Look what we’ve done? Look what you didn’t do!

The Remainers are not at all happy. Angry, table-thumping accusations of criminal irresponsibility on the part of those who voted Leave are flying thick and fast, Charlotte Church being just the tip of the iceberg:

The general thrust of all these accusations is that Leavers didn’t think things through; we didn’t do enough reading or thinking or, to be more more specific, didn’t do enough critical thinking which left us exposed to the sinister manipulation of the Murdoch/Dacre/Desmond axis of newspaper evil. As somebody put it to me, ‘Mass deception and manipulation are now a matter of record’.

But that argument can be flipped back on itself: manipulation is a matter of whose record? And how reliable is this apparent record that manipulation goes on all around us? Isn’t that assertion itself a desperate attempt to paint reality in sinister colours, to manipulate the truth, in fact? Really, if we want to talk about actual deception and manipulation we should start with the stuff from the European Union: the encouragement to shut down debate and label sceptics of policy as either racist, science denying or corrupt. So if remainers are angry that something precious but imperfect has now been vanadalised by Brexit, they should examine their own behaviour, and reflect on their long-term unwillingness to heed criticism. Why didn’t you listen to those in the climate-sceptic camp warning about the widening disconnection between a climate-change obsessed supra-national polity and the voter in the street? Why didn’t you read more? Why did you double-down and call us all nutjob conspiracy theorists? The same goes for those who’ve opposed the public-health nonsense from the EU over the years, and those who criticised the dangerous cultural relativism inherent in multiculturalism.

All these critics were saying the same thing: failing to anchor policy to the needs and concerns of the demos is unsustainable; insisting you can educate an electorate into voting the correct way is self-deluding and arrogant; calling us stupid and lizard-brained when we don’t respond to your lessons in love, diversity, sustainability and locally-hugged quinoa will get you two giant psephological fingers wagged in your face. You were warned about this. Over and over again. From many different sources. But unfortunately for remainers, they wrote off the people doing the warning as crass and vulgar fixtures of the golf clubhouse. Oh well: mine’s a pint of your palest pale ale, stout yeoman of the bar. Now, let me tell you about the Lexus.

Things that are well brexit, apparently:

And so on, and so on. The losers.

15 thoughts on “Look what we’ve done? Look what you didn’t do!

  1. Criminally dishonest seems a stretch. But it is clear that Brexit meant completely different things to different people and that just like invading Iraq, it was one thing to break it but few had/have put the slightest thought into what to do afterwards.

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  2. If you want to point the finger of blame for a scandalous lack of preparedness for Brexit, then wag it firmly in the direction of Cameron’s govt. They offered the British people the referendum. It was patently their responsibility to plan for both outcomes and they had the resources and expertise to do so. It has become painfully obvious that no contingency plans whatsoever were in place in the event of a vote to leave Europe. Not only is that scandalous, it invites the obvious question: why were they so ridiculously certain that Remain would win?

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  3. “it was one thing to break it but few had/have put the slightest thought into what to do afterwards.”

    Ooh, would you like some cheese with that whine, Raff?

    It’s probably escaped your attention, but as it was Cameron who called the Referendum – a totally different matter to a General Election, it was his responsibility to produce plans for the various contingencies, notwithstanding that in his arrogance he entirely overlooked the possibility the electorate might vote to leave. It was further Osborne’s responsibility to defend Great Britain’s economy, not slag it off hence causing the maximum possible damage.

    In any case, there were a number of proposed exit schemes, one by Dr. Richard North, for example.

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  4. Could we have some more of those tweets? They’re extremely revealing, though of what exactly I’m not quite sure.

    The essential point of the ones you reproduce is that they are pure class prejudice of a kind that we all thought was extinct, like jokes about bints and nignogs.

    But it’s not simple middle class hatred of the working class – Ronnie Barker looking down on Ronnie Corbett while looking up at John Cleese – it’s more subtle than that.

    I hold to my theory that the significant cleavage is between the university educated and the rest. Roughly 30% of 20-30 year olds have had some form of further education, and only 5% of the 60+ generation. Please feel free to correct my figures anyone – I just made them up – but I think they’re accurate enough to make the point that university education alone is sufficient to explain the age divide between Euro-leavers and stayers.

    It would take a generation of social scientists to unravel the complex ideology of the educated class, which a useful lexicographical article in the Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/media/mind-your-language/2016/jul/08/now-more-than-ever-its-time-for-the-geeks-to-fight-back
    defines as: “The nerds. The geeks. The intelligentisia [sic]. The chatterati. The Twitterati. The Guardianistas.”

    But this analysis isn’t going to happen. The social scientists who could do it trained these people in the ideology which makes them what they are. You can hardly charge a twenty-year-old ten thousand quid for his education and then tell him that his vote is worth no more than that of the chav next door.

    Has anyone done an analysis of the Brexit vote by educational attainment? Or of trust in experts by how many thousands of pounds respondents are still owing on their student loan?

