Brexit. It’s real

And there we have it.

The sheep didn’t follow blindly after all.

Stephen Crabb, the work and pensions secretary, (what work, what pension?) has said the government failed to get its message across to the white working class.

And I think that is one of the themes that is emerging this evening is that old industrial white working-class areas clearly haven’t bought the message that we have tried hard to communicate.

Well, brownie points there Stephen. Perhaps the working classes aren’t quite so stupid as you give them credit for.

Although the Guardian analysis by demographics points out the main reason for the out vote is lack of higher education. Maybe some people never had the chance?

Education. Money. Age. Social class etc. what a surprise
Education. Money. Age. Social class etc. what a surprise

I have only two degrees so maybe that explains my out vote. A neighbour who is a former Oxford don was voting out too. He’s probably uneducated too.

What the geographical breakdown shows is the majority of university cities voted in, eg Leeds, York, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Cardiff, Bangor, Oxford, Cambridge and London of course. But Bradford, Birmingham and Southampton voted out, so that’s not a total guide.

Green MP Caroline Lucas described the referendum result as heartbreaking and called for voting reform to allow the public to better express their anger.

Speaking to BBC News she said:

I think this is an absolutely devastating result. Personally, I feel pretty heartbroken. It has revealed massive divisions within our country. There is such levels of alienation and anger and frustration which is real wake up call to Westminster. We have got here basically people rebelling against 98% of MPs.

The anger that we are hearing from around the country actually was less to do with EU per se and more to do with a sense of just having been un-heard, un-listened to for so many years.

This is accurate too. And this referendum was the best way for people to express their discontent.

However, to go back to Crabb’s point – and mine from a previous EU blog post – this has always been a class issue. Why no one saw that is beyond me.

Looking at the Guardian map again, what we see is a classic swathe of blue across the old industrial and manufacturing areas. Coal, steel, cars, potteries, etc. These people have been treated like dirt ever since Thatcher destroyed British industry and the unions. People have long memories. The EU hasn’t brought more work to these areas. Instead it has brought lots of immigrants seeking work in a non-existent pool where the current fish struggle to survive.

Final result
Final result

If you add more fish to the pond all the time, but only add the same amount of food, or even less, it’s obvious the native fish are going to get a little agitated. They don’t go on holidays to Tuscany or delight in French wine in Provence. They don’t have holiday homes in Brittany. They might have moved on from the factory closedown holiday in July and a week in Blackpool or Scarborough to spend a week or even two in Fuengirola, but they aren’t in the middle class arty farty league. Thanks to Gerard for the link to that amazingly patronising article.

If you don’t mix with the oiks you don’t get to hear what or how they think. And their lack of education and working class background doesn’t invalidate their perspective. Or does it? Because that’s what it sounds like.

Both Crabb and Lucas are saying the In campaign got the message wrong. No. You. Did. Not. Listen. What you did was Remainsplained. You talked down to people. You are still doing it now.

I just think there is a disconnect with the white working class. We didn’t get our core messages across to them.

When we tried to explain to them just how important the European single market was to their jobs, their livelihoods, we didn’t quite land those messages successfully.

Sweetheart. Some people don’t have jobs. Some people see their jobs being taken by Eastern Europeans working more hours for less money.

Now that’s great if you have a nice secure office job and/or a pension. Especially if the nice Polish plumber or the Estonian electrician or the Czech carpenter will all do a cheap job for you. Invariably on the black. But what about Peter the plumber, Eddie the electrician or Chippy the carpenter? They see their livelihood disappearing, many thanks to the EU.

I have a friend who works in agriculture. She did seasonal work. Year by year, her work decreased as eastern Europeans sharing ten to a caravan, or whatever, undercut the rate and pushed the original British workers out.

How on earth can people justify this?

That’s why people voted out. Because they don’t have decent middle class jobs or ‘livelihoods’, they see their life deteriorating, they worry about money and not whether to go to Kos or Santorini on fucking holiday.

And being told what to do by elitist snobby toerags doesn’t go down well.

Again, from Kate Hoey (Labour) on the same lines:

“There is this huge disconnect in Labour areas, the further out of London you get from the Labour leadership. A big discussion is going to have happen about what happens to our party if we are ever going to win these people back.

Yes. Very good. It’s not just a north/south divide, it’s an everywhere outside London divide.


Broadly 48:52%

Gibraltar topped the list of In votes. Unsurprisingly. A 96% In vote and the first result to be returned.

Gib result
Gib result

Gib was followed in terms of high votes by London boroughs voting In with 70+% votes.

Cornwall was the last result. An Out one. 43:56%.

Boston was the top Out vote with 75%. Lincolnshire and The Fens didn’t seem too keen on the EU.

Top tens
Top tens

Yorkshire did me proud with only three In districts (York, Leeds, and obviously Harrogate), and my partner was pleased to see Wales bucked predictions and came out with a solid Out vote. The EU is not creating wealth in these deprived areas.

Next up: the Spanish general election on Sunday (26 June). Let’s hope Rajoy gets the push.

Oh, and calls in France and The Netherlands already for referendums.

Interesting times …

Meanwhile my husband has had an unexpected 60th birthday present with this result, and it’s birthweekend for us. And summer hours call. So intermittent blogging from now on.

