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