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Speaker: A Disorderly Brexit

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  • Matthew Hooton, in reply to Rich Lock,

    It’s very simple, as pointed out by someone John Harris* talked to post-result: ”If you’ve got money, you vote in … if you haven’t got money, you vote out”

    That can't really be right can it? Not if Labour voters tended to vote Remain and Tory voters Leave. And do all Londoners and Scots have money but not people in Wales or the shires?

    I don't think economic factors ("neoliberalism" or whatever) can explain what has happened here. Some of the arguments above really seem to be "Neoliberalism is bad so it must be that that caused this." I think you need to look to cultural and geographic factors - and also the EU's goal of "ever closer union" undermining national sovereignty and eventually establishing something like a federal state, without seeking to become more democratic. You can't seek "ever closer union" without becoming democratic and expect people to accept it. The EU better respond now, or other countries will leave, which would be a world historic disaster.

    I wrote about the cultural factors in the NBR a week before the vote, for anyone in a uni or with a subscription: http://www.nbr.co.nz/opinion/britons-should-vote-exit-eu-mh

    Auckland • Since Aug 2007 • 195 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    imagine if our second largest economic and population region, Canterbury, with a slightly different culture from the rest of us

    Around water use priorities, we don't need to imagine thanks to this govt.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Matthew Hooton,


    That can't really be right can it?

    Obviously a lot more complicated, but here's a very very rough heatmap comparison I half-completed yesterday. Darker colours on the salary side (RH side) indicate higher salaries. It compares reasonably with the 'remain' and 'leave' areas on the left (yellow is remain, blue is leave).

    You're right about the majoirty Labour voting remain, BTW (about 1/3 to 2/3, apparently), but I very strongly suspect that skews heavily towards the liberal metropolitan wing. There's been a lot of chatter about watching the results come in from places like Sunderland early, and realising even then that it was all going tits up when the traditional labour heartland areas were adrift of predictions by 20-odd percentage points.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report

  • linger,

    There are several factors that might reasonably be expected to correlate with a “Remain” vote: perceived benefits from continued access to Europe are predictably greater for more educated, more multilingual individuals, with better job opportunities, and with more positive exposure to other cultures (most likely in larger cities, especially London). Access to Europe also clearly more immediately offers perceived benefits to Scotland and Northern Ireland (the former because of issues already brought into public awareness during the independence referendum, the latter because of the border with Eire).

    By contrast, there is no one unified cluster of “Leave” voters: it’s “everybody else” – either those who do not perceive any increased opportunities for themselves from continued access to Europe (beneficiaries and lower-income groups), or isolationists with less positive exposure to other cultures (primarily rural/ small-town England), with a large side order of anti-establishment (and/or simply anti-Cameron) protest vote.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report

  • John Palethorpe,

    My parents both voted Leave. I asked them why yesterday, after they'd told me they were horrified at people implying they were racist or xenophobic - I did point out that not all the 52% were that, but the proportion that were felt that they had 52% of Britain supporting them now.

    Their reasoning was as follows. When you ask a British politician, in Government, about things they are implementing - they always refer to the E.U and European Directives. By voting Leave, they take away the option for MPs to simply shuffle the blame onto the E.U - making their elected politicians more accountable for their actions.

    If the politicians aren't accountable, they can be voted out. There was also mention of the money that went to Europe remaining in the UK. Although that relies on the current or future Government making the same sort of investment decisions as the European Union, which runs counter to the last six years of Government policy.

    A tiny little window into a Leave voter there, with no weighting or implication for the whole.

    Auckland • Since May 2015 • 83 posts Report

  • A C Young, in reply to Sacha,

    The Telegraph article which Sacha posted adds weight to my own relatively uninformed hunch, which is that the UK is about to get completely reamed in trade negotiations (the fact that officials were not allowed to devise written plans for dealing with the brexit is appalling from the point of view of efficient governance).

    Obama has said they go to the back of the queue, the rest of the commonwealth is going to be happy to deal but will not drop previously agreed trade deals and China will twist arms since they have the leverage.

    How well are the xenophobes going to react when bankrupt UK farmers (having lost 3 billion in subsidies and the European market) start selling their land off to Chinese companies?

    To me it looks like economic and trade planning post-brexit is on the level of the underpants gnomes from South Park.

    Wellington • Since Feb 2011 • 35 posts Report

  • Matthew Hooton, in reply to Sacha,

    Yes, and wasn't that popular in much of Canterbury? Now extrapolate that across moat other resources and economic and social activities and ask how Cantabrians would feel about it.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2007 • 195 posts Report

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    That’s not really correct. The president of the (unelected) Commission is nominated by the (unelected) Council

    The Council is composed of the elected heads of state or government of the member nations, who in turn elect a (non-voting) President for the Council, and for the Commission. The latter must be approved (or "elected") by the European Parliament.

    and the “parliament” gets to vote yea or nay.

    Or dissolve the whole show if it sees fit.

    The president then appoints Commissioners based on “suggestions” from member states.

    They're not suggestions, they're appointments by the member states, although the commissioners are expected to act in the interests of Europe as a whole, rather than individual national interest.

    It's worth noting that there are large policy areas where the Commission has no powers, most notably foreign policy.

    It's unusual, but designed to keep a stake for all member nations and to provide stability. We can only imagine how a directly-elected Commission would play out.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    Yes, and wasn't that popular in much of Canterbury?

    How would you or anyone know, when the decisions are pretty much all made by Margaret Bazley or Gerry Brownlee?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report

  • John Palethorpe,

    On the Labour coup, they're 11 shadow cabinet members down and those resigning and organising the whole thing are utterly reliant on Corbyn resigning himself, rather than forming an official leadership challenge to him. That's because they don't have the support in the membership to win a leadership contest with Corbyn as one of the candidates.

