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Rolling UK Referendum Day Thread June 23, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Any thoughts, observations or whatever from the day that is in it gratefully accepted.

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1. Dr. X - June 23, 2016

A commenter on popular website Urban75 said that turnout – in their area at least – seemed to be very high. Has anyone else heard anything similar?

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2. sonofstan - June 23, 2016

I was surprised at the numbers at 7.30 at my polling station. I was there for a bit because I was on the supplementary register having recently moved, and they took a while to find me, and pretty busy in the 5 minutes I was waiting.

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3. Gewerkschaftler - June 23, 2016

Last phone poll (IPSOS) published today supports my wild guess of 52:48% for remain.

Interestingly (presumably cheap) Internet-based ones go the other way. What does that say about t’Internet?

Time will tell.

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Michael Carley - June 23, 2016

Summary of polls here:

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Gewerkschaftler - June 23, 2016

Thereby rebutting my ill-informed assertion.

I suspect people like to play games with polls.

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WorldbyStorm - June 23, 2016

Sorry this was posted in wrong place its in response to cmk. I couldn’t access it for some reason on his FB, I’d be a bit dubious that constitutes a tally, not due to the supposed outcome bit due to the process, quite apart from which i wonder at releasing ‘tally like’ information before polls had closed, i know id be infuriated if Remain were doing same, but we’ll know by the end of the day.

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WorldbyStorm - June 23, 2016

Sorry, that’s in response to cmk

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WorldbyStorm - June 23, 2016

Just on inappropriate coverage the Guardian reports shares soaring as indicating City expects a remain. Jesus Christ! Polls not closed etc etc

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CMK - June 23, 2016

Yes, point taken. Probably not ‘tallies’ in the meaning we’d have of these. I.e extremely accurate, organised initial counts. We’ll have to wait and see…………

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RosencrantzisDead - June 23, 2016

Anyone have any insight as to which of these polling companies would be the most reliable? How did they do in the last UK election, for example?

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4. CMK - June 23, 2016

Kevin Ovenden reporting on his FB page that the postal vote tallies for Hull were 90% for Leave.

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WorldbyStorm - June 23, 2016

Interesting -according to the media tallies including postal etc aren’t done until close of polls this evening. I wonder what he saw.

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CMK - June 23, 2016

‘There are some reports from experienced party election workers that the postal vote in Hull is nine to one for Leave.
The postal vote ballot papers get mixed in with the rest after polls close at 10pm tonight. But the envelopes are opened beforehand in front of agents from both Leave and Remain. So although they are not counted it is possible to get a tally as you can see the ballot paper.
The establishment view is going to be that this kind of vote is driven by hostility to immigration and by racism. The Labour right have already been pushing for Labour to accommodate further along anti-migration and anti-immigrant lines, especially if there is a Remain vote.
I’m from Hull. Most of my family lives there. Of course there are some racist ideas and a lot of confused responses over immigration and migration. The fact that the population of Hull has increased by 30,000 in the last dozen or so years, the last seven of which have seen huge cuts to local services leading to longer waiting times and so on, forms a social reality which is the basis for much confusion, or worse
But it is simply untrue to say that the city is a “racist hell hole”. In fact, there is a strong anti-racist tradition going back to the campaign against the transatlantic slave trade in the early 19th century.
The central question for Hull now, as well as other working class towns and cities across the country, is whether the labour movement and the left are going to draw on all those traditions to mount serious and popular struggles against the government and against its and the EU’s central pillars of austerity, racism and war.’

From his FB which is public from what I can see.

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Dr. X - June 23, 2016

You could say . . . they’ve been to Hull and back.

(•_•)
(•_•)>⌐-
(⌐-)

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5. gendjinn - June 23, 2016

Torrential rains in London & SE England. From the little regional data I saw this would be on the heartland of the Leave vote?

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WorldbyStorm - June 23, 2016

Possibly but London itself is regarded as strong g Remain so swings and roundabouts

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gendjinn - June 23, 2016

Good point.

I have this fear that some people are lying to the pollsters in the aftermath of the Cox murder, saying remain because they don’t want to be potentially judged as being supportive of the Britain Firsters, when they will actually vote Leave in the booth. Possibly enough for a wafer thin Leave victory – so fingers crossed.

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6. roddy - June 23, 2016

Believe it or not,this referendum is passing a lot of the nationalist population by.They seem to regard it as an “English ” thing. At least half a dozen people (ordinary punters) have asked me in the last 24 hours “what about this voting thing?”. The next question is “what line are SF taking?” and then “I suppose we’d better vote stay then”! Be prepared for a low “nationalist” turnout,

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RosencrantzisDead - June 23, 2016

Is anyone else terrified that this very important matter may be swayed entirely by the whims of the ‘don’t knows’? A group that is either comprised of habitual liars or complete dullards.

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Michael Carley - June 23, 2016

I’m more concerned it might be swayed by the latent fascists.

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RosencrantzisDead - June 23, 2016

Totally set me up for this.

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gendjinn - June 23, 2016

I admire your optimism. But then Plato got to me at a vulnerable age.

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RosencrantzisDead - June 23, 2016

For me, it was the Cynics.

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gendjinn - June 24, 2016

Not a bad way to go at all.

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7. Michael Carley - June 23, 2016

The membership of the Socialist Party has just dropped by one.

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sonofstan - June 23, 2016

You or him?

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Michael Carley - June 23, 2016

Me (who’s `him’?). I asked myself why I was in an organization I didn’t want to see win.

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sonofstan - June 23, 2016

Kevin Ovenden I meant, but now realise I’d misread his affiliation

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WorldbyStorm - June 23, 2016

You have my sympathy MC, I noticed the other day the WP, was pro-Brexit. Well good luck to them but I’m glad I’m not a member, that’s the kind of thing that would have me thinking long and hard – even as someone deeply eurocritical it just strikes me as pointless politics given the balance of forces and who is in the ascendent and who is likely to be in the ascendent. In this state it’s an absolute non-starter (which I presume is why sister parties are keeping very schtum about it this side of the Irish Sea).

All that said parties are bigger than single issues so if they are the correct vehicle for you more broadly then they’re the correct vehicle more broadly.

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Michael Carley - June 23, 2016

It was such a big single issue I didn’t think I could put up with it. It’s one thing to go along with things less than wholeheartedly (I’ve done that and I have no complaints) but I was in the position of wanting my own party to fail. At that point, you have to ask what you’re doing in it.

I’ve never been worried about open disagreement with the party’s position on things (and I think the SP’s internal culture is quite healthy in that regard) but this was a bit too much in the present climate. Even if the vote is to remain, the SP was putting itself on the wrong side of an argument dominated by quite poisonous discourse and open racism. If the vote is to leave (and I fear it will be), the Tories might be in disarray, but the left is in no position to take advantage and it is wishful thinking to believe that exit will lead to the socialist commonwealth or even renationalized railways. The country will be in the hands of the worst kind of reactionaries, backed up by borderline Fascists.

If nothing else, how can I support (other) immigrants if I’m in an organization that wanted to pull out of the EU in a campaign dominated by anti-immigrant rhetoric. Whatever anyone might hope, an exit vote will not be taken as a left position supportive of immigrants.

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WorldbyStorm - June 23, 2016

That’s precisely my problem with the Lexit campaign. There’s just no means of leveraging this if it is an exit into a positive for the left or for workers in Europe (as distinct from the EU). There’s no forces on the ground in sufficient strength to do so.

If there’s a Remain though wouldn’t it be possible to continue working with?

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Michael Carley - June 23, 2016

There’s plenty of room for working with, but in the same way that I happily work with Swappies and Labour and non-aligned. Personally, I think a lot of the best work at the moment is being done by politically-conscious local groups who are managing to sidestep the sectarianism that goes with a lot of party organization. Certainly, it’s working well where I am and our local anti-cuts group has attendance and activism a lot of left parties would envy.

One thing that has struck me over the last month or so is just how differently the `natives’ view things compared to immigrants. I’d expect that on the right, but not to this degree on the left. There’s always been a bit of something like post-imperial nostalgia on the English left, but I hadn’t realized just how ingrained it was or just how strongly it affected people’s thinking.

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sonofstan - June 23, 2016

“One thing that has struck me over the last month or so is just how differently the `natives’ view things compared to immigrants. I’d expect that on the right, but not to this degree on the left. There’s always been a bit of something like post-imperial nostalgia on the English left, but I hadn’t realized just how ingrained it was or just how strongly it affected people’s thinking”

Yes, me too. It always throws me when otherwise sound people talk about ‘defending the realm’ or some such without a blush.

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Michael Carley - June 23, 2016

Something Hitchens said about Americans at Oxford in the sixties keeps coming back to me. He was talking about an American friend who would point out that it was all well and good campaigning for US withdrawal from Vietnam but it didn’t really matter because the Vietnamese were going to win anyway. This scandalized all the well-meaning US liberals because they were in favour of US withdrawal, but they couldn’t abide the thought that the US might not be all powerful.

There is an ingrained attitude on the English left that England is powerful and influential, that it really matters what the English left does, and that it should have a leadership role. I think Ireland plays the role for part of the English far left of a simplistic anti-imperialist element which will take on the English ruling class, but God forbid Paddy should have his own ideas on Irish politics or the path to take in Ireland.

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WorldbyStorm - June 23, 2016

Yeah, working with is pretty good. And one doesn’t have to sign up to a programme. But where parties are doing good work credit where credit is due. The SP broadly speaking has always struck me as level headed and thoughtful. I hope this is merely a specific issue.

Just re that point about on the left hearing odd or unusual things. Because of the English side of the family I’ve heard it a few times from people I’d hope better of. It is fascinating how that post-imperial mindset inflects even in areas one wouldn’t expect it to. there’s a lot to be said for coming from a smaller island on the periphery.

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WorldbyStorm - June 23, 2016

There is an ingrained attitude on the English left that England is powerful and influential, that it really matters what the English left does, and that it should have a leadership role. I think Ireland plays the role for part of the English far left of a simplistic anti-imperialist element which will take on the English ruling class, but God forbid Paddy should have his own ideas on Irish politics or the path to take in Ireland.

This.

It’s the self-image, the self-identity. The sense of self-importance and that comes from being a centre. I wonder if that’s one of the reasons for the strength of Brexit feeling. The EU has quite a few centres and different sorts of centres. The UK is quite comfortable with a competing centre or two the width of the Atlantic Ocean away. Not the width of the English Channel.

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dmfod - June 23, 2016
Jolly Red Giant - June 23, 2016

It still astonishes me that people are looking at this referendum in a British context.

In the British context – as CMK has indicated – the anti-EU mood, while dominated in the media by the various right-wing forces, is far more complex on the ground. Irrespective of the result, the Tories have torn themselves to pieces and UKIP have undermined themselves as well. Much of the criticism of Lexit is based on the belief that the left cannot fill the space that will open up – it is a challenge – but the political situation can change dramatically (whether it will or not remains to be determined)

However, the real impact of Brexit would be in a European context. Brexit will be a disasterous defeat for the EU elites and their drive for greater EU political and economic control over the EU nation states. It was and is inevitable as world capitalism lurches from crisis to crisis that significant elements within national capitalist classes will look to reassert the nation state as the capitalist class compete for market share in national, European and world markets. This will weaken the elites on a European wide basis.

Furthermore – Brexit would have an effect in galvanising and politicising the left in its approach to the EU. As I pointed out a few days ago – the IU in Spain has adopted a ‘Lexit’ position and is pushing Podemos to the left under its joint electoral platform. The Left Bloc in Portugal have shifted to the left – have adopted a more eurosceptic position and are agitating for Portugal to leave the Euro in rejection of EU austerity.

But events in France are currently the most significant. One million on the streets of Paris, several million in other French cities, 800 strikes against the French government – all with a backdrop of the EU commissions backing the attacks on the French working class.

The movements in Europe currently are gravitating more towards a European wide anti-austerity movement – how this will play out has still to be determined.

