Brexit: The Referendum Result Heard Round The World Is A Shot Against Neoliberalism



Well that was a bit momentous, then, wasn’t it. Yesterday, seemingly everybody – politico or pedestrian – was glued to their tv set or twitter-feed waiting for the results of the #Brexit referendum to be released.

And, as soon as the count started making a Leave reality seem more and more plausible, it was game on to attempt to ‘define the narrative’ for how this struggle – and this victory – would come to be regarded going forward.

From the Right, the divisions had long been clear. Opponents of the E.U. would – rightly or wrongly -regard a #Brexit as a substantial win against the heavy, suffocating and stultifying hand of Brusselian legalistic interventionism within British sovereign affairs. Supporters, by contrast, who often tended to come from the more ‘elite’ end of the influence spectrum sought to portray the broad swelling mass of LEAVE voters as racists and an iconoclastic mass who – like the baying Christian mob seeking to burn down the Library of Alexandria – were about to tear asunder something of immense civilizational value. And, not coincidentally, panick the hell out of global markets and stock exchanges in the process.

There are presumably no surprises there.

But on the Left … I was minorly amazed to see much the same narrative as the latter being pushed across with great force and emphasis from all across the spectrum. Idealistic liberals chewed their fingernails fretting about falling markets. Nominal workers’ rights advocates decried leaving the very same arch-neoliberal institution which had so successfully done over workers in a slew of countries like Greece, Ireland, Spain, France, and Portugal in recent years. Brazen Marxists ranted impassioned posts about how we ought to eschew the Great And Impersonal Forces Of History Which Are Presently Aligning With Our Class Interest, And Instead Side With Goldman Sachs Because There Are A Few Unsavoury People Leading The Leave Campaign.

Seriously. I’m not kidding.

The forces railing against the democratically expressed wishes of millions of Britons (who can’t all be problematic Faragists, by the way – the UKIP scored 3.8 million votes at the last election, while #Brexit won a much heftier 17 million) now range all the way from the UK Conservative Party through to a large majority of UK Labour MPs, and from thence out into an impressively broad spanning milieu of nominally liberal-left voices the world over. Our own James Shaw among them.

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I thought striking a blow against the neoliberal economic edifice and empowering the voice of the common man was supposed to be pretty much at the core of what it was to be ‘left wing’. Guess I’m “old fashioned” like that.

So why are so many Lefties lamenting “losing” Brexit? Surely they should instead be celebrating a rare post-GFC victory against the policies, politics, institutions and insidiousness of Austerity? Didn’t we all just link hands and promise a popular uprising against the TPPA stealing away our national sovereignty and lawmaking ability? Isn’t a rejection of the E.U.’s hold over Britain an action to be portrayed in exactly the same spirit as that? What happened to screaming “SOLIDARITY WITH SYRIZA” and pledging fervent, trenchant, undying opposition to the Merkelreich in the name of the ordinary common man.

Do we abandon all that because on this particular occasion we’ve collectively found ourselves on the same side as Nigel Farrage and Boris Johnson?

According to some people, apparently so.

And to be fair, there are serious concerns as to the beliefs and attitudes of some of the more *ahem* “vigorous” proponents of anti-E.U. (quasi)-xenophobia. Racism, where it exists, ought unquestionably be censured and combated. The use of violence to silence a dissenting voice and end a life in a debate such as this is utterly abhorrent. Nobody of sense seriously disagrees with either of these propositions.

But, as The Other Winston once said: “the trouble with being on the side of right is all the insalubrious company”.

I accept that there are … problematic (to say the least) people (street-)fighting the corner of Brexit. Even as I also note that this cannot be all 17 million of the Britons who voted Leave – and that to insist upon painting every single one as such is to consciously buy into the Elite-Establishment propaganda which regards democracy as a dangerous and “irresponsible” exercise in empowering the prejudices of the Great Unwashed rather than anything saliently worthwhile.