Sheep. Running freely
Sheep. Running freely

116 comments on “Brexit. It’s real

  1. You gotta feel sorry for the Scots though? They wanted out of the UK and many who voted no to that were persuaded by Britain being part of the EU (if I understood the interview that I saw with a Scottish politician). Northern Ireland voted to stay, sorry, remain. So there they are on an island, sharing a border with member of the EU…


    • Northern Ireland was mixed as I recall. But yeah, Scots did vote to remain, but you got to remember Scotland does rely on UK funding. For example, always had traditionally higher NHS funding per capita than England. Look at Wales. A surprising clear vote in. Look at Gibraltar. On the Iberian peninsula. Sharing a border with a member of the EU. And a 96% vote in.


  2. I have been surprised by some of the results, New forest, Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch all voted to Leave. I don’t know why I was surprised. Probably because they are normally conservative, but they defied and spoke with their heads. or crosses. Now Cameron has decided to step down, I think he is rather gutless. He should have stood up and carried on for the people, and kept hold of his dummy. Maybe it is a good thing,,, we shall see. by the way I voted out.


    • I have been too. Poole surprised me. My vampire neighbour woke us up at 5 am so I started tracking and was surprised. Very surprised. I saw the early Gib result, the Newcastle one, and then Sunderland blew it out of the water. I mentioned class, which I think is a big issue, but age is too. Older people remember life before the EU. What was wrong with it? Stuff all.


      • That unfortunately was one of my comparisons. I remember Uk before EU and I cannot see improvements, at least not for the UK people. Forever paying back debt and the NHS always in trouble, wards closing and lack of staff. I tried to listen to both sides but neither changed my mind. The mud slinging and scaremongering pissed me off. All us people wanted genuine information.


  3. Woke up just now at 4.00 a.m. on this side of the Atlantic thinking about the referendum result. Thanks for the perspective because you seem to have a finger on the pulse of the nation and beyond. Now, how do I get back to sleep? Ah yes, I’ll count the sheep at the beginning and end of your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was awake at five and didn’t want to look … but … and then watching the results was addictive. I’ve lived and worked in enough parts of the UK (and Europe) to have a feel. Sadly not a good feel. People are not happy. Simple as that.

      The sheep are lovely 💤


  4. Well, ever since Europe formed the union, migration by Europeans to Australia stopped and since then many from the Middle East, Viet Nam and China have taken to forming the queue to enter Australia. Here too, is a divide between the rich and poor. We have a kind of class system based more on money and not so much on Lords or special inherited privileges.
    Some say, the answer to all this inequality is education. Here in Australia too a divided system of private and public education, with all the paraphernalia attached to it, including prestige and standing. Jobs for the boys and well nurtured elitism. Our system of education, as it does in England, teaches and breeds inequality.
    Australia has now reached a level they can’t even cope with a couple of boats that arrive with refugees. Both main parties are outdoing themselves in nurturing the population in xenophobic hatred for foreigners. Of course, Europe and its millions of refugees is now used to warn what would happen if Australia became more tolerant. The ranting of jobs being taken by refugees, hordes climbing over dunes and zinc fences, taking our women and having strange dietary habits, dole bludging, social security fraud are all heaped on the hapless refugee.
    All nonsense of course. We had the White Australia Policy till 1974. This is again being given a shot in the arm.
    Intolerance and isolating is not the answer.


      • We did live close by in Balmain. Redfern was one of the more intimate and inclusive suburbs. I know that it was also a suburb were riots occurred when it was also next door to social housing with disadvantaged and indigenous people.
        The answer again is education. All schools should be good and it should not be a matter of having money or not, which school one’s children go to.
        England still has a class system. The Tories are accused of ignoring the poor and jobless in the North, but what could the EU do about that?
        Redfern today is a place where two million dollars buys you a modest 2 bedroom house without parking.


        • My partner lived in Redfern in the early eighties. It was a shithole. Full of dole bludgers, druggies, and vietnamese. It seems life has moved on in Redfern. $2m ? Eeek!

          It’s no longer just the north. It’s everywhere that has seen industry stripped away. The midlands, the Kent coalfields, the northwest, you name it. And, what the EU has done, is provide grants to companies to help them relocate elsewhere in Europe. How very helpful. I can post a FB list if you like :)


  5. It actually broke out perfectly along the lines that Socrates suggested 2,500 years ago;: One principle of capitalism is that it drives wealth from the less wealthy to the more wealthy: i.e.every year more of the total wealth is held by a smaller percentage of the population. That is progressive by year so those people lower than the median income would remember having greater wealth pre-EU (which is true) and would vote to leave the EU recognizing that as time goes by they have less wealth, lower disposable income and poorer services. They blame this on the EU when, in fact, it is capitalism and it is ubiquitous. And they can;t run from it – ti will continue to inform their lives regardless of what they do or don’t do. The total economic wealth is as large or larger than ever, it is just not available to the lower incomes. This will eventually (after centuries) lead to a revolution and blood shed jf it is not addressed. It is simple to fix by reining in capitalism but that would take the buy on of the wealthy and they like it the way it is. Lately many high power think tanks in North America have been sounding the alarm about this – indicating it will end badly if something is not done soon. Such simple efforts as mandatory profit sharing would help realign wealth but that is unlikely to happen.

    So, yes the exit vote was broken along economic lines as people ponder their change in wealth while in the EU and the lower incomes find it lacking. Best of luck, as to my mind, short of addressing capitalism, the next best thing is to allow an income adjustment to keep the buying power of an economic block. Voting for out will result in long term pain eventually.


      • The point being that the wealth exists and is growing (the economy is working); it is not making it to the middle to lower classes – and that is happening everywhere in the world and is a function of capitalism.

