Looks like #Brexit won…

Oh bugger.

Some initial thoughts with the proviso that I’ll change my mind later.

  • Right showed they can win a vote by using racist fearmongering about immigration against a backdrop of service cuts and economic insecurity. That is scary but sadly not news.
  • Leave won and hence UKIP et al won and people even further to the right will be cheering. However, they haven’t won *control* over something – that is slim good news.
  • There will be all sorts of consequences of this decision many of them immediate and many of them not liked by people who voted ‘leave’. In particular, the vote has shown deep regional divisions in the UK.
  • Because the vote is not automatically binding there will be a temptation to nullify this in Parliament. The worse things look (e.g. plunging pound as I write) the more it will look to some that there is a moral imperative to reject the vote to save the economy or to save the union etc. I think that is a bad idea.
  • Distrust of institutions and political leadership are part of the problem here. That trust needs to be rebuilt for civil society to function and that can’t happen if the result of the referendum isn’t honoured.
  • [eta] However, the process to leave isn’t short – policy changes based on actual changes of public opinion are a different matter.
  • Object lesson to right leaning mainstream parties everywhere: don’t outsource your internal disagreements to a wider political vote. All you achieve is exporting your own toxicity to everybody else.
  • The UK can exist and eventually prosper outside of EU but it may not be able to stay the UK.
  • Yes, this really is the f’cking tories fault. Don’t blame SNP, Labour don’t fight yourself over this. REMIND people who did this. Leave and Remain voters both hated the process.
  • …but Labour has to deliver to its core. Inequality and economic insecurity underpin this and fixing that is Labour’s task.
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24 comments

  1. snowcrash

    I think there’s a bit of a panic at the moment, with people not quite realising that the exit is a process, and quite a lengthy one too. I expect things will stabilise…until people figure out what losing access to the EU common market is going to do (or alternatively, what the cost of maintaining access to it is going to be).

    All in all, a particularly poor choice, with worse genetics. Now, if you don’t mind, I’ll go and do what the rest of the world is doing and start looking at how far the pound will fall, and occasionally squirelling sums of it away….

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  2. KR

    I agree with you 100% about the economic insecurity and neo-liberal consensus as being the root cause (30 years in the making). I despair that the Left will learn anything from this, if the condescending remarks I’m seeing from some of my progressive friends are any indication. It’s lazy to blame this vote on “racist, rural folk who don’t know their own interests and just want to turn the clock back.” Well, I kinda want to turn the clock back too — to the days where there were strong labour unions, a well-funded public health care system, fee-free university, affordable public train system etc. The Left has failed to comprehend the depth and nature of austerity-fueled populist anger twice in two years now, both times to their electoral defeat. Their messages failed, their policies failed, they failed — because they responded to the race/immigration diversion and not economics. Well, that’s my initial take away.

    Also: I’m betting there will be some sleepless nights in the Baltics and Poland now and much delight in Russia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • iamzenu

      KR, I am picking up on your comment about austerity. I see those that want that in my country as well.

      Austerity economics is based on an idea that deficits of and in themselves mean something. They don’t. When discussing a public program people ask…”Where will the money come from” assuming that government has to tax first and then spend. When watching a sporting event they might as well as, “where do the points come from”. They don’t come from anywhere and there is no reason to fret over a deficit that arises from bolstering GDP and creating real goods and services unless one doesn’t have a fiat currency.

      What does matter is national production and aggregate demand. When a country experiences high unemployment and reduced GDP there is a real and tangible loss of wealth. Increasing deficits to counter reduced GDP is fine. In the US, deficits are too low, not too high. The economy is still sluggish.

      If we could just eliminate this irrational fear of deficits, we could go a long way towards more rational economics.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mark

    Final result 51.9% leave. I really lack words.

    I suspect that if Cameron is going then it’ll happen by lunch or not at all, so the most immediate piece of fallout should be known quite swiftly. BoJo v Gove v IDS mkII would be fascinating (in a car crash sense).

