Thursday, 30 June 2016

Commentary on Brexit.


Politics feels like an episode of Game of Thrones.

Why the Leave result?

We should be careful about how we examine reasons for  the Leave result. It's too simplistic to dismiss leave voters as racists- since that's not true given the Lord Ashcroft polls- and its too simplistic to say it was "a working class revolt" as some Lexit(Left Exit) folk have done to comfort their consciences over the nasty consequences of the Leave vote.

The Lord Ashcroft polls if correct, suggest that most voted leave because they saw the EU as undemocratic and they desire more democracy in politics.

Was some of the Leave vote undeveloped anti-capitalist feeling???? Do some people perceive Leave as left wing??  Some Leave voters have said they wanted more democracy and saw the EU as controlled by the rich and believed this would send a shock to the system.

The Leave vote was partially a protest vote against feeling ignored and excluded by parliamentary politics and feeling left behind with the decline of heavy industry.  Some Leave voters were racist but not all. It's more like racists voted leave rather than leave voters were racists.  Regardless of the reasons why people voted leave, racists interpret the Leave result as a signal that others in the UK agree with their racist and xenophobic ideas.

We need to tap in to that desire for democracy and discontent with the way things are and turn it left wards rather than let it be dragged right-wards.

There are genuine problems- housing shortage, job cuts, job shortages-  which the media and right are saying is caused by migration but in reality is caused by austerity and ultimately by the capitalist system.


Unlikely to be able to rejoin EU within UK since france and spain have said they will block it and would require unanimous consent of EU member states.

Spain are blocking scotland joining EU within UK to prevent this happening inspiring Catalonia, Basque Country etc following suit and doing the same.

 Indyref 2 looks likely. Unclear whether that would be a yes vote to leave the UK. We can't assume it would be.

An independent Scotland may not be guaranteed re-entry into the EU which might leave us isolated.

Independent Scotland does not escape Neo-liberalism and would still be a capitalist state with a capitalist economic system.

We shouldn't pretend the SNP is a friend of migrants either particularly.


Leaving the EU could affect the border situation and the Good Friday Agreement.

Corbyn and the Labour Party.

At best joining the labour party to support Corybn is a waste of time, unlikely to be effective. Seems likely he will be thrown out.

At worst it will encourage hope in Corbyn/Labour Party/ representative democracy that will drain energy and participation away from grassroots organizing if not soon then later in the future around election time etc.


England is set to have the most right-wing british government ever with Gove, Theresa May or Boris Johnson.  Because of the interpretation of the Leave vote as racist, we will see the government swing further to the right.

I hope UKIP doesn't gain more supporter and especially hope they don't gain power.

Expect more austerity ,attacks on workers rights, migrants rights etc etc.

Rest of the world.

European far right welcome this result and want to follow suit.
Donald trump supports this result.

there might be another recession?

What next?

Out of anger for the Leave vote, people have went knee jerk into almost uncritical support for the EU.  That's understandable given anger about Leave result and fear of the consequences.

  We must make clear that neither the EU nor the british state(nor any state- past, present or future fort that matter)  are democratic , accountable or reformable. 

I don't think we'll be able to get back in the EU just now as things stand.anti-raids networks, direct action against any threats to migrants, militant stuff.  It won't if we don't build it. If we stop thinking politicians are the solution and turn to ourselves then we can get more stuff done.  Networks are already there we just need more participation to be more public and build wider and stronger. It's not easy, takes time and effort, inevitable frustrations and disappointments, resolving conflict and disagreement and probably means some sacrificed leisure time but its what needs done

 Britain is likely to leave the EU because legitimacy wise it would be bad for them to do otherwise. Scotland might get into the EU in the UK but countries have to be unanimous and spain and France have said they will block it.
So until there's another Indyref (which might not be a yes result so we shouldn't put all our eggs in one basket ) that's all we can do.  There are no quick fixes,unfortunately.

try to fight job cuts with direct action, protest, strike, occupation, sit in????

  • Any crisis is an opportunity- normally for the right ( Shock Doctrine) but the left needs to take advance of it. 
  • In the short term Brexit will cede group to the right wing. It's up to the left to get organized. Migrant solidarity, anti-fascism, anti-racism is essential.
  • We must avoid British nationalism/racism on one side and Scottish nationalism on the other side.
  • We must show both Leave and Remain why their interests are not served by politicians and governments.

  • TO SORT OUT LATER/Useful resources.

    Lord Ashcroft Polls demographics and statistics- - criticism of white supremacy in Brexit discussions. - EU critical article from an African perspective.

    Some media tried to paint Leave voters are completely ignorant and some lies were told ----

    some people may not have known fully the consequences  it is true but the failure to misunderstand why people voted leave is unhelpful and telling. looks deeper at causes of Leave vote. Need to examine it carefully.

    Why we voted leave: voices from northern England

    -Short documentary set in the former mining village of Stainforth, near Doncaster, in the wake of the Brexit. 
    Sheena Moore, a social worker from a former coal mining family leads us through her village and asks people how they voted, why, and what they hope for. What emerges is a picture of a neglected and invisible working class who have suffered immensely under the EU and the UK government.
    Filmed and edited by Sheena Sumaria, Guerrera Films


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