    The majority of those resigning and organising against him are former Blair and Brown ministers who have spent their six years in opposition undermining first Miliband and now Corbyn, in the belief that if they were in charge the path to victory would be assured - even though the current decline started a long time before either were elected leader of the party.

    Except they're a Parliamentary Labour Party without the support of their actual party membership, organising against a leader who garnered 250,000 votes in the leadership election just under 10 months ago. Len McCluskey of UNITE Union has said that any attempt to keep Corbyn off the ballot would break the party, it'd certainly see some serious problems relating to their funding.

    There's also the Chilcot angle. The Iraq Report comes out next week, and Corbyn has repeatedly insisted that Blair be held to account for the contents and his actions. Some of his acolytes in the PLP aren't happy that they'll be tarred with the sticky brown stuff.

    All Corbyn has to do is not resign. He's got 200+ MPs to choose a cabinet from. He tried conciliatory appointments, and this is where it's got to. If he doesn't resign, they can't beat him. He knows that, and so do they.

    Auckland • Since May 2015 • 83 posts Report

  • Matthew Hooton, in reply to Russell Brown,

    "Suggestions" is taken from the EU Commission's own website!

    Auckland • Since Aug 2007 • 195 posts Report

  • John Palethorpe,

    Auckland • Since May 2015 • 83 posts Report

  • Russell Brown, in reply to John Palethorpe,

    Len McCluskey of UNITE Union has said that any attempt to keep Corbyn off the ballot would break the party, it’d certainly see some serious problems relating to their funding.

    He's also implied UNITE could try and deselect the errant MPs.

    Holy, what a mess.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • John Palethorpe, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Len's smarter than that - he's not saying UNITE would, they don't have that swing. They've got the union funding though.

    It's the membership, and supporters, that 250k of them that could deselect MPs. That's been a Blairite fear since Corbyn got in - they need to get him out before the re-selection stuff comes up, because otherwise a lot of them may get binned off by their own local membership.

    Ironically they're claiming they're resigning to save their seats, but in doing so and Corbyn refusing to quit, they're endangering themselves even more.

    Auckland • Since May 2015 • 83 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

    Bagehot in The Economist is particularly blunt: Anarchy in the UK:

    Sixty hours have gone by since a puffy-eyed David Cameron appeared outside 10 Downing Street and announced his resignation. The pound has tumbled. Investment decisions have been suspended; already firms talk of moving operations overseas. Britain’s EU commissioner has resigned. Sensitive political acts—the Chilcot report’s publication, decisions on a new London airport runway and the renewal of Britain’s nuclear deterrent—are looming. European leaders are shuttling about the continent meeting and discussing what to do next. Those more sympathetic to Britain are looking for signs from London of how they can usefully influence discussions. At home mounting evidence suggests a spike in racist and xenophobic attacks on immigrants. Scotland is heading for another independence referendum. Northern Ireland’s peace settlement may hang by a thread.

    But at the top of British politics, a vacuum yawns wide. The phones are ringing, but no-one is picking up.

    Mr Cameron has said nothing since Friday morning. George Osborne, the chancellor of the exchequer, has been silent. (This afternoon I texted several of his advisers to ask whether he would make a statement before the markets open tomorrow. As I write this I have received no replies.) The prime minister’s loyalist allies in Westminster and in the media are largely mute.

    Apart from ashen-faced, mumbled statements from the Vote Leave headquarters on Friday, Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have also ducked the limelight; Mr Johnson is meeting friends and allies today at his house near Oxford in what are believed to be talks about his impending leadership bid. Neither seems to have the foggiest as to what should happen next. Today Mr Gove’s wife committed to Facebook the hope that “clever people” might offer to “lend their advice and expertise.” And Mr Johnson’s sister, Rachel, tweeted: “Everyone keeps saying ‘we are where we are’ but nobody seems to have the slightest clue where that is.”

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to John Palethorpe,

    former Blair and Brown ministers who have spent their six years in opposition undermining first Miliband and now Corbyn

    sounds awfully familiar

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

    The "there is no plan" moment on Channel 4, as cited in The Economist:

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • John Palethorpe,

    I'd say I'm surprised, but I'm not.

    Credit to John Key, when he goes for a referendum at least he doesn't risk the constitutional fabric of the entire country.

    Auckland • Since May 2015 • 83 posts Report

  • Ian Dalziel,

    More kneejerk than Morris dancing…*
    I liked Kim Hill’s description of the Brexit win – (from memory) ‘like a dog that chases a car, what happens when you catch it?’ – the Leave camp doesn’t really seem to have thought it all through particularly rigorously.

    * still those hankies would be useful…
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    At this point, "referendum? What referendum?" is starting to seem like the best solution.

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report

  • Rich Lock, in reply to linger,

    By contrast, there is no one unified cluster of “Leave” voters: i

    You're correct, but there's a mirror image of that as well, where no-one could really outline a coherent case for remain. It was more a case of 'eeeeh, well, we're not racist and we have a few European friends and colleagues, so I guess we'll be voting remain.'

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Russell Brown,

    George Osborne, the chancellor of the exchequer, has been silent.

    Concerned nation joins hunt for George Osbourne.

    Today Mr Gove’s wife committed to Facebook the hope that “clever people” might offer to “lend their advice and expertise.”

    Ah, 'clever people'. A distinct difference between them and 'experts', eh, Govey?

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report

  • 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 • 1233 posts Report

  • 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.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report

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