I feel like I have to place a disclaimer here because what I am going to write might be offensive to some. Also, in general, I tried to avoid political articles on this blog, so this will be a bit of a test as well.
When the BREXIT vote went through, the result did not surprise me for several reasons. Those reasons can be broken down into two categories, EU Autocratic and a large part of society being left behind.
Both are huge pastures for populists, and we see them rise in many countries, though both BREXIT and the result in the last elections in the USA, will probably also be the end of this increase.
Let’s have a look at both:
EU Autocratic, is fairly easy, people do not feel a connection with the EU Government, yes we get to vote on the parliament, but having commissars who are sent by their governments and normally these are politicians way past their prime like the Nazi friend Oettinger who without haveing any clue about modern technology and any competence coming from a local government known for its mafia-like setup gets sent to Brussels and manages to cling for years to positions of influence without any democratic legitimization, there is no doubt that there are huge issues in the EU. The EU was always a project for and live by the post-WW2 young generations. We move freely, many hold several passports, English is the lingua franca for everyone born after 1980 and a huge part born after 1945 in Europe, past is the colonial empires, the nationalist regimes, and borders, and we use one currency. Still, we don’t have a democratic representation that’s worth its name. This is a huge pain point for me, and it does need to change if the EU wants to last.
The other aspect is all the people left behind, nowadays manual labor is a thing of the past, we don’t produce basics, and if we do it’s usual art or producing such high-quality products they are art, but there is no mass market for these any longer our daily items are hugely machine produced and the few things that do need manual human labor either because of a cost point or because of machines ar not yet capable of doing these, are sourced out to China, India and the likes. We just don’t need that many Blue Collar workers any longer this results in a huge part of the society being left out, they are just no longer needed, they have no qualifications in demand or are competing in a competition against which they cannot win. We live in a society where individuals worth is still defined by that individual’s capability of work. You don’t work? You’re not worth the dirt under the shoe. That is societies message to these people. Nobody likes hearing that, they want to blame someone, and as usual populists offer an enemy, in the US it was the Mexicans, in Little England, it was the eastern Europeans (both in my experience extremely hard working people in general).
So we covered the reasons why these votes turned out how they did. Now let’s cover how this could surprise the politically active and informed liberal and left. Easy we, in general, live all in a self-created and inflated media bubble. We friend and follow the pages and content creators online who have an opinion which is in line with our views. It’s easier, and we don’t see all that right wing propaganda we don’t like. But we are also not active we tweet and retweet, share and like and sign petitions. It’s easy enough; let’s do that in the 10 seconds we have while checking our phone its just one touch away? And I look at my phone, and I change the world and all my friends like it. I’ve accomplished something; I don’t need to vote all my friends feel the same. They will vote. I can stay at home on Sunday and Netflix and chill. Well, we see how that turned out. We got BREXIT, and we got Trump. Great stuff, let’s go and sign a petition against it.
There you go that’s the reasons why this turnout happened in the last year. People feel powerless, left behind and only live and talk in their circles. Same reason red and blue zones in the US get bluer and redder, we move into areas where we feel at home, and we feel at home, and safe in areas where most people are sporting the same opinion as oneself.
Well, you might say that’s not so sweet but thank me for telling, but I still don’t understand why you think BREXIT will be good for Europe? Well, the answer to that is quite easy. It was a wake-up call. The European governments got shocked, the 40 Year long appeasement policy against the U.K. did not pay off. They did not stay in the EU. They did not care how many extra deals we gave them. Also, people are fed up. Nationalist and populist movements might succeed, and they are in every country. So now they have to make changes and have to show it is better to be in the EU than to be outside. The EU can’t give the British a good deal; they have to provide them with the worst deal possible. Everybody has to know the U.K. are done. Normally this would be hard to achieve, but the U.K. overestimated the appeal of the Commonwealth to their former slave states, they overestimated their special relationship with the USA. The Special Relationship was the access into EU defense policies and access to the EU financial market. This is gone. Northern Ireland will be part of ROI within a few years. Scottland will break off, no one in the EU has any reason to tout the horn any longer that Scottland would not be part of the EU, not even Spain. They will be neutral at best, as they want Gibraltar, which probably will become part of the EU itself as well, they won’t have any other choice now. This will destroy the UK, and this is exactly what the EU needs and May and the rest of what goes for politicians nowadays in the UK are doing their best to enable this all. So the EU can finally do a lot of reforms move closer together (something the UK blocked for a long time) and at the same time can show everyone how bad the UK will have it. Were you angry about prices for Marmite going up? Wait two years, and you wish the GBP would be worth a Euro. Thatcher saw to it that there is no productive industry in the UK. The car industry in the UK is German and Indian owned. They will just remove production. Ireland will probably switch within a few years over to left steering and right driving now after the reunification.
So as a European I thank the Little Englanders for voting BREXIT, you, in fact, saved the EU and hopefully in a few years you will finally notice that WW2 is 70 years over and nobody cares about a former Empire enslaving two-thirds of the world.
To my english friends, I am sorry for the hardships you’ll face. To my Scottish friends don’t doubt yourself, Scottland will be stronger outside of the UK and the EU will welcome you with more than open arms. Vote Leave!