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Elitist Rage With the Pro-Brexit Masses Echoes Longstanding British Suspicion of Democracy

Reptiles, insects, shit flowing from the busted sewer of bad ideas—this is how the media elite views the minds and actions of Brexit voters.

Rob Browne/Mirrorpix/NewscomRob Browne/Mirrorpix/NewscomHell hath no fury like an establishment spurned. If you didn't know this already, you certainly know it now, following the British people's vote for a "Brexit." A whopping 17.5 million of us voted last week to cut our nation's ties with the European Union (E.U.), against 16 million who voted to stay. And we did so against the advice of most of the political class, media "experts," the Brussels bureaucracy, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), President Barack Obama, and virtually every other Western leader. Most shockingly of all—against the advice of celebs—not even Benedict Cumberbatch's earnest, crumpled face could make us want to stay. We defied them all. We rejected every E.U.-loving overture from the great and good and well-educated. And boy, are they mad.

In the three days since this modern-day peasants' revolt—the poor and working-class voted for a Brexit in far large numbers than the well-to-do and well-connected—the political and media elites have rained damnation upon the little people. Their language has crossed the line from irritated to full-on misanthropic. They're calling into question the ability of ordinary people to rationally weigh up hefty political matters, and are even suggesting the referendum result be overturned in the name of the "national interest." 

David Lammy, a member of Parliament (MP) representing the Labour Party, has been most explicit. He says we must "stop this madness" and "bring this nightmare to an end." The nightmare he's talking about is people voting for things he doesn't agree with. He says the people's will must now be overridden by a "vote in Parliament." It's terrifying that an elected MP doesn't seem to know how democracy works.

Peter Sutherland, a United Nations (U.N.) Special Representative, likewise thinks the Brexit vote "must be overturned," because voters were led astray by a "distortion of facts." U.N. officials normally slam the thwarting of a people's will; now they promote it.

And Tony Blair's former spin-doctor says he has "lawyers on the case" to see if a legal challenge can be mounted against the masses and their dumb decision. Lawyers v. the People: Bring it on.

Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party and First Minister of Scotland, has threatened to veto the Brexit as it works its way through Parliament. This is a woman whose party received 1.5 million votes in the General Election last year, now saying she will usurp the will of 17.5million Brits who said screw-you to the E.U.

Media commentary, meanwhile, has become positively unhinged and Victorian in its attitude to the throng. Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee, finding that she didn't like some of the pro-Brexit arguments, said Brexiteers have "lifted several stones" and let out a "rude, crude… extremism." We all know what lives under stones. An Observer columnist, perusing the Brexit chatter, said "it is as if the sewers have burst." Over at the New Statesman—house magazine of the British left—a columnist claims it was "the frightened, parochial lizard-brain of Britain [that] voted out, out, out."

Reptiles, insects, shit flowing from the busted sewer of bad ideas—this is how the media elite views the minds and actions of Brexit people.

A recurring theme in the elitist rage with the pro-Brexit crowd has been the idea that ordinary people aren't sufficiently clued-up to make big political decisions. We have witnessed a "populist paean to ignorance," says one observer. Apparently populist demagogues—like Nigel Farage, leader of the U.K. Independence Party (UKIP), and Boris Johnson, everyone's favorite bumbling, toffish politician—preyed on the anxieties of the little people and made them vote for something bad and stupid. For these little people, "fear counts above reason; anger above evidence," opined a writer for the Financial Times. A writer for The Guardian suggested that for anti-E.U. types, emotions "play a larger part than rationality."

This idea that the less well-educated sections of society are ripe for exploitation by emotion-stoking demagogues is not new. It's the prejudice that has motored most elite campaigns against the expansion of democracy. The Chartists, Britain's brilliant nineteenth-century warriors for universal male suffrage, encountered this nasty prejudice all the time. Their critics insisted that "the lower orders of the people" do not have a "ripened wisdom," and therefore they are "more exposed than any other class in the community to be tainted by corruption, and converted to the vicious ends of faction." Others said that "spouters at the meetings of the working classes" could easily exploit the "astonishing ignorance and credulity on the part of the hearers."

The Chartists raged against such nasty elitism. How horrified they would be to know that, 150 years later, it is back with a vengeance, in the idea that the scared British people are "ripe for canny right-wing operators to manipulate." 

Indeed, much of the elitist rage with the masses who voted for Brexit echoes a longstanding suspicion of democracy. Among the upper echelons of society there has never been a willing acceptance of the idea that ordinary people should have an equal say in political life. As John Carey notes in his classic 1992 book The Intellectuals and the Masses, late 19th- and early 20th-century thinkers and writers feared nothing more than mass democracy. Carey describes how numerous European writers and artists warmed to Nietzsche's view of democracy as a "tyranny of the least and the dumbest."

Sure, in these politically correct times, few would use such ugly language to describe ordinary people. But the angry petition calling for a second referendum, the planned middle-class march on Parliament to demand that MPs reject the Brexit, and the suggestion that young people in particular have had their futures destroyed by "some of the oldest and whitest people on Earth [voting] against their monsters in their heads," all speak to an elitist disgust with the "tyranny of the least and the dumbest," and a desire to prevent their democratically stated views from becoming reality.

This is as ugly an anti-masses sentiment as I can remember. And the consequences of it are likely to be dire. Ordinary people are effectively being told they're too dumb for politics. And democracy is being treated as a negotiable commodity that can be cast aside if we the stupid people make the wrong decision. This is a species of tyranny. The mask has slipped. Our normally conscientious elite, feeling bruised and aloof after the referendum, has dispensed with its usual platitudes about "respecting all views," and shown that beneath the polite veneer there lurks an ancient fury with the least and the dumbest; with the masses; with the people.

