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Speaker: A Disorderly Brexit

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  • Moz,

    An MP was MURDERED during the campaign by a right wing fascist

    You may have chosen to skip over Nigel Farage saying he has won Brexit “without a single bullet being fired" but I think that also bears on the whole "there's two sides out there today, and only one of them is playing cricket" problem. The Brexit campaign wasn't bound by facts or truth.

    The problem for Scotland is that leaving for the EU is not necessarily a useful choice, since they're almost certain to be forced to join the Euro - look at other peripheral states to see how well that works. Economically, German is treating them as fiefs rather than partners. They would, I think, be better off to follow Norway etc into the free trade deals while staying separate. Which means not being the UK successor state. I saw an interesting rant on youtube but can't find it now to that effect.

    Until the Blairites followed NZ Labour into the "I would rather die than see Labour move left" suicide pact, my real hope was that this would kick the left into an "all or nothing" coalition to wrest power from the far right as they imploded over this issue. Now is an excellent time to stand up and say "we want living wages, public services, end tax havens yadda yadda, and since the people have spoken, we will try to do that outside the EU rather than inside. I've also read that the UK was a huge obstacle to fixing the tax problem since the various UK microstates are mostly tax havens, and to a significant extent the City of London as financial centre relies on and facilitates wholesale tax evasion. Without the UK the EU may well move on that issue, and quickly (as soon as the section 50 trigger is pulled the UK loses its ability to block EU legislation).

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C,

    What appears to not have been given that much consideration here is the role of the UK press in all this outcome. Various print media took clear positions pro or contra the EU and thus suggested their readers vote accordingly.

    We have a global change in mainstream media use and the growth of social media, some of which lives on feeding on mainstream media reporting on matters, and then discussing it in various forums, some is not relying on mainstream media, simply promoting various ideas and positions, whether they are based on factual information or not.

    In general, my observation is we get poorer reporting, there is a decline in investigative journalism, and instead the growth of click bait kind of information being consumed and digested by many.

    When we may observe that it was a higher "leave" vote was coming from those who may be less educated, less connected, less wealth owning and low income earning persons, and those who voted "stay" were mostly better educated, better connected, enjoying safer employment and better, secure incomes and so, then this may also be reflected in the "leave" voters being less informed, and having perhaps fallen for the now evident large scale misinformation that was presented by the "leave" promoters.

    Media used to take responsibilities to inform and generate informed discussion more seriously than it has done for a fair few years now. With the privatisation of television and radio, this seems to have been started, and this may also have encouraged more emotive and even populist reporting, getting the better ratings. Commercial interests play a role also, but it seems, in the UK misinformation and lack of information has led to many already poorly informed to rely on one sided comments by the likes of Johnson and Farage, and to simply accept wrong information, thus voting as they have.

    A democracy only functions if you have informed citizenry, if misinformation and emotive stuff takes over, we know where that leads to. I blame some of recent developments in Europe and the US also on the media not anymore doing its job of informing well and in a balanced manner.

    We can see from the elections we had here since 2008, how the media appears to have facilitated the re-election of a Key led government, by apparently somehow taking sides on publicly discussed topics. Lest we forget "dirty politics", there appears to have been ample of such "dirty politics" that occurred during this EU Referendum in the UK.

    This "dirty politics" escalation seemed to whip up emotions in some, that even led to one extreme minded person shooting a MP. I am worried about the future in all democracies, with the state of media we now have. Unless there is some realisation that journalism comes with responsibilities, we will have more bad and unexpected decisions made in elections, leading to serious risks for local, regional and also global stability.

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Moz,

    The problem for Scotland is that leaving for the EU is not necessarily a useful choice, since they're almost certain to be forced to join the Euro - look at other peripheral states to see how well that works.

    Mark Blyth warns against exchanging the tender mercies of George Osbourne for Dr Schauble, and cautions Scotland to remember the example of Greece.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Leaving aside the EU/UK fallout (too much to say, and said better by others), one aspect of this closer to home is the contrast between much-maligned MMP and the apparent neatness of a referendum (which is often touted as the solution on the issue du jour). The two ends of the voting spectrum, from multiple options to Yes/No.

