I could not leave the subject of BBC4's astonishing EU documentary without mentioning Charles Moore's observations on the two programmes in this morning's Telegraph.He writes -
Perhaps most striking, however, was what was absent. At no point did Guy the Great and his rather foul-mouthed pals give the slightest thought to why all this was happening, which is that more than 30 million British people had voted on it, and the majority had decided to leave. Contempt for Britain was almost unqualified ...These EU apparatchiks hold not only democracy but their own voters in contempt - and these astonishing programmes make it plain to see. But this contempt for those whom they are supposed to serve also induces a blindness, an unwillingness to hear, a shunning of reality that isolates these authoritarian demagogues from the world outside.
Even more striking by its absence was any mention by M Verhofstadt and his fellow MEPs of their own voters. They never once even pretended to be interested in their constituents. I don’t think the word “democracy” crossed their lips. Their identification with the purposes of the EU’s machine, as opposed to its people, was complete.
We're at top of the economic cycle and close to levels of full employment, yet taxes at 36% of GDP are at their highest for 40 years. We are overdue for a downturn, parts of the EU are already in recession and a cold economic wind is gathering strength. Parliament and government between them have created a Brexit debacle that will cost the economy much more than it need have done.
PwC forecast the effects of AI on the British economy costing 30% of existing jobs in the next fifteen years. We're better placed than others – they forecast 37% of German jobs will go – but this scale of impact requires visionary political leadership.
Already, before either cyclical economic or Tier II AI changes have begun to bite, the UK, in common with much of the developed world, is already faced with mounting voter anger. Brexit is not the cause, but itself has its roots in causes including, but not exclusively
- Increasing financial inequality
- Static or declining living standards
- People excluded from decision making
- Decline of working class power
- Globalism causing disempowerment
- Cultural loss – loss of cultural identity
- Attrition of social institutions, high anomie
I think they will learn that sometimes, just sometimes, the voters that they hold in such contempt can bite back.