Political Tribalism, Brexit And The Liberalist Insurgency

Us vs Them - Political Tribalism

Many so-called liberals are great at diagnosing destructive political tribalism when it manifests in other people, but are often blind to the same pathologies within their own ranks

I wrote a long piece earlier this month about deepening political tribalism as it relates to Brexit. After the piece was serialised in Country Squire Magazine, much of the pushback I received from the usual suspects within the Remain camp (university professors and the like) only served to prove my point – that Brexit merely exposed, rather than caused, the increasing depths of partisan tribalism afflicting Britain.

This tribalism is not the exclusive preserve of the under-educated, supposedly simple-minded working classes whose emotions and voting habits are apparently so easily manipulated by Rupert Murdoch, Cambridge Analytica or the dozens of other shadowy figures who now stand accused of ushering in Brexit for their own nefarious ends. Indeed, through their growing obsession with these new scapegoats, many of those opposed to Brexit reveal themselves to be capable of behaving in an equally aggressively tribal manner without even realising that they are doing so.

It never occurs to many of those people who occupy the groups most statistically prone to supporting Britain’s EU membership – students, university professors, artists and arts workers, young urban professionals – that they might be doing something so base, so primal as to be influenced by tribal behaviour. Why? Because many are used to seeing tribalism as a pathology affecting only the poor, the uneducated or others traditionally seen as either victims (like welfare recipients) or potential threats to be mitigated (juvenile criminals or nascent Islamist extremists). To many journalists, academics and politicians, tribalism is seen as something afflicting only society’s losers and outcasts,  not something which might also pull the strings inside AC Grayling’s neocortex.

The idea that political tribalism might just as easily drive the behaviour of an Oxbridge professor, a PR director on a six-figure salary or a young university student often simply fails to compute, but it is a real and frequent occurrence nonetheless. Being educated and even nominally aware of the existence of tribal impulses does not automatically make one immune from being driven by tribalism oneself, particularly when one possesses the intellectual capacity and vocabulary to rationalise one’s behaviour as more noble and high-minded than it necessarily is.

And so time and again we see those who would normally be first to decry tribal behaviour engaging in its most vicious forms, whether it be the American college students or graduates who refuse to visit their Trump-voting parents or public figures who believe they have license to say the most horrible things about Leave voters and Brexiteers from atop their perch on the “right” side of history. More concerning, since these new converts to overtly tribal behaviour supposedly make up much of the cognitive elite, they seem unable to acknowledge the drawbacks of their behaviour or the many ways in which it actively harms their end goal, be it overturning the result of Britain’s EU referendum or prematurely turfing President Donald Trump out of office.

Smart people should be capable of noticing when an existing strategy is not delivering results and adjusting course to deliver better outcomes, but many within the anti-Brexit academic, cultural, commercial and political elite instead seem intent to double down on losing strategies which may feel cathartic but fail to achieve their political ends. Only political tribalism can drive nominally smart people to behave in so counterproductive a way.

Political tribalism causes anti-Brexit members of the elite to act out in a couple of negative ways – firstly by failing to understand or acknowledge the true motivations and drivers for the Leave vote, and secondly by engaging in public statements and actions which actively alienate many of the people whose good opinion they need to court and convince in order to change their minds. In my recent long article about political tribalism and Brexit I covered a number of the ways in which anti-Brexit elites harm their own cause through misbehaviour and bad messaging, but it is also worth focusing on the way in which political tribalism causes Brexit opponents to consistently ignore the full range of valid reasons which drove thinking adults of good character to vote to leave the European Union.

The first is a binary worldview which sees the EU as representing (if not always achieving) the highest ideals of mankind, and euroscepticism as the antithesis of all that is good in the world. This widely held opinion reveals itself in every tweet decrying Brexit as the result of unchecked xenophobia and racism (or a neo-imperial quest for lost glory) while simultaneously ignoring the EU’s manifest flaws. The best one can often get in debate with a pro-EU activist is an exasperated admission that “of COURSE the EU needs reform!” uttered through clenched teeth, though specific proposals for such reform or estimates of their probable implementation are always curiously lacking. Meanwhile, despite post-referendum polling which showed sovereignty and not immigration as the key driver of the Leave vote, heinous racist or xenophobic statements are taken to represent the broad church of pro-Brexit opinion.