Brexit would lead to political turmoil on a European wide basis (not least in the likelihood of a new referendum in Scotland) and would open up big opportunities for the development of the left across the continent. How the left approaches such opportunities again waits to be determined.

However, nobody on here has commented on what a Remain vote would mean on a European context. The issue of EU membership would be off the political agenda in Britain for the foreseeable future. The Blairites would remove Corbyn. It is also likely the the EU elites will drive to push for more ‘integration’ – more decisions being made by undemocratic structures and by technocrats and renewed attacks on workers rights. This would actually be a more difficult climate for the left to gain a foothold as it will undermine the current move to a Europe-wide anti-austerity movement and undermine the confidence among workers that the EU can be stopped. In particular it will reinforce the plans by the EU to impose TTIP on EU countries.

Now – with the scenario I am presenting you could argue that I am being one-sided – but this is no more one-sided than the criticism of Lexit and the narrow outlook of what is happening in Britain based on the right-wing media and the green-tinted outlook of republicans. A bit of balance is always a good thing.

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WorldbyStorm - June 23, 2016

I’m puzzled, commenters living in Spain commenting here say that Podemos and IU aren’t proposing a Lexit. If that is correct that somewhat casts a shadow over your analysis above. As to ignoring the broader European dimensions that’s simply incorrect – it’s precisely the danger of atomisation, retreat into isolationist right wing states, increased barriers across a failing or fallen EU and all that implies for the left that has been pointed to here and elsewhere.

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WorldbyStorm - June 23, 2016

In fairness dmfod, unlike when there was the threat of Trump it’s not like there’s solidarity marches or what have you in favour of Brexit being proposed. Any public meetings held across the state about the issue? Quiet enough I’d say..

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dmfod - June 23, 2016

WbS you seriously expect the SP to run a campaign here on a referendum that’s taking place in another state? We’ve been at least as vocal in favour of Lexit as we were for a Yes vote for the Scottish referendum which is about as close a comparison I can think of.

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WorldbyStorm - June 23, 2016

Never said there should be a campaign, though the significance of a Brexit to this island and state might weigh a little more than simply considering it something to do with ‘another state’ and in that context educationals, the odd public meeting, whatever, would hardly be amiss in explaining the legitimacy of Lexit and why Irish leftists should support it.

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8. sonofstan - June 23, 2016

Torrential rain back again in London/ SE….. just as people are coming home from work and thinking about going out to vote.

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9. FergusD - June 23, 2016

Voted by proxy to remain (am in France which seems more interested in le foot). Couldn’t bear the thought of Johnson, Farage, Gove et al winning. But of course they might.

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10. WorldbyStorm - June 23, 2016

Just on some on the right Exit side – how’s this for stupidity? I wasn’t aware that Alex Scheffler who illustrates the Gruffalo written by Julia Donaldson wasn’t English. But he’s did a little play on the Gruffalo on the Guardian. Not good enough for said right Exiteers. One comment said ‘he is taking away the work of our British illustrators’.

And an UK illustrator who goes to, say Germany or France? Would they be doing likewise? It’s head in hands stuff.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/picture/2016/jun/23/theres-no-such-thing-as-a-brusselo

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11. paulculloty82 - June 23, 2016

Bremainers here may be encouraged that 75-80% turnout is expected in Scotland, with London similarly high according to the Guardian.

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WorldbyStorm - June 23, 2016

I see that. An hour and a half to go.

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12. FergusD - June 23, 2016

The argument that Brexit would open things up for the left is ridiculous. It will be boost for the worst kind of British (or really English) nationalism. Sure the EU is in part a reflection of capitalism’s need to overcome national boundaries that capital created, I think the evidence is that will fail. But supporting Brexit does not offer an alternative, indeed it may lead to the sort of national rivalries we saw in the 30s. My political instinct told me abstention. Alas there wasNO left group of any size taking that approach. Given the way the campaign went defeating the dominant right Brexit campaign seemed important. A UK LP could have mounted a very different socialist campaign, but clearly that was never going to happen.

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WorldbyStorm - June 23, 2016

It’s hope over experience, isn’t it?

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