Friday, July 8, 2016

Will Conservatives Undo Brexit?

There is a rather one-sided battle for who will be the next Prime Minister of the UK. It is not particularly close.

The battle for 10 Downing Street is between two women; the one leading by a dramatically large number is prominent for supporting remaining in the EU.  Her only close opponent was well known as a "Leave"(the EU) Leader.

If the overwhelming majority of the conservative members of Parliament give the "Remain" Prime Minister what appears to be a mandate to undo Brexit, to try to stop it, delay it..........whatever it takes to head off the multi-faceted cluster-f*ck that is Brexit, then perhaps catastrophe might be averted.

With a high voter turnout, to ignore the results of the referendum means to follow the wisdom of the 18th century great thinker and then-member of Parliament, Edward Burke, who so wisely noted that for evil to triumph all that is necessary is for good men to do nothing.  He also wrote, perhaps more appropriately, the following two quotations:
Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.

When the leaders choose to make themselves bidders at an auction of popularity, their talents in the construction of the state, will be of no service. They will become flatterers instead of legislators; the instruments, not the guides of the people.
I take that as permission from one of the most esteemed political figures in history that the next PM should undo Brexit, instead of allowing the lowest common denominator voter to force tragedy on the nation.

But to do that means to over-ride the referendum that brought out 2.8 million voters, for some 70% voter turnout.  These voters were categorically the least educated, the oldest, less affluent -- and surprisingly, those most likely to suffer the worst effects of Brexit (like losing their jobs).

From Bloomberg, looking at the voter turnout analysis:
The slope of the fit line (referring to a graph of voters) implies that a one-vote increase in turnout almost equals a one-vote increase in the "leave" vote. In other words, the net impact of the 2.8 million extra votes was entirely to the benefit of the Brexiters.

The dynamics of the Brexit vote also matters for our understanding of politics. It has long been an aspiration of politicians, primarily on the left, to engage (or re-engage) non-voters, with little success. This referendum finally got people who had long since given up on politics to vote; people who would no longer vote for anyone or anything, but given the opportunity to vote against something – the establishment – they turned out in their millions. While there are clear distinctions between Brexit and populist insurgencies elsewhere, there are also common themes – economic dissatisfaction, cultural conservatism and a backlash against elites – to make the unlikely voter phenomenon something to watch. The U.S. is particularly interesting in this regard, because like the U.K. its turnouts are low, even in swing states.

Image result for Brexit anti-immigrant protestersI have long contended that the typical conservative voter on either side of the Atlantic is old, white, crabby and flabby, not generally well educated and consistently manipulated by special interests to vote their bigotry and bias, even against their own clear best interests, and also against the larger best interest of the nation.

If Burke is correct, and if the next PM has the political will, we will see the vote of those many foolish voters overturned.  That will provide an interesting example for the US conservatives to follow, potentially, in dumping Drumpf/Trump.  The folly of those Brexit voters was detailed below.

From the Deccan Herald:
The leave vote was strongest in regions economically dependent on the EU. A higher percentage of East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire’s economic output is sold to the EU, and yet 65% elected to leave. Although thousands of jobs depend on the Jaguar Land Rover factory in Coventry, 55.6% of voters in that constituency voted to leave. Wales and Cornwall have the highest level of EU subsidies in the country, and yet they voted to leave.
There was a strong negative correlation between the share for leave and education. Apart from London, which is generally more outward-looking anyway, in the rest of the country, the lowest education areas had a higher propensity to vote for leave.
So, sadly once again, we see conservatives, this time in the UK, being the stupid party.  To indulge their bigotry, and their fears ginned up by lies they were too lazy or too incompetent to fact check, they would destroy their jobs, their local economies, even putting at risk the very cohesion of the individual national entities that comprise the UK. 

The Brexit vote will adversely hit these same Leave voters hard in their pockets.  They will be poorer, often unemployed, in a nation that is no longer a power, and which will struggle to govern amid a recession or depression of likely long duration.

They don't care.  They don't want to have to know anything about anything.  They don't want to acknowledge that anyone else knows all those many things, those they denigrate as elites and experts. The people who know facts and understand systems and processes, those with expertise and actual hands-on experience, they reject out of willful ignorance, their deliberately chosen ignorance over intellect.

But you can bet that when the bad results accumulate, these same Brexit voters will be angry, they will claim they were lied to -- and they were, but they chose to accept those lies uncritically, so it is their own damn fault.  They will look to blame everyone but those who are really responsible for the damage from Brexit.

The same faces they see in their mirrors every time they look.

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