Marco Crescenzi| 1 July 2016
After one week in London of full immersion in the Brexit, I believe that the ‘Leavers’ have got many reasons, that there won’t be any Brexit and that if we don’t listen to the suburbs, the populism will overwhelm us.
Moreover, as Brecht said, more or less: “A population cannot be untied in order to elect another one, we need to keep what we have”. And by better understanding the people of the Leave, maybe we’ll understand those of Le Pen and of Trump, avoiding their rise.
- The “Leave” side has a thousand of excellent reasons. I spent time in the streets talking with many of them, neither ignorant nor old. Among them, there is Alan Sked the Founder of Ukip of which Farage is now the leader: he was the Head of European Studies of the LSE-London School of Economics –that isn’t a chicken farm- and he defined the EU as “Mad, Undemocratic, a Waste of Money…” a bad business both economically and politically for the United Kingdom.
Many street stories, as for example: a Senegalese family, in order to obtain public housing by the Government, they ‘pretended’ to divorce, and to the wife and her children had been allocated the house, and then they went to live there together with the fake ‘ex-husband’, after many years they redeemed it at ridiculous prices. Euro-closure! Spencer, a friend and ‘hotel manager’ says: “in order to do something we need six authorizations, I am tired of that, we need to take back the control of our own things”. Euro-stress! New EU’s logo (which is moreover ugly): it costed 350.000 euros, in reality it could have been done pro-bono-for free. Euro-disgust! Never mind then the privileges of who lives in Brussels, the perception that ‘Germany rules’ with damaged Majesty of The Queen, that who votes for Leave is more ‘stable’ and then more interested to the quietness rather than to the ‘free movement’
People say: The leavers are less educated or older, why should they “kill the future of the young generations’? Because they are the majority. The Western Europe (London and Berlin excluded) became an immense open-air senior centre, of what do we surprise-when in the tube in Bangkok I had to move in two different wagons to find a person over its forty and I felt old! Let’s consider then the hatred (understandable) for the banks and finance, so well defended by governments and so well exploited by populists.
And the “political correctness ” mismanagement of minorities issues, such as the gypsies in Rome , but then no one tells what the gypsies do of good, from music groups to cooperatives that make excellent cosmopolitan cuisine .
Many arguments ‘pro-EU’ are moreover indisputably false (without the euro the economies will collapse, small states won’t hold the globalisation), and when saying lies, people lose credibility also when saying truths…
- Populism can’t be fought (only) by limiting the use of a referendum. I have discussed a lot about it with many colleagues, among them Sandro Calvani (working for the UN and President of our Scientific Committee), I agree in raising the quorum and majorities, and not using It for international agreements (as it is in Italy). But the populism (that gives simplistic answers to true and painful problems) if it is kept outside the window (referendum) at the end it will break down the door, (to the politics, risk in Austria, France, and in the USA). Cameron has called the referendum not for the sake of the democracy, but for being politically stronger. The keys of interpretation have to be changed as well: we cannot repeat that the 5 STAR MOVEMENT is “anti-politic”, but perhaps that it saved us from the worst populism.
The challenge of the democracy has to be fought and won in the suburbs: suburbs of the cities, of the states, suburbs of the citizenship and of the “soul” (this is not my sentence).
Working on the strong irritation that assemblies and threatens the democracy and dialogue.
We can’t say that things are going in the right way, marginality has to be put again at the centre of the political and social action. The last real Major of Rome, Petroselli, understood it properly, and unfortunately Meloni as well. As well as, fortunately, many associations like those of Scampia in Naples
- We probably won’t do anything about the Brexit. The 23rd of June, at 6.30 am I was in Downing Street: I believed to be at the centre of History, but I was probably at the centre of a farce. Brexit is an assisted suicide (by Cameron) and the British are unbearably arrogant and conceited but not stupid. Whether Scotland will veto (probable), or London will go out of the UK (an improbable Independent Republic), or the approval of a new referendum… we have passed from the United Kingdom to the Kingdom of the Farce…but at the end, the Brexit will be blocked, or at least it will be like in Norway or Switzerland, common market and own currency as now, free trade and some more nuisances. Many have voted without being fully aware, now that after voting numerously went on Google searching for the ‘ EU ‘ – they are realizing.
P.S. As soon as I finished this post, on my flight back home in Madrid, I saw the title of Financial Times, signed by Gideon Rachman, page 13 “I do not believe that brexit will happen”.
I am not the only one that does not believe in it!
God Save the Queen!