Brexit – Crisis? What Crisis?

In London tomorrow for the XR action, so I wasn’t going to do a blog, but the latest Brexit developments do need something.

My naïve, simplistic ideas make more sense as the story unfolds: all that matters to the powers that be (not the government, the neoliberal clique with the real power) is to split elected governments so that the CEOs of transnational corporations can be sure of dictating events.

William Hague gave the game away: “The actual content of the surrender document does not matter as long as Brexit happens.” I paraphrase or perhaps translate slightly.

I suspect that those resigning from the government at this point are right: the latest package probably does leave the UK in a weaker position than just cancelling the whole thing, but would a new referendum change anything?

Some polls suggest it might, but others doubt this. Perhaps both sides are too polarized to be objective. But the Will of the People is set in concrete, right? Theresa May thought the WotP might have changed 2 years after the 2015 election. It had. It is now 2½ years since the Referendum

Readers may doubt my objectivity, but for me the changes since 2016 have all been one way. It was made clear early in the discussion that restrictions on the free movement of people – a key driver of the highest Brexit polls – was inseparable from free movement of goods. But the referendum has already achieved its object – produce rotted in the fields unpicked by migrants. The NHS bonus was shown to be an outright lie.

One factor alone should have been decisive: the Irish border. Perhaps I did not pay enough attention, but I do not remember this figuring in the debate. The DUP are now insisting that there must be no hard border. On what grounds did they campaign to leave?

Those in the Green Party who support Brexit do so on the ground that the EU is in the wrong hands. It is, but splitting it will not change that.

The main argument I hear for leaving is “The people have spoken. Get over it”. As John Maynard Keynes said “If the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?”

But rational arguments are no match for emotions. I think the facts which have emerged post referendum are all on one side, but has that made any difference to emotions?

Those emotions were largely driven by austerity. If you sense that there is not enough to go round, you look for people who should be less eligible. Austerity is of course bogus. A dip in overall prosperity could rationally have been remedied by slightly higher taxation on the better off. Not as high as in the 1940s, but if economic growth has made the country 8 times richer than it was then, that is not much to ask, is it?

But that is emotionally out of the  question. Humans are hard wired to be loss averse.

This is posted 27 hours earlier than usual. I might get arrested tomorrow, for something more important than Brexit.

2 responses to “Brexit – Crisis? What Crisis?

  1. Fantastic Clive. You’re an inspiration to us all. I hope you’re not arrested, but rest assured you and the other demonstrators are heroes.

    • Apols re my cyber illiteracy. just seen this. All arrests were on bridges other than Waterloo, where the Leeds contingent were. Lots of enthusiasm, but most of the 6K are where I was in 1973 – not realizing just what we are up against. I’player on BBC Radio 4 ‘Costing the Earth’ had some interesting ideas on the emotional aspect of getting our message out, but no mention of the UBI, which I think is crucial

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