Stolen from a frequent correspondent and acquaintance via the Financial Times, the term “post-factual democracy” sums up my horror at the referendum campaign.
Ultimately, leaving the EU is not a very good idea (the economic contagion is already apparent) but it is actually manageable. The British Isles will reform itself in some way; Europe will trade and share intelligence somehow; life will go on.
What is a truly terrible idea is voting based on total nonsense – far from a peculiarly British phenomenon. People who have expertise are not just ignored but overtly mocked. Instead of considering expert views before we vote, or even challenging them, we just call the experts themselves names if we don’t like what they say. Would we ignore brain surgeons and do our own brain surgery? So why would we ignore academic, military and financial experts and reckon we know it all ourselves?
There is also this weird view that somehow we should trust people who are actually of the elite but claim to be against it – in preference, for example, to people who are not actually of the elite! Boris and Nigel are not exactly binmen.
Thus the electorate in its wisdom openly chose a path which is clearly not in its own economic interests. How many more electorates are now to do similar?
The outcome of anti-intellectualism is always ignorance, which inevitably leads to fear, and on to hatred and then yes, on to violence. I know. I live in Northern Ireland.
It’s a global democratic disaster of which this crazy referendum was just a symptom.