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BBC: UK Votes To Leave The European Union (bbc.com) 1592

An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: The UK has voted by 52% to 48% to leave the European Union after 43 years in a historic referendum, a BBC forecast suggests. London and Scotland voted strongly to stay in the EU but the remain vote has been undermined by poor results in the north of England. Voters in Wales and the English shires have backed Brexit in large numbers. The referendum turnout was 71.8% -- with more than 30 million people voting -- the highest turnout since 1992. London has voted to stay in the EU by around 60% to 40%. However, no other region of England has voted in favor of remaining. Britain would be the first country to leave the EU since its formation -- but a leave vote will not immediately mean Britain ceases to be a member of the 28-nation bloc. That process could take a minimum of two years, with Leave campaigners suggesting during the referendum campaign that it should not be completed until 2020 -- the date of the next scheduled general election. The prime minister will have to decide when to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which would give the UK two years to negotiate its withdrawal. Once Article 50 has been triggered a country can not rejoin without the consent of all member states. British Prime Minister David Cameron is under pressure to resign as a result of the decision. UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage called on him to quit "immediately." One labor source said, "If we vote to leave, Cameron should seriously consider his position." Several pro-Leave Conservatives including Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have signed a letter to Mr. Cameron urging him to stay no matter the decision. Mr. Cameron did say he would trigger Article 50 as soon as possible after a leave vote.

Update 6/24 09:33 GMT: David Cameron has resigned.
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BBC: UK Votes To Leave The European Union

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  • Rationale aside... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, 2016 @02:03AM (#52378689)

    The sheer showing the finger value to 'experts' is amazing in this one!

    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @03:49AM (#52379179) Homepage

      Then it's time for the central EU to re-evaluate their positions and their strategies. Today they are usually seen as a kindergarten for retired politicians.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, 2016 @04:02AM (#52379231)

        I have a couple of ideas:

          - strengthen parliament.
          - toss out the likes of Juncker et al, which always have misused EU to the advantage of their country
          - vote the corrupt mass which is the EVP out of parliament. They've been in "power" for too long and are too well lubricated by lobbies
          - start working on an "EU for the people". We'd had enough of an "EU for the money".

        • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @04:41AM (#52379399) Journal
          No. What Europe needs and has always lacked is a proper constitution. That absolutely has to come first, and the fact that we have no constitution has always been a (very, very dangerous) problem in the EU. Its lack is the root cause for our weak parliament, weak democratic oversight, martinets like Juncker and van Rompuy popping up in positions of power, the worrying shift of democracy to bureaucracy (not meaning lots of red tape, but being ruled by an uncontrolled system that has become a goal unto itself), and Brussels ever seeking to expand its sphere of political influence. And in case anyone feels a need to mention that the EU does in fact have a "constitution", I'd say: read the damn thing first. That's right: you can't, really. It's a pile of treaties rewritten in legalese, not a constitution.

          An EU constitution must set out how the (central) state operates, what its relation is to the people and member states, and last but not least it outlines (and limits) the state's mandate. And in case of the EU, a statement about the overall objectives of the Union might have been nice as well. We have none of this. And we have gotten to the stage where meaningful reform (such as your suggestions) is never going to happen anymore. Not without some very strong incentive... perhaps in the form of more influential member states threatening to leave after the UK has. The popular vote is already approaching a majority for "leave" in many member states.
          • by GerryHattrick ( 1037764 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @07:17AM (#52380103)
            There was an attempt to write a 'Constitution', which the UK vetoed as an attack on natonal Sovereignty generally. But most of the words in the big draft were then imported into the Lisbon Treaty with its 'ever-closer union' ambition on page 1. (I know because in the job I had then I had to compare the two texts word-for-word, then get on Eurostar). This time, Cameron got the promise of a derogation on the 'Union' bit, but it wasn't enough to persuade us Brits who only had ever voted for a 'Single Market' (and didn't get even that, at least in my sector). Today we're celebrating with (French) champagne.
        • by jalet ( 36114 ) <alet@librelogiciel.com> on Friday June 24, 2016 @04:43AM (#52379409) Homepage

          Where are mod points when you need them ?

        • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @05:03AM (#52379505) Journal

          - strengthen parliament.

