The EU Referendum: Turkeys have voted for Christmas

typicalcoalminers

visions of lost collective power – coal miners

SARA has come to stay. That’s Shock, Anger, Rejection, Acceptance.  – it’s a model to explain the process of grief.

Yesterday we experienced the shock that the country had voted to leave the EU.

I say country – actually 72% of the electorate voted, 52% of whom voted Out.  46.5 million were eligible to vote, of the 65 million UK population, or 71.5% of the population. 52% of 72% is 37% of the electorate. 71.5% of that is 26.7%. So just over a quarter of the people of the UK voted for all of us to leave the EU.  Let’s just mull over, or indeed on the SARA model, ruminate on that fact.

Those aged over 65 were most likely to vote to leave the EU. 18% of the UK population are over 65. A simple comparison between the UK age map and the UK leave map shows a correlation between areas which voted out and areas with a high population of older people. East Lindsey, for example, in Lincolnshire, has a 65+ population of 26%, far higher than the national average. And 71% voted to leave, one of the highest proportions in the whole country.

Obviously the 19% of the population under 15 didn’t get to vote in the Referendum, even though it was their future being decided. Even the 16-17’s who could have voted, weren’t allowed to. Just those 16 and 17 year-olds make up 1.5 million people whose lives were changed, and had no say in it. Polling suggests that only 36% of the 18-24 age group actually voted, compared with 83% of those over 65. Could the low turnout among the young have been, in part at least, due to changes in the electoral system which saw 800,000 fewer young people on the register?

Demographics also indicates that it was the old “working classes” or at least retired working class people, who voted out. Time and again we have heard working class people saying “we’ve finally got our country back” or “there are too many immigrants taking our jobs.” Evidently these are genuinely held views, and can’t simply be dismissed as having been taken in by the lies of the neo-libertarians who have run the campaign. Just like any anti-democratic movement, they have captured the zeitgeist and ruthlessly exploited it for their own gain.

It’s no surprise that the older working class feel this way – as they remember a time before we were in the Common Market, when the working class really did have a very large say in the way the country was run. That was a time when Unions could bring down Governments – as they did with the Miner’s strikes which felled Ted Heath; and the Winter of Discontent which ushered in the long rule of the Tories through the 80s and 90s. And it’s no real surprise that the end of that era arrived more or less at the same time as we joined the Great European Project. Because that was the time when Neoliberalism was taken up by Margaret Thatcher.

Neoliberal philosophy had developed in the 1940s but was on the obscure margins of economics until Anthony Fisher took it up in the 50s and created a world of neoliberal thinktanks operating secretively to inculcate their theology into political thinking. Film-maker Adam Curtis has written a fascinating history of this time here. I digress.

The point I’m making is that the older and retired working classes who voted us out of the EU are harking back to a time when they had power. But that time has long gone, thanks mostly to the wholesale adoption of neoliberal economics and theology  – by recent Governments of both persuasions. Gone is the belief in, and existence of, collective action.  A belief born, after the Napoleonic wars but before Marx, amongst the poor farm workers of Dorset, who were transported to Australia on trumped up charges, for having “sworn a secret oath” that they would act collectively to bargain for increased wages (increased above starvation levels).

These “out” voters have blamed the EU for the loss of their power, the loss of the industries that created the power of collective action. When in fact, they are blaming the wrong target. Why? Because they have bought into a very clever, very deliberate Framing of the argument.

If you don’t know what Framing is, read this.

Those running the Leave campaign have framed the argument in terms that places the blame for all our country’s ills on the EU. They did an excellent job too. Too many immigrants? Blame the EU. NHS in funding crisis? blame the EU. Not allowed to catch as many fish as you want? Blame the EU. Britain not the Great Britain of yore? Blame the EU.

Framing isn’t about facts – it’s about emotion. It’s about finding those emotional triggers which will cause you to change your mind, or if you already think the way the campaigners want you to think, to reinforce your views. And then repeating the same messages, over and over again.