        Liked by 1 person

          • Well,the best measure of wealth creation is usually deemed to be GDP. In the last 10 years British GDP Growth has dipped below zero three times – once seriously in 2009 (as in the rest of the word as well) and for two periods in 2012 and 2013 (less than .2%). Other wise, in the remaining 36 out of 40 quarters it has grown by an average of .4% (including the last quarter). That is the definition of wealth creation – and it is positive and real – just not shared.


          • Oh come on roughseas, you are just being argumentative -you know the answer to that as well as i do. The larger the economy, the lower the percentage growth (or loss) figures per real currency change. So if I had a store selling 1 can of Pepsi a day and my sales added one more can to two cans – I just experienced a 100% increase in sales. If I was selling 10,000 cans and added one can sales that would be an increase of .01%. The bigger the economy, the smaller the percentage change.


          • Bwahaha!My Dad managed a dozen breadmen who delivered to a wide geographical area including towns and rural stores. Every year the company had a contest whereby the driver with the greatest percent increase in sales got a trip to a tropical getaway. The guys with the smaller volume routes won every year because they had to achieve a much smaller increase to get a big percentage.He got tired of this and arranged for one driver who had no chance to actually give some of his stops to a driver with a big route for the duration of the contest. That driver -who had in 15 years never had a chance – won the prize that year. Dad gave the stops back to the original driver when the contest was over. Ha!

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Very interesting post and comments. Greece voted to stay in last summer despite the more than obvious flaws, but our reasons, both historical and geopolitical, are different. It’s been very costly, though


  7. Interesting read. And comments. The economics of it all is way too complicated for me. On paper the clout of an united block and influx of cheaper labour driving growth all sound good, but viewed from the human angle on the ground it seems flawed somehow. Best of luck! To you, the EU and to the rest of the world :)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I employ carers so I have a different viewpoint on this one. I employ a group of brilliant local carers, all British and a group of 24 hour ladies who are British now but mostly hail from Africa originally.

    I am one of the horrible people who holidays in France and drinks wine and yada yada. I am one of the horrible people who employs carers who were not born in the UK for my parents because if I pay the cost of all British carers my parents will outlast their savings and assets. Yes, the state might, possibly step in but I can’t bank on that, especially not now we’ve handed it to Boris. And if they do they will move them into a home, or change the carers they are using to the ones the local authority uses, whether or not they are any good, whether or not my folks are settled with who they have, whether or not my folks love their current carers like family, whether or not they’ve been looking after my folks for years, whether or not disrupting routine is the unkindest thing you can do to dementia patients.

    That said, I absolutely hear you about agriculture. A friend of mine has a deeply autistic son. One of the few jobs he could get, and do well in, was picking fruit and veg, but as the farmers started contracting in organised groups of labourers through gangers etc, the jobs he could do, which he enjoyed and which gave him a sense of self-worth, dried up.

    On the wider issue of immigration, I think we are in exceptional times and I was really saddened by how few people seemed to ‘get’ the parallel between Jewish people fleeing persecution in the 1930s and 40s and the people fleeing Islamic State now. Jeez, even the political rhetoric is similar. I feel this particularly strongly because my family had relatives in Vichy France and they disappeared in the war. To the camps? Death by natural causes? Shot as resistance? Shot afterwards as collaborators? We have no way of knowing. Perhaps the Germans do get it, maybe that’s why they are so accepting.

    Back then, in the 1930s, despite Mosely and his ilk, we did what I think is the British thing, we extended a helping hand and let many of them in. That generosity of spirit is what Britain is supposed to be about, to me. Ironically, our fabled (and rather embarrassing) sense of superiority to foreigners may well have sprung from our belief that we had an innate sense of social justice, fair play and even-handedness for everyone that other nations just didn’t have (even if we didn’t really).

    That the leave faction campaigned on the race card left me with a bad taste in the mouth. I fear we have lost any vestiges of ‘the British way’ somewhere along the line, and all we have left is the sense of superiority, with none of the ethics or principles that might have given it the remotest hint of justification. I hope I’m wrong.

    As a kept woman, I’m probably not qualified to comment about the continuing feeling of persecution among the English working class. But I do now how much shit I’ve had for being born in the south at the hands of northern folks from far more economically prosperous towns then my own. There are many working class folks in my family – my husband grew up in a tower block just outside Glasgow anything we have, he’s earned, from nothing – but they’re Scottish working class and the attitude is clearly different. You only have to look at how many Scottish and Irish folks there are around the world to see that when things aren’t going well for them, they are not afraid to up and move in search of better prospects. My in-laws took drastic measures to improve their lot, and seem to be a bit bemused as to why other folks in the same boat prefer to stay put, stay angry and spend their time and energy – even 40 years on – in bitterness and blamestorming.

    In short, except it was quite long, wasn’t it, I guess what I’m trying to say is that there are two sides to every story. It all depends the view from where you’re standing and how you read what you see.

    Still, what’s done is done, we have to make the best of it, but trust me, the mood here in the UK seemed to be racist and ugly leading up to the vote. I just hope we can put it all behind us now and pick up the pieces together.

    Although, yes, that article was condescending.



    Liked by 2 people

    • I didn’t mention skin colour. For goodness sake! Who cares about that? If they are British, then that’s it. Just like my father helped out Pakistani colleagues.

      Britain did stuff all when Dachau started in 1933. Let’s be honest.

      We didn’t intervene until SIX years later.