          This is the big one. The main reform needed is to kill the commission. You can keep the Council of Ministers as an executive branch if you don't want to have a parliamentary executive, but the elected MEPs must have the most power in the system. This has to be coupled with making EU Parliament voting records public though. It's an embarrassment that, in a nominal democracy, the electorate can't see if their representatives are actually representing them.

          - start working on an "EU for the people". We'd had enough of an "EU for the money".

          And this is the other one. Part of this involves moving money around. The Germans pushed for the Euro because they benefitted hugely from artificially devaluing their currency and stimulating exports, but they also vetoed the mechanism to rebalance this over the long run. This, as many economists predicted, resulted in wealth concentrating in a few countries and the others needing to be bailed out when their economies collapsed. Only, unfortunately, we didn't bail them out, we bailed out the banks that had made loans to them. The Greek bailout should have been accompanies by a default. The banks should have lost their poor investments and the money should have gone into stimulating the growth of the Greek economy. Instead, we got austerity policies that, like every other time they've been tried, caused the economy to shrink and paid a load of money to banks. If you make a risky investment.

          • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @05:40AM (#52379661) Homepage Journal

            The Germans pushed for the Euro because they benefitted hugely from artificially devaluing their currency and stimulating exports

            I don't get this argument. Devaluing your currency isn't difficult. The Germans, of all people, are aware of that.

            As to Greece, they had two problems.
            One: they were able to borrow cheaply, and instead of investing it in things like infrastructure and training they pissed half of it up the wall and used the rest to speculate on property.
            Two: none of them paid any tax.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, 2016 @02:04AM (#52378693)
    Scotland (which recently voted to stay in Great Britain because they were told they would drop out of the EU if they left the UK) and Northern Ireland voted to stay in. England and Wales voted to get out.

    So Small Britain, or the United Kingdom of England and Wales, will leave the EU.

    Probably, we will see Northern Ireland join the Irish Republic and Scotland to become independent during the next 2 years.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, 2016 @02:26AM (#52378765)

      Northern Ireland has the potential to be an absolute cluster fuck. There are still hardcore elements here who are literally violently in favour of a United Ireland or a United Kingdom, any suggestion of leaving the UK with inflame those old tensions. The pro-UK vote could get split between a non-EU England/Wales and an EU-Scotland.

      NI has done disproportionately well from the EU but we're small fish in the UK, I seriously doubt we'll get the same support now.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, 2016 @02:51AM (#52378875)

      Scotland certainly has a good case for a new vote, as it is clear they remained in the UK only to avoid being thrown out of the EU.

      There is no chance that Northern Ireland would choose to join the Republic of Ireland. There are deep seated sectarian divisions that make this impossible.

      Let this vote act as a warning to the US electorate on the impact xenophobia and anti migrant feeling can have on disenchanted voters. Donald Trump is poised to take advantage of the same irrational emotions. A Trump presidency could have an even greater global impact than the UK exit from the EU.

    • by jandersen ( 462034 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @04:08AM (#52379265)

      I can think of worse scenarios than the picture you paint. Leaving the EU opens up a host of new possibilities - regrettably most are less favourable.

      This decision to leave has been a bit like when a teenager decides to move away from home because he can't stand being told to clean up his room and wash his clothes; after a while he will realise that he actually still has to do these things, but now he also has to pay bills and he isn't part of the daily meals cooked by his mom. No doubt we will manage, but this was a stupid and unnecessary thing to do. Those who voted leave did so because they didn't want so many foreigners coming to Britain, basically - but common sense says that there is no realistic way to stop that happening without incurring massive costs, and no matter who is in charge of the government, they will still have to address reality as it is.

      Just to mention one, very important aspect: UK has built up a close relationship with China in recent years, and we have a massive trade deal with them. One of the main reasons why China chose UK instead of Germany was that we have the best climate for foreign investors, the most liberal labour market - and we were firmly embedded in the EU - or so they thought. So, UK was an attractive entry point to the European market - yesterday. Today we have turned out to be a less reliable partner. It may be that our relationship with China will become significantly less warm, unless we tread carefully. Some people may think this is a good thing, but realistically, this is not likely to be good for our economy.

      Other things we don't really want to lose, if we think responsibly about things: London is on of the biggest financial centres in the world, if not the biggest. Being in EU is an important factor in this, for the same reasons. We may not like bankers, but we would feel it keenly if they started moving to Frankfurt or Paris - which they may well do, if we are not careful. And so on. All in all, unless we are willing to take some big hits, we will have to keep following the same old rules as before, only now we are no longer part of the daily life in the family. How clever was that?