But for many Leftists around the world, supporting – even from afar – the Brexit efforts were not about racism, or reactionary hard-right politics. Not even close.

Instead, we saw one of the largest, greatest and most influential Neoliberal institutions of our time become vulnerable. The same multi-headed Austerity-spewing twelve-starred Hydra which had so successfully brought the Greek economy to its knees in ongoing fiscal servitude. That identical beast whose influence moved to suspend democracy in Portugal last year; and whose pernicious fiscal impacts have been felt by working people across a half a dozen less well off Eurozone polities over the last decade.

International Political Economy literature makes reference to what’s known as the “Golden Straightjacket” of neoliberalism – that set of fiscal conditions and prescribed policy settings (usually imposed down from above and without) which countries are “supposed” to pursue in order to advance along the pathway towards economic “prosperity”. That’s what the E.U. imposes upon its memberstates, and it’s why both Spain and Portugal were recently facing serious economic sanctions from the same economic organization. It’s interesting and telling to note that in at least Spain’s case, these were put off and deferred while the #Brexit campaign was running – evidently the Eurocrats didn’t want to spook the British population further by overtly reminding them of the sorts of conditions and impositions on economic sovereignty they don’t hesitate to impose upon member states.

This is why well-noted revolutionary-progressive institutions with obviously pro-worker agendas such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley etc. poured millions of dollars of their own money into opposing the Brexit campaign. Because they love the kind of pro-Market, pro-neoliberalist impositionalist-interventionist action which the E.U. represents.

So if people want to decry the successful Brexit outcome based around the fact that some unsavory types have made common cause with anti-Austerity advocates and pro-democracy enthusiasts … I would respectfully contend that the list of voices calling for a Remain vote also contained a not insignificant number of arguably seriously evil people pushing their own quasi-ideological if not outright self-interested agendas.

After all, those big banking firms I just mentioned aren’t exactly in the habit of ‘altruistically’ throwing money at things unless there’s some tangible payoff for them in so doing.

And besides – haven’t you heard? These days many on the ‘far right’ WANT to be part of the European Union.

But to be fair, there are some arguable successes which proponents of the E.U. can point to as reasons for supporting its continued presence and existence. Issues requiring interstate co-ordination such as attempting to tackle climate change and preventing armed international conflict are unquestionably going to be more effectively dealt with at a supernational level. This presumably helps to explain why some persons of a left-liberal disposition have been more upset about yesterday’s developments than left-nationalists – because their world-view is so much more inexorably hard-wired to be based around what’s known in IR theory as liberal intergovernmentalism, and is thus pained to see one of the premier institutional embodiments of same in a situation of peril.

However, to these people I would also suggest that Brexit represents something of an opportunity rather than ‘merely’ a crisis.

It is widely agreed upon that whatever its relative merits (or faults), the European Union remains a problematic institution for a number of reasons. Its conscious and overt lack of response to democracy (the process by which the Lisbon Treaty was rejected and then rammed through springs instantly to mind), as well as its overreaching hand when it comes to imposing potentially deleterious economic conditions upon memberstates mean that it faces an ongoing crisis of legitimacy in the minds of many of its nominal subjects.

If you’re serious about the European Union remaining as an enduring institution on into the future – rather than succumbing to some sort of drawn out succession of creatively named toppling domino trend (can we say “Departugal”?) – then the E.U. needs to be reformed. The fact that an arguably crucial linchpin memberstate can merrily decide that the costs of remaining entangled outweigh the reputed benefits of membership and decide to detach to go off on its merry way may very well serve as the necessary wake-up call for the small army of committed Eurocrats and fellow travelers running the institution that change is needed lest an ossified institution suffer a continued series of fractures and breaks.

Or, it might not. And New Zealand may find itself with a plethora of freshly minted new trade opportunities with recently-orphaned European economies in consequence to look forward to instead.

However it plays out in practice, Friday’s referendum result remains decidedly important for two reasons.

