In the Prospect, David Dayen explains how deficit-witch-hunting and hubris paved the way for Brexit. particularly David Cameron and the Tories’ “general belief in expansionary austerity, that you could cut your way to prosperity. For those that don’t recall, this led to the brink of a triple-dip recession, and terrible growth numbers for years and years…What Leave offers, a toxic stew of isolation and racism, isn’t any good either. But when elites spend this long doing nothing for large swathes of the population, they’re willing to listen to anyone with a different idea.”
Since the UK’s faceplant last week, there’s been some talk (and. for some, wishful thinking) that Brexit is the prelude to Trump, fact-free appeals and all, and lord knows we spent far too much time of late playing the austerity game also. But I’ll stand by my “nope, not gonna happen” prediction here: The UK electorate is 90% white, America’s is one-third non-white — That’s a big difference, and the same sorts of nativist appeals just aren’t going to play here anymore — which I am very thankful for.
Still, Brexit is another sterling example of how, when people are justifiably angry about being screwed over, many of them may not vote in their best interests. And it’s emblematic of one of the more insightful comments I’ve heard recently about 2016 (and unfortunately I can’t figure out where I first saw it): When you have Latin American levels of inequality, you’ll end up with Latin American politics.
“‘Europe has been very good to Ireland,; says Daly, the wine-store owner, who says he’ll vote yes for a second time this week…’People may be unhappy with the government, but to punish them in the Lisbon vote would be the wrong thing to do. Being a member of the euro [currency zone] is what’s got us through the crisis so far. I can’t see Ireland surviving alone.’“
This Friday, Ireland votes on EU’s Lisbon Treaty for the second time. “Support for the treaty has been hovering around 50% for months. In the latest national poll, conducted by the Irish Times last week, 48% of respondents said they supported the agreement, compared to 33% who said they were against it. But a full fifth of the population hasn’t made up their minds, giving the no camp the belief that it can sway enough voters in the final days to make the tally close.“