    • Yes (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Martin S. ( 98249 ) <Martin,Spamer&gmail,com> on Friday June 24, 2016 @05:20AM (#52379573) Homepage Journal

      Alex Salmond has already called for a second Scottish independence referendum and I don't see how that can be refuse, the same for NI. I'm pro-union and pro-eu and certainly see Scotland leaving the UK now.

  • Democracy restored (Score:4, Informative)

    by divec ( 48748 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @02:16AM (#52378727) Homepage
    For the uninformed, the EU is undemocratic: no legislation can be passed without the say-so of unelected bureaucrats (the European Commission) which voters cannot feasibly remove from power (because the system for appointing them is highly indirect and opaque). Much opposition to the EU stems from this. UK democracy isn't perfect (e.g. voting isn't proportional, and the unelected House of Lords can delay legislation) but voters can and do change the government and change policy direction through the ballot box.
    • by Koen Lefever ( 2543028 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @02:39AM (#52378819)
      You have a point that the EU is not democratic, basically because the European Parliament has little power.

      no legislation can be passed without the say-so of unelected bureaucrats (the European Commission)

      This is not correct: the European Council [wikipedia.org] stands above the European Commission and can over-rule them in everything.

      • by hughbar ( 579555 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @03:02AM (#52378935) Homepage
        However the Council of Permanent Representatives (COREPER): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] prepares and 'adjusts' the agenda for the European Council, they are unelected.

        The parliament pretty much rubber stamps. The one nuclear power they have is to sack the Commission, last time they chickened out though. Junckers himself is Luxembourger, Luxembourg is a major tax haven (yes, that's ad hominem, but it's an 'indicator').

        I worked for both for nearly ten years and came out a marginal 'leaver'. That said, there's going to be some long term chaos now, that I'd prefer to avoid.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@@@world3...net> on Friday June 24, 2016 @02:42AM (#52378831) Homepage Journal

      For the uninformed, the UK is undemocratic. We have a broken "first past the post" electoral system rather than some kind of proportional representation, which means that the government of the day is only voted for by a small minority but gets all the power. We also have a legion of unelected "peers" in the House of Lords, many of whom inherited their title or are there because they are religious leaders. It's a job for life and we don't get any say on who is appointed.

      The EU on the other hand has a directly elected parliament, and governments appoint the members of the Commission for a few years at a time. It's much more democratic than the UK and we are diminished without it.

    • by Luctius ( 931144 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @02:45AM (#52378847)
      The members of the european commission are chosen by the national governments and the european commission as a whole is then either accepted or rejected by the european parliament. Every proposal they do, must then be accepted by the european parliament. The members of european parliament are selected by voting on a certain party on a national level. Those national parties can, and probably will, have alliances with similar parties from other countries. While it is not ideal, it certainly is democratic.
    • by Required Snark ( 1702878 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @02:49AM (#52378865)
      By the same "logic", the UK is undemocratic because of the Queen and the House of Lords. Even if you argue that the monarch has very little actual power, the House of Lords, which has only appointed and hereditary members still has a fair amount of clout. So if the English were actually interested in democracy, the next obvious step would be to formally end the monarchy and write a constitution.

      Some how I doubt that is going to happen. Because leaving the EU is primarily about racism, not bureaucracy.

      Personally I expect to experience a great amount of schadenfreude watching the consequences of this circular firing squad. Now the UK's economic and political situation is in complete chaos, and that will inevitably lead to an economic downturn. Markets are allergenic to uncertainty. It's not going to work itself out quickly, so the economic mess will linger.

      In terms of mass stupidity, I also suggest that they drop the metric units system and join the US in using imperial units. As long as they want to deny the relevancy of the rest of the world, it's another way to be out of step with (almost) everyone else.

      • by Cederic ( 9623 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @05:11AM (#52379537) Journal

        The Queen is the longest serving UK monarch in history, and has yet to interfere in Government decisions. I'm not sure that's really a barrier to democracy.

        The House of Lords is indeed appointed and not elected. I really hate the idea of hereditary peers, and detest the political cronyism reflected in its appointees. However: Because it's not elected, the House is able to voice the non-populist views, draw the minority perspectives into legislation and prevent a tyranny of the majority.