      Loads of people travel the world. If they have the opportunity. Not just Irish and Scottish. Welsh and Yorkshire too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sorry, my bad, I didn’t mean it to sound like a rant and I know you didn’t mention skin colour but you mentioned foreign workers and the way the Leave campaign was fought looked pretty racist to me – Stay was just as crap in a different way – and neither of them seemed to be much about facts. However, the sheep, to me, look like the people blindly doing what Farage told them to – which is what it felt like here. From here in East Anglia it looks more like a victory for the BNP and the Frintonites. Which is what I meant about perspective. Because as the original bleeding heart liberal that completely freaked me out.

        It makes me feel better to think it might just be people socking it to the government because they really do suck. But I read a mention, somewhere, of folks in their 50s registering to vote for the first time in their lives so they could make their voices heard. I appreciate that feeling is strong. But actually, if folks like that had been voting all along, maybe we wouldn’t be in this shit.

        Also the problem of cheap foreign labour is partly the labour government under Tony Blair’s making. Back in about 2000 you could earn about £50k as a bricky on the Terminal 5 site. Why? Because one generation had all retired and the incoming generation were all going to university, instead. Nobody wanted to take up a trade. So that’s Tony Blair, thanks Tony, lauding University as the be all and end all – I went to one and it did nothing for my job prospects but I digress, result, we had a massive skills deficit. The big firms were having to bring tradesmen in from elsewhere in Europe. So folks from other countries started coming here to work. And they came from poorer countries so they were prepared to work for what felt like a fortune for them but was less than our tradesmen earned. And they did it for longer hours and cheerfully. And cash strapped folks – not just the rich – employed them.

        And l think we’ve been educated to believe that we can have stuff for less than it costs, this is happening in farming, which is why I think the leave vote in rural areas is big, because nobody would listen to farmers and our dairy industry is pretty much decimated. Basically, in in Britain it costs more to produce stuff than people can afford. I read somewhere that about 200 years time, the price of things will actually reflect what they cost to make cocoa will be an expensive luxury. Until that happens there is always going to somebody, somewhere, who will undercut and there will always result in the workforces in other areas feeling it, keenly.

        But what worries me about this most is whether we’ve gone a bit draconian over the wrong question and done the equivalent of gouging our own eyes out with a penknife because we don’t like the view.

        Personally, I don’t want a fragmented Europe, it’s right next door and Britain should be in there, leading it, trying to make it work. It will be interesting, but let’s hope it’s good-things interesting rather than rise-of-facism interesting.**

        And class is just something they made up to keep the working man down. There’s no such thing as class, it’s just financial racism; an excuse people use to be nasty to one another when there isn’t an easier reason; a way of turning people against each other so they are too full of bile towards their fellow men to criticise the government or notice what it’s doing. *

        Also, if you’re working class, and you do well for yourself and become middle class … what happens then?

        To be honest, I blame Cameron for being enough of a tit to have the vote in the first place.



        * I’ve probably punctuated that wrong.
        ** I’m sorry, I’m a historian, I’m a doom master. With any luck it will settle, nothing much will happen and everything will go back to normal only slightly different… except with Boris Johnson as PM, gak.
        *** and I’ve got the footnotes are the wrong way round.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Never read either campaign. Can make up my own mind.
          Sheep? Well for anyone.
          Never heard of 50-year-olds voting for the first time. I’ve voted since whenever.
          No. On the skills. Just no.
          Cocoa is hardly a necessity of life.
          Britain has NEVER led Europe. Nor will it. Come off it. Only Germany is currently bigger than Britain. Talk about jostling for power.
          Sure, there’s no class. Tell that to the unemployed working classes.
          I’m a historian too. That’s why I get the race riots right.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Mwahahahargh! Cocoa was a shit choice but was the only one I could think of, apart from the far too complicated helium situation.

            Britain has never tried to lead in Europe and having been too aloof to join at the start the EEC was devised without us and without our input.

            On the skills, not now, for deffo, but where I was living, then (Cambridgeshire on one count – plumber – and a mate’s dad – bricky – in Hounslow), that’s what those two skilled labourers, themselves, told me 15 years ago at the turn of the century. I can only report what I was told.

            Totally disagree about class because I am on the receiving end of it, often. It’s the accent, too Home Counties to be a good poor person, too many dropped aitches for the toffs to like me, too southern for the northerners to like me. Indeed I think I can claim first hand experience of prejudice against me on grounds of being all three classes as I’ve achieved almost a full house, having been derided by someone at some point for being everything: upper, middle and working class and southern. I’m everybody’s bastard, me. Phnark.

            But, I therefore feel I have very real, first hand experience of what total and utter gobshite the whole idea of class is. Although if I’m a wanker for being upper class, middle class working class and southern depending on which instance it was, it might just prove that I’m a wanker, full stop.

            But it does seem to me that the sooner we learn that there are varying degrees of well off ness and that shits come in all flavours and all income brackets, and all geographic locations, rich, squeezed hated middle, southern, northern and poor! The better for all of us.

            So, you and I normally see eye to eye but on this one we’re just going to have to beg to differ. I believe class, and the concept of class, is second only to racism as the most devisive and poisonous thing in British culture. Possibly, I admit, because on this one I have some serious baggage.

            As for history, seriously, have you not read some of the rhetoric about immigrants that’s flying about? I’ll have to go find some now but on that one we’ll have to agree to differ too. It reminds me a lot of the war and pre war stuff I’ve seen.

