Friday, June 24, 2016

John Power on Brexit and related, underlying issues

Words of wisdom from a young Irish reporter who speaks Korean and now lives in Australia:

Regardless of the merits of ‪#‎Brexit‬ -- which now looks like a real possibility -- here are three things I've been saying for years:

1. The citizens of the Anglophone countries, in particular, don't "feel" European. They don't salute an EU flag or cheer on a sports team decked in blue and gold. The EU is not the United States. This matters when you are asking populations to give up some of their sovereignty for a greater project.

2. The EU has an image problem. It's viewed as undemocratic and elitist. This is what happens when you repeatedly ignore the democratic wishes of distinct populations -- as happened in referenda in the Netherlands, France and Ireland.

3. All around the world, people are clamouring to tear down the system, one way or the other. From Donald Trump to the new president of the Philippines, people are sick of the established order and probably equally sick of the snobbery that often permeates it. Again and again, politicians and the media have missed this impulse until the wagon is teetering on the edge of the cliff. This is what happens when you patronise people and sneer at their concerns for long enough.

And, now, here we are. We live in interesting times.


1 comment:

John Mac said...

I concur wholeheartedly. Trump and Sanders represent the folks who are tired of not being heard. I'm no Trump fan but he is better than the alternative which is business as usual...