Think of the £350M a week “factoid” – even though it was shown up to be a lie. They just kept repeating it. If you want a little sneaky peak behind the Campaign curtain, read this from Mark Wallace on Conservative Home website. Wallace knows all the key players.  Two key players in particular are worth singling out – Matthew Elliott and Dominic Cummings. Elliott ran the fake Think Tank the TaxPayers Alliance before running the Leave campaign. He is as hard an ideological neolibertarian as it is possible to be. Except when compared with Dominic Cummings.

Cummings was the notorious special adviser to Michael Gove when Gove was causing mayhem in schools as the Education Minister. Cummings will use whatever tactics he considers necessary to achieve his ideological objectives. He set up a twitter account in the name of @toryeducation and used it to smear his opponents anonymously and generally behaved in a venomous way while at the DfE. At a recent Parliamentary hearing he stated “accuracy is for snake-oil pussies”. Chairman of that Parliamentary Treasury Select Committee Andrew Tyrie stated that Cummings “plays fast and loose with the facts”, which is of course exactly what he did in the Leave campaign.  Facts are for pussies – what’s important is how you frame the narrative.

As if waking up after a particularly wild party with someone who you don’t quite remember their name (no, never happened to me), some are starting to wonder whether they made the right decision. Cornwall for example.

Cornwall voted 57/43 for out. Cornwall is one of the poorest areas in the whole EU. Between 2007 and 2013 Cornwall received £650M in EU structural funds, supporting the construction of new roads, developing new businesses and putting in broadband, for example.  For the forthcoming period to 2020 Cornwall would have received a further €600M in EU structural funds – compared with €50M in Dorset. Now Cornwall, waking up to discover it has just cut off its nose to spite its face, is now demanding that all the money that used to come via Brussels, now continues to flow from Whitehall. To which I say DREAM ON.

Wales is another example. Wales, to my mind astonishingly, voted to leave. Wales received £1.9 Billion of EU structural funds in the period 2007-2013. Just to take one example, Blaenau Gwent voted 62/38 to Leave. Blaenau Gwent, a tiny local authority area, received £19M in EU structural funds in 2014 alone. And this funding helped lever in other funding that would otherwise have been unavailable. I imagine the Welsh will also now be demanding that all the money that previously came from the EU is now ring-fenced.

The Farmers are doing the same thing – remember they received £3billion a year, just for owning land (they don’t have to grow food to receive the subsidy). I have written copiously on what the farmers and landowners have been promised by the Leavers (eg here). They promise to continue funding farm subsidies at the same level until 2020. But that’s not long away at all – during the 2 years after Article 50 is invoked (whenever that is) all existing funding commitments will continue to apply. Even if Art 50 is invoked tomorrow, that still takes us to summer 2018. Then it’s just another couple of years before that promise resolves. What then – for the farmers of Cornwall, the farmers of Lincolnshire and the farmers of Wales. Well for starters the money has already been promised elsewhere. “We can use that £350M a week to save the NHS” for example. Except now Farage is saying that promise should never have been made.

What all these people, waking up to the morning after, don’t realise, is that there is no intention whatsoever of replacing the EU funding. This is a money grab by those who believe ideologically, theologically, in shrinking the state, reducing public expenditure and moving whatever can be moved, to a market-based system. This will hit the poorest hardest. The very people who have voted to leave the EU will be the ones who suffer most. It’s tempting to say – well you wanted, you’ve got it, just live with it.

But what about the children who didn’t have a choice the way their parents voted? What about the old people who voted to stay in, and are now going to see the services on which they depend – like the NHS, cut, cut again; then sold off to private profiteers?

We have surely opened a Pandora’s Box – and we will only slowly discover what has been released. One thing is for sure. This is another victory for neoliberalism.

You might have guessed – that I have moved on from Shock – to Anger.

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About Miles King

UK conservation professional, writing about nature, politics, life. All views are my own and I don't write on behalf of anybody else.
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58 Responses to The EU Referendum: Turkeys have voted for Christmas

  1. Tom says:

    In my Anger, I cannot comment and expect you to leave it in place.

    I can only say I am angry, very ANGRY.

  2. taylor54blog says:

    Sir, it was won on a lie. The £360m amount to go into the NHS was retracted straight away by that excuse for a human being Farage. I have never felt so much anger in all my life. It was won by a bunch of fraudsters.