First and foremost, because it has helped to chisel away another bit of the neoliberal ‘cult of inevitability’ which surrounds so much of how we do things today economically. The traditional antidote to the TINA (There Is No Alternative) mantra of Rogernomics and other instances of Crisis Capitalism is to intone that “Another World Is Possible” (although AWIP isn’t quite as catchy an acronym). Yesterday’s vote helps to break us out of the previous mindset wherein certain elements of the politico-economic terrain were treated as fixed and inviolable rather than mutable and subject to challenge (or, for that matter, renewal).

The institutional framework behind “Austerity” is no longer invincible.

We have, to quote a certain other work of pop culture about a great multinational confederation attempting to impose something on Greece, “made a God bleed” – and realized in so doing that he is mortal.

The second point of importance is closely related to the first, and expresses itself as a far more general notion.

The tool with which a majority of the British people expressed their will against any number of elites yesterday was with democracy. This proves that the hitherto established power-imbalance between the will of those elites and the concerns of more ordinary people (guess which side it was slanted towards) is now unraveling. The same Eurocrat elites who saw fit to ignore a slew of referendum results right throughout the mid-late two thousands on matters relating to the E.U. will be thinking very long, very hard and very carefully about doing the same thing today. And ditto for the UK Labour hierarchs who so vaingloriously sought to muzzle Jeremy Corbyn’s previously prominent Euroskepticism in the hopes of making political capital out of going with the Tories on this one.

I’m not sure if the message will percolate down to our own domestic arisfauxtracy any time soon, but it would be decidedly nice to believe that in the wake of some vaguely similar prominent reversals of the Key agenda such as the flag referendum, our own PM and associates might be starting to feel a bit nervous about People Power on the march against neoliberalism and the avowed will of the antidemocratic Elites.

To quote Winston Churchill:

“Dictators ride to and fro on tigers from which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry.”

In any case, however this plays out – one thing’s for certain. We’re not in Kansas anymore.

Instead, we’re in the future.






  1. Curwin wrote;

    Opponents of the E.U. would – rightly or wrongly -regard a #Brexit as a substantial win against the heavy, suffocating and stultifying hand of Brusselian legalistic interventionism within British sovereign affairs. Supporters, by contrast, who often tended to come from the more ‘elite’ end of the influence spectrum sought to portray the broad swelling mass of LEAVE voters as racists and an iconoclastic mass”

    I did see many who said it was the loss of control over EU beaurocrats.

    Anyway what was important is that our leader has said zilch so far and even Winston has been supportive of the brexit also as I do because we don’t want or need some foreign control beaurocrats over us here in NZ the same way and is why we object to the TPPA.

  2. I like your optimism, Curwen, it is good to know there is a bright side to things, but it IS important not to elide things which are separate, if we are to aim for a better future.

    The EU is not a synonym for Eurozone, and Departugal (nice word, btw) might be from either or both – the procedures are very different for each entity.

    And while the “rare post-GFC victory against the policies, politics, institutions and insidiousness of Austerity” is almost certainly what people in the de-industrialised north of England expressed, it is certainly not what the middle-class south were aiming at – their dog-whistle is undoubtedly immigration, because xenophobia, with or without added racism, is still well present. (I returned last week from visiting family, who read the Mail and the Telegraph, and vehemently dislike the leftist Cameron. My sister believes Tony Blair is a socialist!)

    And thirdly we have the bureaucrat-phobia, long encouraged by the right, along with despising experts and academics. This is part of the process described in Dirty Politics, to undermine democracy itself.

    I think you are right, that this could mark the point at which the left again rises to save capitalism from itself, and I hope I will recover from my sadness about the blow to the European project, an internationalist project that in large part aimed to avert war, and to build on the mutual interests of all people across the often bizarre borders of nation-states.