Photo Credit: Rob Browne/Mirrorpix/Newscom

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  • ||

    Well, if you consider the history of English democracy, such as it is, this is unsurprising. In the US we had a popular revolt based on the notions of equality and self-ownership. In England the closest thing they had was the Battle of Runnymede, which was a group of the Nobility seeking to limit the King - a revolt of the few powerful against the one most powerful.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Will you accept the Civil War, in which Parliament armed large number of commoners and defeated the King's army, made up of nobles (not just titled ones, lots of gentry) and mercenaries? I know, it's somewhat simplified, as nobility was split, but mostly in King's favor, and Scots mess everything up as is their custom.

    Or perhaps the Glorious Revolution, in which the oligarchy replaced a king, but demanded a Bill of Rights, to apply to all Englishmen*, and whose echoes you can hear in the US Bill of Rights.

    *except for Catholics in certain circumstances, because Fawkes and Thirty Years War and we JUST got rid of a guy supported by Catholics.

  • ||

    Yes, thank you for filling-in the parts I missed. But my greater point still stands.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Oh, indeed, I'm a great admirer of the American Revolution. I just like to remind people that the leadership saw itself as true heirs of English traditions and freedoms.

  • C. Anacreon||

    Cheerio everyone from London!

    We only get local tv in our flat, which has multiple channels of live Wimbledon, and ITV news. When they're not talking about tennis, it's all Brexit. Lots of people are resigning government posts as a result. They're mentioning September as a possible Article 50 filing date.

    We went to Kensington Palace today and had afternoon tea in the gardens. Didn't see William or Princess Kate, although they apparently live in the palace.

    Mote updates if I can pass along something of interest to all of you. Tally ho.

  • PapayaSF||

    Glad you're having a good time, but sorry you'll miss the meetup on Sunday!

  • JWW||

    "Lots of people are resigning government posts as a result."

    Well that's a good start!!

  • tarran||

    One really fascinating backlash is the claim the brexiteers lied.

    Daniel Hannan has been one of the most powerful advocates for Brexit, and he always made it clear that he favored open borders, and felt that the EU rules actually made immigration harder from commonwealth countries. His case always turned on the massive dead-weight losses caused by EU regs, and the inability of the British people to have a say in what rules were rammed down their throats.

    Naturally, he was interviewed about immigration post brexit, and he said the same things he had said before - that he didn't think Britain should close its doors to immigration, that it wasn't a central plank of the brexiteer message, and that it would allow Britain to be more welcoming to immigrants from outside the EU, and the news media is presenting this as a betrayal of the people who voted to exit.

    It will be interesting whether they can make this smear stick.

  • ||

    It's the narrative, t. Remember that we have been constantly lectured that the exiteers were unwashed, racist xenophobes. But you're right it's going to lead to some wonderful contortions from the left because the narrative has to be preserved at all costs.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I mused on this before. Nothing about "Brexit" requires closing Britain to easy/free immigration from other countries. Everyone wants this to be about racism, when it can easily be about representation and simple economics.

  • JWW||

    That's because if the progs can't convince everyone its racism, they just might notice that all the proggies are having a tantrum because their quest for unlimited power and control of the unwashed masses is being held back.

  • R C Dean||

    It will be interesting whether they can make this smear stick.

    Its an article of faith for the Remainders, already (and has been).

    Its already been ignored by the Leavers (which won't change). If anything, it will probably cement Leavers, as it is a constant reminder of why they don't like their Elite Masters.

  • bassjoe||

    I think it's because "Leave" had support across the political spectrum for different reasons; post-referendum both of the major parties are being torn apart because neither fit neatly into Leave or Remain camps. We could actually be seeing a realignment of British politics.

    There were open borders/open markets folks who believed the EU system was too constraining. But it cannot be denied there were also people who did actually want to lower immigration rates (like UKIP supporters). The fact that Mr. Hannan is being consistent in his views only shows the Leave campaign was a coalition with different views.

  • You Sound Like a Prog (MJG)||

    I've not heard one freak-out person mention Hannan or his arguments. It's only Farage or Boris. Probably because those are the only characters that John Oliver mentions.

  • kinnath||

    John who?

  • CatoTheChipper||

    A snarky Brit from whom progressives get their news now that John Stewart and Colbert are gone.

  • BYODB||

    It legitimately terrifies me that people watch those shows and think 'this is news'. They are not news people, they are not held accountable because of it, and they are the most heavy handed form of propaganda I've ever had the displeasure to watch. (and I've actually watched Fox News before.)

    Don't get me wrong, I thought Colbert and Stewart were occasionally funny but their clear preference of material made it obvious they could not be trusted for news. The same likely goes for Oliver, who frankly I've never been bothered to watch beyond a few times he's been on in the background.

    Not sure why I should care what a foreign actor thinks about American politics, but I could see where his opinion on Brexit might be somewhat informative just from an (expat?) position.

  • Intraveneous Woodchipper||

    "not held accountable because of it"

    You forget that left-wing apparatchiks in the media make gaffes, plagarize and straight up lie with little to no "accountability" whatsoever.

    See: Brian Williams

  • Ted S.||

    As if the Remain camp weren't blatant liars.

  • esteve7||

    Leftists hate freedom and they hate democracy, except when they are used for something they agree with. Also why they hate capitalism, it's like Friedman said

    "A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it … gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself."

    These arrogant fucks think they are going to be in power forever, and can never imagine anything being used against them. We Libertarians think "how would my enemy use this power against me", but the Leftist never thinks that way.

    No way I will be voting for Trump, but they deserve him.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Political bubbles are hazy with legendary resilience spun by delusional wizards.

