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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

 
What a mexit

by digby














There's too much to read these days on the ramifications of the Brexit vote and it's hard to keep up, but this struck me as a useful encapsulation of why Britain's leadership looking little better than the Trump campaign:
Mr. Johnson is clearly looking to unite the divided Conservative Party behind his own, flamboyant self and to burnish his free-market economic credentials. 
But playing down immigration, Mr. Goodwin said, could create more political trouble. “I worry for senior euroskeptic leaders, because there is a misunderstanding of the vote, and that will feed voter dissatisfaction,” he said, driving many of the voters who chose a British exit to turn away from both mainstream parties and move to the populist right. 
The referendum was unusual, because it pitted a government on one side, “Remain,” against a loose coalition on the other, made up of Conservatives, some Labour legislators and U.K. Independence Party supporters. The Leave side never had to hammer out an agreement on how to proceed if it won, said Tony Travers, a professor of government at the London School of Economics. 
“There was no coherence, because it wasn’t a political party fighting for government, but an odd coalition fighting against something, but with no consistent view of what it was fighting for,” he said. 
Even on the economy, the Leave side was made of free-market economists who believe in no tariffs at all, those who believe in trade deals and protectionists who want to shield the declining working class against globalization, Professor Travers said. 
“And now the government will have to be reformed as if it were representing the Leave side and yet represent both, a one-party government that must reflect the schism in itself,” he said.
 Sometimes the old "enemy of my enemy is my friend" thing creates more problems than it's worth.  If Conservatives had simply taken responsibility for the consequences of their harsh austerity programs and tried to ameliorate some of the discomfort with the rapid cultural and social change of our modern world instead of seeing opportunities to use all that to advance their own agendas they might have avoided all this. Instead, they just seemed to run with it without any plan or vision for how it was going to work out. Let's just hope their ineptitude doesn't result in Britain voting in a Far Right party. That will not end well.

It's quite a fine mess they've gotten themselves into.

And speaking of Boris Johnson, this article by Tina Brown called "Beware Boris Johnson: The Power of a Cunning Clown"  is devastating.

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