The present crisis and the questions we must ask

Autumn 2016

One of the most surprising things about the success of the Leave campaign is that so many are surprised by it. Could we really have expected any other result – after forty years of misrepresentation of the EU by politicians and media alike, and in the midst of a calculated intensification of hostility towards immigrants? Thirty years after the abandonment of coal, steel and fishing industries and communities – eight years into a brutal and unnecessary regime of fiscal austerity imposed to save the banks – we may be shocked but there are no grounds to be surprised by the size and intensity of public mistrust of politics and rejection of the status quo. A post-referendum review of the polls conducted during the campaign suggests that in fact Leave was always ahead. Of course it was.

Renewal Vol 24 No 3