horizon wrote:I think we need to talk about class. And specifically the intelligentsia. It is they (the experts, the media, the professionals, the educated, the BBC, the Westminster bubble) who are criticised by Leave. But the intelligentsia is a social or status class, not an economic class as such. It has a strong interest in the EU probably because the EU reflects many of its cultural and social values. And it is an easy target for the real movers and shakers behind Leave to attack. It is a privileged and educated class that differentiates itself from the working class through manners and culture. It has become the target of Leave (and the Leave media) as this diverts attention from the real motive of Leave: the liberalisation of trade, finance and land development. It is vulnerable to accusations of remoteness and privilege and thus to the antagonism of the working class, despite its general support for the less well-off. The easiest response to the intelligentsia is simply not to listen or believe (as it cannot be argued with).
I think there is something to be said for this approach. What the older working class can claim is membership of the wartime generation and white, Christian ethnicity, a traditional working class identity. That means that it can find a measure of security and indeed privilege (vis-a vis the new working class).
As a member myself of the intelligentsia, I see us caught in the crossfire. Corporate capital generally favours the free trade and labour movement of the EU and that forms a bedrock of support for the EU while paying the (often handsome) wages of the intelligentsia. But family-owned and more independent wealth wants less regulation and less restriction than that offered by the EU. It will be interesting to see how the owners of capital, wealth and finance (the shareholders) divide between these two camps. In the meantime they will no doubt compete for the best skills and brains in the intelligentsia to put their respective cases to the working class.
I don't think leave or remain divides so clearly along those lines.
I personally am acquainted with 3 or 4 folk who fit into the privileged class and they all voted leave.
I also know a lot of less well educated folk and their vote was more evenly divided.
The first lot share a very "Little England" attitude, in spite of them having holiday homes or residency outside of England.
I actually think most folk voting leave were looking for someone to blame for other problems in their lives.
A convenient and easy scapegoat.
The EU fitted that "othering" bill very nicely.
Seen as remote and foreign and run by people with funny accents, it had born the brunt of blame from even our own Govt. and a large section of the press for a decade or more.
Paint a slogan or two on the side of a bus, pump money into a campaign riddled with factual inaccuracies and the scene was set.
And continues to be set.
Look at the argument on here now.
Specifics from the Leavers have pretty much largely (entirely?) flown the scene. What is now important is simply and only "the will of (half) the people".
((Though if that will genuinely exists is rather doubtful IMV.))
Even though if, as it would appear, great damage will be done to our wellbeing as a country by leaving.
Not that that wellbeing is all too much in evidence.
It is the start of the holiday season on the coasts of Britain.
An influx of very overweight and unhealthy looking people has occurred.
They wander (waddle?) rather dead eyed, (though eye contact is always avoided) along resort pavements staring at shop windows, with an air of being quite lost; not so much geographically but psychologically.
They also very often look pretty unhappy.
I am always temped to set up a gallop poll type husting to inquire as to their view of Europe and the EU.
I fear I already mostly know the answers though.
They are certainly the avid followers of Eastenders, and red top news pap tittle tattle.
To be away from their screens is a sore trial.
Reality is become blurred for them and they are easy meat for the unscrupulous and powerful.
Tell them they can "take back control" and the scene is set!
Many of them have lost control of even their own wills.