    • “And while the “rare post-GFC victory against the policies, politics, institutions and insidiousness of Austerity” is almost certainly what people in the de-industrialised north of England expressed, it is certainly not what the middle-class south were aiming at – their dog-whistle is undoubtedly immigration, because xenophobia, with or without added racism, is still well present. (I returned last week from visiting family, who read the Mail and the Telegraph, and vehemently dislike the leftist Cameron. My sister believes Tony Blair is a socialist!)”

      Thanks for sharing this, from the coal face of events. It tells me enough, and I have had similar experiences in life.

      Cameron is a rather arrogant and elitist conservative political careerist, he is certainly not “leftist”, but that shows how far to the right politics has shifted in the UK, same as in NZ.

      Yes, Mr Hooton goes on about Key being rather “leftist” or “liberal”, as far as I remember. He is more close to reality when calling him a “pragmatist”, but Key is hardly the lefty some on the right like to portray him, nor has Cameron been.

      I remember the welfare cuts and what they have imposed on the disabled, through the hideous “reforms” in the UK, with ATOS and the DWP and so forth, that is close to being modern day fascist, I feel.


    Brexit: Eight reasons why Britain voted to leave

    8:22 am today

    Brexit: The UK has voted to quit the European Union following a referendum on its membership. So how did the Leave campaign win?

    1. Brexit economic warnings backfire
    What started off as a trickle soon became a steady stream and ended up as a flood.

    The public was bombarded with warnings about how they would be poorer if they voted to leave the EU but, in the end, weren’t convinced by what they were told and/or believed it was a price worth paying.

    The CBI, the IMF, the OECD, the IFS – an alphabet soup of experts lined up to say economic growth would be hobbled, unemployment would go up, the pound would plummet and British business would be left in a no man’s land outside the EU.

    The Bank of England raised the prospect of a recession while The Treasury said it would be forced to put income tax up and slash spending on the NHS, schools and defence.

    BREXIT: Full coverage

    If that wasn’t enough, President Obama suggested the UK would go to the “back of the queue” in terms of securing a trade deal with the US while top EU official Donald Tusk hinted at the end of Western political civilization.

    Some on the Remain side accepted this was overkill and that so-called “Project Fear” had got a bit out of hand, while the Leave campaign was quick to dismiss the naysayers as wealthy, unaccountable elites with their own vested interests talking down Britain.

    But the fact the public discounted so readily the advice of experts points to something more than just a revolt against the establishment. It suggested far more people felt left behind and untouched by the economic benefits of five decades of EU involvement being trumpeted.

    2. £350m NHS claim gets traction
    The assertion that leaving the EU would free up £350m a week extra to spend on the NHS is the kind of political slogan that campaigns dream of: striking, easy to understand and attractive to voters of different ages and political persuasions.

    No surprise then that Vote Leave chose to splash it across the side of their battle bus.

    The fact that the claim does not stand up to much scrutiny – the figure is calculated using sums which were disputed by the Treasury Select Committee and described as potentially misleading by the UK Statistics Authority – did not reduce its potency.

    Remain campaigner Angela Eagle may have told her opponents to “get that lie off your bus” but polling suggests it gained traction and was the single most remembered figure from the campaign, with many people believing that money handed over to the EU to be a member should be spent in the UK instead.

    In that sense, it served as a powerful illustration of how the UK could be better off outside the EU.

    In the immediate aftermath of the vote UKIP leader Nigel Farage admitted the claim that the money would go to the NHS was a mistake.

    3. Farage makes immigration the defining issue
    If they didn’t quite bet the farm on the issue of immigration, Leave played what they knew was their trump card often and they played it successfully.

    The issue fed into wider questions of national and cultural identity, which suited Leave’s message – particularly to lower income voters.

    The result suggested that concerns about levels of migration into the UK over the past 10 years, their impact on society, and what might happen in the next 20 years were more widely felt and ran even deeper than people had suspected.

    Just as crucially, it suggested Leave’s central argument that the UK cannot control the number of people coming into the country while remaining in the EU really hit home.

    Turkey was a key weapon in Leave’s armoury and, although claims that the UK would not be able to stop it entering the EU were firmly denied, there was enough uncertainty about this – a fact that the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe unquestionably fed into.

    The language and imagery used by the Leave campaign came in for criticism and there were recurring tensions between the Conservative dominated official Leave movement, Mr Farage’s UKIP roadshow and the separate Leave.EU group.

    But their various messages resonated and segued with their central proposition that a vote to leave was a once in a generation chance to take control and assert national sovereignty.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks to the press in front of 10 Downing Street in central London on 24 June 2016.

    4. Public stop listening to PM
    David Cameron may have won one leadership contest, one (or two if you include the 2010 coalition-forming one) general elections and two referendums in the past ten years but this was the moment his luck ran out.

    By putting himself front and centre of the Remain campaign, and framing the decision as a question of trust, he staked his political future and personal reputation on the outcome.

    Having put so much store on his ability to secure a fundamental change in the UK’s relationship with the EU, it was inevitable that the concessions he came back with following nine months of negotiations would be dismissed as a damp squib by Eurosceptics in his party.

    But this summed up a deeper problem. Having constantly stated that he would “not rule anything out” if he didn’t get what he wanted, trying to enthuse the UK to stay in on the basis of reforms most believed were modest at best was always going to be a difficult sell.

    Throughout the process, he found himself at odds with many Conservatives who have never quite reconciled themselves to his decision to go into coalition after the 2010 election and the compromises that brought.

    Unsuited to winning over Labour supporters, the prime minister was not able to persuade enough floating voters to give him the benefit of the doubt.

    It was his failure to get the outcome he wanted, coupled with his desire to try and unify the country after the bruising campaign, that prompted him to say he would stand down as PM by October.

    Radical anti-austerity candidate Jeremy Corbyn has been elected the new head of Britain’s main opposition Labour Party with 59.5 percent of the vote. London on September 12, 2015.

    5. Labour fails to connect with voters
    The Remain campaign always needed Labour voters to win the referendum and the fact that they did not play ball will be the subject of a long and acrimonious post-mortem within the opposition.

    Not only did Labour – 90 percent of whose MPs backed staying in the EU – badly misjudge the mood of its supporters, when it realised something was wrong during the campaign, it was unable to do much about it.

    Despite sending in big beasts such as Gordon Brown and Sadiq Khan to talk up the benefits of the EU, and hinting that further controls on immigration would be needed, it was unable to shift the impression of a growing schism between those running the party and its base.

    Although Alan Johnson, the head of Labour In, has been singled out for criticism, it is likely that Jeremy Corbyn – who declined to share a platform with pro-EU politicians of other parties – will take most of the blame.

    Critics have said his lukewarm support for the EU – which he summed up as 7 out of ten in one appearance – filtered through to the entire campaign and his emphasis on the need for a “social Europe” simply did not resonate with enough people.

    Boris Johnson leaves after casting their votes at a polling station on the EU Referendum in London, United Kingdom on June 23, 2016.

    6. Big beasts – Boris Johnson and Michael Gove
    We always knew a handful of cabinet ministers would support Brexit but it was Michael Gove and Boris Johnson’s declaration of support which really put rocket boosters under the campaign.

    The justice secretary brought intellectual heft and strategic nous to the table while the former mayor of London, after a bout of soul-searching, brought star appeal and ability to appeal across the party divide.

    The two men were deployed deftly, Boris Johnson cast in the role of foot soldier as he criss-crossed the country on the Vote Leave bus, pulling pints and brandishing cornish pasties in his wake.

    Meanwhile, Mr Gove did much of the heavy lifting, helping to put together Leave’s post-Brexit manifesto as well as facing the public in TV referendum specials on Sky News and the BBC.

    Then there was Nigel Farage, the face of Euroscepticism in the UK but also a potential loose cannon for the Conservative dominated official campaign? The UKIP leader, as is his forte, did his own thing and occasionally provoked controversy but also played a vital role on the ground in motivating his party’s supporters and numerous others to go to the polls.

