In response to an FT article by Phillip Stephens on 26th June 2016, entitled ‘Can Brexit be stopped? Anything is possible’
“Four days after Brexit, is there any way back?...as long as a British government does not trigger Article 50, Britain remains an EU member. The political forces unleashed by this referendum are unprecedented and unpredictable. It is far from fanciful to imagine that the next two years or so will see the complete recasting of the nation’s politics, quite possibly with the creation of a new, centrist, pro-European party. So those who want Britain to stay close to its own continent could think the unthinkable and work to make it thinkable”
Thank you Mr. Stephens. Your highly principled stand is a reminder of how truly shocking it is that electorates across the globe feel ignored by the establishment and distrustful of 'experts' such as yourself.
We must all hope that your commitment to straight dealing and democracy rids people of such ridiculous notions that the only way to effect change is to chuck you out.
A friend of mine in Copenhagen sent me an email today in which he remarked:
"We have a saying here in Denmark from the great unwashed being accused of 'populism' when they vote "incorrectly". Their response is: "First you urinate on us, and then you tell us that we smell."
I replied that we have a similar saying in Britain except that the bodily function is not expressed quite so politely.
We both agreed that it is a true mystery where such attitudes come from.
Amongst the other replies to Mr. Stephens piece were this one from reader N...said without a hint of irony or self-awareness:
“The young, the bright, the educated, the energetic and the ambitious have been stymied by the old, the bigoted, the stupid and the illiterate, driven on by racist propaganda and outright lies.
Just as any applicant for UK citizenship has to face an exam on British history etc., perhaps anybody voting in a UK referendum should be required to pass a similar intelligence/current affairs test.
I feel very aggrieved that my "remain" vote, based on a tertiary education, many weeks of close study, analysis of newspaper articles etc., should be nullified by some buffoon of a Sun reader who can barely read or write”
Reader A replied:
“Look at yourself in the mirror.
Why should your "tertiary education, many weeks of close study, analysis of newspaper articles, etc." be any different to my own identical experience but being some years old than you be categorized as "old, bigoted, stupid, illiterate, driven by racist propaganda and outright lies and classed as some buffoon of a Sun reader who can barely read or write".
I think with all due respect that you are not bright, maybe educated but entirely lacking common sense”
I'd go slightly further - why should an 'educated' vote carry more weight than an 'uneducated' vote?...and who decides?
This is about who decides? That question is unfolding across the globe. The answering will be painful, but it will not be prevented by those whose hubris blinds them to the question, or even those who have had things their own way for a very long time, who would prefer it if the question were not asked.