The second reason is the exclusionary nature of many of the strongest bastions of pro-EU sentiment. There are people of good conscience in the academic and arts industries who support Brexit, but they rarely make themselves heard for fear of social or professional reprisal. If the prevailing opinion within one’s social or professional circle holds that Brexit is a national calamity with grievous implications for human rights, few people will have the courage (or luxury of courage) to take an openly contrarian view. Unfortunately this only worsens the situation, with those who do most to oppress pro-Brexit sentiment within their respective circles then failing to see that Brexiteers can sometimes be respected colleagues and friends.

Just as increased meaningful exposure to immigrants tends to reduce xenophobia or opposition to immigration, so structured and controlled exposure to Brexiteers might make many of the loudest anti-Brexit advocates realise that their opponents are not the evil masterminds or stupid pawns they have been portrayed as. But ironically, while many anti-Brexit campaigners are eager champions of multiculturalism, they also either encourage or tacitly tolerate a sometimes aggressively ideologically homogeneous pro-EU school of thought to dominate their field – ideological diversity is the one kind which is not celebrated and put on a pedestal.

But the greatest driver (or manifestation) of political tribalism among anti-Brexit activists now is not the deeply ingrained sense of moral superiority or self-imposed isolation from contrarian viewpoints – rather, it is the degree to which many of the afflicted now seem willing to latch onto anything from issues of concern to downright conspiracy theories, promoting them as valid reasons for nullifying or re-running the EU referendum in order to seek the “correct” response from the electorate.

The latest cause du jour is Cambridge Analytica, which seems to have transformed itself in the minds of Remain supporters from the tawdry and morally questionable data huckster outfit into a shadowy, all-powerful corporate behemoth which single-handedly tipped the balance and inflicted Trump and Brexit on a naive and defenceless world. The re-emergence of Cambridge Analytica in the headlines following news of its connection to a Facebook data “breach” and the Trump presidential campaign has only encouraged those already looking for reasons to invalidate (rather than argue against) Brexit to seize upon the scandal and make a lot of tenuous and irresponsible insinuations.

Pro-EU advocacy website InFacts can now be found – contrary to their name – raising “questions” whose entire purpose is to put the murkiest deeds of Cambridge Analytica as close as possible to Brexit on paper or a smartphone screen in the hope that insinuations about the former question the legitimacy of the latter.

Prior to Cambridge Analytica, the figure of Russia loomed largest in the Remainer imagination as the driver of Brexit. While any foreign interference in British electoral processes represents an abhorrent and unacceptable attack on our national security and civic institutions, one which we should probably be taking far more seriously both in terms of reprisals and future safeguarding, the idea that even a large scale attempt at Facebook manipulation had a material impact on the referendum result is both unproven and far from meeting the common sense test.

Are Remainers seriously proposing that the full weight of UK government advocacy, the massed ranks of the artistic and cultural world, a plurality of big business and heavyweight external interventions from the likes of the IMF and even President Barack Obama, all encouraging a Remain vote, were overshadowed by £1 worth of Facebook ads and the addled efforts of a Twitter troll farm in Russia? Apparently so – and yet many of the high profile personalities and Serious Thinkers who make and amplify these assertions are unable to step back and escape the prison of their political tribalism for long enough to appreciate how unhinged their conspiracies are beginning to sound.

In short, a significant strand of anti-Brexit opinion remains obstinately unwilling to consider any failure on the part of the Remain campaign or the European Union itself, instead attributing their every setback and woe to crude dismissals of the electorate or fantastical conspiracy theories of the type embraced by leading Remainer intellectual Professor AC Grayling.

