“Predictably, there is speculation that Brexit will not happen. If Britain can vote for Brexit, it is being argued, surely anything is possible. But those who think the vote can be overturned or ignored are telling us more about their own state of mind than developments in the real world. Like bedraggled courtiers fleeing Versailles after the French Revolution, they are unable to process the reversal that has occurred. Locked in a psychology of despair, anger and denial, they cannot help believing there will be a restoration of an order they believed was unshakeable.”
- John Gray, ‘The strange death of liberal politics’, The New Statesman, 1 July 2016.
Something rather odd is going on in the mainstream media, when the most insightful commentaries around Brexit are surfacing from publications like The New Statesman as opposed, say, from The Financial Times or The Economist. Perhaps this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, given that the most insightful reportage of the credit crisis came from the likes of Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair, through the good offices of the journalists Matt Taibbi and Michael Lewis respectively. John Gray has form here; again for The New Statesman he forensically examined, last October (‘The neo-Georgian Prime Minister’), the weaknesses of a Prime Minister whose sole work experience in the real world consisted of a brief spell in public relations:
“In the world of PR, actions are episodic and discontinuous and their consequences ignored unless they have some immediate effect. All that matters is having a serviceable story, which is constructed to serve the purposes of the day, then discarded and forgotten.”
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