Sunday 26 June 2016

Ignorance Not Immigration Caused Brexit

The chattering classes don't speak up
A historic change in the future of one of the world's most powerful countries has been made on the basis of what many now acknowledge was a series of half truths fed to the whole nation at the EU Referendum. They were swallowed hook line and sinker by the nation's least informed and voted for. Ignorance of: macro economics, the EU, our place in the world, what underpins it, and the wider implications of our votes, has put Britain out of the EU.
Chattering classes
I do not blame the ill informed. Macro economics is a total yawn to most except economics nerds. The complex linkages between growth, governance, security, immigration, is like solving a Rubik cube even for the informed. I think it is the middle classes, the relatively well-travelled, the relatively well informed who pulled the stunt of not speaking loudly enough (for fear of causing offence or intruding on others' points of view, even exposing their own privileged positions perhaps?). The only people in Britain who EXPLICITLY talk to their children about racism and immigration are the fascists, extremists and racists. "Decent" people talk parenthetically and think they've covered it off! Like talk of drugs, sex education and pornography, if you dont discuss these things clearly and offer young people steers, they will grow up to be informed by a media and public opinion we absolutely cannot trust. We will grow ignoramuses in very important areas of life even among the chattering classes.

Related Post: Brexit - A New Dawn Or A Long Night

How ignorance grows
Speak directly to children with guidance on race
Finally the biggest lie of all...Britons are too great to be ignorant , that being English willy nilly, ipso facto means you are savvy with the world. Neither are true! Being British gives you a fantastic opportunity to be savvy with the world because Britain has so many connections with the entire world. However this is so only if you avoid the know-it-all sense of entitlement, or the "let's take it all for granted" attitudes which are the greatest incubators of ignorance. Again it's the literate, chattering classes who are best placed to lead this charge, but do they? No! They sit on their hands, feel embarrassed or ashamed to call the issues and act on their RESPONSIBILITY to themselves and their society based on what they know.
Denial has a price
Brexit Leader Boris Johnson - Half truths
Sometimes I think we've had it too good for too long. We feel our privileges will remain forever without attention. Or we act to maintain the narrow privileges assured to mostly white Britons which they take for granted yet often deny. It's this casual denial and avoidance that puts us in the pickle we are in today, and enables a few strongly motivated totally self interested Britons to present themselves as social saviours when their falsehoods border on the treasonous. Treasonous because their popular but false claims have facilitated the disintegration of the nation and its status. Well now we shall see the price of denial and minimisation. And no, wringing our hands won't be good enough in response! We are going to have to engage with the mess we are in and at last call a spade a spade.

Friday 24 June 2016

Brexit - A New Dawn Or A Long Night ?

Cameron resigns at No.10 via Daily Telegraph

The British people have just taken their country out of the EU by a narrow margin of 52% to 48% on a huge turnout of 72% of the electorate. Donald Trump has called it a great result because "people everywhere are angry!" The result flew in the face of early polls all of which predicted a narrow Remain win.
Rebellious north
It seems traditional labour voting areas like the North East and Wales handed the Leavers this referendum. They are not nuts. They, like many leavers acted on the information they were most credibly fed. Economic decline in their regions was painted as the result of an influx of foreign migrants, giving rise to a sense that we had lost control of our borders, and with that our national character and even independence. So the pitch to call this referendum a vote for independence or taking back control sounded not only appealing , but a way to kick back at the migrants, their patrons (read political elite on all sides), and the cosmopolitan rather effete and even dilettante urban well to do in places like London, who had neither listened to or responded to the pain of the poor.

Related post : Ignorance Not Immigration Caused Brexit
Election Results via BBC

Ugly campaign
The campaigns took on an increasingly ugly, border-line xenophobic, sometimes crypto-racist , tone on the one hand; and rather out of touch, pie in the sky, we know better than you ordinary folk (despite your experience of recent government policy) tone on the Remain side. No one could own up to the fact that austerity for the many presented as economic success for the few was the main cause of the anger. The scapegoating of migrants who make a NET contribution to our country was totally overlooked. To defend migrants was seen as unpatriotic. The rest of the claims about the Brussels gravy train and unaccountability of un-elected officials were easy to present and make stick.Especially in a country like the UK with centuries of Empire in its past , and used to being looked up to everywhere, our language spoken in most of the world, the call for a return to past glory , freedom and the economic privileges this country once enjoyed easily found traction. Even if not consciously, I am certain these thoughts played strongly in the subconscious of many, particularly older, Leave voters.
New dawn or long night for the UK?

Reaping what we sow
This referendum was won on a lie. But life is lived on the bases of truth and reality. We are about to discover which of our attitudes were political and media manufactured fantasies and which were really true of life. There will be consequences which have started already. The PM has gone, Corbyn and the Labour leadership can expect to pay a price for the rebellion of their voters. The Kingdom has moved steps closer to losing one of its parts (Scotland), and the international economy will act on facts not emotion. Sterling has dived, and Banks like Barclays have lost 30% of their share value within minutes of the results. The anti migrant rhetoric has been legitimated by the result and it will become more "ok" to be fearful or nervous of people who look and sound un-British.
I think Britain just became a smaller country and it hurts. Yet no one can buck the law of cause and effect. You reap what you sow. We shall see in short order what crop we shall harvest