It takes a lot to make intelligent and accomplished people behave in a way which is both counterproductive to their interests (they will never stop Brexit by repeatedly shrieking that Leave voters are stupid automatons who were hoodwinked either by Vladimir Putin or sinister corporate interests) and damaging to their long-term reputations. In fact, one of the only things which can induce such a mania in so-called “respectable” people is the phenomenon of political tribalism, whereby it becomes more important to be seen as strongly aligned with and supporting ones own people than it is to be either pragmatic or empathetic.

And when it comes to Brexit, so strong is the force of political tribalism among certain demographics that even those whose job it is to understand political and constitutional matters find themselves unable to acknowledge, let alone meaningfully engage with, the real issues which prompted millions of decent people to vote for Brexit, instead blaming “fake news”, the Russians or Cambridge Analytica.

Tom Peck makes a reasonable observation in the Independent:

People have almost entirely forgotten that, say, in 2015, when the BBC hosted its first hustings in the Labour leadership contest in a church in Nuneaton, some hitherto unknown man called Jeremy Corbyn was the only one who had anything of any interest to say. Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall were beyond abysmal, and they remained so throughout the contest.

Is it acceptable to wonder if the fire is only being turned on technology because it hasn’t delivered the results the bulk of the media class wanted? If the Democrats had delivered a candidate better equipped to deal with the shallowness of the media age, and if the Remain campaign had been run as well as the Leave one, this apparently existential crisis would not be occurring.

The comparison with the 2015 Labour Party leadership contest is an instructive one. Then, as now, a cadre of people accustomed to calling the shots and having their worldview acknowledged, respected and advanced at all times – the Labour centrists – suddenly found themselves out of power and influence within the party for the first time since John Smith and Tony Blair ushered in their long period of domination. But rather than engage in any kind of introspection as to why they were so unloved by the Labour base, centrist Labour MPs instead engaged in an unseemly year-long insurrection against new leader Jeremy Corbyn, culminating in the rather disgraceful and ultimately unsuccessful decision to use the shock EU referendum result as a convenient “fog of war” in which to take down their new leader.

Why did the Labour centrists behave in this way? Because they were motivated more by tribal affiliation and beliefs than political principle or even civic decency. They (rightly) sensed that their tribe was under attack from the hard-left Corbynites within the party, and worried that their status would be permanently eroded were Jeremy Corbyn able to cement his grip on power. And thus rather than spending the following years attempting to hold the Conservative government to account, as an Opposition party is supposed to do, we instead saw the biggest names from Labour’s centrist wing engage in a long period of unseemly infighting – because political tribalism trumped their commitment to either party unity or the national interest.

The funny thing about political tribalism is that its most ardent practitioners tend to see themselves as being immune from the phenomenon while ruefully detecting its presence among nearly everyone with whom they disagree. Thus it simply never occurred to many of the Labour MPs who made it their primary mission to destabilise Jeremy Corbyn that they were primarily motivated by tribal interest, just as many of those who howl the loudest about Brexit cannot bring themselves to contemplate the possibility that their behaviour is driven by anything other a rational, fact-based analysis of the common good.

 

The Liberalist Insurgency

The vote for Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as US president have been widely painted by many establishment opinion-setters as an assault on liberal democracy and liberalism itself, as progressive or enlightenment values fell prey to reactionary populism spouted by right-wing demagogues. Indeed, it pleases many of those who oppose both Donald Trump and Brexit (for the record, this blog strongly opposes the former and supports the latter) to paint themselves as brave guardians of liberal democracy and sole keepers of the frame of liberalism in these uniquely benighted times.

And yet when many of the great and the good in the anti-Brexit or anti-Trump camps are not fulminating against their respective bêtes noires, they can often be found undermining and attacking the same liberal values which they claim to champion. How often are those who decry Brexit as the first step toward fascism also found supporting draconian hate speech laws, advocating censorship and No Platforming on university campuses, attempting to excommunicate those who merely profess (without seeking to enforce) traditional social values from polite society and aggressively ushering in radical new gender theory and the divisive intersectional identity politics movement which seeks to stigmatise and oppress any questioning of these goals? None of these behaviours are remotely liberal in the true sense of the word, yet all are being enthusiastically adopted by many of those who also seek to paint themselves as guardians of liberalism in their fight against Brexit.

