O’Neil’s celebration of the significance of this vote can be found here.
The huge irony is that only the Remainers believed (or wanted to believe) in these ‘myths’. Perhaps this explains the enormous surprise, disbelief, hurt and disappointment of the Remain camp when it all went horribly wrong for them on 23rd June 2016.