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    Leftists hate freedom and they hate democracy

    It's taken me a long time to tie these together with general Proggie attitudes towards profit and markets. Markets are the ultimate democracy, where each person is their own voting block, where majorities always = 1 vote and minorities always = 0 votes, and there are no dissatisfied losers who are forced to buy what the majority voted for with their money.

    Last things proggies want is anyone (especially them!) finding out that they can decide things for themselves, can voluntarily associate in groups to further their desires, and that they don't need to swallow what the elites piss down on them or put up with the dreck they expressly voted against just because a few more (54-28 etc) voted for the dreck.

    I think proggies are doomed to failure in the long run. As long as government does little, it limits itself to major areas like roads, dams, wars, where at least the reasons for the majority's decision can be seen as plausible and maybe even sound, one way or another. But as proggie centralizes its control over more and more trivial aspects of life, such as the size and shape of fruit and produce which can be legally sold, the more there are people who gain nothing by the actions, and see no plausible or sound reason for them. The resentment builds up until it explodes. The proggies are damned lucky this one exploded in a referendum.

  • Zero Sum Game||

    and there are no dissatisfied losers who are forced to buy what the majority voted for with their money.

    Proggies can always find a way to paint themselves as victimized. You see, nobody works for any place out of free choice. They're compelled to work for their employer. Look at any prog blog against Uber, it's all "waaaah, they won't reclassify their relationship with their contractors as employees so they can rob them of government benefits." The reality is, of course, that people who work with Uber as contractors know what they're getting into and are free to quit at any time.

    Hilariously, if everyone worked as contractors like that, the proggies would finally have their Marxist revolution where the workers control the means of production. That doesn't sound like it's redistributing the wealth away from those more successful and it doesn't come in the centralized authoritarian flavor they desire, so it's all sour grapes. They just see that Uber has money and they want it despite the fact that their contracts gave them exactly what they agreed to.

  • This Machine||

    For these little people, "fear counts above reason; anger above evidence," opined a writer for the Financial Times. A writer for The Guardian suggested that for anti-E.U. types, emotions "play a larger part than rationality."

    Oh, that is fucking rich. Lefty rags trying to lecture the masses about overblown emotional panic.

  • ||

    I agree. I'm not sure how much the European left relies upon overblown emotional panics (I'm sure it's a lot), but there sure is plenty of it in the US.

  • buybuydandavis||

    As horrible as US media is, I'm always appalled when I watch European news. Being a Hannan fan, it will often be some discussion with Daniel Hannan and some other guest.

    For the most part, the "newsman" and the other guest sneer at Hannan, while he is his usual gracious self to the loathsome scum. I don't know how he does it. I know the US has all sorts of pundits who are clearly biased as well, but there are some actual journalists who just interview. I never see that in Euro news. It's always hugely biased, and in a nasty, personal way.

  • CE||

    Including Scientific American:

    http://blogs.scientificamerica.....-evidence/

    In case you missed it, on June 24th the UK voted to leave the European Union. This was despite the overwhelming number of experts saying that this would be a terrible idea. Yet, when the experts spoke, clearly only 48% of the population listened.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    ...popped like a fucking blister bristling with the claustrophobic mucous of maniacal uniformity.

  • Spartacus||

    Bristling? Oozing, maybe, or weeping. Erupting perhaps. Otherwise a solid work.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I blame TRUUUUUUUUMP.

  • John C. Randolph||

    I've heard that the Labour Party is blaming the JOOOOOOS. (Seriously, they're spreading rumors that the Jews engineered the Brexit vote.)

    -jcr

  • buybuydandavis||

    Maybe it's just being an atheist, but I just can't get the whole "Da Joooos Did It" business. They're just the bogeyman for everything.

    I would have assumed that Jews in Britain favored Remain. And looking around, the polls say so. But here, Remainers claim that Brexit was a Jewish plot. Just flies in the face of all evidence. Whatever bad happens, Da Joooos Did It! No matter how contrary to reality. What is up with that?

  • bassjoe||

    In fairness, it's not like suspicion of democracy is uniquely British. The US Constitution had many undemocratic provisions baked into it from day 1 because the drafters were suspicious of majoritarian impulses, most of which exist to this day.

    While the US republic's democratic provisions have expanded and strengthened over time, the country has never put specific policies up for a popular vote; on the other hand, several states allow popular referenda on pretty much any legislative topic and they aren't exactly examples of well-governed political entities.

  • kinnath||

    Which is why we are a representative republic and not a democracy.

  • Billy Bones||

    But I believe that your example perfectly fits the narrative being discussed in this article. If you polled every American and asked to describe our government, you would get at least 4 "Democracies" for every 1 "Representative Republic". We the people are not educated well enough to understand politics and government, which is exactly what the government-ran educational system desires. An uneducated populous is a controllable populous.

  • ||

    WERE a represetative democracy

  • kinnath||

    With any luck, the whole EU will come apart.

    I saying this knowing full well my 401K will get trashed and will not recover by time I retire. But fuck the Euros anyhow.

  • R C Dean||

    I think it will get rolled back to a common market, which is all your 401k needs anyway.

    I don't think the Euro can survive the next real financial panic/crash, and that will be what vaporizes the EU proto-state.

  • kinnath||

    which is all your 401k needs anyway.

    I actually believe the global economy will recover quite nicely so long as they don't spend 10 years trying to avoid the inevitable.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    the global economy will recover quite nicely so long as they don't spend 10 years trying to avoid the inevitable do exactly what they're guaranteed to do.

    FTFY

  • bassjoe||

    The current form of the EU was poorly-conceived. Creating a monetary union before a fiscal/political one was an extremely poor decision. They figured the economic ties would lead to a political one. But in the meantime that left the EU incapable of coherently responding to political crises and looking elitist and distant in the face of economic crises.

  • PapayaSF||

    How would the monetary one have ever worked? Germany and Greece (e.g.) need very different fiscal policies.

