The votes weren’t counted when we all went to bed last night, I rolled over at first light, 4 am, picked up the tablet, and thumbed to the Times and Guardian.
‘bad dream… I rolled back to sleep.
But it wasn’t: Britain woke to find that they had approved a divorce from the EU. At 8 am, the Prime Minister resigned. By 10, it was apparent that both the government and the financial markets would be in turmoil for months to come.
I think that Cameron was clever to hand the mess back to the folks that made it, even though he’ll likely be remembered only for his ill-considered decision to hold the referendum. It’s quickly becoming clear that the ‘Leave’ side did not expect to win, and had no plans for who would lead or what they would do if they did. The Guardian astutely observes that this is an internecine spat among a small group elite Conservatives that has now drawn in the entire country.
I think that, having done it, they need to own it and make the best future possible, rather than argue about whether to stage a ’do-over’. Yes, people were grossly lied to and confronted with over-emotional appeals. Quacks were given equal time with experts in the interest of ‘balance; on the BBC. The ‘Remain’ side never had the passion of their opponents.
But the voters aren’t stupid, and 71 percent turnout is convincing. Many of the folks that I talk wit, progressive internationalists all, feel like the country has lost touch with their values and their common sense. Well, as again observed by the Guardian, welcome to how the other half has seen things all along. Globalism promised them better and delivered worse: it’s not surprising that they would plump for an alternate future given the chance.
There are also a lot of sage connections being drawn between Trump and Brexit. The belief is that dividing lines are being drawn between Us and Them, between being Local or Global. The parties may align to either side of these new political divides, with Trump out in front.
But Trump also seems to just surf the crowds and channel their anger, somewhat as Johnson and Farage did in the UK. I don’t know whether he has the bench strength behind hi to make real change, politicians who can form new policy rather than just articulate it.
Or, for that matter, behind Brexit.