Friday, July 1

Brexit according to a technicrat

According to All Tech considered if you judge a country's interests only by prevalent Google searches, it was after the polls closed when British voters started to think seriously about the implications of their choice.
Of course this headline is somewhat tongue in cheek. But I do think there was a paucity of objective debate with a propensity instead to gravitate to the more extreme views on both sides of the fence. As they say never let the facts get in the way of good story.
Another view according to a leading economist is few people were really concerned about the EU (especially in view of the fact England was never part of the Euro currency) until some of the Tories started to blame everything on the EU and stirred up the anti establishment movement which is gaining traction globally. Tribalism reaches across all social classes, evident in the upper levels of the legal fraternity fearing legal business was migrating to EU courts. Of course one would be a fool to ignore a growing frustration amongst voters but all too often we see a gravitation to attribute blame to an external party when problems need to be sheeted home to the government in the first instance.

Central banks, including the EU, would not need to have such loose monetary policy given better management of their respective economies by their politicians. So its easy to form uninformed conspiracy theories when politicians have abrogated their "social  demand"  responsibilities (by social demand I mean governance in terms of full employment and provision of services etc etc )to the extent reasonable social demands are not being met. This has been a growing trend and differs to the degree "social demand" was taken far more seriously in the immediate post war period of almost full employment when we were less prosperous in aggregate than now but there was less inequality. But doubtless to say there will be many opinions from both sides of the divide with some claiming the exit frees England of the influence of a right wing EU.
But the opinion I would countenance is it was a non event until such time as it become a furious party debate and Cameron wanted to end the animosity but subsequently misjudged the outcome. Interestingly enough what this also reveals I think is a growing number of young people are not so inclined to tribalism as the old brigade which gives me a sense of optimism about the future.   


susan said...

I agree with your conclusions, Lindsay, particularly your conclusions about the social responsibilities of the various governments. I wrote a longer answer to your comment on my blog so I hope when you read that we can converse more. Goodness knows it's a very dynamic situation. I've been enjoying the Spectator's columns about the ongoing process, but I must admit I tend to agree with a lot of what they say so confirmation bias may be the reason

All the best

Lindsay Byrnes said...

HI Susan - I would agree with the quote " Brexit is a strange historical accident, but perhaps it has given the Conservative party the fright it needed to survive. And the chance to avoid a fate worse than Donald."

But I think both sides of the divide need to pay more attention to the worsening inequality and come up with policies that give ordinary folk more hope about the future. It would be far better to have no growth at all and a more fairer society with lower unemployment than continue on with the present "status quo ".
Trade agreements may work well but only if you allow for extra funding for expensive recompense/ retraining for a few misplaced workers. Otherwise it becomes a complete nonsense. However I would argue if the overarching likely result was a large scale loss of industry workers than you wouldn't entertain the idea in the first place. No wonder people are feeling angry and confused.

The angst is gathering steam even here even in Australia where inequality is far less pronounced yet still taking on a worrying tend. Hence in the recent elections we are seeing a swing in the Senate to increase the present 8 independents to a likely 13 who will hold the balance of power. Labour is claiming (correctly)a swing to it of above 2% against the Liberal/ Nationals who may still scrape back in with just a slim majority in the House or Representatives. But the point is even the Labour Party's primary vote is the lowest in 100 years. The fact is there is a general disillusionment with the major parties and consequently a swing to the independents and the Greens. in fact if young people were the only voters the Greens( who have about 10% of the vote )would be elected in their own right.

Best wishes.