  • bassjoe||

    Massachusetts and Oklahoma have very different fiscal policies and priorities (and politics, for that matter) yet operate under the same monetary union because they're members of the relatively powerful USA fiscal/political union. The European fiscal/political union I was thinking of was something similar to the USA's.

    But such a union is a pie in the sky dream for Europe who are (rightly, considering their history) suspicious of political unification attempts. The EU managers were hoping the monetary union would bring it about; they have so far been wrong.

  • PapayaSF||

    Any two US states are much more similar than Germany and Greece. States still have a similar culture, same language, share federal law, and a currency and fiscal policy. Imposing fiscal policy and a shared currency from above is an entirely different thing.

  • John C. Randolph||

    How would the monetary one have ever worked?

    It could have worked fine if the money consisted of gold and silver coinage. Unfortunately, honest money was never part of the Eurocrats' plan.

    -jcr

  • invisible finger||

    The fiscal/political union didn't work out so well for the Soviet monetary union.

  • ||

    If they are screeching this loudly because of Brexit, it will bring new meaning to the word entertainment should Trump slide into the Whitehouse in November.

  • PapayaSF||

    Oh, yeah. The head-explosions will be awesome.

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    BTW, semi OT, have they discovered a motive for the Jo Cox shooting?

  • R C Dean||

    I think the guy was a right-wing nutter who shot a lefty pol.

    Why her in particular, I have no clue.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    So they believe his motives?

  • Gadfly||

    From what I read, the reason he shot her in particular was simply because she was his representative and was in his town to talk to people. Similar to the Giffords shooting that happened in Arizona a while back.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Remember how the Sequester caused the 2008 financial markets collapse here across the pond? This is going to be that times a thousand. Britain will be lucky if it doesn't end up looking like one of its Mad Max movies.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Modern political discourse doesn't remember last week.

  • R C Dean||

    Remember how the Sequester caused the 2008 financial markets collapse here across the pond?

    Yeah, it was really scary how a budget bill passed in 2011 caused a collapse three years in the past.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    That's how bad it was. I'm surprised the effects of the Brexit hadn't already shown up decades ago.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    What do you think caused Britain in the 70s?

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Shit, now Bosnian War is finally explained. Farage did Srebrenica!!!!

  • ||

    Farage, supposedly, did Auschwitz too*. HuffPo told me so.

    *Well, they said it was both him and Trump.

  • Eternal Blue Sky||

    Maybe they HAVE. I always KNEW future Britain was behind the Great Depression!!

  • Tornado16nb||

    Left aligns with the 1 percent lol.

    Anyone sense a difference between the Bernie sanders fan progs and these elitist top down top men progs?

    The former was just about free stuff and feel good type things

    The latter are control freaks

  • ||

    There really are a lot of differences. For instance, one of those groups wants to steal from rich people and the other wants to steal from everybody.

  • The Grinch||

    Each Brexit is bad article simply highlights the reasons that the majority voted to get out in the first place.
    -Contempt for democracy? Check.
    -Contempt for people? Check.
    -An overwhelming desire to be whiny bitches who would throw the results in the trash if they could? Check.
    The more I see of it, the more I'm convinced Brexit was the right move.

  • Mustang||

    I know the apocalyptic screeching seems far-fetched, but just perusing the reactions that leftists seem to be having over this and other stories one has to wonder if they're reaching critical mass before they blow. They're really not hiding it now and are begging for a violent takeover by Top Men if only it will shut the wrong-thinking people up.

  • ||

    I,think they've already reached critical mass. That's why every now and again, they open their "violence release valve" and riot like they did in Ferguson and Balmer or attack people walking to hear a speech from a political opponent.

    That's their version of "letting off steam".

  • ||

    I think we will see more leftist violence. See the DAMN article (about the "anti-fascist" group named DAMN, that is). Also I've been saying for some time that the Philadelphia convention will be a remake of Chicago '68, and the remakes always have more action.

  • PapayaSF||

    Aren't they "BAMN"?

  • BYODB||

    A good question, perhaps they'll Stay Calm and Carry On?

    Doubtful.

  • Jerry on the rocks||

    The English football team is at least doing their part in getting this euro exit started.

  • ||

    ZING!

    Losing to Iceland would be like us losing to the Virgin Islands in basketball.

    Humiliating.

  • geo1113||

    Does everyone in Iceland have a name that ends in son.

  • R C Dean||

    Naw.

    Some have names that end in "dottir".

  • geo1113||

  • ||

    Those heteronormative shitlords need to get with the program and stop sticking labels on people that might feel other end by them later in life.

  • ||

    Other end=othered.

    (On a side note, I'm happy that "othered" autocorrects to two real words instead of staying that made-up shit.)

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Give it time. I'm sure after some future SW update autocorrect will be updated with the latest SJW newspeak library.

  • kbolino||

    They don't have surnames, they have patronymics. They're all sons or daughters of someone, so their names end in the name of their father (or occasionally mother) + son or ðottir. A man won't be called Eriksson unless his father's name actually was Erik.

  • ||

    Yep, just like I said: shitlords.

  • ||

    What happens when said son identifies as a dottir ?

  • invisible finger||

    Janesquir

  • Gadfly||

    He changes his name from Eriksson to Eriksdottir. What would be more interesting is what happens when Erik himself decides to identify as Erika. Do his children now have to change their names as well?

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Have I mentioned I like Brendan O'Neil and think he should be a regular contributor? He's been on fire here, at The Spectator and in Spiked.

    Shit, looks like we lost Richman Sunday column, can we have it replaced with a more palatable lefty?

  • The Grinch||

    They axed Richman? Thank Christ.

  • Pan Zagloba||

    Well I don't remember a derp attack for many a weekend now, so...

