The Learning Renaissance

Brexit in the UK – The Thin Veneer of Civilisation


For many people the UK is seen to be a stable country with long standing traditions of democracy and rule of law.

It has been quite shocking since the vote in the referendum how quickly what has been the work of centuries can begin to unravel.

Economic contagion aside, one of the most distressing aspects of the vote is that the call to ‘get our country back!’ has led to  increasing incidents of racism on the streets, of the sort that I have not witnessed for forty years. Racists feel emboldened by the leave vote to display their xenophobic attitudes, challenging both EU citizens and others from further afield, and even second and third generation immigrants to “pack your bags and get back home!”

Let this be a warning to all who hold democracy dear… in the West our generation has not be called upon to fight for democracy in a war… Perhaps this is the time we need to stand up for democracy and decency – it is clear our politicians have failed us.

This is one teacher’s view of the Brexit vote:  Brexit and Education


About educationalist04

Dazed and confused much of the time but convinced we can, as a species, do much better than this if we set our minds to being much more positive and productive towards our fellow humans.

3 comments on “Brexit in the UK – The Thin Veneer of Civilisation

  1. codeinfig
    June 28, 2016

    its too easy to lump all brexit supporters together with racists and xenophobes, and in the usa the left loves to lump all far-right views together with pretty much any position that the left currently isnt supporting. this happens so often, theres little point in assuming its anything more substantial when the pattern comes up again.

    but its often a thin veneer of disagreement. “bridges, not walls” hillary for example, voted for the wall in 2006. i think the wall is a stupid idea. no, thats putting it mildly. but who do i vote for if im against it? the left says i have to vote for hillary, and im certainly not voting for trump. but hillary is already a traitor so many times over. that makes me right-wing? people think we live in a democratic republic, but really we live in an unconstitutional dichotomy where the national currency is finger-pointing and blame-shifting. no one is voting FOR anyone this time. theyre all going to vote against the other one. theres no one worth voting for but theres always someone worth voting against! ah, well. cheers.

    • educationalist04
      June 28, 2016

      An interesting perspective. I can understand, and indeed agree with some of those who voted Brexit because they had principled opposition to the European Union.

      However they have been cynically manipulated by rightist politicians into believing that they could
      a. “Have their country back” whatever that means, and more specifically,
      b. that they could recover control of immigration within the UK borders
      c. they could retain their position in the single market and
      d. that there would be an exit bonus of £350million every week which could be used to fund the National Health Service.

      None of those things were true and the politicians making those claims knew them to be untruths – they have all distanced themselves from the very statements that won support within 48 hours of the vote.

      Michael Gove went as far as to say that “the country was sick of experts” in response to the overwhelming evidence presented by experts that major consequences would follow a Brexit vote. economic, social and political. The Remainers were simply “scaremongering”

      Following the vote, Scotland is seeking a Referendum for independence again as a majority of Scots voted to remain and resent being told by the majority of English voters that they should Brexit. Northern Ireland where peace has taken over forty years to negotiate faces calls for unification with Ireland and that will trigger further troubles.

      The £ is in turmoil, our international credit rating is downgraded, costing us more in interest payments than any dividend and many industries are making plans to shift back within the EU, leading to job loses and lack of tax revenue.

      All these misfortunes were exacerbated by a right wing press led by one of your own US citizens… a Citizen Kane of our times, Rupert Murdoch, (formerly an Australian citizen) using his media to encourage an exit vote by appealing to racist sentiment which has emboldened not so bright young British men to embark on a campaign of racial intolerance to anyone they suspect of being immigrants.

      There has been a right wing coup, and those responsible for it now hope to be leading the country by the Autumn. Think well colleagues in the US when you vote in November… easy answers from right wing demagogues seldom end well!

      • codeinfig
        June 29, 2016

        i think the right is going win this term, (and the next) but not in the form of trump. i dont like trump; what i would really like is proportional representation instead of our “first past the post” system that reinforces a minimal number of superficial choices.

        as for your problems with the right and murdoch, yes, we have those too. the more the internet provides an alternative to these old monopolies, the more we have to worry about the freedom of the internet. good luck.

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This entry was posted on June 27, 2016 by in Editorial and tagged , , , , .


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