    7. Older voters flock to polls
    While experts will pore over the finer details of turnout over the coming days and weeks, the cry will inevitably go up that it was older voters which won it for Leave – particularly in the south, south-west, Midlands and the north east.

    It is a matter of fact that the older you are, the more likely you are to make the effort to vote – 78 percent of those 65 or over voted in the 2015 election, compared with 43 percent of 18-24 year olds and 54 percent of 25-34 year olds.

    Despite the last minute rush to register – which saw 2.6 million people sign up, many of them younger voters, between 15 May and the extended deadline of 9 June – the breakdown may not be radically different this time.

    Factor in research suggesting that support for Brexit was significantly higher among those aged 55 and over than among younger age groups – three out of every five voters aged 65 or over said they wanted to leave – then you have the foundation for Friday’s result.

    Of course, it is not as simple as that, with many younger voters will also have supported Brexit across England and Wales. But a big inter-generational divide in voting patterns is just one of the many talking points going forward.

    8. Europe always slightly alien
    The UK’s relationship with Europe has never been simple nor static.

    It took the country years to join what was then the European Community and, even then, when it was last put to the vote in 1975 many backed it grudgingly or for narrow economic reasons.

    Many of those have since changed their minds, with their earlier ambivalence turning into outright hostility. There have been decades of scepticism towards the EU among politicians and in large parts of the UK media.

    The younger generation were generally seen as pro-EU but it remains to be seen – once the details of the voting is looked into – how the result broke down by age.

    What appears clear from the campaign is that the vote to Leave was as much a statement about the country’s national identity, and all that involves, as it was about its economic and political future.

  4. How is Brexit “striking a blow against the neoliberal economic edifice”? The leave/remain divide cuts across the political spectrum, and the issues are about control over a nations destiny rather than ideology over economics.

  5. Wholehearted agree with this post. It’s the elite who are rattled by this result, NOT the 99%. Bomber’s post on Brexit made no sense to me. After all, the EU is at its heart a Free Trade Agreement like the, ahm, you know, TPPA which I thought we were all against here??? The British people made very much the right decision imo. They’re taking their sovereignty back from the globalist corporate elite and have sent a VERY clear message. I suspect Nexit (Netherlands) will be next.

    • Yes Nitirum, as I watched that 89 yr old WW2 veteran with tears flowing down his face saying in Birmingham “they have saved my country I now have my country back”, it sent a sweet sad message to my inner self that we neglected the older people who had seen a better country ^60 yrs ago when they were a PROUD RACE.

      As a kiwi of 72 yrs old I find it painful to look back when or country was also a proud nation where no crime or murders or folks without homes or jobs were the standard as is the case now.

      If this Government carry on without considering the same issues they will be out of a job next year too.

  6. This is excellent news for New Zealand!!! Before the EU, Britain was our largest trading partner and being the 5th largest economy in the world returning to that would be fantastic for our meat and dairy trade. Could go back to the good old days, when just about everything was better. Negotiating a great trade deal with the UK would be at the forefront of my mind right now if I were in government.

    This is what happens when too many people “feel the pain” of financial deprivation when most of the money is being funneled to the top. The downfall of megalomaniacs is that they are not satisfied until they have it all. The pendulum has finally swung too far.


    i reckon it is more the collection/manifestation of all the ugly prejudices/ignorances that the likes of farage/peters play on..

    ..there is little rebellion against neoliberalism here..these people are incoherent/inchoate – and could barely say the word neoliberalism – let alone marshall the intellectual energy to articulate this opposition in any way/form.. the voter profiles by the polling company owned by that tory twat lord ashcroft shows..(as i posted in the christine rose thread..)..

    ..this heroic rebel against neoliberalism you conjure up is actually an ignorant reactionary easily manipulated by the cunning/ farage etc..

    ..who hates immigrants/greens/feminism/multiculturalism in equal measures.. i noted in that rose thread..this is yr bog-standard nz firster writ large..

