Saturday, June 25, 2016

Britons have voted against their political establishment by rejecting the only thing protecting them from it

Why I will be leaving Brexit Britain - Oliver Imhof
Britons have voted against their political establishment by rejecting the only thing protecting them from it.. The polls mostly were fairly promising, the vast majority of the political establishment supported Bremain and – most importantly – it just seemed too irrational to leave a union that you only got the best bits of, without having to face the more negative sides. Now the unthinkable has happened. Britons voted against their political establishment by saying no to the only thing that is protecting them from it.

Illustration by Ellie Foreman-Peck
 Illustration: Ellie Foreman-Peck

In the piece I wrote back then I barely focused on what would make this country a place that I would be afraid to live in. Now that David Cameron has resigned and Boris Johnson could be his successor, the image in my head has become a bit clearer. No matter who ultimately becomes prime minister, the Tories have a clear mandate to turn the country away from Europe. What I see in a few years from now is a country on the way towards a plutocracy, with only the leftovers of the benefit system and the NHS, unaffordable education, as well as widespread mass surveillance and trimmed-down civil rights. The upper crust will get richer and everyone else will get poorer. Do I want to live in a country like that? Not for a single minute.

Somehow Cameron failed to properly communicate that he was asking us to support an organisation that keeps him (and other leaders) from exploiting the working and middle class even further. Mass media printing Nigel Farage’s absurd statements didn’t really help either. And David Beckham saying how much the EU has helped him to become a superstar was a nice touch, but how does that help the average worker who feels threatened by higher house prices, lowering wages and immigration?... read more:

Marina Hyde - The leavers have taken control. No wonder things are unravelling
For now, the victory belongs to Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, and to Nigel Farage. This is their triumph. Either celebrate it, or attempt not to choke on it. They have “taken back control”. They have “got their country back”. What else did we get back? Definitely our financial arse, which was being handed to us way before the FTSE-100 even opened. David Cameron’s much-remarked-upon political luck has finally run out, and a campaign whose guiding spirit was a mendacious short-termism has produced the ultimate long-term result.

Whichever way you slice it, this feels like a significant moment for trust in politics. Before the result was even formally declared, Farage had rubbished the idea of the extra £350m for the NHS as a “mistake”, while the MEP Dan Hannan had talked down the idea of a reduction in immigration. What a magical mystery tour it will be for people, then, to discover what it was in fact they were actually voting for. And who will be blamed for things now the EU bogeyman is slain? The history of the continent offers a series of chilling answers to that inquiry... read more:

Dismal, lifeless, spineless – Jeremy Corbyn let us down again - Polly Toynbee

Gaby Hinsliff - A pyrrhic victory? Boris Johnson wakes up to the costs of Brexit
“If we are victorious in one more battle … we shall be utterly ruined.”
Like the good intellectual that he’s vigorously pretended not to be of late, Boris Johnson will probably know that line. It’s from the Greek historian Plutarch’s account of the battle that gave us the phrase “pyrrhic victory”, the kind of victory won at such cost that you almost wish you’d lost. In theory, Johnson woke up on Friday morning having won the war. After David Cameron’s announcement that he would step down come October, Johnson is now the heir presumptive – albeit at this stage very presumptive – to the Tory leadership, perhaps only four months away from running the country. He has everything he ever wanted. It’s just that somehow, as he fought his way through booing crowds on his Islington doorstep before holding an uncharacteristically subdued press conference on Friday morning, it didn’t really look that way. 

One group of Tory remainers watching the speech on TV jeered out loud when a rather pale Johnson said leaving Europe needn’t mean pulling up the drawbridge; that this epic victory for Nigel Farage could somehow “take the wind out of the sails” of anyone playing politics with immigration. Too late for all that now, one more: