Elites unable to speak truth June 15, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
Here’s some thoughts that echo much that has been said on this site in the last week or so in relation to the Brexit referendum. William Keegan writing about that last in the Observer notes that:
One of the ironies of the recent turn of events is that, after the Remain side thought they had had the better of the economic argument, they became concerned that the Brexit camp had given up on that front and began to play the race card.
Although the British and international officials and economists who produce these forecasts are, in my experience, an honourable brigade, it is leading with one’s chin to publish precise forecasts of the impact of Brexit on people’s incomes in 2030. It was not difficult for the Brexiters to hit back at the chancellor with the marked discrepancy between his November forecasts and his March forecasts.
As for George Osborne’s warning that panic over Brexit might produce a collapse in house prices – well, this was intriguing: a fall in house prices is just what the younger generation wants, but not necessarily what the older, predominantly pro-Brexit, generation would be happy with.
Now, it is apparent that both in this country with the onset of Ukip, in the US with the egregious Trump and continental Europe with the rise of the far right, the common factor might well be labelled “globalisation and its discontents”.
The other problem is dissatisfaction with elites. Many people don’t like being told what to do by governments and international bureaucrats. It was plainly with this in mind that the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, recently criticised London mayor Sadiq Khan for appearing on a Remain platform with David Cameron.
I think he and those who are making this point are absolutely correct. Elites are the worst possible people to be making these cases. And it’s not just that they are elites and by definition self-serving. It is that people are acutely aware following the latest crisis of capitalism how this actually is. Keegan, who is uncharacteristically (for a UK journalist) of John McDonnell argues that only people like McDonnell or Corbyn are in any position to articulate the benefits of remaining in the EU. I don’t know how many read the latters speech at the weekend but it was good, very clear-eyed about both the possibilities and the limitations of the EU.