Kasper de Graaf's picture
A dark day for England
Kasper de Graaf, 24 June 2016

My live updates today:

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19.16 pm. Media reports all say Scotland’s First Minister is pushing for a second independence referendum, but the canny Ms Sturgeon’s position may be rather more nuanced. 

“I intend,” she announced, “to take all possible steps and explore all possible options to give effect to how people in Scotland voted; in other words, to secure our continuing place in the EU, and in the single market in particular.” 

Is it beyond the bounds of possibility that the Scottish devolved government could have its own ‘Norway’ arrangement for access to the EU single market, forcing the UK government to acquiesce as the price for not leaving the UK? Sturgeon might consider it preferable to another stark in-out choice, which she could not afford to lose a second time.

16.51 pm. Grayson Perry: “Well, that’s taught us peace-loving, country-running, money-earning, forward-looking liberals a lesson.”

15.51 pm. Damon Albarn, opening Glastonbury with the Orchestra of Syrian Musicians, said: “"To my mind, democracy has failed us. Democracy has failed us
because it was ill-informed… There are seeds being sown today that are really dangerous,” he added, “and that’s
what I’m so upset about. We don’t want Europe returning to the 1930s.” We are seeing them play tomorrow at the Royal Festival Hall – something to look forward to.

Also at Glasto, Manchester band James frontman Tim Booth said: “There’s something important about humanity accepting other tribes and
other cultures. It started with the end of slavery, then women’s votes,
then gay marriage - [occasions] where we didn’t see other people as the
enemy. I feel sad that Britain has gone back to being an island, in a
metaphorical way.”

09.53 am. I was asked why the northern Labour working class towns voted for Brexit. The overwhelming reason is immigration, mainly due to the failure of UK governments to use some of the money contributed to the Exchequer by EU immigrants (net £20bn in 11 yrs, see this) to ensure sufficient health and jobs and housing.

When Gordon Brown accused an anti-immigrant pensioner, Gillian Duffy, of being a dreadful bigot in the 2010 election he failed to grasp it was the failure of his government to invest in social housing and jobs in high immigration areas, allowing (even encouraging) wage competition by EU workers, and acquiescence in the anti-EU and anti-immigrant narrative, that was to blame more than Mrs Duffy. The Coalition and then the Tories have made all of this worse through indiscriminate austerity. (When I say “indiscriminate”, they did go light on the ‘wealth creators’, but that did nothing to stave off the bigger problem. As a consequence, the wealth creators now stand to lose more than they might have relatively gained.)

09.29 am. The importance of skills & innovation investment in the UK has just shot through the roof. Let’s get to it. @KTNUK @innovateuk @skillsetssc

08.30 am. Important work to do for all of us including good journalists/writers, civil servants, counsellors, curators, artists and designers! Never give up on people. The arguments of the referendum are over and we need to focus on the new situation and argue for good values in the emerging world.

08.28 am. Cameron has announced his departure. Johnson vs May? May could edge it to unite the Tories. Prospect of Johnson too appalling - he will think he is Churchill to Cameron’s Chamberlain #hocuspocushistory

07.21 am. HOW AGES VOTED (YouGov poll):
18-24: 75% Remain
25-49: 56% Remain
50-64: 44% Remain
65+: 39% Remain
#EUref
So unfortunately the under 50s, along with London, Scotland and Northern Ireland, have been taken out of the EU against their will. But we have to work with that now.

07.11 am. For once I agree with Tim Farron, who says he is angry at the prime minister for leading the UK into “an utterly unnecessary recession”.

“I’m angry with every Conservative MP, every Conservative minister who over the last 20 years denigrated the European Union for cheap political gain, knowing that being in Europe was in our best interests, and now we come to a referendum, which started, what, six weeks ago in all effect? And they couldn’t backpedal from having created a sense of distrust of the European institutions which was so clearly in our interest, and so clearly in the interest of every working person up and down this country.”

06.58 am. It is a dark day and the world is more uncertain. But remember many of the people who voted against are good people. We have to work together for good human values and do what we can to protect liberal democracy which is under threat in many parts of the world often from people who claim to be defending it, eg against Islam.

Jo Cox’s husband tweeted: Today Jo wld have remained optimistic & focussed on what she cld do to bring our country back together around our best values #MoreInCommon

I say: Now @MrBrendanCox for Batley & Spen - we need good voices more than ever #MoreInCommon