  • Number 2||

    You mean Brexit wasn't a plot by the Israeli government to kill Palestinians?

  • ||

    They could dump Richman and Chapman and replace them with O'Neil and a bowl of jello.

  • SugarFree||

    "It was hot and I was hungry."

  • ||

    This was about home rule, pure and simple. And Mark my words, it had more to do with electric tea kettles than immigrants.

    People there, but especially people that grew up with a cup of tea every day, are lashing back against foreign bureaucrats making laws that effect their daily lives. It's their version of "taxation without representation" and the results were pretty predictable.

    I'm certain they will want to continue having large segments of their lives managed, they almost always have in Britain. But they want it to be English people doing it that they can vote out of power every election "cycle" or whatever they call it. They don't want it to be the Krauts or the Wogs or the Frogs.

  • bassjoe||

    I do find it sort of funny that the British -- not exactly known for having the freest society in the world; they're still called "subjects" for crying out loud -- have merely replaced a set of distant multilingual manager-regulators with a set that speaks English.

  • ||

    They've always liked their socialism. They just like it coming from 10 Downing Street instead of Brussels. I don't know why this is surprising.

    And what is even better is that it looks like it will further fracture with Scotland and Northern Ireland both going their own way (with more localized socialism). That, to me, is a net positive. Any time you break up a big socialist Union into smaller socialist pieces, you have more chances to end some of that socialism and expose the others to a successful alternative.

  • bassjoe||

    I think Northern Ireland is economically closer to Ireland than the rest of Britain (I might be wrong) so it sort of makes sense at this point for them to join their cousins to the south rather than hoping Britain keeps all of the trade arrangements in place with EU countries. However, the political violence between the Protestants and Catholics will undoubtedly flare up again if Sinn Fein starts to seriously push for such a referendum.

  • ||

    Do you really think they'd ever vote to form a union with Ireland? And that the UK would allow it? No fucking way. Those scars are still a little too fresh for anybody over 45 that lives there.

  • bassjoe||

    I don't actually think they would happen, precisely because it's politically impossible (I should have made that more clear in my original post).

  • bassjoe||

    *that would happen

  • Pan Zagloba||

    UK took on an obligation to allow Northern Ireland to join the RoI if they want:

    (iv) affirm that if, in the future, the people of the island of Ireland exercise their right of self-determination on the basis set out in sections (i) and (ii) above to bring about a united Ireland, it will be a binding obligation on both Governments to introduce and support in their respective Parliaments legislation to give effect to that wish;
    Please always cite: Peace Accords Matrix (Date of retrieval: (6/27/2016), , Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame.M.
  • ||

    Well I'll be damned. I stand corrected.

    Thank you for the link. I always just assumed the UK made it necessary for their approval if NI ever wanted to reunite with the RoI.

  • R C Dean||

    My theory is that socialism works better at larger scales.

    In smaller polities, its harder to create the necessary disconnect between who is being robbed and who is robbing them. The more you can abstract and reify the issues, the better off the socialists are.

    Its one thing to say "Woe is me! There are millions of impoverished people that need help" when most people only have the vaguest idea who those people are. Once you make the connection to the drug-addled asshole down the street, or the "single-family" dwelling with 18 people living in it, the harder it gets to make the sale.

  • ||

    I tend to agree. Socialism being "two lions and one lamb voting on what's for dinner" makes it tougher to pull the wool over the eyes of the victim than "700 million various ethnicities voting on the 2 million that will be sent to labor/death camps".

  • PapayaSF||

    It also works the other way, too: it's easier to share things with your family and friends than with millions of strangers.

  • invisible finger||

    My theory is that socialism works better at larger scales.

    Which explains the call for socialist unions of ever-increasing size.

    Which means socialism doesn't actually work.

  • sasob||

    Depends on what you want it to accomplish.

  • Sevo||

    "...have merely replaced a set of distant multilingual manager-regulators with a set that speaks English."

    Pretty sure they were there all along; they just dumped the next level up.

  • ||

    it had more to do with electric tea kettles than immigrants

    ^This. Which is an excellent example of how it's easy to convince people to support something in principle ("saving energy"), but when they are confronted with an unpleasant application of said principle then all hell breaks loose. Focusing on issues like tea kettles and light bulbs is where you get traction.

  • tarran||

    I should point out that thanks to basic laws of thermodynamics, the lower energy kettles actually waste more energy than the higher energy kettles heating water to proper tea temperature. They literally are forcing people to waste energy and touting it as helping with climate change.

  • ||

    I'm reminded of the Top Gear segment some years ago that proved a BMW M3 was more fuel efficient than a Prius.

  • ||

  • buybuydandavis||

    "At that speed, the M3 is more economical than a Prius", where "that speed" was as fast as a prius could go.

    Silly. At it's max speed, any car is going to get crappy gas mileage.

  • invisible finger||

    You mean the test where they used the Prius specifically for what it wasn't designed for? Gee, sounds like the same bullshit "test" a prog would do.

  • tarran||

    You should watch the segment... because in the end they said it wasn't the car you drove, but the way you drove it that mattered...

  • ||

    Except it was done pretty much for comedic value. So in that respect it was nothing like a progressive would ever do.

  • B26354||

    This is the best response/explanation for Brexit that I've read since it happened. Thanks for that.

  • ||

    You mean they had the temerity to use a democratic process to vote to be ruled by a their traditional sovereign (i.e the UK) that has lots of years of history over the parasitic EU which is about as old as my daughter?

    Grats to any limeys out there. Glad to see you guys notice you have testes.

  • esteve7||

    Remember who the fascists are --- the leftists will gladly turn everything into a police state once people start voting against them. Look at their reactions after Brexit.

