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Helen: And maybe we need to leave. There is a real crisis of political legitimacy in the country.

I don't quite see the connection there. Leaving isn't going to fix the problem of political legitimacy, unless you buy the raucous propaganda that says less than 52% is "the will of the people", and that the other half are not the people. You're not going to get any political legitimacy out of that deal.

There's a crisis of political legitimacy in France too, see gilets jaunes. Americans who support Trump reckon there's one in the US, too. We could list other "Western liberal democracies", Italy, for instance. But fixing the problem calls for changes in the system of political representation that would clear out the lobbies of the corporate rich and bring in the voices of the mass of people that are left out. In no way an entirely fabricated issue like "Leave" is going to do that. The unemployed of Merthyr or the Potteries will just get one more well-heeled kick in the teeth out of it.

Agreed, "Remain" isn't any more legitimate than "Leave" (fabricated issue etc...). But fixing the problem of political legitimacy in our worn-out democracies would mean a lot of hard, honest work, and no one in politics has been up for that for decades. (Minister, just go on mouthing the hollow words and making the customary gestures, and forget about the monster growing under your desk, OK?).

Add that neoliberalism has given us endless austerity, and you have the ideal conditions for the growth of fascism. "Leave" won't fix that.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Sun May 19th, 2019 at 09:07:47 AM EST
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Leave will fix the problem of political legitimacy in the same way that Weimar fixed its self-esteem issues by electing Hitler and destroying itself.

There will be no UK and probably no England by the time this is over. There may not even be much of an inhabitable area.

Assuming things don't get that bad, we'll have the traditional post-colonial fascist dictatorship, and it will be overthrown by the traditional popular uprising in x decades - x most likely being some random number between 1 and 5.

I have no idea what state the EU will be in then. If it's still functioning along more or less the same lines the Republic of Greater Britain will doubtless be keen to rejoin, and the EU is unlikely to have any serious objections.

Meanwhile this problem is caused by both personal and political senility. Batty old pensioners are the primary drivers, both in parliament and out of it. Poverty is certainly a contributor, but only to the extent that it gives working class xenophobes an easy - wrong - solution to their problems.

The bulk of Leavers are the over-55s - bitter, angry about their own personal decline, and apparently masochistic. Their numbers are thinning daily.

The question now is whether Boris plans to respect Parliament - in which case we're staying in, because No Deal isn't going to pass - or whether he's simply going to declare himself Dung Hill Emperor and get on with that fascism thing.

Given Bannon's influence, my guess is we'll see a Farage/Boris coalition. Hurrah.

(I'm glad I got out when I could.)

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun May 19th, 2019 at 11:31:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You got out? I must have missed that.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue May 21st, 2019 at 02:35:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep - now on the mainland. Sometimes it's even sunny.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue May 21st, 2019 at 09:18:37 PM EST
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