Monday, July 04, 2016

Post Referendum Blues

Class - do you remember the 20th century when class and/or nationalism dominated the discourse.  No wonder the elites encouraged us to concentrate on less dangerous causes such as gender or race. War was still fine of course, as long as the slaughter was aimed at the unpeople, those countries that didn't fall in with the globalist world view. Yet in the homelands, the US and the EU, "progressives" became obsessed with minorities of one kind or another, to ideas that posed no threat whatsoever to the elites.

This is why the Leave vote is a bit of a turn up, because suddenly those 20th century issues are back on the agenda. Look at this piece from the Spectator highlighting the class nature of the vote:

"The Brexiteer/Remainer divide splits almost perfectly, and beautifully, along class lines. Of local authorities that have a high number of manufacturing jobs, a whopping 86 per cent voted Leave. Of those bits of Britain with low manufacturing, only 42 per cent did so. Of local authorities with average house prices of less than £282,000, 79 per cent voted Leave; where house prices are above that figure, just 28 per cent did so. Of the 240 local authorities that have low education levels — i.e. more than a quarter of adults do not have five A to Cs at GCSE — 83 per cent voted Leave. Then there’s pay, the basic gauge of one’s place in the pecking order: 77 per cent of local authorities in which lots of people earn a low wage (of less than £23,000) voted Leave, compared with only 35 per cent of areas with decent pay packets."

How the "progressives" hate it.  People who haven't been to university deciding their future!

Wales - another 20th century discourse making something of a comeback after the Brexit vote is Welsh independence.  Not independence as might be understood by Americans or Icelanders or most other free peoples but "independence in Europe" by which is meant a desire to be on board the EU train, destination unknown.

Five local authorities in Wales voted to Remain, three following the British pattern (yes British not English vide East Renfrew etc.) of wealthier areas voting for the status quo - the Vale, Monmouth and Cardiff.  In Gwynedd and Ceredigion the Welsh language is said to have played a part, although I  do wonder about the influence of the university vote.

What is clear is that a segment of Welsh society we might characterise as the clerks voted strongly for Remain.  By this I mean people who work, directly or indirectly, for the state in non-manual occupations.  In their pique at being outvoted by the great unwashed we see elements of this clerkish class rallying to the cause of  Welsh independence, not as a worthwhile aim in itself but as a means of remaining inside a club which they see as protective of their economic interests.  I can't see this enthusiasm lasting very long.

Meanwhile the Leave majority are told they are stupid or racist or ungrateful for all that EU largese.  Seriously the clerks need to go on some sort of refresher course on engaging with folk who don't share their enthusiasms.

Scotland - according to the polls around a third of SNP voters opted for Leave.  Here's an interesting fact, the most pro-Remain councils were hardly hotbeds of separatism.  Edinburgh 74% Remain, 39% Indy; East Renfrew 74% Remain, 37% Indy and East Dunbarton 71% Remain, 39% Indy.

Now perhaps there will be enough Remainers who are so enamoured of the EU that they'll dump their unionism and help win a second Indy referendum. Maybe.  What then?  An independent Scotland will have to negotiate its membership of the club.  It will have to adopt the Euro and some of those Operation Fear scares might actually become real - tariffs on trade with the English market, a real border with customs and passport control.  Oh and its doubtful if Scotland would be allowed membership if it dumped Nato - so forget about closing Holy Loch as well.  Would an SNP government put EU membership to the vote?  Would they win?

My own view is if Brexit happens, still a big if of course, then both Scotland and Ireland would have to forget the EU and enter a free trade area with Wales and England, that's the economic and geographic reality.