  • ||

    Look at their reactions after University of Missouri.
    Look at their reactions after their gun control legislation was shot down.
    Look at their reactions when Wisconsin voted in right to work.

    They're sorer losers than Shooter McGavin.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    You eat pieces of shit for breakfast?

  • Hooha||

    ...

    ...no!

  • Domestic Dissident||

    This. The world's current bunch of so-called "elites" is so thoroughly despicable that I'm starting to understand why the French got fed up enough to put them in guillotines.

  • BYODB||

    They would have used woodchippers today. Sadly they had to make due.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Vote Woodchipper 2016!

  • Bgoptmst||

    I love how HuffPo is full up people making this about Trump. Also, not every fucking thing is due to racism. Sometimes it's about rough anal without any lube.

    Another fun fact, this wasn't about the young getting screwed by the old. This was about a vast majority of young people not caring enough to vote, and then getting mad because they didn't get their way.

  • Cynical Asshole||

  • buybuydandavis||

    I've been using that one a lot too lately.

  • bassjoe||

    I personally don't think Britain will go through with the exit.

    The next Tory PM could very well be a Remain supporter or it could be Boris Johnson, supposedly a Leave supporter who could become PM, who has looked downright unenthusiastic about following through.

    Of course such a huge undertaking will require a lot of study and thought before jumping through with it. Blue ribbon commissions will have to be formed to properly consider all of the considerations into neat easy-to-read 1000-page volumes. By the time these are all published, most people would have forgotten there was even a referendum.

  • ||

    RC called this last week. Foot-dragging and do-overs until they get the desired result. All this tantum-making is just a setup for the great reconsideration.

  • ||

    I don't see it. Their currency has already dropped and will rebound most of the way. Any "losses" there will be made up in additional manufacturing and increased tourism due to the favorable exchange rate. And the reduced buying power of the pensioners isn't that big of a deal since those people overwhelmingly voted in favor of Leave.

    No, this deal is done. And the EU will be all too happy to speed it along so they can put it behind them and move forward more united...even better than that since Scotland and NI will likely try to split from England and Wales and join up on their own.

    If this lingers for a long time, the EU shell game will be exposed. And there'll be a terrorist attack in an EU country that will make more nations want to get control of their own immigration policies. And there'll be another idiotic policy come out from Brussels that does something like ban lederhosen or foie gras and cause the next national revolt.

  • ||

    I don't recall agreeing last week, but I certainly agree this week. Once I heard that they essentially have to elect someone to invoke Article 50 and, even then, there isn't a clear framework for how to leave the EU. I knew this, to a degree, could be written off as theater.

  • BYODB||

    Maybe to you, but maybe not to 17.1 million Britons.

  • ||

    Maybe to you, but maybe not to 17.1 million Britons.

    Don't misunderstand me. They want out, rightfully so, and this is a great starting momentum, but the slog is ahead. And, more my point, is that until 2 yrs. have lapsed until the Article 50 has been invoked and most all treaties and trade deals have been renegotiated they will still have people *technically* including them in the EU. Things are going to have to go very right in the next 2-4 yrs. to maintain/keep the momentum. Otherwise, a tiny contingent of 'bitter clingers' could easily get another referendum that makes it appear as though lots of Brits changed their minds.

  • buybuydandavis||

    I think that's likely.

  • invisible finger||

    Eventually the elites will stop worrying and love the new opportunities for corruption Brexit has provided.

  • ||

    I disagree. This isn't going to go down the rabbit hole of the next I-phone or next season Peppa Pig. The people that voted to leave didn't just throw a fucking coin in the air, and said, "meh."

    I think we can count on some Muslims to do some crazy fucking shit that is not going to allow people to forget.

  • John||

    The problem with the EU is that it was too big and encompassed too many countries with fundamental economic and social differences. You can't stick countries like Germany and the UK into the same common market and currency with Greece and Italy. it was never going to work.

    It would have been one thing if the UK had joined with the other Anglosphere nations. That would have been an union that would have made sense. But joining with all of Europe was insane. But, the elites loved it because it was an excuse to circumvent democracy and cram down regulations in the name of "trade harmony".

  • bassjoe||

    Interestingly, one of the Leave campaign arguments was it would allow for closer economic ties with the Commonwealth countries.

  • John||

    Can England ever overcome the blow of no longer being economically tied to Greece.

  • B26354||

    +1 Extreme Sarcasm

  • buybuydandavis||

    All hail the Anglosphere!

  • invisible finger||

    The UK barely functions, a UE is just madness.

  • Libertarian||

    How much is that in Pounds?

  • __Warren__||

    What I want to see is the 52% taking this as fait accompli and deregulating themselves without waiting for the politicians to negotiate anything.

    The fishermen should head back out to the fishing grounds that have been taken from them, business owners should start getting rid of all the metric shit they have to put on packaging, manufacturers can start ignoring the most harmful of regulations and so forth.

  • bassjoe||

    UK will be one of the most regulated political entities without the help of the EU. Many of those EU regulations will simply be adopted as UK regulations, should the exit actually happen.

  • invisible finger||

    If only they can tax Germans for the cost of the regulations.

  • sgreffenius||

    Outstanding remarks.

    I wrote to a friend after seeing your article, "Brendan is back!" Keep it coming. We readers of Reason miss your commentary and news from the UK.

  • american socialist||

    Thank God, Brendan, that we here in America live in a republic and not in a democracy. If so, we'd probably have the masses vote on abolishing assault rifles. God knows, The People sure do know how to fuck things up.

    I'm unfamiliar really with the details of the Brexit vote, but from the sketchy information I do have I'd probably have voted for Leave AND felt perfectly comfortable condemning the racist scum that voted LEAVE because they didn't care for Syrians showing up for Tea Time.