            We just have to agree to see differently on this i think, But hey, no two folks can have a 100% idealogical match.



            Liked by 1 person

          • I should have done one reply, but it was easier to reply separately. Lazy me. And hell, it is my birthday!

            From memory (reading, not personal), France, Germany and Belgium were recovering faster from the war than Britain was. Hence being able to form the ECSC. I wouldn’t say we were aloof and we did try for twelve years to join.

            Skills. Then, and now are different. But even in 2000 we knew plenty of skilled tradespeople. Doubt they would have wanted to work in London. Currently, we have a mate who works London-based. He gets his accommodation plus £175 a day, a 12-hour day. But as you say, this is 15/16 years later.

            More than class, I think money is the most divisive issue. However, I’ve been called ‘Posh Yorkshire’ (is there such a thing?), been physically attacked for my school uniform (posh again), and laughed at because of my parents’ working in trade. We all get it. At university, southerners were surprised, and I joke not, to find the north wasn’t a complete belt of back to back Coronation Street houses. We had countryside! Lakes! Coasts! Georgian and Victorian houses! Hell, we even had stately homes eg Castle Howard. We don’t all say ‘eeh by gum’.

            We’ve lived ooop north and darn sarf. As well as elsewhere. Makes no difference to us. Just as one neighbour is a millionaire and another is a streetsweeper. Who cares? Not me.

            But no. I haven’t read the rhetoric about immigrants. No, I lie, I did read one thing about people receiving £26 a day – per person – food vouchers for Tesco! I do hope that wasn’t true. But I also read about highly educated young people vs thick older people not actually having got round to register for voting. And then complaining. The Grauniad had some interesting analysis, ie it agreed with mine, talking about money and working classes. And then, our intellectual reporters came out with the same comment, ‘but it’s the wrong decision’ without even realising that totally says it all.

            Liked by 1 person

          • ;-) Agree with what you say about young folks, the only three people under 30 I asked didn’t vote. Two because they couldn’t decide and one wanted to remain but decided not to vote. (Sigh). Still now that they’ve discovered, the hard way, that however uncool politics is, it decides our future, perhaps they’ll take more part in it.

            Haven’t seen that Tesco food voucher thing – I hope it isn’t true too. But Nigel Farage’s campaign poster… that completely freaked me out mainly because if the fascist dictatorship ever does come, I suspect I will be one of the first people to be put up against a wall and shot!




          • Sadly we know lots of young, well 30ish, who have no interest in voting.
            Have no interest in Farage, yuk, Boris, yuk, well or any of them. And that’s the point. People don’t like them. Any of them.
            Well, I used to be blonde, but green eyes. He was, and blue eyes. So I could be up there with you. Che sera etc.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I always think… politics is a it like when the cat chucks up on the kitchen floor. You can’t just leave it there, you have to get down and dirty and clear it up. Likewise, politics sucks, politicians suck, but however unattractive, they define our future so we have to engage with them and hold them accountable so they will do what their country wants them to, not what they want with the country.

            That’s why I’m the original floating voter: because I think they’re nearly all lying duplicitous bastards and the party for which they stand is often irrelevant! :-0


          • BTW, quite important to point out that I don’t think voting in was the thing to do because One set of politicians did or didn’t think it was a good idea but because leave was playing the race card at that point, which I found scary. I began this as a leave bod. Probably nothing much will change But McMinis school has a wide racial mix. The parents are good people, and it looks like a fair few of them will have to leave now. Our little community will miss them. and if he wants to work in Europe easily … He can’t. The vote just seems to have been about a lot of other things than what it was supposed to be for and I just wish that battle, or decision to stick it to the man, had been over a different issue. The last election, for example. I’ll shut up now. It’s 2 am, time for bed and I’m knackered.

            Liked by 1 person

          • 2 am?!!

            I don’t think anyone has suggested Brexit is about kicking people out. Maybe they have, and I haven’t read that. But I can’t see it happening.

            We live in a very mixed community. There are at least eight nationalities in my block (of fifteen flats). For my part, I like that.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Yeh, we’re on the same page there, I think one problem was that while the Leave campaign did actually try to sideline Nigel Farage, but UKIP campaigned for Leave on an immigration ticket with the poster pictured in this article.

            Which may well explain the emotional reaction of many IN voters after Leave won! ;-) It’s been good to debate it with you, and two other sensible, intelligent people I know who voted Leave. My ‘tomorrow belongs to me’ earworm is certainly a bit quieter now.


    • Forgot to add on the race issue, we asked enough people from commonwealth countries to come and work in the mills and on buses in the fifties as I recall before my time. If I had been doing PR for Leave I would never have chosen race as an issue. Disgraceful. Did it work? Don’t know.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ooo sorry just seen this. I don’t know either. I know that for folks like yourself it isn’t the issue but, I worry cf the comment I’ve just done… and it was OK in the 50s I believe until Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood speech, after which there were the race riots. Which is why I’m leery about it.


        • On riots. Two before ROB. One in Notting Hill. One in Chapeltown. First was before my time.
          Rest were 80s. I have lived in riot areas. Nothing to do with Enoch.
          I have lived in Toxteth (Liverpool), Newcastle (Benwell, Byker, Wallsend) and Dewsbury (Thornhill Lees). I have also worked in Leeds – Chapeltown.
          So, I know these places. Do you?


          • Well, but ROb speech was 1968. Well after the 50s riots, but also well before the 80s ones.

