The First Three Tragedies
A quick note on the first three tragedies of the British vote to leave the EU. I wrote this on Facebook in the small hours in the wake of the result and it went slightly viral so I thought I would share it here.
Firstly, it was the working classes who voted for us to leave because they were economically disregarded and it is they who will suffer the most in the short term from the dearth of jobs and investment. They have merely swapped one distant and unreachable elite for another one.
Secondly, the younger generation has lost the right to live and work in 27 other countries. We will never know the full extent of the lost opportunities, friendships, marriages and experiences we will be denied. Freedom of movement was taken away by our parents, uncles, and grandparents in a parting blow to a generation that was already drowning in the debts of our predecessors.
Thirdly and perhaps most significantly, we now live in a post-factual democracy. When the facts met the myths they were as useless as bullets bouncing off the bodies of aliens in a HG Wells novel. When Michael Gove said ‘the British people are sick of experts’ he was right. But can anybody tell me the last time a prevailing culture of anti-intellectualism has lead to anything other than bigotry.
I can understand his immediate thoughts. But it is a pity he chose to write them in the immediate "wee hours of the morning" as things were being announced, rather than give it some due consideration.
Firstly, I suspect it was a mixture of both middle and working class that voted the way they did. Well, lets be honest it was just over half of the voters.
Secondly, the right to live and work in 27 other countries? I'm quite sure if he has something of value to contribute he would be made quite welcome in many of those countries. He may just have to apply first for permission. If he is worried about his holidays, again I am quite sure there will be no problem there, provided he has a current passport. Employment and leisure travel was never a problem before the EU and I am quite sure it will continue.
Thirdly? I've got news for him. He has been living in a post factual "democracy" all of his young life. Well, it all depends on whether you can agree that the EU is democratic or not I guess.
He is obviously a good writer and very intelligent. His other essay on the growing popularity of destructive ideas was also quite interesting. It is however a little puzzling why he is not taking his own suggestion as per his closing comments:-
"Our aim should be to see the world as Camus would see it, a planet ruled by chance, indifference and the petty prejudices of an imperfect species. Like Sisyphus, taking ownership of his repetitive plight, we all have the ability to take pride in the world as it is and not just the worlds we wish we could live in".