Friday, June 24, 2016

Britain Votes to Leave the EU

I don't have much to say about this, because I have no idea what will happen, but I thought I should note it.

I think this will be bad for the British economy, since big portions of their banking industry will shift to the continent, but I don't know how bad.

I wonder if this will lead to a new referendum in Scotland, which will vote to leave Britain and rejoin the EU? The Scots voted to remain 62-38.

Once again I think the most remarkable thing is how big a gap there is between the "leadership" of Britain and the majority of the people; 52% of Britons ignored their so-called leaders.

6 comments:

G. Verloren said...

The Scots are already moving to have a new vote - apparently this is a major dealbreaker for them.

The British economy is going to go suffer, at least in the immediate future, quite possibly in the long to very long term. British MPs are already in damage control mode trying to ensure that they'll still get access to the single market, but the EU is understandably a little annoyed with them and Britain is going to have to pay through the nose for the very privilege that they just opted to throw away.

The real tragedy here is the way the votes break down. Britons over 50 were the majority of the "Leave" voters, while young people overwhelmingly wanted to stay. Once again, as ever, the Baby Boomers throw a tantrum at the expense of future generations.

G. Verloren said...

Looking at further data, it's apparent that Scotland overwhelmingly wanted to stay in the EU, as did major metropolitan areas like London. Most of the "Leave" votes came from the rural parts of the country, and it all matches up pretty well with the age gap.

What fascinates me is how the "Leave" party is trying to shift blame for the plummeting value of the pound, despite it being predicted by every financial expert in the world from the very start as the natural result of such a decision.

They claim the "Remain" camp somehow caused the drop through "scaremongering", which is the sort of blisteringly un-self-aware fantastical bold-faced bullshit that I imagine can only be said with a straight face by absolute idiots and the criminally insane.

The sheer gall of running a campaign of xenophobic fear, and then turning around and blaming the obvious result of one's own actions on the people who tried to stop you from carrying them out, and to claim -they- were the ones scaremongering... it's like something you'd hear from the lips of Mussolini or Hitler, invading their neighbors on the pretext that they were defending against extreme foreign aggression.

David said...

Word @Verloren. Your rhetorical passion, which I'm usually skittish of, has here, I think, hit the proverbial nail on the head.

David said...

On the bright side, maybe the vote will motivate the archons of the EU to moderate some of their high-handed ways.

G. Verloren said...

@David

From the point of view of a single nation or group, the EU can easily seem bureaucratic and not terribly flexible - but at the same time, from the EU's point of view, they're trying to manage interactions between dozens of countries, all of which have different cultures and laws, and most of which even have different languages from each other. That's no simple task.

It's easy for a single party to complain that their specific desires are going unmet, but while there's room for well grounded criticism and suggestions for improvement, there must also be a recognition that such changes will take time, and a willingness to work cooperatively with the EU, rather than resort to rash and self-destructive behaviors like the present example.

That said, don't be fooled for a second into thinking this issue is about the EU's bureaucratic troubles. The UK spent the past 40 years willing to work within the system because they got tremendous benefit out of doing so, more then compensating them for their trouble. So what exactly changed to make them change their minds suddenly?

Immigration.

This is an issue of race, culture, and xenophobia - economics is just the scapegoat, and a shoddy and obvious one at that.

Put bluntly, fear and hatred - specifically but not exclusively regarding Muslims - drove this decision. The same xenophobia which drove a man to murder an MP for having the "wrong" political views are now potentially primed to rip the United Kingdom apart.

Much of the media is of course complicit in the hatred. They probably don't believe the agenda they put forth, but they at least know it's a very profitable one to champion, and that's good enough. Although, I've read at least one article suggesting the press was actually shocked at the results of their efforts... (http://qz.com/715814) I'm reminded on the recent post about anarchists, and further remind myself that purely profit-motivoted capitalists can be just as dangerous, if not moreso.

G. Verloren said...

The most recent bit of damning data I've come across pertinent to this issue :

Areas with little to no recent immigration largely voted "Leave", while areas which have actually experienced significant immigration in recent years overwhelmingly voted "Remain". Imagined fears of immigration, rather than any actual consequences of immigration, drove the vote to leave. Which, of course, dovetails all too perfectly with the patterns we've already established.