            In terms of the 80s ones it was prescient, although I think with hindsight one could do a fascinating analysis, someone probably has already, about the in/accuracy of the speech and the causes of all the riots. And could no doubt link everything to MI5 (GBH tv series).

            Forgot to say, I worked in Notting Hill too. Perhaps I am a riot magnet!

            Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t know enough about the issues to comment on whether the vote is a good one or not, but I do have a few opinions/observations/questions:

    The refugee issue is a huge one, and I’m not sure how leaving the EU will (or even should) lessen it. Refugees are us (meaning people who live “normal” lives — upper and lower classes) whose lives have been totally disrupted by things beyond their control. They need safe haven somewhere — as would we, in similar circumstances. Simply closing borders is understandable, but is not a solution.

    Also, leaving the EU will not “fix” the problem of lost jobs, because there is nothing to prevent companies from outsourcing jobs to workers in nations where the pay is lower, in order to save money. Granted, many jobs have to be done in place (it’s pretty hard to unload containers from a distance, for example, or pick fruit) but almost anything that can be done by phone or online can be transferred elsewhere. We have seen massive numbers of jobs outsourced to other parts of the world where wages are lower.

    I also agree with the person above who mentioned parental care — even the lower costs for hiring those who arrive from other nations (and are often excellent caregivers) are exorbitant. The “average” person/family is really hard-pressed to pay for such care — and here, at least, the government-funded care is abysmal in terms of what is provided. When all that is looked at is the bottom line and how to pay less, those who run businesses and nations are not usually interested in who suffers — as long as the numbers look good.

    I don’t think leaving the EU is going to solve any of these issues.

    Sorry — no questions, after all. That is so out of character. Perhaps I’ll make up for that later.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t! Some folks are entitled to free NHS care but the process is long, arduous and slow. The party line is untruths, you have to challenge them on everything they say and do. They define most illnesses of the elderly: dementia and the like, as ‘social’ rather than ‘medical’. It is, apparently, a process that can last years, involve courts and be as stressful as a long divorce. Neither leaving Europe nor changing the Government is going to stop any of that crap, sadly.


      • They define dementia as “social” there? Yikes! I’m in Canada, and so far they’ve been pretty clear that it’s a medical issue — but the care provided for it (at least in our neck of the woods) is pretty sad, and the rules about what care is and is not available changes regularly based on government policy and funding.


        • Yeh, if you need help with cooking, eating, going to the loo etc, that’s considered social. Never mind that without the help you’d keel over, break a hip and cost them even more money. Never mind that you’d leave the gas on and set your house on fire. Pretty much everyone over the age of 80 has some kind of mobility or memory issue, pretty much anyone who needs help with day to day living needs it because of that. But it’s considered social. The rule changing is definitely the same here though.

          Liked by 1 person

      • I think it probably changed when the continuing care situation changed. Define it as social, make people pay for it. Define it as medical: state care. When I was in the NHS there was a fight to see who could get rid of the most continuing care. I joke not. Leeds was in there knocking everything back. They actually backtracked later. Despicable. Truly truly so. I remember the days when local authorities looked after older people in nice homes.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I can believe that. I have a book about how to get state care if you are entitled … I also have a friend whose husband went completely mad aged about 30 – he had pick’s, picts? disease. He is now in his 70s and at one point despite a high court case that made it illegal to do so, they told her his domain of care had changed and demanded £20k in back dated care fees. They also keep moving him which is just not on for someone with a form of dementia. It’s truly terrible.


          • Seriously, I think people need to age graciously, with dignity, at whatever age that starts. And a welfare state – that we used to have – should support that. I never minded paying taxes for those reasons. Invading Iraq is another issue but looking after people is a priority to me (not killing them).

            Liked by 1 person

          • So with you. I’m happy to pay tax for a welfare state but here’s a story. A friend of mine worked for the NHS. They set up distance learning NHS university and piloted it to 500 staff. She wanted to find out what they thought. She was told she must go through procurement and use one of the research firms they suggested. So she asked. They put market research into google and printed out page one of the results.

            Long and the short of it, I’d just been made redundant from National Express where we contracted a really good research firm to ask folks on the coaches what they thought. To do five days a month asking questions in various places on the network (actually it may have been more), and then, on top of that, collate the results, etc, they charged us £20,000 a year. My friend put the job out to tender with the ten firms she was forced into using. She went with the cheapest. £100,000 to ask 500 people what they thought of the course.

            THAT is where the money goes in the NHS, stupid shit rules about how things are done that cost them money.




          • I suspect the NHS has deteriorated even more in terms of rules since I left. We had one boss who basically let staff get on how they wanted. I found it weird, it wasn’t that he lacked control or skills, but he was actually trying to let people develop and think things through and learn. Of course, he got the push in the end and we had a new authoritarian CE. And everything was stifled and repressed. I might as well have been back at Kindergarten. In fact Kindergarten was more inspiring.

            But back when I was there, NHS not Kindie, we just got on and did what was needed. I used the best people for the job. Not necessarily the cheapest, just good people. And I didn’t have to faff around wasting time on bureacratic process. How the hell does that enhance patient care? I’ve seen some of the paperwork around probity. Unbelievable. I never met anyone who accepted gifts anyway. What’s all that about? I would be driven nuts if I was still in. I’d be cutting through all the shite and saying ‘get on with looking after people’. That’s what the NHS should be doing. And that would include the drain of continuing care. Ideals huh?

            Liked by 1 person

          • I hear you. I wish you were still there telling them to get on with it! Except maybe not because you wouldn’t be able to edit my books. Which reminds me, better get on with book 2!

