Self inflicted wounds, or: The rise of post-reality politics

I haven’t really blogged – or blogged at all – about the UK’s Brexit referendum, primarily because I didn’t have anything to say. The leave camp came out with a series of assertions that were either untrue or bogus and quickly demolished. They presented no vision of what a post-Brexit UK would look like, relying instead on bluster and platitudes. To throw everything in the air on the basis of a bunch of transparently empty promises would be foolish beyond belief.

It turns out that there are a lot more fools in the UK than I had realised.

In fact, fool is far too mild a word for the people who have decided to give the reactionary and libertarian wings of the Tory party a free hand to do whatever they want. So what will we see next? Slashing of corporation taxes (“we have to calm the markets”), more spending cuts (“we just can’t afford the NHS any more”) and then things are likely to turn really nasty.

Scotland, as expected, voted strongly to remain and I would be surprised if the SNP aren’t planning for the next independence referendum already. And frankly, I don’t think I can disagree with them – why should the Scots sit back and let the English rip their economy to pieces?

And then there’s Northern Ireland, and the possibilities here are quite horrible.

The real irony in all this, though, is that the people who are most likely to be harmed by this vote are the people who voted for it.

Update: Scotland and Ireland

In the U.K, Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness calls for a United Ireland vote. What is at stake is the relationship of Northern Ireland with the Republic Ireland. 56% of Northern Irish voted to Remain, or 11 of the 18 constituencies.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcomed the “unequivocal” vote to stay in Europe after all 32 authorities delivered a vote for Remain. Ms Sturgeon will now be under pressure to deliver a second independence referendum in line with the manifesto of the Scottish National Party. Former first minister Alex Salmond warned Scots not to be “dragged” out of the EU.

It looks like it’s all over for the UK.

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