It is therefore important that we deny the anti-Brexit campaigners automatic and exclusive use of the “liberal” label, particularly when their actions and words – wheher expressed through contempt for a democratic referendum result and those who voted for it or other stances taken against science, liberty and free speech – are the antithesis of true liberal behaviour. When prestige journalists, academics and politicians who are complicit in these illiberal behaviours also inveigh against Brexit in a way which denigrates Leave voters and fails to even acknowledge the existence of their legitimate arguments we should not allow them to pretend that they are safeguarding either liberalism or democracy when they do so.

And that’s where the word “liberalist” could be very useful. Just as Islamism refers to a fundamentalist, politicised and perverted strain of Islam and the word Christianist has been memorably coined (by Andrew Sullivan among others) to refer to those Christians who profess a harshly authoritarian, theocratic political worldview, so the word “liberalist” (as distinct from “liberal”) should perhaps be taken to mean a hypocritical self-serving authoritarianism masquerading as genuine concern for democratic stability and outcomes, a cynical perversion of true liberalism.

Post-Brexit (and to some degree since the election of Donald Trump in the United States, though the analogy is imperfect), liberalists have effectively become the “faith militant” of progressive liberals, a combative sect who use their typically high-status positions in electoral politics, journalism, culture and academia to inveigh against any political initiative which threatens to disrupt a stale status quo under which they have largely prospered while other groups have largely stagnated.

In order to shroud their blatant self-interest in the more noble garments of high-minded civic duty, liberalists portray their objection to current political developments as flowing from an overriding commitment to individual rights, the protection of vulnerable minorities and the preservation of democracy. This is quite impressive, since many of them have built entire careers on the back of attacking individual freedoms (particularly core civil liberties like free speech) and signing away our right to democratic self-determination by blindly and naively entrusting sovereignty to a supranational political union which represents a non-existent demos, which has never sought public input and which even now shows no real willingness to change for the better.

Taking on this faux-superhero role serves a dual purpose for the liberalists – firstly it allows them to avoid any real introspection as to why the values, norms and institutions they champion are increasingly rejected by a plurality of voters, and secondly it helps to soothe the cognitive dissonance which inevitably arises when people whose identities are so closely tied to projecting the appearance of social conscience and civic virtue act so shamelessly in their own short-term self-interest.

But whatever their protestations to the contrary, the liberalists are engaged in a performative act, if not a downright fraud. That is not to say that there are no legitimate reasons to oppose or even deplore Brexit – of course such a case can be made. But the liberalists will not engage in reasoned debate because they refuse point-blank to even acknowledge the Brexiteer frame of reference, insisting instead that everything is debated through the lens of short-term economic impact. And on top of this obstinacy they treat us to an increasingly tedious and condescending tale about civilisation teetering on the brink and the only safe option being a return to the EU’s cold embrace, with not so much as a nod to Brexiteer concerns.

Political tribalism is not the exclusive preserve of any one demographic group or end of the political spectrum, but the media focus is nearly always on those deemed to have fallen under the corrupting influence of “populist” rabble-rousers – understandably so, because such people are so poorly represented in the politico-media and cultural elite that they can raise no significant objection when one weepy Guardian article after another frets about rising nativist tendencies among the provincial rabble while ignoring rising insularity and decreasing social solidarity within the London-centric elite.

Therefore, it is time that we turn the focus back on the people who ostentatiously fret about the tribalism and populism they so readily detect in others. It is high time that we stop naively accepting the liberalist narrative that their objections to Brexit are exclusively rooted in high-minded concern for the national interest – at least so far as the word “national” incorporates any regard at all for the importance of democratic self-determination. They are not.