    The basic question for anyone who 'kicks against the pricks', railing against the elite (perceived or real) is "What will you do when you get the power?". And the difference between a serious opposition and an opportunist rabble-rouser is that the former will want to govern (i.e. to choose) whereas the latter would rather stay outside shouting at the walls.

    Under MMP, the "easy antis" (e.g it's all about the immigrants or the Mowrees) can channel their anger into a party like NZ First (others have had a go, but none so consistently). But then the vehicle gets into power - in coalition with National or Labour, as they were before, and may be again. So they have to do all the messy things like count, and compromise.

    Whereas a Brexit referendum dumps everything in the lap of the people who won - whether they wanted to win or not. All the messy stuff is theirs, and theirs alone. And let's not kid ourselves, the EU will be in no mood to make it easier for them. In short: made bed, lie in it.

    MMP is obviously flawed, but it is a much better instrument for making decisions, owning them and facing up to possible consequences. We've got that more right than the UK or Australia, I reckon.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1324 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Marc C,

    Pressing on...

    Unless there is some realisation that journalism comes with responsibilities, we will have more bad and unexpected decisions made in elections, leading to serious risks for local, regional and also global stability.

    ...and today NZME finds out what the public (and investors) think it is worth prior to the unholy merger with Fairfax - to make the beast with two backs (and no subs) - heck Fairfax journalists think villain is spelt 'villian' and that 'perpetuated' is the same as perpetrated...
    Heres hoping they can still spell Czech....

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/81477948/Listing-puts-price-on-NZME

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Moz, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Yeah, him! Thanks for that link. It's also on youtube if you're not so into failbook:

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1198 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Since there is a power vacuum, it might be a good time to ask the Queen what she thinks. If there was ever a time for a constitutional monarchy, it would be when the democratic system suddenly collapses. This might be a moment in which the entire justification for her position could be made or broken. She is staring down the barrel of the end of her kingdom, and surely has something to say about it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10641 posts Report Reply

  • simon g, in reply to BenWilson,

    We are faintly amused by the prospect of Balmoral in Scotland (her favourite home) finding itself no longer within her realm, while the somewhat less regal Balmoral in Auckland still is.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1324 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to BenWilson,

    Ummm ER...

    ...a good time to ask the Queen what she thinks.

    Those old German families (Saxe-Coburg and Gotha) have always looked to Europe to enhance their genial gene-pool - though Phil the Greek (a member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, born into the Greek and Danish royal families) seems to be the last non-Brit / Euro to marry into the family business...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 580 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    what the Queen actually does think

    mmm

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Sacha,

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1889 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to John Palethorpe,

    Thanks John for sharing your parents’ “leave” vote reasoning. I can’t believe that all 52% of leave voters were stupid and/or racist (and awful to see the racist element emboldened by the result), so helpful to get a sense of what was going through the heads of those for whom the vote to leave was an educated, rational position.

    In relation to those emboldened – living in the UK in 2012 I couldn’t understand the segment of the British population who complained so loudly about foreigners and migration, because the UK seemed so "white" to me. Only 13% of the UK population is overseas-born (in 2014), compared to 25% in NZ. “Visible” ethnic differences are similarly different – 13% “White” on the UK 2011 census, compared to 25% non-“European” in NZ.
    But maybe that’s the problem. Maybe the UK would be less racist if it were more ethnically diverse?

    Otherwise, oye. I’ve never felt so ashamed of my UK passport.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 580 posts Report Reply

  • daleaway,

    Every disgruntled voter with a grievance saw the Brexit referendum as a harmless chance to stick two fingers up at the government. Protest with no danger of comeback.

    For some/most, it was all about immigration, and turning back the clock to the more British Britain of their youth. For others, it was an economic or class issue about the lack of jobs, affordable homes, prospects, and general trickledown being delivered by the UK government. For yet others, it was a sort of teenage "you're-not-the-boss-of-me" sulky fit about the spread of EU regulations generally, an argument expressed as "sovereignty concerns".

    Reminds one uncomfortably of the slogan on the side of Winston Peter's campaign bus : Send them a message. Well, the message was sent, and now the Brits have learned to be careful what they wish for.