    • Johnny be good says:

      The last election was won I lie, all the things Cameron promised and back tracked on most….. The one thing he didn’t lie about was the referendum, we have those people who voted him to thank for all this!

      • Miles King says:

        it’s a good point. Richard Murphy points out on his blog http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/richard-murphy/ , that Cameron expected to have to horse trade with the LibDems in a 2015 coalition, and lose the commitment to a referendum. When he won, he sealed his own fate. Gove and Johnson then saw their opporunity to use it to gain power. It’s a highly credible theory – in future the historians will argue over whether it is true.

  3. Terry says:

    I think the ‘snake oil’ comment was from a satirical article in the Guardian – it’s not a true quote. Cummings is bonkers though.

  4. Andrew says:

    Yes Wales and Cornwall got a lot of money from the EU but who decided that. In 20 years time with even more countries joining the EU maybe those funds would have been slashed or been taken away entirely. And there is noting we could have done about it. We may be poorer but at least we have more of a say if money starts going to the wrong places.

    • Miles King says:

      It’s another of the great lies the campaign has repeated. There will be no money Andrew. The money that flowed from the Treasury to the EU and back to places like Cornwall and Wales will disappear. It will not be replaced. You have not been watching who has been running the campaign and what their attitude is to the State, to public spending. Look again.

      • Timothy says:

        Andrew seems to be saying that, although the funding will be taken away, it was never guaranteed indefinitely anyway, and that in leaving the EU the government will have more say in what happens in the UK (for better or for worse) in terms of legislation.

        Although there’s no replacement of this funding, the amount we spent to remain in the EU will not just disappear, and it will be up to the government as to where it is spent. If people in these areas were expecting this money to be redistributed to favour them as before, then they have been misled, but I suspect that many voted for the country as a whole – so that the government has greater control over where money is spent, and which rules and regulations will benefit the people of the U.K. I believe these arguments are what have swayed more ‘leave’ voters than people seem to think (I.e. Not just the lies Farage has been spewing).

      • Miles King says:

        Thanks Tim.

        In 2015 UK public expenditure, national and local, was £754Billion. The UK’s net contribution to the EU in 2015 was £8.5Billion ie just over 1% of all public expenditure. Even our total contribution was only £13Billion ie still under 2%.

        As for rules and regulations – yes these laws, generally speaking, do benefit the people of the UK – and not just the people. Environmental and human health protection are included in those rules and regulations which the EC develop – for our benefit. This Government, the Westminster Government, has been busy ripping up all sorts of rules which benefited people and the environment, since 2010. Now they will happily rip up a load more, derived from EU law, which they had not previously been able to rip up.

        This further bonfire of “red tape” will not benefit the people of the UK – but it will benefit business, usually big business.

  5. My suggestion is that you move on from anger to Angus.

  6. tomhill991 says:

    What are some possible outcomes for UK expats owning businesses in the EU Miles?

  7. I’m 27, i voted out.

    I don’t care about immigration, the country is huge we can take more. The NHS is a mess with or without it. It’s a non starter of an argument.

    I voted out because in my lifetime i have never felt any tangible, measurable effects on my life by being in the EU. Too much emphasis has been put on the economics of Europe rather than the unity of people. The EEC was a good thing, but the turning point came in 1993 when it turned into a political movement to impose the same rules across multiple nations.
    The UK were never really IN the EU anyway, we didn’t accept free movement of people, nor the Euro. Other countries never liked the fact that we weren’t really committed.

    I voted out because Spain, Greece and Italy are being propped up by the EU, how many more failing economies will the EU support? Adding yet more – almost third world economies – to the mix in the future will make things worse. You cannot drag a country into a a first world economy by accepting them into a club of first world economies. If it worked, the whole of Europe would be prospering right now.
    It’s a failed model. It will crumble in my lifetime i’m sure of it. So why stay in an already fractured, toxic environment until the bitter end. Leave, build buffers to protect ourselves when it does eventually fall apart.