        This strengthens and is a crucial element of UK democracy and I would be distraught if we lost this purely because some people want an elected House. I do support reform, but nobody's offered a superior option.

        Because leaving the EU is primarily about racism, not bureaucracy.

        Get your fucking head out of the fucking sand and fucking listen to the people of the UK and why the voted to ditch the fucking EU.

        None of the campaigning was done on racist grounds. None of the campaigners said "I hate the "
        Most people voting Leave go on holiday in the EU, they want trade with the EU, they don't give a shit what colour someone is.

        This has fuck all to do with racism. This has everything to do with sovereignty, self-determination, control over the laws and policies of the UK and a love of Great Britain.

        That's not racist. That's pride. Backing all of that ahead of travel convenience, economic certainty, stability; that's integrity. You might want to give that a go.

    • by DarkTempes ( 822722 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @03:00AM (#52378925)

      I thought that wasn't true, post-Treaty of Lisbon? I'm an American so I could be uninformed on the issue. This is my impression:

      Voters directly elect their Members of European Parliament. And I assume they directly elect their heads of state, which make up the European Council members.

      The Council, those elected heads of state, nominate the Commission President, who then has to be approved by the directly elected MEPs.
      The Council nominates Commissioners, with the agreement of the President. Then the Parliament, through directly elected MEPs, has to approve them. Basically to me Commissioners are like U.S. Executive branch Cabinet members.

      Commissioners propose legislation to the Parliament but the Parliament has full power to pass, modify, and/or deny legislation.
      The only thing I've seen that looked shady was that Commissioner-proposed legislation can maybe pass on Parliament inaction.
      And maybe some cases where the elected heads of state can bypass Parliament and approve Commission proposals but I think the European Court of Justice has cracked down on both of those?

      Mostly it seems very much in keeping with democratic republic ideals. At least as much as the U.K. parliament.
      I don't get why people focus on the Commissioners when it really seems like the power struggle has been between the Council and Parliament, with the Lisbon Treat increasing Parliament's power and thus decreasing the Council's.

  • The Naked Truth (Score:4, Insightful)

    by franzrogar ( 3986783 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @02:17AM (#52378733)

    Here's the naked truth from an Spaniard:

    1) UK got privileges no other country got:
    - They kept their old monetary unit (GBP)
    - They kept the *right to refuse entry* (not signed SENGEN)
    - They kept the old measuring unit system (instead of International System)
    - They kept colonies in other countries of the EU (Gibraltar) even though it's clearly illegal and have a specific article forbidding it.
    Etc.

    2) The Universal Declaration of Human Right, which all countries are obliged to comply with as is *written* in the European Treaties and Constitution, says clearly:
    Art. 1. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

    3) As the UK did not comply with the "rights" part of the UDHR, forced by the EU Constitution and International Treaties, and shitted in the treaties that form the core and meaning of the EU (SENGEN, no colonies, etc.) I can say anything but...

    GO F**K YOURSELVES

    PS: It's a pity that Ireland got kicked too due to their stupidity.

    • Re:The Naked Truth (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MartinG ( 52587 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @06:41AM (#52379935) Homepage Journal

      Please don't tell us (the whole of the UK) to f**k ourselves.

      I am one of almost half the voters who wanted to remain. Almost all of my friends wanted the same. I work with people from across Europe and elsewhere on a daily basis. Some of us are very pro-Europe (although Europe is not perfect) and want to be in the EU as much as you probably do.

      Some of us DO want Schengen and more open borders.
      Some of us DO want a common currency. (or at least don't hate the idea)

      I think I stand with much of Europe and half of the UK in saying "GO F**K YOURSELVES" to the Leave voters.

      Please don't forget about us Remain voters and don't hate us! If you do, the Exit voters really HAVE won.

  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr@macTOKYO.com minus city> on Friday June 24, 2016 @02:20AM (#52378747) Journal

    First order of business should be to sign all the free-trade deals that the EU was preventing. Canada, Australia, China, etc.

    -jcr

    • by encad ( 4448511 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @02:49AM (#52378863)

      And now get fucked royally by them, because they arent a 350 mil. consumer block anymore.

      Congrats to that

    • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @03:22AM (#52379043)

      As an Australian, the free trade agreements with China was one of the worst things to happen. The EU is smart to block it. But hey if you want to destroy your manufacturing industry and turn into a USA style intellectual property powerhouse backed by only services then be my guest.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@@@world3...net> on Friday June 24, 2016 @03:29AM (#52379077) Homepage Journal

      Great, I'm really looking forward to competing with China on standards and wages.

