Moderator: The Slider
much ink has been spilt over the past three years which says that Brexit was the harbinger of populism in the UK, indeed the precursor of a wider populism across the West.
I wonder whether if, when the history of this period is written, the referendum itself might be considered as mere prologue to the main populist act; that ultimately, the referendum will be best understood as the apotheosis of a eurosceptic battle, not as the populist war itself.
After all, euroscepticism has long been a deep vein of British political life. Brexit wasn't, as the lazy caricature so often goes, a populist revolt of the working classes. It was a narrowly won but solid rejection of the European Union by leafy Hampshire and Surrey commuter towns along with Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire pit villages - a rejection which was based on accumulated decades of political activity and sustained suspicion towards the union's political legitimacy among the general population.
It was not so much people versus elites but a clear coalition of wealthy and poor, connected and isolated, northern and southern. Far from an outsider clique, its campaign leaders were senior cabinet ministers.
Moreover, it was if anything an expression of faith in the strength and durability of the British political system and in its leaders.
Voters were certain that their wishes in the referendum would be carried out without too much difficulty: I lost count of the numbers of voters who, during the referendum and since, dismissed concerns about our withdrawal, not only from the EU but of its myriad political, economic and social auspices, with a variant of the following reply: "I'm sure they can sort it out."
In other words the Brexit vote, as well as a cri de coeur for Westminster to listen, was also an affirmation of faith by the British public in the fundamental competence of the British state to prosecute even the most difficult political outcomes.
Contrast that with the malaise of today. Remainers and Leavers alike despair at the paralysis which has enveloped our political system. Faith in our democratic institutions and its custodians has never been lower. In the maelstrom of the last few months, virtually every organ of British politics has been completely discredited.
The opposition, the usual beneficiary of democratic discontent, is considered as culpable as the government.
A substantial proportion of the population believe that those same institutions in which they put their faith in 2016 have been knowingly sabotaged: that democracy itself is being subverted for nefarious ends, and worse, the perpetrators have done so as the world watches and in so doing humiliated a once great nation.
Nice article on Brexit.
We were mired deep on another topic on discord so couldn't chuck it there but wanted to post it somewhere
What do you think is going to happen? Second referendum?
I genuinely don't know
There's no clear parliamentary route
Too many opponents of each option
I voted leave
But think it may need a 2nd ref to break deadlock
I used to be against it
Do you support a deal or hard Brexit?
In many ways a false choice
We leave with no deal
Did Rees Mogg sell out in your mind by backing a deal?
As soon as we go back to the EU
They'll demand what they wanted before
I also don't think the deal is that bad
He did and didn't
He was an idiot for being so purist
Should/can the queen step in constitutionally and fiat a solution?
The choice is the deal or no brexit
I think the current lot of brexiteers will just enable socialism
I remain fundamentally unconvinced by the European project
I would not want to be in the EU, no.
I don't want 5 years of Corbyn either
I'm not sure what is worse at this stage
Especially a Corbyn unrestrained by hard brexit
It'll be disaster socialism
That kind of attitude won't be tolerated in Airstrip One. Better adopt some doublethink.
Thats why I liked that article so much
My vote to leave was a vote of confidence in the British establishment to a certain extent
In the broadest sense
And they've failed
I wasn't an aggrieved ex miner
Arguably an element of naiveté
But we've typically been well governed
So assumed brexit would be somewhat messy
Also we're not France lol
Riots in Paris for God knows how long
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