    I voted out because far too many people in this country are spineless, scared of their own shadow. We don’t protest when things effect us as a nation. We sit by and let it happen. Fuel prices go up, we take it. The NHS is in turmoil with a GP surgery closing almost daily, we take it.
    Do you think France would sit idly by? No. The French nation always come together as one and make their voice heard. We all sit in our own little bubbles, scared to offend, scared to speak out.
    I genuinely worry that if a situation arose as it did in the 1940’s within the world where our nation was under threat that we wouldn’t act. We have lost that confidence, that courage, to stand on a world stage and say or do what needs to be done. Look at the current Labour leader, how can you have such a pacifist as a LEADER?

    I voted out because i am with those people in their 60’s, 70’s, 80’s. They have lived in, and out of the EU. If they have chosen to vote out, do you not think that speaks volumes?
    They have been in the EU for 40 odd years and seen no real dramatic changes, no prospering economy, no massive benefits to our membership.
    Surely that makes the people below their age naive does it not? If the EU is all you have ever known why would you vote to change that? So i respect the elder vote massively, they have seen both sides and voiced where they would rather be.

    We still give roughly 100 million to the EU every week after you remove the rebate fluff. That money can still be set aside and redistributed in the same way it is now. And you know what, if that doesn’t happen by the government that’s in power WE can change that. They can be voted out, we can protest against it to make sure it happens.

    Voting out is a great thing for this country. Opinion is pretty much split 50/50, that’s a lot of passion to be stirred up on both sides. Hopefully it gets people out of their own little worlds, to actually feel something about their future, about the future of the United Kingdom.

    • Miles King says:

      thanks very much for your comment Adam. I respect your views – and I was tempted by the left/green arguments for leaving the EU. I wanted to vote “yes but” because I also believe the EU is flawed and needs fundamental reform.

      But on balance, and especially at this time, and with the people who are going to benefit most from us leaving, I decided to vote to remain.

      All I can say is be careful what you wish for. Things might improve here, or they might go badly wrong. If, as you suggest, the EU collapses – what then? a return to vicious nationalism? That didn’t work out so well in the 19th or 20th century.

    • furtlefinch says:

      You have a touching faith in democracy at Westminster. You can, theoretically, vote against policies you oppose, but for that vote to count you have to live in one of the few marginal seats. And then, to oppose the incumbent, you have to guess which one of the opposing candidates is most likely to win. It can happen, but it does so very rarely. And even then, I have virtually no representation of the Green policies I support. Unlike in the EU Parliament where votes translate directly into policies. But I guess most of the angry folk against the EU never voted in EU elections anyway.

    • Mike Pellatt says:

      Propping up failing economies can work. Look at German reunification. East Germany was an utter basket case, whose sole role in the world from 1945 up to that date was as a key salient for the Soviet Union into Western Europe, and funded by the USSR for that purpose. Well, that and building Trabants….

      West Germany’s economy suffered for 10 years rebuilding the East. Many West Germans deeply resented this. But it worked. And as a major bonus, memories of how the Stasi acted have informed today’s German data protection laws, and, by extension, EU ones.

      Which we are now throwing away.

  8. David says:

    How far back can we trace this style of the “game”? Surely it’s been around for a long time, just the consequences this time are the most desperate. E.g. was it not Keith Joseph (CPS), Bernard Ingham & the like during the dawn of Ms Thatcher that sowed the seeds of all this what we are now calling “framing”.

    How can any party ever realise anything approximating a true democracy (voice of the people) without playing the same game – which surely is anti-democratic.

    (Shocked & Angry).
    :-/

    • Miles King says:

      Thanks David. The notion of frames as a theory derives from the science of cognitive linguistics which has been around for at least 35 years https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_linguistics.

      • David says:

        Yes. But I mean this isn’t a new “game” in town. It’s Thatcher’s legacy played harder and faster with devastating results. I don’t see how the voice of the people, those suffering the most will ever be heard or (worse) listened too.

      • Miles King says:

        thanks David – it is certainly part of Thatcher’s legacy (TINA) playing out.

      • David says:

        Thank you. Playing a lot of catch up. Just read Adam Curtis’ brilliant ‘Curse of TINA’, which answers so many questions.

      • Miles King says:

        Thanks David.