    ..a profile that fits most of them like a glove..

      • seeing as yr comment above is in total support of this attempt by the author to intellectualise the unspeakable..yr concern @ my take is understandable..

        ..and i re-read my comment and wd ask you what is ‘patronising’ about it..?

        ..go and read the profile/description of the leave voter done by ashcrofts’ polling company that i refer to..

        ..there you will see..that like the average nz first voter/supporter..they hate greens/feminists/immigration/multiculturalism in equal amounts..

        (are you going/trying to tell me that nz first voters/mp’s don’t carry around that bundle/bag of prejudices..?..and with some pride..?..)

        ..what on earth is ‘patronising’ about pointing those facts out..?

        ..and if you are indeed a nz first voter/supporter you wd know that well..

        ..having shared verbal prejudice-hugs with them yrslf…eh..?

        • For the record, I have never voted NZF. What was patronising about your post is that it insinuates only uneducated redneck hillbillies voted for Leave. i.e. “these people are incoherent/inchoate” comes across as a thinly veiled insult to those that wanted to (imo rightfully and justifably) take their country back from the debilitating grip of the EU/UK technocrats.

          • mmmm @ Nitrium – you might just have to make allowances for that ‘Phil Ure’ eh? There’s obviously something wrong with him /sarc
            I fear you don’t realise that this social media medium doesn’t allow the various nuances that you might pick up with a face-to-face discussion.
            If you did, unless that fella Phil has changed radically from the one time I think I met him – you’s leave in at least a partial agreement.

            But hey! this is virtual reality. So that fekkin Ure character is a total muppet eh?

      • I could be patronsing too and ask if you’re related to Lanthanide.

        I wish we could all get together sometime and I’d knock your fekkin heads together, and Phil could jump on his scooter and make his escape.

        Jesus these places (or should I say ‘spaces;’) get needleslly intense sometimes (eh?)

    • Firstly Phillip, it’s pretty arrogant to assume that you and only a small number of people understand what neo-liberalism is given that the information is so accessible on something called the WORLD WIDE web.

      Secondly, anyone with half a brain knows that if mass immigration was increasing living standards and wealth for the majority of people in the U.K, the immigrants would be greeted with open arms and that’s where your racism argument falls down.
      Instead, for most people their access to services such as social housing, welfare and health are under heavy strain as a result.

      • firstly lib – i never said that..i said a large proportion of those leave voters were responding to the racist dog-whistles from farage etc…which were all feckin’ lies..

        ..and that for most of them if you said neoliberaslism to them they wd stare blankly at you..

        ..all they know is that nobody cares about them – govts will do nothing for them except further screw them over.. i said..this incoherent/inchoate vote to leave is their scream of revenge..

        ..there is no rhyme or reason to it..but it is the only chance they have had in a long time to strike back.. strike at the feminism/green-politics/multiculturalism/immigration spectres that so scare them..

        ..and like these people you also want to argue immigration as the cause of our current ills..

        ..when in fact it is 30+ yrs of uncaring neoliberalism that has built this carbunkle that is now bursting…

        ..i think you have been listening to winston peters too

        .a nz first supporter/voter are you..?

        • I have been listening to what actual people in the U.K are saying.

          Yes, I did vote for Winston Peters in the by-election, and anyone who has read my other posts would know that.

          I didn’t say immigration was the cause of our current ills, but since we’re on that subject it sure as hell isn’t helping. Ask any Aucklander that can’t buy their first home because they are competing with cashed up immigrants and property investors, in many cases (immigrants who are also property investors), who will now be tenants in their own country, possibly for life. Or people that can’t find a job at all because there is even more competition for them than before. These things have absolutely nothing to do with racism, they have to do with, quite understandably, fear of resource scarcity.

          Do you really not see that flooding countries with immigrants is a further extension of the neo-liberal agenda, countries that can’t/won’t take care of their own poor? Countries thats infrastructure is already under strain with the citizens they already have, due to cutbacks? The fact that the same policy is being mimicked all over the western world? Are you really that naive?

