Saturday, June 25, 2016


What to say? I watched with developing horror and incomprehension the UK making  BREXIT  a reality the other night from bed, while the heart -breakingly beautiful Swedish summer midnight illuminated my lonely pursuit by the Swedish lake. The Wall Street Journal ; the Guardian as well as the BBC were my online guides  as I saw the drama unfold.
Now, what amazed and shames me the most is the utter segregation of British society and the incomprehension and the great gulf  –still – between the educated and the uneducated classes in Britain.  
I do not personally know a single person in Britain who was for BREXIT. The day before the referendum I phoned Jeremiah, my dear friend and purveyor of never ending fun events (with a connection to the EU since he is the Cultural Attaché to the EU in London ) and told him “Hals und Beinbruch!”  (Break a leg!) He was taking it very coolly and told me he was very confident of a vote to Remain so there was not too much to worry about and that he was intending to have a good night’s sleep. Alas he, as well as everyone I know were very wrong. There was every reason to worry.
How could the ruling,  educated,  liberal, privileged,  cosmopolitan British people  - for that is exactly what it boils down to- have been so in the dark about what the poor, uneducated,  marginalized ones think?  It is most definitely a question of education here- just look at the statistics of who and where and what cities and counties voted in or out!  The problem here is that we cannot undo the rules of democracy. The people have spoken. Now the question is: should the people have spoken? Should this question really have been put to a Referendum?  

An email from a friend  sums this whole disaster up admirably:
"I think it's tragic for the UK -  a complete disaster actually -  and pretty bad for all of Europe and the rest of the world too -  we are all diminished by this. 
Overall, it's sad to see a victory for Nigel Farage,  UKIP, and the social and cultural forces they represent.  It's a huge backward step in all the post-war political progress in Europe, in developing a civic polity, and in moving away from the deep rooted fascism of the past. Obviously the tendency to fascism is still there,  but little by little it has been weakened,  until now.
From my standpoint, a very very sad time."

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Blogger David said...

I'm afraid the lack of education spanned all classes, since rural areas with a lot of well-off old people also voted Leave. Like you I don't know a single friend who voted that way but I spoke to two folk at ENO the other night I really thought knew better. Their ignorance in trotting out the 'Turkey's coming for us' and 'unelected bureaucrats in Brussels' lines was scary. Do people so lack curiosity that they have to be spoonfed the right information - in which the Remain side didn't do a good enough job - or take in all the lies the other side's fed them. And of course they have been done over by a sinister, cynical elite who now can't be allowed to end up running the country. No way can Boris Johnson become Prime Minister. My only hope, apart from the second referendum idea which I don't think can work, is for an early election in which the other parties, and even perhaps the moderate Tories, get their s**t together and show some solidarity in a coalition.

We prided ourselves in Hammersmith and Fulham on a 70 per cent Remain vote, and yet only yesterday the wonderful Polish Cultural Centre in King Street was vandalised with graffiti. News coming in of hatespeech against Poles and others are just horrifying, and not isolated incidents. The demons are out of the box.

10:14 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

Yes, of course you are right David- it is not a question of class but one of education and of awareness. It is also scary how this question splits everything up-old fashioned certainties like a united party political front of your chosen party to this question no longer exists (except for UKIP) so people have to either join UKIP or think for themselves- this is really a challenge to the political system itself!

7:36 AM  
Blogger David said...

By the way I haven't seen anyone else think to put up The Scream. I like to think my own image of RuPaul is of a shout verging on a scream. We all need primal therapy, or perhaps the relief of putting Johnson, Gove, Farage and their coven in the stocks and pelting them with rotten fruit.

The political system has to change, so good may come of this if there's a coalition formed for an early general election. I hope the Greens do better as they've spoken well on this.

7:42 AM  
Blogger jm.herraiz said...

Shocking news, indeed. Best countries, when they make mistakes, they do particularly well. At least, it is not just the education divide; most young people were for remaining. The future belongs to them.

6:58 AM  
Blogger Evans Gathaku said...

Britain made a serious mistake. They'll only realise after its too late.

10:06 AM  
Blogger admin said...

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3:28 PM  

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