        Yes although some of Curtis’ work is decidedly dodgy, that particular piece in brilliant.

      • Phil says:

        I’m sorry but this “style of game” has been going on for a lot longer than that. At least a couple of thousand years, but that’s only because the historical record is a little thin before that. Read up on Ancient Greek and Roman politics and you’ll find the essence of politics has changed little, even if (some of) the details and policies have changed…

      • The best description I know of framing, its importance, how effectively it has been used by the political Right, and how and why progressives (for lack of a better word) should be using it, is in Lakoff’s highly readable Don’t Think of an Elephant

  9. Christopher says:

    Maybe places like Cornwall and Wales can raise their own cash through federalising the UK so counties and countries within the UK can have more control over their tax and spend policies. Relying on state handouts can result in a place being a slave to the state and wanting big-government politics, just like Scotland.

    All in all, state subsides are bad if you are relying on them to the point when you don’t feel the need to raise money yourself.

    • Miles King says:

      That sounds a bit dog eat dog to me. Should pensioners who are “relying on state handouts” get back to work, or if they can’t, be sent to the workhouse?

    • Malcolm butcher says:

      Totally agree with the last paragraph maybe it’s the kick up the backside that we need to start working for ourselves again,same old finance problems we must make and export more than we import and become self sufficient this means boosting industry why not have a government held business in most towns and after 3months on the dole you have to work in one of these to get your income rather that getting it for doing nothing this would lesson the benefits and unemployment and give people a purpose again and the government might make some profit out of it, and yes I voted out as to few country’s can’t carry the burden for all the poor ones

  10. I skipped over Shock. I saw this result coming as soon as Cameron won the election with the referendum in his manifesto. Britain has always been eurosceptic and a referendum gives an opportunity to vote Leave to people who’d rather die than vote for Farage or Boris in a general election.

    There will be lots of changes as a result of this and for the environment they will mostly be negative. All we can do is try our best to influence future UK governments to apply environmental rules that they’re no longer forced to accept. I’m old enough to remember the Thatcher government before the EIA, Birds & Habitats directives and it wasn’t good.

    Back then Labour was uninterested in the environment and the Greens were an eccentic, irrelevant minority party. Both of those have changed, so it’s not necessarily hopeless.

    But I have to admit to a fair amount of despair. And I’m frantically trying to get to Acceptance in time to support Leave-voting Wales against Remain-voting Northern Ireland later. Not there yet.

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  12. Jane Pursey says:

    Not quite 65 myself I voted in. At the beginning of all this, I was a Leaver, with the same thoughts as a lot of my generation “that my dad didn’t fight in the war to be governed by Germany”. However, I am fortunate to have a son in his 30’s living in London and just starting his own business, when he asked me how I was going to vote I told him, then I had an education in the EU and what it would mean to the next generation if we should come out. It got me thinking, and from then on I read as much as I could and listened to those in the know, and watched the various debates on the television, because I knew it was going to be a very important decision.

    I think a lot of the problem was, the fact that people do not know and are not educated well enough to understand the implications of in or out. Politicians certainly did not go out of their way to try to persuade the general public one way or the other, the debates on tv were reduced to shouting talking over each other and throwing insults, the arguments were over the same issues – the NHS, Immigration and a bit of the economy, with neither side giving firm answers to any questions the audience had asked. Politicians should have been reminded that there are more indians than chiefs voting on this issue and we now know the result of their ignorance,

    It will be my son’s generation that will have to try and build this country up again, and I really think it will be his generation that will have a good enough Prime Minister to do it, because at the moment unless somebody comes out of the woodwork soon there is nobody that I would trust in that role.

    Just to add, with my new found knowledge I was able to convince a few more “old people” to change their minds, and although we didn’t win they were glad they did, this was for the next generation not for ours.

    • Miles King says:

      Thank you very much for that comment Jane. I think you have nailed it on the head, especially the “my dad didnt fight in the war so we could be ruled by Germany” argument.

      The Leave campaign cleverly framed the arguments to focus on things like the £350M a week lie and the “we can use this money for the NHS” lie; and that immigration is caused by the EU and too many people are coming to the UK – which is a half truth at best. And they successfully rammed home these messages.