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  4. David Brain

    For the past few weeks I’ve been wondering whether I would be depressed by the result, or very depressed by the result.
    It turns out that I’m merely depressed by the result, because it confirmed my suspicions – the map shows it very clearly. Those of us who have been arguing for years that “the nation state” is broken have now got an even more vivid demonstration of their case (the voting results of the AV referendum was pretty similar, albeit clearly not as extreme.). I don’t think it really matters what the issue is any more.

    On the other hand, I assume that UKIP will be disbanding today as well, since they’ve achieved their goal. (Shrewdly, the SNP lost their campaign, thus enabling them to continue existing… ) Sadly, however, I doubt this is going to happen.

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  5. thephantom182

    “Right showed they can win a vote by using racist fearmongering about immigration against a backdrop of service cuts and economic insecurity. That is scary but sadly not news.”

    You could look at it that way, and being a socialist it isn’t surprising that you do.

    Or, you could think about all the people -not- on welfare looking at their taxes, their electric bills and the giant fridge mountain, and thinking “fuck those guys!”

    I propose an external reality check: violence! Look and see what group or set of groups is doing the majority of violence out there in England, Scotland and Wales, and against who. If its white people randomly attacking non-white people, then I think your accusation of racism has some merit. If not, then maybe you should think about that a little bit.

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    • Mark

      I’m sorry, you claim the only viable measure of racism is acts of physical violence? I normally try to give you a measured response but here I’ll just say that’s dumber than a box of rocks.

      Also, your point about “all the people not on welfare” was covered by “economic insecurity.”

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      • thephantom182

        Mark did I say the “only viable measure?” No sir, I did not. Would violence be a fairly reasonable indicator of bubbling racial hatred, suitable for forming a hypothesis? I think so.

        So to repeat, do we see white people going out and attacking non-whites in disproportionate numbers? If so, that would support Camestros’ argument, would it not?

        “Also, your point about “all the people not on welfare” was covered by “economic insecurity.”

        Or it could be that all the people not on welfare are looking at their pay packets, taxes and rents, and decided they’re about done with paying for people on welfare. No need to scream racism when people simply wanting to keep what they worked for is sufficient explanation.

        Practically the whole of Scotland is on welfare at this point, the place is a wreck. No ship building, no farming, no steel making, and so forth. Obviously they voted for more Big Brother, that’s who hands out the free cookies.

        Not the first time, of course. Canada is full of Scotsmen. They all left because Scotland is for crap, has been since Culloden.

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      • Mark

        You claimed it was the only way to show the statement had merit – “If not, then maybe you should think about that a little bit.” If you weren’t claiming that then we agree that plenty of racism can exist without violence, and your statement was entirely useless. (I’m quite happy to accept the ‘useless’ explanation, btw)

        On the second point, I see you just repeated your original statement, and added the gross idiocy of “Practically the whole of Scotland is on welfare at this point, the place is a wreck” – in fact the Scottish jobless rate is now 6.2%, compared with 5.1% for the UK as a whole, so that’s just wrong. Scotland’s attitude to Brexit was shared by central London, are they also a wasteland of shattered industrial dreams? I honestly don’t know how you can type that utter drivel and hit ‘post’ without at least googling to see how easily you will be proved wrong.

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      • thephantom182

        Dear Mark, nice effort to deflect the question. But try harder, it’s not working. The kind of hate being discussed by Camestros and yourself, the really eeeeevile kind implied by the statement “racist fearmongering about immigration” where one envisions demagogues like Trump are whipping people up into a frenzy. Generally that sort of thing includes a good bit of violence along with it, historically speaking. Brownshirts and such, you know.

        So Mark, who’s beating up and shooting who, these days? Hmm? Packs of feral whites out there, terrorizing the immigrants, burning cars and running amok all over the place? That sort of thing would certainly support your contention of “racist fearmongering about immigration” don’t you think?

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      • Mark

        So, unless you can see actual violent fascism in action then you won’t accept claims that anything lesser is happening? As well as moving your own goalposts you’re trotting into the pitch to demand the other side shift theirs as well.
        Start addressing the actual points with evidence and face up to when your claims are falsified – everyone can see you dodging around, you know.

