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Leftie? Yes, and proud to be among those upholding Enlightenment values | Will Hutton | Opinion | The Guardian
A significant element in western electorates, particularly among the less well-educated and unskilled members of the white working class, is so fearful about the impact of mass immigration on their sense of identity that Enlightenment values can go hang. There are fertile ground for the populist right everywhere – from eastern Europe to the American midwest, including the poorer regions of England.

Brexit was an anti-Enlightenment project. It was won on lies, unachievable promises and open distrust of knowledge imparted by “experts”. But crucially, as Nigel Farage always understood, it was also about repudiating the impact of immigration, brilliantly captured in the neutral – so as not to court any charge of even subliminal racism – catchphrase “take back control”.

It was a protest by a forgotten, white working class against a status quo underwritten by Enlightenment values. And although it wasn’t overwhelming or decisive, the need to describe it as such springs from the same need that Donald Trump spoke to when he declared that America doesn’t have victories any more. The anti-Enlightenment, pro-Brexit right in league with the white working class could for the first time unambiguously claim the scalp of their liberal tormentors.
UK  Brexit  DailyMail  Heaton-HarrisChris  education  higherEducation  universities  Enlightenment  immigration  refugees  TrumpDonald  race  whiteWorkingClass  class  exclusion  dctagged  dc:creator=HuttonWill 
october 2017 by petej
How Leave outgunned Remain: The battle of the 'five Ms' | Centre for European Reform
"The BBC’s performance during the referendum campaign was lamentable. Of course it was right to give equal prominence and time to the two sides. But it failed to fulfil its legal obligation to inform and to educate. When senior journalists interviewed Leave campaigners, who said things that were untrue, the comments often went unchallenged. Why was this? Having spoken to many BBC journalists – some of whom acknowledge there was a serious problem – I conclude there were at least two reasons.

First, a lot of well-known BBC presenters and interviewers know very little about the EU. So when, for example, a Leaver said (as they often did) that the ‘five presidents’ report’ showed that a super-state was under construction, with a European army, and that Britain would have to join, the interviewer let it pass. Few BBC journalists knew that this infamous report only concerned the eurozone, did not mention an EU army, did not apply to Britain and had been effectively vetoed by Germany.

On June 21st the BBC broadcast a televised debate from Wembley Arena. Between each section of the debate, a voiceover sought to explain the factual background to the next subject for discussion. One of these voices stated that “EU leaders are discussing the creation of a European army”, which is completely untrue. When I set up the CER, 18 years ago, BBC journalists were much better briefed on EU matters than they are today. There are, of course, honourable exceptions who are well-informed, and many of them regret that the BBC made only half-hearted efforts to educate staff before the campaign began.

The second point is that some interviewers were quite well-informed, but still held back from correcting Leavers when they made untrue statements. As an institution, the BBC was terrified of being thought of as pro-EU – partly because of the sheer volume of complaints it receives from hard-line Outers. So the BBC bent over backwards not to behave in ways that could be construed as biased against Leave. One of the BBC’s most senior journalists confessed to me, a few days before the referendum: “If we give a Leaver a hard time, we know that the Mail or the Sun may pick on us and that that is bad for our careers. But if we are tough on Remainers it might upset the Guardian and that doesn’t matter at all. This affects the way some colleagues handle interviews.”"
UK  EU  referendum  Brexit  Remain  Leave  campaigning  migration  media  CameronDavid  JohnsonBoris  GoveMichael  economy  DailyMail  BBC 
june 2016 by petej
What the British are really laughing about - The Leveller
"Separate from what he says, however, his government has significantly increased inequality and decreased social mobility, making it even harder for people outside of his privileged background to fulfill the meritocratic values he regularly trumpets.

The wound of that hypocrisy was already festering before Lord Ashcroft punished him this week for breaking the rules of the ritual: that you will obey the people who made you, or you will be humiliated. This wasn’t, as some have said, young men being silly. Not if the secrets being kept are designed by powerful men to keep other powerful men under control. That kind of arrangement is the antithesis of democracy.

And it is also the antithesis to the meritocracy they proclaim. Not just because it’s rich boys getting an easy ride to the top – we already knew that – but because David Cameron’s nasty little scandal speaks to a suspicion many people already have: that in British society, you don’t get to become Prime Minister because you’re talented or because you work hard. You don’t even get there just because you’re rich. You get there by traumatizing the homeless and skull-fucking a dead pig, and that ritual gives you power because you have demonstrated utter, pathetic submission to your fellow oligarchs.

That is why we’re laughing."
CameronDavid  hazing  rituals  power  privilege  control  networks  secrets  politics  UniversityOfOxford  AshcroftMichael  piggate  biography  DailyMail  UK  class 
september 2015 by petej
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