Brexit – A blame game?
Brexit - A blame game?
What is Brexit - a new word added to the English Oxford Dictionary in 2016 or in this tradition of words of Brangelina , Bennifer, Brexit means British exit from the European Union or there is more to it?
On 24th of June the day Britain had declared to leave the European Union, Prime Minister David Cameroon had resigned. It was an immense shock for British public and worldwide. But over several days it created a complete political meltdown in Britain. There were calls for second referendum almost as following a sports match we could ask the opposition for a replay. Everybody was blaming everybody else. People blamed the Prime Minister to call the referendum in the first place, people blamed the opposition leader for not fighting hard enough, the young accused the old, and the educated blamed the less educated. That complete meltdown was made even worse by the most tragic element of it to bring out racist abuse in the streets of Britain.
My question is should we have the degree of shock we have experienced since, was it something that took place overnight or it is deeper structural factors that have led Britain to where it is today?
So I want to take a step back and ask two basic questions:
1. What does Brexit represent not just for Britain but for all of us around the world?
2.What can we do about it, how should we respond?
Brexit teaches us many things about British society and about society around the world. It embarrassingly highlights how divided our societies are. The vote split along lines of age, education, class and geography. Young people did not turn out to vote in great numbers but those who did wanted to Remain and older people really wanted to Leave the European Union, geographically it was only Scotland that very strongly wanted to be part of European Union. But more profoundly the vote teaches us the nature of politics today, contemporary politics is not just about right and left or tax and spend its about globalisation. Contemporary politics is about those who embrace globalisation and those who fear globalisation. If we look at those who wanted to leave we call them leavers as oppose to remainers. We see two factors in the opinion poll that really mattered first was immigration and the second sovereignty and these represent the desire for people to take back control of their own life’s.
Britain was divided into two distinct colours or red which represented leave and blue areas wanted to remain. What personally struck me was I live in London, I called to Leave, and looking at the top 10areas who voted to leave I have never visited. It came as a shock to me and it suggested that people like me who think of us as open and tolerant perhaps don’t know our own countries and societies nearly as well. Was I blaming the political leaders to drive my decision to leave?
For significant majority of Leave voters the concern was dissolution with the political establishment, a protest vote for many, and a sense that nobody represented them. For all who care to create a liberal, open and tolerant society, we urgently need a new vision a vision of Globalisation. Can we do this by recognising the positive benefits of globalisation?