            Liked by 1 person

  10. Too good not to pass on. By Richard O’Brien (from his Facebook page):

    “So the nation that invaded and colonised Aden, Anguilla, Australia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Basutoland, Bechuanaland, Bermuda, British East Africa, British Cameroons, British Guiana, British Honduras, British Somaliland, Brunei, Canada, Cayman Islands, Ceylon, Cook Islands, Cyprus, Falkland Islands, Fiji, Gambia, Gibraltar, Gold Coast, Grenada, Hong Kong, China, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaya, Maldive Islands, Malta, Mauritius, Montserrat, Newfoundland, New Zealand, Nigeria, North Borneo, Nyasaland, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Rhodesia, Sarawak, St Helena, St Lucia, St Vincent, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, South West Africa, Sudan, Tanganyika, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Trucial Oman, Turks and Caicos Islands, Uganda and Zanzibar has voted to leave the EU, potentially sparking a global financial crisis, because they thought their sovereignty was under threat.”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. That’s right: When the masses don’t vote the way the elites think they should it’s evidence of ignorance and time for a redo. “If we could just get these idjits to understand we know what’s best for them the world would run more smoothly (for us, at least).” What hubris.

    Excellent analysis, Rough Seas. It’s nice to get a take based on talk from a mix of people on the street, rather than what reporters and politicos projecting what they want to happen.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I like anecdotal evidence; so often it contradicts what our masters tell us is happening.
    I was visiting my mother just before Der Tag and, Southampton being a chatty sort of place, people were discussing how to vote.
    Now, thanks to modern education, people are good at emoting and feeling, but don’t always have the vocabulary to express the reasoned view that they have arrived at so they are represented in the press as oiks, etc. when their views have as much value as those of a person riding high on the hog of Britain’s exploitative society.
    I didn’t hear racism but I did hear a great deal about lost security and the resentment at being told that they are feckless by the very class that has removed their opportunity to have a secure, long term, relatively satisfying job.
    The disdain for the leaders of Leave was as great as that for Cameron et al: people weren’t interested in these people – two faces of the same coin – but they were distinctly interested in giving a bloody nose to the supporters of E.U. membership which they saw as having been disastrous for them.


    • I think that was very articulately expressed ;) but en serio it does sum up the view. To me, the views I’ve heard have been about voting against the establishment, about being told what to do, about being treated with disdain, and yes, about having life taken away. Not to mention bloody pensions, but that’s a personal gripe.

      There is much made of young people wanting to remain. Well, they would. They’ve known nothing else. You would have to be 43 to have even been born when we joined the EU. But ancient elephants have long memories sadly. And have seen EU-caused deterioration in many fields. With what benefit? And that’s what the person on the street thinks. This referendum gave people chance to say, stuff you. We are sick. Of everything.


      • Gracias! I had the good fortune to be educated before the PC world took over….
        I have seen the ‘Millennials’ kicking up about how the old buggers have buggered their future…how the hell did they think that the old buggers made theirs:? Got out of bed to vote and to work for one thing…



        • De nada. Didn’t we all? Being another old bugger. It’s funny. Ageism at it’s very best. We don’t deserve an opinion or a few more years before we cark it. Trouble is, we have an opinion and we expressed it. My partner was queuing at the polling station waiting for it to open. One of the others was in his 40s, the others were in late 60s. And on Friday, we were reading the results from 5 am. Because it mattered to us.
          Did you read the ‘it can be difficult to register at university, people forget’ sort of excuses? Why? I managed it nearly 40 years ago. Has the procedure changed so much? I managed to register in Gib in my dotage.


          • We’re seven hours behind here, so were receiving the first results before we went to bed…surprised and delighted even if the pension has taken a hit. Not the first time and won’t be the last…
            The hand holding required by friends’ grandchildren astounds me….how they would cope coming from a family dependent on benefits because of the paucity of proper jobs is a real puzzle!


          • Surprised totally. I spent two hours on Friday morning in sheer disbelief.

            When I were a lass on t’ market at 12 and he was doing his three paper rounds a day from the illegal age of ten, it were easy. We had such a cushy life.

            Liked by 2 people

    • Seconded on the ‘really well put’. Most of the folks I sounded out were the other Mums at McMini’s school (local state primary school). It has a very wide racial mix so they, pretty much down to a woman, had seen the UKIP immigrants poster and read the jingoistic sentiments expressed by tabloids like the Sun and were voting stay. So of course now, many are seeing the Leave victory as a blow for anti-immigration, racism and the far right. The fact that it has done Boris and Gove such a big favour only adds to their worries, obviously Gove’s education policies contributed to this. And I confess until I’d spent some time debating it here, a victory for racism is how I saw it. Even though I understood that couldn’t possibly be the motive of every leave voter.

      I do feel a bit more reassured now. It looks like big chunks of the two sides share similar concerns which is hopeful on the unity front.




      • From what I saw racism had nothing to do with was disgust with a system that robbed them and their children of a future.
        It always amuses me that ‘anecdotal’ evidence is disregarded…but if you are a historian then anecdotal evidence is just about all you have….

        Liked by 1 person

        • So true, and I really wanted to get to the bottom of it. What has come out, forcefully, is that the anecdotal ‘feel’ is very different from area to area. It was such a badly mishandled campaign, on both sides but for all the differences in the results, the prevailing mood ‘fuck’em’ seems to have been quite prevalent! And that has left me feeling a great deal more optimistic about our future as a nation.