  • Sevo||

    american socialist|6.27.16 @ 4:42PM|#
    "Thank God, Brendan, that we here in America live in a republic and not in a democracy. If so, we'd probably have the masses vote on abolishing assault rifles."

    Or masses voting to have commies thrown in jail.

  • Threedoor||

    I'm generally anti referendum, unless one is to remove regulations. Adding regulations should be as hard as possible and easy to repeal.

  • bassjoe||

    I vote no on all popular referendums as a matter of principle because I don't have time to actually read the proposals and come to an informed decision on things that would affect other people.

    I only wish legislators used the same logic.

  • BYODB||

    "In the three days since this modern-day peasants' revolt..."


    Y'know...I had actually not considered things within that particular light. Well done, I have something to think on.

  • steve walsh||

    Three quotes leap to mind:

    "Having lost the debate the losers resort to slander." - Socrates

    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what is for lunch." - Ben Franklin (disputed)

    "Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony." - Dennis, Monty Python and the Holy Grail

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Having lost the debate the losers resort to slander." - Socrates

    Slander and other lies are the first, last, and always resort.

  • Uncle Jay||

    RE: Elitist Rage With the Pro-Brexit Masses Echoes Longstanding British Suspicion of Democracy
    Reptiles, insects, shit flowing from the busted sewer of bad ideas—this is how the media elite views the minds and actions of Brexit voters.

    The ruling elitist filth have every right to be outraged.
    How dare the little people of England to vote against their socialist slavers' ideas for the popular, prudent and extremely successful concept of redistribution of wealth. This idea that came from Karl Marx, may his name be blessed, has been wildly successful many times over.
    Now the elites that rule in other European Union states will have to scrounge around for other people's money somehow, somewhere.
    Don't the unwashed masses in England know what a pain in the ass this will be for such highly successful elitist ruling turds that have made economic titans out of Greece, Portugal and Spain?
    Don't the untermenschen of England know these ruling class elites have yachts, vacation homes, mistresses' houses, sports cars, etc to pay for?
    Now where will these poor corrupt politicians and their cronies get their money to pay for these things?
    My heart bleeds for them.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "They're calling into question the ability of ordinary people to rationally weigh up hefty political matters, and are even suggesting the referendum result be overturned in the name of the "national interest.""

    Maybe the reason average people everywhere feel like the elitists view them with contempt is because the elitists view them with contempt.

    I've said the following about global warming: That if the worst case scenario projections were to come true, it wouldn't be because average people denied the science. It would be because the elitists failed to address average people's concerns about how fighting climate change will impact their standard of living. Does anyone know how much it will cost us in GDP per capita to fight climate change? How long we'd have to sacrifice our standard of living before it did any good?

    Or do the elitists expect us to forego our standard of living without question simply because that's what the elitists told us to do?

    Yeah, the elitists were hoping to use the EU to impose climate change solutions on democratic governments from above--and people resent that just like they resent elitists imposing solutions on them about open borders, asylum seekers, bailouts, etc.

    Whenever we see the elitists screaming bloody murder, we know we're doing something right.

  • Rockabilly||

    Did the elites ever find Saddam's nuculur bomb?

  • CE||

    Fighting climate change isn't about results, it's about feeling good about fighting climate change.

    If the temperature goes up, for any reason, it will be taken as a sign that we're not doing enough and more must be done.

    If the temperature goes down, for any reason, it will be taken as a sign of progress and mean that we must do more of what we are told.

  • buybuydandavis||

    It would be because the elitists failed to address average people's concerns about how fighting climate change will impact their standard of living.

    No, it would be because they lied and lied and lied again until they had set back public trust of science a century or two.

    The Left has rotted the core out of the institutions that make for a civilized society. No one trusts them, and rightfully so.

  • Rockabilly||

    At least Eurovision was held before the vote.

    http://www.eurovision.tv/page/timeline

  • TBlakely||

    I guess only people who aren't too old, are from the right socio-economic class and holds a properly enlightened viewpoint should be allowed to vote and control their own destinies? Gonna be interesting watching the elites maneuver to nullify the Brexit vote. If they succeed, will Britain be considered a democracy or would a oligarchy be a more accurate description?

    Scratch a leftist and find a fascist thug who yearns to crush their 'lessers' with a jackboot.

  • buybuydandavis||

    George Orwell - 1984

    "We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power.
    ...
    Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. Do you begin to see, then, what kind of world we are creating?
    ...
    Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever."
  • GailG3||

    I am convinced that the turmoil in the markets is intentional - a way to punish the serfs by draining their retirement funds. Quite honestly, it's like that in America as well. The people have been the enemy of the state for as long as I remember. #EndFeudalismNOW

  • JaysonP||

    "MP doesn't seem to know how democracy works"
    O'Neill doesn't seem to know that democracy is fundamentally flawed and always has been.

    I have no comment on whether Brexit is a good idea or a bad one. I haven't seen any bombs dropping or armies invading, so it doesn't seem to be as bad as someone would make it.

    Democracy is in fact flawed because there is a disconnect between sharing the burden of government and receiving the benefits of government. This is particularly true in places with large welfare and socialist programs (like national healthcare in the UK and social security in the US).

    A pure democracy is one person one vote, but not everyone is equal. It gives far too much power to the takers and too little to the makers.

    The Roman Republic had an excellent system of dealing with this: The Census. Each male had his wealth counted, the more wealth he had, the greater the weight of his vote. If I recall, the richest's votes were worth 100x that of the poorest.

    Early America had a hodgepodge of rules, but in many places only male landowners could vote. Women, slaves, and the poor could not.

    One protection against the flaw of democracy is a representative government. In this case Parliament can simply ignore the referendum if it thinks democracy has failed.