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  5. Not my fight. But am fascinated watching your various Brexit posturings and repercussions role out. Closest analog is Trump as presumptive Republican nominee. Many of the same ‘shock, horror, undo, redo’ responses on this side of the pond. So there are some apparent underlying polisci similarities. Not that I actually think politics is remotely a science.
    Twitter is interesting. It is not a random sample. But does indelibly catch the exact expressions of the subsample who tweet, often prolifically. Shrill voices, having convinced themselves they must be heard. A good reason not to do so.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Geoff, I had to trawl back for about 5 minutes to get to those particular tweets. It was a very popular hashtag. I wanted to get those ones in particular because the authors are very popular as high profile members of a comedy-fan crowd. Argue or disagree with any of them at your peril; you’ll be flayed within an inch of your life, with their followers piling on for good measure. But this impenetrable certainty about the soundness of their judgement on matters of political/cultural taste means they’re becoming too rigid to survive in brexit Britain, I hope.

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  7. Geoff,

    On your thoughts about the distinction between the University educated voting for predominantly for Remain and those who left school with minimal qualifications voting predominantly for Leave. But this does not explain all of the split.
    Another way to look at the results is by constituency. Chris Hanretty, a Reader in Politics at the University of East Anglia has tried to estimate the results by constituency for England and Wales. The results were declared by council area, so it should be pretty accurate. There are 573 of the 650 Parliamentary constituencies in England and Wales. (There are 18 in Northern Ireland and 59 in Scotland.) Hanretty’s estimated that 421 of them (65% of the UK total) voted for leave.

    Using the figures I simply categorized these results by Region and put the estimated constituency vote into bands.
    https://manicbeancounter.com/2016/07/04/the-democratic-deficit-in-the-referendum-result/

    Only one region in England and Wales voted for Remain – London. What is more 31 of the 54 constituencies that were at least 60% Remain were in London. Outside of London, Manchester City Council area, Cardiff and Brighton were strongly pro-leave, along with the University cities of Cambridge, Bath and Bristol. That is most of the areas that formulate opinion and where the media are concentrated are most strongly out of line with the rest of England and Wales.

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  8. “I hold to my theory that the significant cleavage is between the university educated and the rest. ”

    Insert Charlotte Church joke. 🙂

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  9. “the distinction between the University educated voting for predominantly for Remain and those who left school with minimal qualifications”

    Take into account that up to only one generation ago only around 5% of the population actually went to university, but there were a large number of colleges of further education and technical colleges which turned out highly qualified individuals with real world skills in trades and crafts. The individuals who attended these institutions may well not have had degrees, but they were by no means uneducated or lacking in an understanding of the World, many in fact would have more grasp of the real world than the ivory tower academics.

    Unfortunately, all these were unfortunately rebranded as universities and dished out imitation degrees that were of far less worth than the diplomas, City and Guilds etc. qualifications, and that was a tragedy that will take decades to rectify.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Geoff Chambers says: 08 Jul 16 at 9:05 pm

    “I hold to my theory that the significant cleavage is between the university educated and the rest. Roughly 30% of 20-30 year olds have had some form of further education, and only 5% of the 60+ generation. Please feel free to correct my figures anyone – I just made them up – but I think they’re accurate enough to make the point that university education alone is sufficient to explain the age divide between Euro-leavers and stayers”

    Geoff,
    Your numbers may be correct for formal education. I would then consider a condemnation upon modern academia! OKA over-educated idiots! The oldsters got a job, then started learning! The kids learned from a professor and a book, how to ride a bicycle, and can perhaps write a peer reviewed paper on “renewable bicycle operation”. This while never having been on bicycle, let alone fallen from and skinned up elbow.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “Roughly 30% of 20-30 year olds have had some form of further education, and only 5% of the 60+ generation”

    What do you think the numerous technical colleges that used to produce skilled tradesmen were offering if not further education?

    Do you not consider City and Guilds and HND level education not to be “some form of further education”?

    Don’t forget, the extra 25% – 30% that were awarded “degrees” were all educated at institutions that were overnight rebranded as universities, and instead of teaching apprentices useful skills such as plumbing, plastering, motor vehicle technology, joinery, cabinetmaking, textile trade skills etc. were reduced to teaching degrees in ‘ethnic dance’, “media studies’ and other totally unmarketable skills, and you appear to believe that they suddenly offered “further education”.

    You couldn’t be more wrong if you tried.

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  12. Oh dear, we’ve also gone and upset that nice Mary Robinson.
    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/mary-robinson-brexit-could-have-domino-effect-1.2700828

    ‘Former president Mary Robinson has said that young people in the UK must feel “very let down” by the outcome of the Brexit referendum, and she appealed to the EU to “remember its own core values”.’

    Oh no – and she’s not happy with the UK in general, and Germany too, and more countries besides!
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jul/18/un-criticises-uk-and-german-for-betraying-the-spirit-of-the-paris-climate-deal

    We have incurred the displeasure of the Elders of the Planet. 🙂

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  13. Pingback: Weak Minds Think Alike | Climate Scepticism

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