Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Status quo? No!

The poster created to boost the efforts of the Remain campaign is quite clever, but I fear it was beside the point. The question posed is not the one answered in the affirmative by the 52% who voted for Brexit. 

While it remains true that since the referendum many citizens of the United Kingdom feel cheated of a European future (as I blogged at the weekend), I'm increasingly convinced that for many who opted for Leave, the decision had precious little to do with the EU. Was it not for many a much simpler choice? The scaremongers maintained that any upset of the status quo would involve tremendous risk... things would change in ways which were impossible to predict with any accuracy. A valid argument, perhaps, but only for those whose 'status quo ante' was worth preserving.

But were there not many in Britain for whom the status quo had over the years come to be synonymous with hardship, disadvantage, injustice, exclusion and deprivation? Could radical change of some kind... almost any kind... be a risk worth accepting? No, I believe that a good number of Brexiteers did not wish to be 'alone on a small island' with the gentlemen pictured above. But there were men with strident establishment voices on the other side of the argument insisting that 'change' must at all costs be avoided. The riposte of at least some of the winning 52% might well have been "What have we got to lose?"

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