Brexiteers may be equally susceptible to political tribalism, but how much more dangerous is it when members of the political, cultural and media elite, with all their power and influence, throw themselves into the opposing side of the anti-Brexit culture war with such verve and venom?

We are about to find out.

 

Us vs them - thumbs up thumbs down - politics

Support Semi-Partisan Politics with a one-time or recurring donation:

Agree with this article? Violently disagree? Scroll down to leave a comment.

Follow Semi-Partisan Politics on TwitterFacebook and Medium.

Advertisements

17 thoughts on “Political Tribalism, Brexit And The Liberalist Insurgency

  1. Scott April 11, 2018 / 2:52 PM

    I don’t disagree with your argument, though your examples were strongly one-sided when it came to US politics. There were plenty of points you could have made for right-wing tribalism here in the States that you left out. Just as Obama rolled in on a tribalist wave of “Hope & Change”, Trump’s call to “MAGA” was unfurled in the same tribalistic way. The NRA saying stricter proposals of gun control equates to “attacks” on the 2nd Amendment. The Tea Party was a tribal movement. What’s interesting over here is that American politics is sloping into a developing country status due to tribalism in all camps: Democrat, Republican, and (to a smaller degree) Libertarian. Fear incites tribalism, but at some point (as our “Terror Alert Level” color coded chart proved) we grow numb from that stimulus as well.

    Like

    • Paul Robson May 7, 2018 / 4:33 PM

      Indeed. When everyone was drivelling on about Mr Hope and Change, I kept asking change from *what* to *what* ? I still don’t know the answer (apart from Bush to Obama obviously).

      I think the difference is that the Trump supporters know they are tribalist, to some extent.

      The Trump opponents do not seem to know or care what they are doing, and/or think they are wonderful people for doing it (trying to get Trump removed on any pretext whatsoever). It’s quite pathetic to see someone who wants to preserve democracy desperately manufacturing excuses to impeach Trump and cheering on a witch hunt.

      The real main problem is people won’t listen to each other. The supposedly empathetic liberals aren’t able to see why people voted for Trump. The Trump supporters are fed up of being called stupid racists etc. and won’t listen to any arguments against Trump. Bit like Remain/Leave.

      Like

  2. tadaaa March 27, 2018 / 7:53 AM

    What a strange article, simply stating the obvious, tribalism exists, who knew!!! – after all reality has a well-known liberal bias – whilst building a load of strawmen arguments

    What is fascinating in all this is not that

    Brexiteers may be equally susceptible to political tribalism

    but their tribalism contains so many cranks and crank ideas

    as the saying goes

    A climate change denier, conspiracy theorist, evolution denier walk into a bar
    he orders a drink

    Brexit is so chock full of cranks – from Lord Monckton thru David Icke – to virtually every major proponent of it, that when you hear the young earth creationists of the DUP support it, you simply have to say, “off course they do”

    one only has to look at Climate Change denial – it is in the DNA of brexiteers, just look at the Tufton street gang

    I am sure there are some non cranks supporting Brexit, it is just quite hard to find them – do to the law of “crank Magnetism”

    Like

  3. tadaaa March 27, 2018 / 7:44 AM

    what a strange article – simply stating the obvious, tribalism exists, who knew!!! – reality has a liberal bias after all – whilst building a load of strawmen arguments

    What is fascinating in all this is not that

    Brexiteers may be equally susceptible to political tribalism

    but their tribalism contains so many cranks and crank ideas

    as the saying goes

    A climate change denier, conspiracy theorist, evolution denier walk into a bar

    he orders a drink

    Brexit is so chock full of cranks – from Lord Monckton thru David Icke – to virtually every major proponent of it, that when you hear the young earth creationist of the DUP support it, you simply have to say, “off course they do”

    one only has to look at Climate Change denial – it is in the DNA of brexiteers, just look at the Tufton street gang

    I am sure there are some non cranks supporting Brexit, it is just quite hard to find them – do to the law of “crank Magnetism”

    Like

  4. britishawakening March 26, 2018 / 12:52 PM

    I recall not long after the referendum being at a gathering with some of my social circle. As always being the sole Brexiteer I had to once again endure their little auto de fe. Being quite practiced on defending myself I stopped one line of attack in its tracks – you know the ‘all Brexiteers are stupid’ . ‘Well let’s says that’s true’ I said’ with little money and little influence they whipped your *rse – so what does that say about you?’

