Banner Archive

Marvel Comics Timeline
Godzilla Timeline



« Yeah, that's what we mean by "rocks" | Main | Ranger Danger Horde »

Media Failure to Examine Brexit Thoughtfully

This will make fnord12 happy - a Brexit discussion that doesn't oversimplify the argument to "ignorant xenophobia". But it's Glenn Greenwald, so in the end, no one will be happy.

Media reaction to the Brexit vote falls into two general categories: (1) earnest, candid attempts to understand what motivated voters to make this choice, even if that means indicting their own establishment circles, and (2) petulant, self-serving, simple-minded attacks on disobedient pro-Leave voters for being primitive, xenophobic bigots (and stupid to boot), all to evade any reckoning with their own responsibility. Virtually every reaction that falls into the former category emphasizes the profound failures of Western establishment factions; these institutions have spawned pervasive misery and inequality, only to spew condescending scorn at their victims when they object.

The Los Angeles Times's Vincent Bevins, in an outstanding and concise analysis, wrote that "both Brexit and Trumpism are the very, very wrong answers to legitimate questions that urban elites have refused to ask for 30 years"; in particular, "since the 1980s the elites in rich countries have overplayed their hand, taking all the gains for themselves and just covering their ears when anyone else talks, and now they are watching in horror as voters revolt." The British journalist Tom Ewing, in a comprehensive Brexit explanation, said the same dynamic driving the U.K. vote prevails in Europe and North America as well: "the arrogance of neoliberal elites in constructing a politics designed to sideline and work around democracy while leaving democracy formally intact."

In an interview with the New Statesman, the political philosopher Michael Sandel also said that the dynamics driving the pro-Brexit sentiment were now dominant throughout the West generally: "A large constituency of working-class voters feel that not only has the economy left them behind, but so has the culture, that the sources of their dignity, the dignity of labor, have been eroded and mocked by developments with globalization, the rise of finance, the attention that is lavished by parties across the political spectrum on economic and financial elites, the technocratic emphasis of the established political parties." After the market-venerating radicalism of Reagan and Thatcher, he said, "the center left" -- Blair and Clinton and various European parties -- "managed to regain political office but failed to reimagine the mission and purpose of social democracy, which ­became empty and obsolete."

By min | June 29, 2016, 12:56 PM | Liberal Outrage


Voting to 'Brexit'? I'll just Turbo boost over the English Channel!

Wanyas, stop with the turbo boost, man. Just stop! 😳

I'm tired of the remain voters acting like sore losers. Not enough voted to stay so deal with it. It's not as if they never had a chance to have their say. They even wanted to do a second referendum but what if people still voted to leave, would they try again until they got the result they wanted? So much for democracy.

Agreeing with JSfan's observation about Remainers being incredulous an informed public could vote for a BrExit, I'll add the media -- Reuters, CNN, et. al -- seem to be obsessed with portraying Leavers as "stupid" for prioritizing popular sovereignty (honoring the referendum) over the uneven "gains" of globalism.

Heck, there was even an elitist article by Rob Cox entitled, "Can we have a referendum on not having referendums?" Talk about snobbery!

BTW, it's Independence Day in the United States right now, so hooray for freedom and popular sovereignty!

Just to add a UK persepective here. The result of the vote was a huge negative shock for those of us on the remain side, so it's hardly surprising that many remainers are acting in a negative way. My initial reaction was to be really angry at the way the public had fallen for the Big Lie propaganda technique. The Leave campaign's entire strategy was to tell blatant lies repeatedly (e.g. the central claim of £350 million a day for the NHS, or the claims that the EU would let us have whatever exit terms we wanted) and stir up Xenophobia (e.g. the UKIP poster that was literally borrowed from Nazi propaganda). I wasn't angry at the leave voters, but at the media who had pushed that agenda (in the case of print media) or not challenged it (in the case of broadcast media).

Despite what SenatorJPO says, the British public were not "informed" - good quality information was difficult to find, and those who relied on the mainstream media for their information would have been very unlikely to find it. A large proportion of the leave vote was an uninformed "kick out the foreigners" vote. Another large proportion was the kind of anti-politics protest vote that Donald Trump is tapping into. Yes, there were informed voters on the leave side, but they were certainly not the kind of voters that the leave campaign was targeting.

Brexit just shows why "referendums" are crap. The public should not be deciding economic policy. Because in a referendum people who has no information whatsoever have an equal say with experts.

It's like me deciding where to cut to remove somone's appendix. I don't have enough info to do that. it should be left to experts. If I want to remove an appendix I should study up and get qualified.

It's annoying that people think everything should get decided on a vote. Shall we vote to see what the temperature will be tomorrow?