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      • KR

        Well, one could imagine that the minority communities who are most usually the ones on the receiving end of police violence could perceive some racial component there. Quite a long list in the news, recently, if one’s paying attention to that sort of thing and willing to see them as fellow citizens. Also, not a fan of applying terms generally used for animals (feral) to humans.

        I woke up feeling very sad today. Nigel F*cking Farage and the others flat out lied and I imagine a lot of leavers feel betrayed today. From the headlines: “Nigel Farage has admitted that it was a “mistake” to promise that £350million a week would be spent on the NHS if the UK backed a Brexit vote. Speaking just an hour after the Leave vote was confirmed the Ukip leader said the money could not be guaranteed and claimed he would never have made the promise in the first place.” It wasn’t a mistake, they knew it all along.

        My definition of violence is broader than Phantom’s (no surprise), because I consider the past 30 years of brutalizing austerity economics to be a real form of violence. The plutocrats have won again by pitting lower class whites against lower class others. I guess the one bright spot I can see here is that the transnational capitalists have done it to themselves here too, at least to a certain degree (though they won’t feel the pain as much as the rest of us will there will be some costs imposed on them). The moral question here is … if we are not OK with labour being transnational and highly-mobile (ie: immigrants/emigrants), maybe it is time to start imposing restrictions and regulations on highly-mobile, transnational (and non-tax-paying) capital too.

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      • thephantom182

        “So, unless you can see actual violent fascism in action then you won’t accept claims that anything lesser is happening?”

        Did I say that? No sir, I did not. You seem very determined to put words in my mouth today Mark. Bad dentist appointment, perhaps?

        “Start addressing the actual points with evidence and face up to when your claims are falsified – everyone can see you dodging around, you know.”

        Sure thing, I’ll get right on that. But you first Mark: Is there any notable upswing in violent acts by whites against non-whites in jolly olde England these days? Because if so, that would certainly support Camestros’ contention.

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      • Mark

        Phantom, it appears I need to spell things out very very clearly for you today.

        Let’s recap. CF says “Bad Thing Exists”. You say the way to prove that is to show that “Extremely Bad Thing Exists”. While Bad Thing and Extremely Bad Thing are related, they are not the same thing, and so you are shifting the topic.
        You then repeatedly demand that someone prove or disprove Extremely Bad Thing (EBT). There’s no need for anyone to do that because showing EBT doesn’t exist doesn’t disprove BT. So, no, I’m not going to address your claim, because it’s _your_ claim, not mine, and I don’t need to do anything with it.
        You have attempted to deflect from the existence of racism as one of the factors in the Leave campaign (note that no-one is claiming it is the only factor) by throwing up a straw position about the existence of racism, and by throwing in economic issues that everyone involved already agrees exists.

        So, moving on, let’s look at what you’re _not_ still harping on about. You’re not repeating your ludicrous claim that “Practically the whole of Scotland is on welfare at this point” because it fell over at the slightest breeze. You’re not replying to the point that the motivations for Remain are nothing to do with welfare – in fact nationally there was a correlation between poverty and Leave, and the Scottish results are tied up with particular Scottish issues that don’t map to the rest of the UK – and the reason you’re not replying is that you’re wrong.

        So, yes, as I said above: “Start addressing the actual points with evidence and face up to when your claims are falsified”

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    • iamzenu

      Smile. I see Scalzi picked up on the same Trump comment. On his blog he says…

      “… With that said, it should be noted that Trump is currently blathering that he thinks that the Brexit, which is plunging the British economy into a trench and giving the global economy a haircut, is perfectly fabulous. He literally just said that he thinks Brexit is great because the pound dropping means more people will come to his golf course, which I think is the 21st century’s gold standard entry in the “fiddling while Rome burns” sweepstakes.”

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      • iamzenu

        I have not thought about Barry in a long time. There is, was and will always be only one Barry. Thanks. At times like this, we can all use a little Barry:

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