          • we are a rich country..if the political will were there we would have no poverty..

   try and blame immigrants for the making the rich richer/the poor poorer policies of the last 30 yrs from both the tories and labour..

   just nz first bullshit.

  8. Dear Curwen, you appear to be promoting economic nationalism, which may serve a national elite, rather than international corporate elite, is this really the solution?

    Surely, Farrage is another hypocrite of the worst kind, why try to portray him as some sort of revolutionary, he comes from the same kind of background as our PM, as far as I have heard, a trader of sorts.

    Also this:
    “Expenses disclosure

    In May 2009, The Observer reported a Foreign Press Association speech given by Farage in which he had said that over his period as a Member of the European Parliament he had received a total of £2 million of taxpayers’ money in staff, travel, and other expenses.[38] In response, Farage said that in future all UKIP MEPs would provide monthly expense details.[38]”

    “Tax avoidance

    Although previously denouncing tax avoidance in a speech to the European Parliament, in which he attacked European bureaucrats who earned £100,000 a year and paid 12% tax under EU rules,[91] Farage admitted in 2013 to hiring a tax advisor to set up the Farage Family Educational Trust 1654, a trust Farage claimed to be used “for inheritance purposes”, on the Isle of Man.[92] Farage later described this “as standard practice”, but insisted he “decided I didn’t want it. I never ever used it. The Isle of Man is not a tax haven.”[93] Farage has since claimed that this was a mistake, in part because it cost him too much money,[92] but has criticised the political discourse surrounding tax avoidance as a “race to the bottom”.[94]”

    A flamboyant and controversial character, why put him up there with a kind of Che Guevara cap?

    FFS, I think you are losing your common sense, mate.

  9. Yes excellent post. The exercise fully exposed the so called left which no longer understands why it has an existence. Actually the so called right has no meaning either. The world over, the play actors in these so called political parties provide the front of curtain farce which masks the plundering and pulverising totalitarian corporate beast and the world banking mafia.

    • I HAVE BEEN WATCHING BBC NOW FOR 36 HOURS AND WHAT HAS BEEN SENT BYY ALL IS THAT SOVEREIGNTY or independence was the prime motive for the shift here.

      This also is what Scotland & Ireland also want so no big surprise here.

      It was wrongly said that “immigration” was the cause!

      No it was sovereignty and independence like almost all the globe also wants if anyone’s noticed, so Key and Co take heed!!!!

      • Ai!
        Sovereignty, and the right to self determination of one’s-self, family, community and any and all we have an affinity with.

        Seems they fucked up eh?

  10. Curwen, the reason you’re confused is because there is more than one kind of Left.

    The people who overwhelmingly voted for Brexit were real, North of England working class people. Take a look at the graphics if you don’t believe me.

    The people running the Labour Party (both in the UK and here) aren’t real working class. They’re mostly middle class office workers and teachers. Most have never done a day of actual manual work. Most have some form of lightweight tertiary education. Chardonnay Socialists and Trustafarians.

    The Brexit vote was a middle finger to the chattering classes, the media luvvies but most of all to the PC clowns claiming to be the Left today.

  11. UK had a referendum on Brexit. PM Cameron lost and resigns.

    NZ had a referendum on ‘Fleg change’. PM Key lost and didn’t resign.

    It would be more democratic if Key put the TPPA to a binding referendum.

    Never mind, we Kiwis have our own binding referendum in November 2017.

    Let’s see how neoliberalism, selling State assets, unchecked immigration, unaffordable houses, clogged roads (impending road tolls), Kiwis living in cars, TPPA, GCSB, dirty politics do in that upcoming binding referendum!

    BTW Curwen, I wonder how my nanesake, and your NZ First leader views a defeat for neoliberalism. He’d be watching the Brexit – neoliberal backlash with a mixture of interest and survivalist cunning.

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