  • Medicricci||

    So how does one define "elitism"? Does the requirement to have a high school diploma or equivalent to get most jobs also equate to elitist snobbery? Why do we even require formal courses of education and/or demonstrated mental competence to work in so many fields? Is wilful and applied ignorance actually merit its own pride and become some sort of fashionable raison d'être as in the new "'Murikan pride'? If so, then Elitism goes both ways, albeit with vastly differing intent and results.

  • MoreFreedom||

    The British elite like to insult Brexit voters and claim they aren't like the educated and enlightened elites, and instead of rejecting Muslim and other immigrants from non-British cultures, should accept them for who they are.

    Perhaps the British elite should accept the Brexit voters for who they are, rather than insulting the Brexit voters.

    The fact is, the Brexit voters are voting for independence from the EU, and the freedom to allow the British elites to create their own immigration policy. Seems to me the elites are as bad as they claim the Brexit voters are, and that the Brexit voters aren't what the elites claim they are.

  • Ron de Weijze||

    The oldest trick in the book no longer works: fear-mongering. Elites rise when they can make people avoid (fear of) dependent rejection. Dependent for their jobs, wages, livelihood, life. Rejection for not doing as they are told. Power and politics have all it takes to induce this fear. What democracy was invented for, and how it should work, is thus revoked: avoiding dependent rejection runs into the ground, like a tectonic plate, seeking independent confirmation, for truth and ethics. Maybe it is close enough to the surface now that the quasi polite veneer no longer works. And that people will no longer independently reject all that PC dislikes, or that people will no longer dependently confirm the elites, as they so badly wish for their lives to be more equal, more privileged, than others'.

  • buybuydandavis||

    To me the interesting part was that shrieking "Racist!" failed. That's been the unanswerable weapon of the Left, and it failed.

    There may be some hope.

  • prcy00||

    While some desparae Brexit losers now want to propose "best two out of three?" do-over, the political system has actually worked remarkably well. Political imbalances between the few and the many have always self-corrected. Eventually. It was just a question of how much pressure would build up and how the imbalance might work itself out.

    References to the French Revolution are lately overworked, but it can be said that the two events are of the same nature and dissimilar only in the force scale of the inevitable "correction". When the elites pause from their apoplectic consternation that things do not always go the way they think they should, they may find the perspective to be appreciative that this transition will not be harder on them.

  • buybuydandavis||

    Indeed, much of the elitist rage with the masses who voted for Brexit echoes a longstanding suspicion of democracy.


    If you're for the EU, you're against democracy. That's the whole point. Rule by an unelected, unaccountable elite.

    Being against democracy, naturally you'd be enraged by *voters* returning you to some semblance of democracy. That's doubly offensive.

    The times, they are a changing...back. So much for Fukuyama.

  • mtrueman||

    "He says the people's will must now be overridden by a "vote in Parliament." It's terrifying that an elected MP doesn't seem to know how democracy works."

    He knows how sovereignty works.

  • jimmyc1955||

    Truth - Progressives have truth. And they will tell you about their truth - whether you want them to or not. And when you reject their truth - you insult them. For they have the one and only TRUTH. All other truths are lies and must be silenced.

    And when the masses reject their TRUTH - then the masses must be taught a lesson. Though Progressives proclaim from the tops of TRUTH that all they do is for the betterment of the great unwashed masses - when those same masses reject their TRUTH then they are unworthy, ignorant blasphemers who must be taught the error of rejecting their betters. The G.U.M. must understand modern life it too complex for their simple minds and they can not be trusted with making decision. For Progressives have the ONLY TRUTH.

    And the TRUTH is - PROGRESSIVES are smarter, more compassionate, wiser and kinder than the unwashed masses. That truth is self evident to any wise enough to understand. Therefore those who don't agree - must be too ignorant comprehend. Though the PROGRESSIVES believe in the nobility of the lower classes - as long as the lower classes know their place.

  • Enemy of the State||

    To bad the UK has such oppresive gun laws...a well armed citizenry is a check on tyranny...

  • janvones||

    There's a reason an Englishman and the world's greatest writer ever wrote, "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."

  • ||

    Please. There'd only be three people left to comment.

  • Dotsword||

    I'm another American who's been very Pro-Brexit and am also fed up with the insults being flung from the many red-faced so-called "experts" on the American news shows.

    * * * Hang tough Brexiters! * * * - - don't let the mouthpieces -nor the markets' TEMPORARY shakeout-- intimidate you! They're just angry about all the money [and power] they lost by betting against you.

    . . . to all the 'Leaves' insulting our intelligence both here and abroad: I hold a Masters in Finance along with awards for my graduate work - - But, to quote a man far smarter than me who has also been very Pro-Brexit, Larry Kudlow from CNBC finance channel, "KUDLOW ON BREXIT: 'DON'T PANIC,' LONG TERM IT'S GOOD FOR GROWTH AND FREEDOM"

    Breaking News at Newsmax.com http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfro.....z4CvmFGLWP

  • Dotsword||

    * * * CORRECTION OF TYPO * * * - - OBVIOUSLY, I MEANT TO SAY,
    * * * * *. . . TO ALL THE 'REMAINS' insulting our . . . . * * * * *

  • Damien||

    There is nothing worse in this world than miseducated elites. They got a degree, restricted in scope that degrees are these days, restricted in knowledge to either specific technical knowledge or indoctrinated babble. Then they pretend to understand with depth and clarity. Unfortunately it is with the clarity of someone peering into a mirror at themselves.

    Regulation begats largeness. It is true here in the US at the state level as a friend, a former state air pollution control investigator was told by a lawyer with one of the state's large firms representing a large client.

  • Motivation Quotes||

    thanks for sharing
    -----------------------------------
    How To Motivate Yourself

    Quotes About Strong Women

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