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Monday 27 June 2016

Brexit blast

As the Brexit shockwave reverberates through the world the soul searching and recriminations have begun. Why did it happen? What will happen now? The explanations are many and varied. Consider just these two articles from the one paper on the same day; -
"Brexit: Britons’ triumph of democratic reasoning" - Greg Sheridan, The Australian, 25 June 16
"Brexit: win for xenophobia and economic resentment" - Paul Kelly, The Australian, 25 June 16 
I cannot recall any other time that we have seen such highly respected journalists differ so completely.

It is the same with the prognostications;
"(It is) But it is overwhelmingly likely that the markets will settle down in short order"
"This vote will trigger multiple crises — constitutional, economic and strategic. The upshot will be a weaker Britain, less influential and cast into domestic political turmoil. Europe’s future is at risk, with the prospect of a domino ­effect."
And some more visual commentary; -

 From Zero Hedge

Well, I guess we'll see.

Some things, however, are clear and herald some salutary lessons for legislators;
  • Cameron was wrong. - He would never have gone to a referendum if he expected this result
  • The polls were wrong. - Most polls predicted a 50:50 result. Not a 51.9:48.1 !
  • The pundits were wrong. - the betting market often the best indicator of voter intention failed this time and quite badly. No doubt influenced by wishful thinking.
  • The media were wrong. - the media projected a quiet confidence that despite the vote being close that Britons would vote Remain. Alas more wishful thinking.
  • The markets were wrong - else the results would not have generated the sudden market movements.
But these are insignificant when compared to the single most damning unavoidable conclusion of the Brexit result; that the major parties are out of touch with their electorates. 
By strongly advocating for Remain, neither the conservatives nor labor can escape the conclusion that the members of parliament, the elected 'representatives' of the people did not in fact represent a majority of their own voters. This is not a satisfactory state of affairs and presents a major challenge for the parties.

These inconvenient facts shake the very foundations of British politics. You cannot trust the polls and you cannot trust politicians to reflect your views.

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