The referendum campaign, the attitudes it unleashed, and the horrifying language reported from the 2016 Conservative Party Conference have been horrifying.
In the run-up to the referendum, on immigration immigration seemed key to the Leave campaign, who pushed in an irrational and emotional way. They correctly identified that people were sensitive to this.
There were scare stories that Turkey was about to be rushed into the EU and posters with an arrow from Turkey to the UK and the number “76 million”, strongly implying that vast numbers were queuing up to come to the UK. All that was missing was evidence.
The 2016 Tory conference will go down as a landmark moment. I fear it will come to be seen as the signalling of a chilling new “class war”.
On the surface the language could be heard as optimistic, with talk of opportunity and investment and everyone benefitting, and “Hard Brexit” being tough but good.
But the scarcely-concealed panic should be ringing alarm bells. Austerity abandoned, money to be borrowed for investment in housing and infrastructure. That sounds like a Keynesian reaction to an impending economic catastrophe induced by Brexit. Is that catastrophe what people voted for?