    Liked by 1 person

    • Samuel Hooper March 26, 2018 / 1:18 PM

      Magnificent! I shall have to use that one myself on one of the many occasions when I have to suffer through the same condescending lecture from my more “enlightened” Remainer brethren.

      Like

  5. Andy March 25, 2018 / 2:06 PM

    I concede I didn’t acknowledge the existence of the moderate Leave camp.
    Apologies: guilty as charged.

    The reason is that numerically, you are very few and politically you appear very weak in today’s Conservative Party.

    Our future seems to be being forged by the head-bangers and the left-behind: it’s that combo which is so destructive, I think.
    You say I don’t admit to the tribalism of hard Remainers.
    Well, for your benefit, I agree that that exists, but again, I didn’t dwell on it because I find them a small minority.

    Most Remainers fully accept the criticisms of the EU.
    We just think we should Remain to fight to improve it, not run away from that fight.
    We also observe that the negotiation is being conducted incompetently by Mrs May et al and we may end-up as a mere vassal state run from Berlin (pardon me, I meant Brussels!)

    Like

  6. Andy March 25, 2018 / 2:43 AM

    Mr Hooper,
    You are almost entirely wrong.
    I am a very vocal and fierce critic of Brexit, whilst at the same time understanding the drivers behind it.
    The Brexit supporters are a very different set of individuals to the elite Brexiteers who have now hijacked the process – one is rel poorer, more left-wing and more provincial as opposed to London-centric extreme right -wing market capitalists red in tooth and claw.
    The Brexit voters have legitimate criticisms of how they get the thin end of the stick in modern Britain. The problem is, Brexit will merely make their lot a heap worse.
    The extreme rightwing elitists driving it will happily sacrifice the just-about-managing-millions who voted leave in a bonfire of standards and devil-take-the hindmost capitalism.
    And when that happens, the blow-back will be very damaging for our country.
    If the proposed benefits of Brexit were real, I’d support it.
    But they are illusory and based on totally unjustified nationalist exceptionalism.
    If the British think themselves exceptional, they should bloody-well get off their backsides and do some work, rather than vacuously and constantly suck at the teat of the state.

    I happen to believe that immigrants do worsen life for those at the bottom – but Brexit will just junk the whole of society and they’ll still be at the bottom, but significantly worse off than before.

    Sovereignty is largely illusory in the 21st century.

    Britain should have remained in the EU to hamper a supra-national superstate developing, but Britain ran away from the fight – or Brexiteers ran away from the fight, more accurately.

    Cowardice in the face of the enemy appears common amongst leave campaigners – BoJo, eg.

    The tragedy of Brexit is that in 20 years’ time (perhaps 10-15), Britain will have to re-apply for EU membership and the price will be joining Shengen and using the Euro!

    Brexit is a symptom of the decadence of molly-coddled westerners who wouldn’t know the necessity of actual effort if it hit them in the face.

    For your information, I’m a socially conservative, Christian, centrist who despises the assault on free-speach of the SJWs as much as you.
    You say in this piece that Remainers won’t engage the arguement, but that is totally wrong. I live in the North of England and none of the Leave supporters will ever take me on: they know that Remain is right ON THE FACTS and that makes them uncomfortable when they prefer delusion and to Brexit to remove some foreigners. — and even that won’t happen.

    Anyway, keep-up the good work on the blog: I always think it’s a worth while read.

    AH.

