Saturday, June 04, 2016

Credit where credit is due

I was severely critical of an article by Simon Jenkins last week so on the principle of credit where credit is due it is only fair that I call out for praise a vastly better article which he has written this week.

Apparently as a means of exploring the issue Jenkins has been alternating the direction on which he comes at the issue, trying to think about it from a Remain viewpoint one week and a Brexit supporter's outlook the following week.

He explained this strategy in this week's article,

"Leave or Remain, Britain's fortunes hinge on a Europe in need of repair."

Here is an extract:

Early on, I decided I would switch “loyalties” between remain and leave on alternate weeks. We all view the news through the tinted glass of prejudice, so I would see how the argument altered each week by changing my prejudices. The exercise has been tough, yet somehow exhilarating.

My remain weeks have been undeniably more comfortable. A majority of London friends are for remain. When I say I agree with them, they reply: “Fine, we are glad”, and talk about the weather. Remainers are insiders, metropolitans, confident in their views as in their skins. They have something to lose from change. They are the British establishment in both its liberal and its conservative guises.

My Brexit weeks have been a different matter. They are edgy, disruptive, intellectually reckless. When I tell people I might vote Brexit, I see a cloud crossing their brow. They suddenly wonder where I am coming from.

“You can’t mean it,” they say. “You would be with Johnson and Farage?” On the other hand, Brexiters are delighted. They are a freemasonry of believers, Lollard heretics against the Holy Roman Church. Theirs is the equivalent of the bent finger handshake. Brexiters are intense, partisan and fearless of risk. They share with remainers only a conviction that no evidence will change their voting intentions.

I have found these divergent loyalties hard to sustain. Everyone claims to “want to know the facts”, but they do not really mean it. They want the facts that support their case. Hence the sheer mendacity criticised last week by Andrew Tyrie, of the Commons Treasury committee: “It’s impoverishing political debate,” he said, “and the public are thoroughly fed up with it.”

Definitely worth reading the whole thing, which you can do here.


Jim said...

I love all of these posts about who supports what and which side they are on. Like the higher educated prefer to stay in that type of thing.

I just think its hillarious.

There is one thing that most of all puts me firmly on the "Leave" side. and its something that is so easy to do in this day and age as well it amazes me. You see people often say to me you want to leave because you have never had the EU explained, or you are racist, or you are "too right wing" even. but no, none of those are actually the reason.

the main reason i want to leave is because Unlike most of our nation (and in that i think a lot of our MP's too) unlike all of those the one thing I have done is


Something the UK in general do not seem very good at.

Chris Whiteside said...

You may have a point there. When I have tried to read them they are not exactly easy to follow and there is an awful lot to wade through. I suspect you are right that too many people have not even made the attempt.