In his last post as Director of LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance, John Van Reenen gives his verdict on the Brexit campaigns, the media, politicians, and being a derided expert.
“The referendum was won on a drumbeat of anti-foreigner sentiment. It’s the same tune being played by demagogues in every corner of the globe. It’s the same tune that was played in the 1930s. It’s the same old beat that rises in volume when people are afraid. In the UK, it’s echoed by a rabidly right-wing press and unchallenged by a flaccid establishment media. Mixed by a band of unscrupulous liars and political zealots, it has become a tsunami of bile that has downed and drowned a once great nation. The only question is which other countries will now be swept along in this poisonous flood.”
Well said. And anyway the referendum and its result were essentially flawed and undemocratic, with over a million UK citizens (those living abroad for more than 15 years) disfranchised by intent of the Government, and many more by delayed arrival of postal voting papers abroad. Also deciding to leave the EU by simple majority of those who voted, rather than 2/3 is totally and criminally irresponsible – even the major political parties don’t decide on constitutional changes by simple majority of those having voted.