Posts Tagged ‘EU’


Thoughts on Brexit

June 19, 2016

The Remain vs Leave campaign will enter the history books as a low point in UK politics – hyperbole from both sides with a bonus helping of unvarnished racism from the Leave side, culminating in the horrific slaughter of an MP by a man with suspected links to white supremacy. These are dark times.

The tone of the “debate” has been pretty low and plenty of words have been written elsewhere about it but, in my opinion, three of the most alarming statements from the Leave camp are:

  1. Nigel Farage, in response to a journalist observing that he’d started smoking again: “I think the doctors have got it wrong on smoking
  2. Michael Gove, on being asked to identify economists who supported Brexit: “People in this country have had enough of experts
  3. Gisela Stuart, backing up Michael Gove: “There is only one expert that matters, and that’s you, the voter”

All three signify a rejection of the value of knowledge, rational enquiry, and expertise. Farage obviously dislikes the well-supported conclusion that there’s a causal link between smoking and lung cancer, and therefore feels comfortable substituting his own “expertise” on the subject for that of the experts – no surprise, given that he’s a climate change denier as well. Gove and Stuart (a Labour MP, alarmingly) are upset that economists weighing in on the merits of Brexit are mostly unsupportive of their position.

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