          • The difference is, you were probably bombarded with the campaign, whereas we weren’t. Most of the people I know on the tinties were for out. But, it’s very very class/money based. An ex school ‘friend’ talked about stringing out voters from lamp-posts. Now if that isn’t fascist, tell me what is.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Oh man, were we! And it was all so patently a load of old shite. Cameron, himself, said justifying staying was like trying to nail jelly to the ceiling. Then up pops Farage and … bingo. Apart from the very rich people who voted to keep their massive wealth – didn’t like the ramifications for the City – I think most people on both sides are really pissed off with those in power.


  13. I think that all these breakdowns giving all sorts of complicated reasons for the educated/uneducated/jobless/fed up with government to vote as they did is muddying the waters. Probably the individuals who voted out, from whatever part of society, were simply sick of having Britain’s strings pulled by ‘foreigners’. I know that would have been my motivation if I had been able to vote.


    • I think saying the In voters are rich educated middle classes and the Out voters are old thick working classes is disgraceful. Interestingly, we know one person who voted Out and told us he was voting In because he thought we were well off (he rents, we own) so couldn’t possibly be voting out. But yes, that’s basically it. Stop telling us what to do. And that’s what people were saying to the British politicians with their ridiculous campaigns. I mean David Cameron flying into Gib a week before because it was soooooo important for a British PM to visit Gib? Get out of it. Anyway Gib’s 96% in vote of 19000 voters didn’t matter in the end :D


      • The tenant likes telling people what he thinks they like to hear?
        If it is true that the majority of young voters wanted to stay, maybe that is part of the fact that most voters shouldn’t be voting. In my ideal society, everyone would have to write an exam proving that they understood all the issues before qualifying as a voter. So many people say that they vote for a party because their father did, and his father before him, and other equally nonsensical reasons.


        • Maybe so. Sees us like his boss maybe?
          Partner was talking to someone today (in his 60s) and apparently his daughter had been moaning about old people ruining her future. Her father told her to shut up and live with it, even though he voted In too. But, on that same issue, old people have rights, and hopefully a few years of future. Should only the young and inexperienced get to determine our society? I think not.
          But your ideal society is very élitist and discriminatory then. Nearly as bad as the young. Writing an exam paper to vote sounds rather like the person who said ‘the great unwashed should never have been given the vote’. ie the working classes. Society has to work together and that doesn’t mean educated well-off middle classes telling poor less educated working class people what to do.


          • The problem is that when leaders are chosen ‘because he is a nice guy’ instead of based on qualifications for the job, one gets what one asks for but not what one needs.

            Liked by 1 person

  14. An excellent post.

    It is obvious looking at the maps and graphs you’ve posted where and why the unrest is felt strongest.
    The well off cosmopolitan cities obviously weren’t going to vote out, they’ve got a comfortable life, the EU suits them just fine, so why should they care about the everyday folk struggling to make a living in the poorer areas.

    Age has also made a big impact on how voters voted. I wonder why there is a higher % to leave from those who can remember pre EU Britain.
    Is it because they can remember GREAT Britain pre EU and are sick to the back teeth of being told what to do, by the unelected EU bureaucratic dictators in Brussels?
    See age graph here:


    • Cheers V. Totally agree, and yet you and I are not badly off. However, why did people not read the signs? Years ago the Milk Marketing Board did a survey of who bought farmhouse cheese from an open cheese (ie not prepacked). Surprise surprise, it was white working class northern women. We could have told them that. At the time we were selling 10–13 50–55lb cheeses a week (more than Schofields I might add). Point is, it’s not difficult to gauge opinion if you speak to people. The really thick average unwashed person in the street who shouldn’t be allowed the vote. The amount of patronisation and condescension that has come out in this trumps the race card. Oh and ageism. Nasty old buggers messing with our future. My Spanish neighbour is 89. Based on that I could have another 40 years. Does my vote for those years not count? Anyway, we at least registed to vote and did so, unlike some of the highly educated younger whingers.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I so agree with your analysis, Roughseas; the powers that be, should have seen it coming. Sadly, there is a similar issue here: the xenophobia to which this country is prone is a direct consequence of joblessness, and that foreigners open shops and get jobs and are perceived as pushing locals out. And the ANC wonders why Pretoria is burning? Talk about disconnects.

    Happy celebrations to you both. The Husband will be celebrating four score and ten in July, so celebrations in our part of the world, too.

    Have fun!


  16. well, with the votes to leave there seems to be no hope for the UK at all. the oceans will rise and waste the once proud Great Britain. there will be eathquakes and fires in diverse places. the monied peoples with punish the ‘ignorant masses’ by destroying the economy and blaming the Brexit vote… that won’t be effective for probably another two years, mind you. while the media drum up public opinion to realize what an f’d up mistake they made, while ignoring the government’s efforts to just ignore the vote and stay in the EU.
    what did the UK do before the EU? surely they were just some backwoods, uneducated and stone age gathering of lost wanderers on who’d strayed too far from the continent? the media push has already begun to ‘reconsider’ the vote, the governent, or at least one MP, has started action in parliament to ignore the vote, and the ‘Empire’ Markets have begun to ‘Strike Back’ well before any REAL change in the situation could possibly have occurred.

    they’re pissed. freedom isn’t good for their business, you see.
    (how’s that for a comment?)

    Liked by 1 person

Thanks for visiting roughseas whatever your interest and, if you comment, a bigger thanks.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s