In this post, Alex Nunn suggests that the EU referendum result was the product of a New Politics of Inequality and that politicians, academics and the public have an urgent responsibility to respond to it.
Politics through Facebook
This week I was prompted to remember the birthday of one of my oldest school friends by a helpful message from Facebook. I didn’t really need a reminder, but nevertheless I responded to Facebook’s exhortation and dutifully posted the obligatory – if low key – ‘Happy Birthday’ message on his Facebook page.
But I don’t expect a response, and perhaps I don’t deserve one.
On Friday July 24th- – the morning of the EU referendum result – I foolishly entered into a Facebook quarrel with this old friend. He was posting in muted but triumphal terms about the decision to leave the EU, and I objected to some of the explanations used. He obviously received several posts and messages that were negative, and, despite some enthusiastic support from others in his network, he posted on Saturday morning that he didn’t want to offend anyone and would delete the posts in question. I suspecthe thought some people – and I fell into that camp – were sore losers and should ‘just get on with it’, but like his initial post his tone was polite, consensual and intended to pour oil on troubled waters.
So why had his posts motivated me in the first place?
Frankly, the reason was that I recognised his concerns. He explained his antipathy toward the EU as a result of concerns about de-industrialisation, the loss of well paid and secure employment. He was worried about the social implications of this; in terms of increased insecurity and a sense of disruption of the local communities that had relied on these industries. I know from our friendship that he and his family are long-standing members of those communities which they hold dear. His values are of commitment to place and others.
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