      The EU is going to punish us hard now. There are already rumblings from the far right about referendums, and they will want to stamp down on those hard. The Pound and markets are crashing. It's already too late, and those non-EU countries we want to do deals with are now going to pray on our weakness and desperation to do some kind of deal, any kind of deal as soon as possible.

      Oh, and we will probably have Boris in charge, so double, sorry triple fucked.

    • by renzhi ( 2216300 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @03:32AM (#52379093)
      I don't understand this. GB is already part of one of the biggest free trade blocks and they decided to withdraw. And, now you want them to go to negotiate yet more free trade agreements with distant countries, with their diminished negotiating power? That's a very bizarre way of reasoning.
    • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @03:44AM (#52379155)
      Those things are one sided.
      For example - Australia and USA.
      Australia can't sell beef, steel, sugar and a pile of other things to the USA but got some pretty nasty copyright and other laws imposed as a consequence of the "free-trade deal". Australians can't buy software direct from the USA at a US price and can't buy some US audiobooks at all. Tents, boots, electronic equipment - so many things blocked from sale online - free trade was it?

      The only thing that comes out of a free trade deal is boasting rights for the person who sat at the table as things are signed away, which is worth a few votes for three years or more until people work out that the deal was worthless or perhaps even damaging. That's long enough for a popularity boost and many in politics are happy to sell of the prosperity of other people or to fuck their nation over for personal benefit.


      If it's with China expect the conditions to change without notice.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 24, 2016 @02:23AM (#52378755)

    I mean, John Oliver eviscerated the Leavers on his show! How could this happen? How could racist old white men hijack the vote? It is 2016!

  • by ebonum ( 830686 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @02:32AM (#52378781)

    Ummm. Isn't this want everyone wants? A weak currency? Everyone says China is getting stupid rich and kicking everyone's ass because their currency is weak. It isn't fair! Weak currency == unstoppable.
    So now the pound has dropped a lot. All of England's exports just got cheaper. We need US businesses to call them an unfair currency manipulator and push for high tariffs. That will fix things! (this is sarcasm. Something no one seems to get here.)
    Me thinks those Savile row suits just became a lot better looking.
    Seriously, A weak pound will help the UK. It is a plus when selling your goods. More people will visit.

  • by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @02:49AM (#52378867) Journal
    I voted "remain" in the end, but it was a close run thing. I'm philosophical about the results; we won't know the real implications for some time. But be under no illusions, this was not just about the EU. Indeed, the EU never really dominated the campaign. It was a rebellion against a long standing political consensus and, in particular, the legacy of Blairism. In essence, Blairism was the marriage of Thatcherite economics to social mores which had previously been the concern of the far left; basically free markets plus multiculturalism. The intention was that over time, the population would buy into that. In London and Scotland, it more or less happened. But in much of the U.K., the population went the other way. An unbalanced economy dependent on financial services squeezed their finances and living standards, while mass immigration forced down wages and created visible, angry, unassimilated immigrant communities in their midst. Moreover, the usual channels of democratic restoration were blocked. Blair's biggest achievement was to foster a media environment which labelled any questioning of the social consensus as racist and a legal system which in some cases made it an arrestable offence. Meanwhile, too many of our institutions changed their ethos from public service to "thought leadership"; trying to reform the population rather than meeting its needs. The vote, I think, needs to be seen as a rebellion against that. I wish the result had been different, but I accept that it wasn't. I live and work in London and my whole circle voted to remain. My parents live in the suburbs of a northern city and they and their circle voted to leave. I had been warning colleagues for weeks that I thought a Leave win was likely; I thought the polling was both running into "social acceptability bias" and underestimating the likelihood that the lower income groups would vote. This, incidentally, is why I would bet on Trump winning in November, scary though that is. And things feel scary in the UK this morning. But a proper discussion of why the vote went the way it did and an acceptance that we need to at least accept and tolerate our divisions rather than widening them would be good first steps.
  • How ages voted (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Portal1 ( 223010 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @03:02AM (#52378933) Homepage Journal

    Ben Riley-Smith @benrileysmith
    HOW AGES VOTED
    (YouGov poll)
    18-24: 75% Remain
    25-49: 56% Remain
    50-64: 44% Remain
    65+: 39% Remain#EUref
    6:24 PM - 23 Jun 2016

    If they would have waited some years it would been a remain.

