Brexit to nowhere? Finding hope in convivial institutions

stop sign crop 2It appears that many people in the UK, some of them left-inclined, joined a right-driven rush to exit the EU, because they feel abandoned by the institutions that rule us.

Leave voters have reacted to this with clear anti-establishment sentiment; it is even visible in claims that we simply need ‘a change’. Voters’ services had been cut, their industries destroyed, their welfare undermined, their jobs eradicated. Many parts of the UK, and some economic classes even in wealthier parts, have felt this as a decline in their standard of living for decades, accelerated in recent years by the financial crisis and Tory cuts.

I don’t wish to downplay the racism of many who voted; it undoubtedly exists. The UK’s historical contempt for the foreigner is still with us, and has violent inclinations behind it. But we should also talk about the contempt the UK’s elite feel for ordinary people, and the fact that this has been noticed by the subjects of the contempt. Read more…

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