    German-born Oliver Imhof, working in England, summed it up shrewdly:
    "Britons voted against their political establishment by saying no to the only thing that is protecting them from it."

    Since Jul 2007 • 198 posts Report Reply

  • Dennis Frank,

    Yeah, that fella Mark Blythe gets it; an excellent concise analysis, thanks guys. Dunno if global trumpism has the legs to last the distance tho - unless it gets defined as more generic than the model deriving from such a flawed avatar.

    Any chance any of the political players & power blocs currently on the global stage will decide to advocate our common interests? Too hard, or too old-fashioned? Sectarianism is merely an unsatisfactory refuge for simple-minded leftists & rightists. Democracy was captured by elites long ago but usually they conduct the sham sufficiently well to sucker mainstreamers - they'd better get more smoke & mirrors into play asap...

    New Zealand • Since Jun 2016 • 292 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    How does that explain Labour voters voting Remain and Tories voting Leave?

    It transcends party politics. The UK Tories were visibly divided, and not just because former Bullingdon Club buddies David and Boris went on a collision course over the Brexit issue. By the same token, roughly a third of UK Labour supporters are believed to have voted Leave.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5420 posts Report Reply

  • Jon Briggs,

    Another reason for voting Leave: Your first memory is of being in a bomb shelter listening to V2 rockets burble overhead, knowing that if the noise stops they are falling somewhere near you.

    Given this context I think it is reasonable to hold the position that the Germans had two goes at dominating Europe by force and they are now doing it via political means. [To be clear this is not my position!]

    Since Dec 2008 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • James Littlewood*,

    Is it just me, or did I just see the same baby boomers who told their parents to piss off just do the same thing to their kids? Like Daleks, hard wired to destroy all signs of authority. Even as their own kids percolate into the new establishment.

    Where's the Generation Zero donation page? Oh, here it is.

    That image of reported racism tweets is chilling.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 410 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    I'd say the memory of V2 rockets is a minimal influence compared to the memory of endless TV programmes re-inventing the WW2 experience for those who missed it.

    If a voter's experience of Europe is singing "Ten German Bombers" at the football, or watching Allo, Allo , then they might well be inclined to dislike a Germany that doesn't exist.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1324 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I'd suggest that, since the vast majority in Labour and a large number of Conservative MPs (as well as the Lib Dems, who may return from obsolecense) oppose an exit, they force a General Election and campaign on a joint Remain ticket.

    Unlike a referendum, it takes maybe 36% of votes to elect a government - if a reasonable percentage of the Remain voters, plus a few regretful Leave voters, supported this ticket, they'd get back in with a mandate (as much as any FPP government has a mandate, but British voters are also to blame for that) to stop Brexit.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to Jon Briggs,

    Another reason for voting Leave: Your first memory is of being in a bomb shelter listening to V2 rockets burble overhead, knowing that if the noise stops they are falling somewhere near you.

    I’m pretty sure that’s a good reason for a united Europe

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2608 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Moz,

    Yeah, him! Thanks for that link.

    Full interview up this morning.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    The other alternative is that the forward looking and productive parts of the UK detach themselves. Scotland obviously, Northern Ireland ironically are headed for leaving.

    But London, also, has a clear majority to remain and could have be a fully sustainable future as a city-state within the EU – it would have the second highest GDP per capita, the 10th biggest economy and the 15th biggest population.

    (Not to mention that it would have a ready source of cheap, non-citizen labour from the rump of England to perform menial tasks. A bit like apartheid without the overt racism).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    Otherwise, oye. I’ve never felt so ashamed of my UK passport

    I'm wondering if I can get NZ elocution lessons so I don't sound stupid in public.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to BenWilson,

    Well, any attempt to intervene could well end in whichever fragments of the UK remained declaring themselves a republic, so I doubt she would. (Not to mention that the Battle of Bosworth Field pretty much established the monarchy's subordination to parliament, if not the people).

    Besides, if all else fails, she'll still be queen of NZ. We'd need to build palaces of they move down here though. Fuck knows how we'll afford that at current prices.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

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