    Like

    • Douglas Carter March 25, 2018 / 9:28 AM

      I’m guessing this entry is a parody? If it had been penned against Remainers instead of targeted against Leavers, it would justifiably be identified as having come from the archetypal Colonel Blimp.

      Like

      • Andy March 25, 2018 / 12:54 PM

        Nope.
        It’s just a message from planet earth.
        The real one, not some illusion lived-out in Little England.

        I do have some sympathy with LEAVE, but the combo of extreme right-wing nutters and lazy-arse, couldn’t be bothered ethno-nationalists won’t cut it in the 21st century.

        Like

        • Douglas Carter March 25, 2018 / 1:46 PM

          I’m rather surprised it’s not a parody. Which makes it a rant, not a message. There’s nothing there worth responding to, let alone bothering to deconstruct.

          Like

          • Andy March 25, 2018 / 1:57 PM

            I confess I’m not above a good rant, but this isn’t one of them.

            The message is that Remainers are very willing to engage the arguement and do ‘get’ the concerns of Leavers (I think they identify a lot which is wrong with our country very accurately), but simply that leaving the EU won’t improve matters – just make them all a lot worse.
            Leavers won’t ever listen to that message.
            The answer to the UK’s problems lies with British people getting their shit together and not blaming ‘Europe’ all the time.

            Like

            • Douglas Carter March 25, 2018 / 2:01 PM

              Yes, it certainly isn’t a good rant, but it is a rant all the same.

              Like

        • Paul Robson May 7, 2018 / 4:39 PM

          You think the remainers are any better ? Some of the more visible ones seem to have literally gone mad ; there are countless crackpot theories.

          Have you ever tried talking to the idiots who paint themselves in EU flags and so on (prior to the vote you only saw the flag on car plates and at the Eurovision Song Contest !). Most of them don’t understand the arguments for the EU. Most don’t seem to know where the EU is going ; despite the very direct statements of EU leaders (give them credit, they’re honest about it).

          “The single market is great. It’s dreadful that all those companies abroad that do business here don’t pay tax, we must stop it” ; if I had a pound for every time I’d heard a variant on this I could retire to the Seychelles.

          I really think most of the young see it as some sort of happy clappy hands across Europe and lets love each other sort of movement.

          Like

      • John B March 26, 2018 / 10:44 AM

        He seems to have hit all the right buzzwords and cliché for it to be parody.

        Ethno-nationalists (aka Nazis)
        Little England
        Right-wing nutters
        Sovereignty is impossible in C21
        Remain is a fact-based case
        The poor will be poorer
        I’m actually a social conservative…

        Just the same old junk every Remain fanatic pumps out on a daily basis all across the Internet. It has become so repetitive you wonder if they are actually capable of coming up with any of their own arguments at all.

        Like

    • David Morgan March 25, 2018 / 1:55 PM

      Some good points here, Andy – in particular, I’m uncomfortable about the fact that moderate Brexiters like Sam and myself are a minority, squeezed between the two groups (extreme right-wingers and the left behind) that you profile above. But you don’t even acknowledge our existence. We do exist, and we’ll continue to call for a economically sensible Brexit – secure in the knowledge that many facts support our case, just as other facts (but by no means all) support Remain.

      Hard realities, not least the Irish border issue, are now pushing Mrs May towards moderation, i.e. staying close to the Single Market. So all is not yet lost.

      But even if all Brexiters are misguided, I can’t accept the judgement of ‘almost entirely’ wrong’ on an article that’s making the simple point that the hard Remainers exhibit tribal behaviour, in their failure to acknowledge or try to understand the other side of the argument. You may stand outside the tribe, but denying its existence is something else.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Paul Robson May 7, 2018 / 4:43 PM

      There’s a good deal of truth here.

      The problem is, you could write something identical for Remain and it would be equally true, which is kind of Sam’s point.

      I guess you don’t think that ; but you vastly overestimate the people in your “team”.

      (Incidentally I seriously doubt the EU will exist anything like it does now in 20 years. Once the Germans get fed up paying for everyone else, it will collapse)

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.