    • Re:How ages voted (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@@@world3...net> on Friday June 24, 2016 @05:46AM (#52379681) Homepage Journal

      Once again, the Baby Boomers fucked us. No houses, financial meltdowns, an economy built on debt and an "I'm all right Jack" attitude, and now out of the EU too. It makes me wonder how much more damage they can do before they die off.

      Of course they are probably quite well insulated from this, having little if any mortgage to pay off and plenty of assets to cover the damage to their pensions. Of course they expect the taxpayer to pick up the bill for those pensions if things get really bad, due to a massive sense of entitlement.

  • by ArylAkamov ( 4036877 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @03:17AM (#52379021)

    See eu later!

  • by freeze128 ( 544774 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @03:22AM (#52379049)
    I wanted to check on the progress of the Brexit vote, so I went to the CNN website, but it only said in large black letters "LEAVE".

    Jeez, they didn't have to be so mean about it.
  • by renzhi ( 2216300 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @04:05AM (#52379251)

    From the perspective of a very far on looker (a Canadian living in China), the result of the referendum is very unfortunate. Since WWII, generations and generations of people, with long term vision for a stable and peaceful Europe, had put their weight to form the Union. It's certainly not perfect, but it's better, by a long measure, than the situation in the first half of the 20th century. I am quite amazed that more older generation stand by the Leave camp. I would have thought that they should be the ones who know better. With one referendum, which is more fueled by temporary discontent than calm reasoning, they want to dismantle what took years and years to gradually build up. The chain reactions in the coming years won't be pretty, and I hope I would be wrong.

    I was born in Cambodia, been through the Khmer Rouge regime, lost 80% of our family, spent 8 years in a refugee camp in Vietnam, and was lucky enough to be accepted in Canada when I was 18. In the 1990s, I was very happy to see the Berlin wall fall, and that Europeans countries were merging into one block with their interests tightly interconnected, and I could only dream of a same scenario for Asia, a scenario that would take many many more years to even be a prospective, if at all.

  • by shanen ( 462549 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @04:40AM (#52379393) Homepage Journal

    There are a number of obvious contributing factors to Brexit. Nationalism and selfishness are two of the most obvious.

    So let's consider the enlightened discussion here on slashdot, this bastion of intellectual turmoil and whatever.

    There have been several hundred comments so far. No mention of "nationalism" yet appears. One marginally related but tangential mention of "selfish" and no mentions of "selfishness". Maybe there are some hidden references, but then their invisibility reflects the failure of the moderation system. However, I think Brexit reflects a larger failure of journalism in general and a more specific failure of slashdot in particular.

    People who were capable of thinking about the future would not vote in favor of fracturing Europe. They would have been able to put the broader long-term interests of their own grandchildren ahead of their various minor terrors of foreigners stealing their jobs, especially considering that if 52% hated the EU I'd bet that a much higher percentage hate their own jobs and ought to be glad if some immigrants would steal them.

    Same rise of ignorant short-sighted stupidity has made it possible for the Donald of Trump to become a serious contender for the presidency, squatting on his bizarre high chair that he imagines as a throne. Don't look too closely at the legs: One leg for the government haters, one for the Hillary haters, a leg of bigots, and a last leg of overt racists. Yeah, a few Trumpists are smart enough to try to talk nice, but scratch a Trump supporter and you find a hater.

    My problem with all of this is that I'm a believer in enlightened self-interest (per Heinlein, even). If people see sufficiently large pictures, then they will see how their private and national selfishness has to be limited for the long-term survival of the human species.

    Why don't they see the large pictures? I think it's mostly because the existing economic models, including slashdot's pitiful economic models, drive them to short-term BS journalism and reality TV. Brexit and Trumpism are just natural outcomes. Gawd save us all, but he won't. (Even if he existed, it would be a breach of his divinely insane plan.)

  • by Z80a ( 971949 ) on Friday June 24, 2016 @04:46AM (#52379421)

    When you get an highly politicized media forcing a side and pushing and shaming people for not taking it, you may end alienating a large portion of the population and making em disobey you, even when you're pushing for the right decision.
    And i bet at least in part, people just voted to leave because the creepy manipulative forceful thing they can't truly trust told em to vote to stay.

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