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Devon Malcolm

Brexit

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A typical both-sidesing article from the Beeb, but interesting stats for anyone who's had to debate the root motivations for voting Leave:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51281916

The survey, conducted by Ipsos MORI, asked people to say which propositions came closest to their view.

The phrase "influences from other countries and other cultures make Britain a better place to live" was supported by a majority of Remain voters (56%), but just a quarter (23%) of Leave voters.

The alternative proposition - "influences from other countries and cultures threaten the British way of life" - was supported by just 18% of Remain voters but 52% of Leave voters.

A similar result was found with a slightly different proposition. The phrase "Britain will be stronger if it is open to changes and influences from other countries and other cultures" was supported by 58% of Remain voters but just 22% of Leave voters.

The alternative - "Britain will be stronger in the future if it sticks to its traditions and way of life" - was supported by 56% of Leave voters and just 14% of Remain voters.

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after the referendum, someone did a word cloud on what issues mattered most to Leave voters;

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It's really hard to argue that immigration isn't the deciding factor of Brexit, and of British politics overall. The broader questions need to be "what do we mean by immigration?", and in reference to that Ipsos MORI study, what do we mean by "British traditions and ways of life", and what do we mean by "influences from other countries and cultures?". When people complain about immigration, do they always mean "immigration", or do they mean people who look "foreign"? To many, a white western European, Australian or American immigrant speaking fluent English may be considered less of an "immigrant" to Britain than a black or Asian kid who's lived here their whole life.
 

It's glib, but when people talk about "influences from other countries" as a negative impact, how many of them are going out for an Indian at the weekend, having a kebab after a night on the European lager, ordering Chinese takeaway, watching American television, and so on? And what are they doing in defence of "British culture and traditions" - are they volunteering for the National Trust, or taking up Morris Dancing? 

So many problems arise because we ask these broad questions, or have these broad debates, when nine times out of ten we're not even having the same conversation, because the language comes so loaded, and loaded differently depending on the speaker. I always cringe at the phrase "British values" - we're a country where the biggest selling newspapers are The Sun and the Daily Mail, but I definitely don't share their values, but are my values somehow less intrinsically British for it? It feels like we all need to take a significant step back and just define our terms, make it clear exactly what we're talking about when we use these woolly terms, so that any disagreements are at least disagreements arrived at honestly. But I don't see how that's possible.

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26 minutes ago, BomberPat said:

when people talk about "influences from other countries" as a negative impact, how many of them are going out for an Indian at the weekend, having a kebab after a night on the European lager, ordering Chinese takeaway, watching American television, and so on? And what are they doing in defence of "British culture and traditions

They are treating Indians or Arabs as subservient and below a white, it's hard to deny thats part of British culture and tradition. If we are being glib.

Edited by Tommy!

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It totally passed me by yesterday, but it’s now been four years since the referendum. Feels like longer somehow. And a totally different world. Four years.

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Politico pointed out yesterday that the first case of coronavirus in the UK was confirmed the day we left the EU. Not in a "these events are connected" sense, but rather "we didn't have a single day's break between the two biggest UK news stories of recent years."

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I think this is the biggest issue facing meaningful democracies moving forward is the engagement of voters and how they consume politics. 

It's the wrong attitude but I totally understand why people are so fed up that they disengage completely and this results in a Donald Trump being elected. There's no respite and the quality of reporting doesn't help. We're almost at the stage where nothing is impartial thus it's impossible to know what's true or not anymore.

If anything else happens this year I fear for the version we currently have. 

 

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