      Combine that with an electorate that is understandably cynical about politicians and politics, having the opportunity to give “the establishment” a kicking, without having to think about which party they would like to see in power, and the powder keg detonated.

  13. John Kay says:

    The blame game frame gathers momentum. The people have spoken – the Bastards!

    I’m not going to apologise for being grey-haired and old. After I voted “Remain” no-one collared me and asked me how old I was and how I had voted. Fortunately, or there might have been an “incident”. But as many as 4,772 people did stump up this information from our curiously rounded population of 65,000,000. From other data and a lot of interpolation the FT has synthesised some interesting plots:

    http://blogs.ft.com/ftdata/2016/06/24/brexit-demographic-divide-eu-referendum-results/

    My attention was caught by the positive correlation between turnout and age. Also some snips from online news media:

    “Older voters, who show up faithfully to vote no matter how physically uncomfortable it is for them, wield a lot of political power. It’s hard for young people comprehend how all those marginalised old people they take no notice of could ultimately wield so much power. It’s an unfortunate learning experience for them.”

    “But, speaking as an old person, and passionate remainer, totally positive about Europe, I cannot understand why the young vote so little. They might have prevented the disaster of the last general election. Are they lazy or disillusioned. They have betrayed us positive old people, and our middle aged children. Its all so sad.”

  14. Richard says:

    A great article clear and concise , thank you.
    I am 70 years old and I left the UK in 1990 fed up with the bully Thatcher and found a more rewarding but not perfect lifestyle in France.
    Even though my rights and situation may well change as a result of a leave vote I wasn’t allowed the right to vote. Had I been allowed to vote I would have voted remain for all my grandchildren Welsh, Scottish, English and French, a family.
    An out vote seemed irrevocable and unfair to future generations.
    The European model is far from perfect and clearly needs reform. The malaise of the UK is so clearly the result of poor governing since the 1970’s by the British Government/Parliament and not the EU. Thus framing an argument to remain was always going to be a hard one. (“Yes it’s flawed and the problems facing the country are all my fault”, is neither a stance many politicians would take up nor a winning one)
    Finally had this been a Trial in any UK court a retrial would immediately be held on the grounds of admitted perjury by the witnesses and so I urge anyone who feels that the result of this referendum is unjust to sign here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/131215

    • Miles King says:

      thanks very much Richard.

      My wife’s uncle and aunt also moved to France around the same time as you did. They were also denied the right to vote. How Cameron must be regretting that decision now.

  15. Roger says:

    A very well written and interesting article that has certainly given me food for thought.

    At the risk of upsetting you and your readers, I admit that I voted to leave. Do I regret it? Not yet. Am I certain I’ll never regret it? Not at all.

    I like to think my choice wasn’t due to the manipulation you’ve detailed above, but as with all clever manipulation, I can’t be truly certain. I would however ask that you try to keep an open mind about those that voted to leave, certainly don’t think less of anyone for it. I prefer to believe that no one took the choice lightly and had done their own research, rather than listening to the extreme views proffered up on either side. It would be arrogant in the extreme to believe that any opinion other than one that agrees with your own is wrong. The referendum forced us all to make a binary choice on something complex that we don’t have binary feelings about. There are parts of the EU and its legislation I would prefer to keep; conversely there are parts that really should be changed or scrapped. If I had faith that those who run the EU would be open to change, I would have remained; alas I do not, and only foresee more countries leaving unless they become more flexible. Is this the rise of nationalism, or simply disillusion with federalism? Perhaps both unfortunately but I digress.
    Unlike many, I was actually thinking of my two young children. You’ll think me mad, but warnings that house prices would drop sounded like a blessing, as currently around here they are beyond reach to most of the population. Will this come at a cost? Very likely. I bought my house to live in, not as an investment, so don’t mind if the value of my house diminishes. Will there be jobs for them? That’s the gamble I took, but I have faith there will be.

    Had we remained in the EU, the only other option to reduce prices would be to build houses on a scale that would see large swathes of our beloved countryside concreted over, and that wasn’t an acceptable option to me. Immigration to some isn’t about xenophobia, it’s the practicalities of housing so many people. We are already unable to be self sufficient as a nation. When fossil fuels run out, and importing goods is a problem, or worse, war breaks out, what then, mass starvation?

    When idealism and pragmatism clash, there can only be one winner.

    • Miles King says:

      Thanks Roger for your very considered comment. Brave of you also to express views here, and that deserves respect too.

      I hope you will note I did not mention xenophobia or racism in my piece. It’s undoubtedly true that racists, islamophobes and fascists have been involved with the Out campaign, but they certainly have not been leading the charge – that has been the Neoliberals, which I also note you did not mention.

      There are good reasons for leaving the EU, some of which you have mentioned. It is a question of weighing up the pros and cons, which you clearly did. For me, the need to work together with our European neighbours to resist nationalism, fascism and potentially war, outweigh any benefits that leaving might deliver. And it’s to whom the UK will be delivered, having left the EU, which also troubles me greatly.

      We will have to agree to differ, on amicable terms.

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  18. Peter Smith says:

    Miles – Great Analysis – here is my slightly different view: Excuse the Godwins larw rule break….

    J’accuse….! Why the Guardian columnists have created BREXIT and the rise of the new fascists of the west & the calamity of environmental destruction…..more here

  19. LipsCalhoon says:

    snip [offensive]

  20. JS3 says:

    All the time we argue about the right and wrongs of the Referendum the Establishment are employing “Divide and Rule” tactics so the people fight amongst ourselves so that we don’t unite and fight against them for a better future!

  21. Drumbo says:

    Leaving the EU is pre-requisite to fight against corporate rule, then we have to stop voting for things like the tories, UKIP or even labour. The EU is a corporate superstructure that can’t possibly be reformed to become a representative democracy at this point. It’s not about immigration, it’s about power being taken away from people. The European parliament is powerless facade compared to the unelected commissioners and, above all, the mighty European Central Bank. Can’t understand how people can pretend to imply that remain is some kind of “global” antiracist choice, when the EU has supported the military interventions in the middle East, or the balcans before that, and the military occupation of Palestine. The EU rules for the interests of banks and corporations. I don’t have anything against a better type of EU, if it was possible, but as it is, leave is the only choice in the interest of 99% of people in all of the EU, not just the UK. I’m sure there are people that have voted for the wrong reasons in both camps due to ignorance, but the result is significantly positive given the aggressive pro-remain and scaremongering campaign all over corporate news media.

    • Miles King says:

      Thanks Drumbo. I hope it does work out in the way you suggest. Of course we might end up in a much worse place than we were.

      Were we living in Greece, I might agree with your comments about the mighty European Central Bank. But we have our own Central Bank, The Bank of England, and our own currency, so the ECB is not particularly mighty or influential on our own economy, at least not directly. As for the leave vote not being about immigration, vidence suggests that it was a very important factor in swinging the vote to Leave. The rise in racist incidents since the referendum would indicate its importance as a factor, though certainly not the only factor.

      As someone who has worked trying to increase the extent to which European laws are implemented in the UK, to help protected nature from development and intensive agriculture, I can assure you that the UK has been particularly effective at not implementing laws from the EU that it does not like – laws that would have helped nature in the UK. This idea that the UK was enslaved to Euro-law is propaganda.

      As you indicate, the UK leaving the EU now opens the door for the entire EU project to collapse. Bearing in mind that the EU was created to prevent European nations killing each other, do we want to return to that?

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  23. wayne says:

    I read the first paragraph and realised that starting an argument that argued only just over a quarter of the country had voted out meant the author thinks my 9 and 5 year old children should have voted. Obviously no one posted since a few days after and I came on this site looking for something else so clearly no one thinks it’s valid. All I’ll say is read the Maastricht Treaty in full, study the history of the common agricultural policy and you’ll see the flaw in non-human systems analysis approach to big government doesn’t work – but you still do. some of us voted out and have no problem with immigration. Read e f Schumacher’s ‘small is beautiful’. your argument Wales voted to leave despite a subsidy only goes to show you think you can count fairness – it’s subjective, where did the money go, school mouse-mats ?

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