The statistical correlation between both age and relatively low levels of education, on the one hand, and a vote to leave on the other, was much remarked upon, not only in Britain but throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Age and lack of education were usually taken by commentators as a proxy for stupidity. The majority vote to leave was therefore a triumph of stupidity: for those who vote the right way in any election or referendum have opinions, while those who vote the wrong way have only prejudices. And only the young and educated know what the right way is.
While age is certainly not a guarantee of political wisdom, the ever-increasing experience of life might be expected to conduce to it. But in the wake of the vote, there were even suggestions that the old should have no vote because they wouldn’t have to live as long with the consequences of it. The reaction to the referendum exposed the fragility and shallowness of that each person’s vote should count for same.
The relation between political wisdom and levels of education is far from straightforward. It was educated people who initiated and carried out the Terror in the French Revolution. The Russian Revolution, and all the great joy that it brought to the Russian people, was the denouement of decades of propaganda and agitation by the educated elite. There was no shortage of educated people among the Nazi leadership. And the leaders of the Khmer Rouge were also relatively highly-educated, as it happens in France. The founder of Sendero Luminoso, who might have been the Pol Pot of Peru, was a professor of philosophy who wrote his doctoral thesis on Kant.
– Theodore Dalrymple
… and we all know how reliable and objective polls are, right?
“Brexit shocked people in the EU,” Francois Kraus, head of the political and current affairs service at IFOP, told Reuters on Wednesday.
“Seeing the Eurosceptics’ dream come true must have triggered a reaction in people who usually criticise the EU and blame it for decisions such as austerity measures.
“But when people realise the real implications of an exit, there’s new-found support for the European project,” he said.
Ah that magical term “austerity“. Taxing people less so that they get to spend their own money, rather than the government spending it, is not “austerity”. And there I was thinking keeping more of my own money was “abundance” rather than “austerity”. Go figure.
Just heard from someone in Turkey… looks like there is a coup d’etat under way. Interesting.
LATEST: seems they have not grabbed Ergodan, so it remains to be seen if the coup will be successful.
“She’s got dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital.”
– British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, talking about Hillary Clinton back in 2007
This is going to be so good
In truth, the appointment of Boris as Foreign Secretary is just about the most awesome thing ever.
In another Telegraph column, in November 2007, Mr Johnson described Hillary Clinton as having “a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital”.
How perfect is that? Words can scarcely describe how much I am looking forward to seeing this unfold
Of course the appointment that really matters is David Davis to head up Brexit. I simply cannot imagine a better choice for he is staunchly free market and was known in EU circles as the “charming bastard“.
Yes, Cameron has finally handed the keys to No.10 to the even more dismal Theresa May. Frankly the only REMAIN who should still be in Downing Street should be Larry the Cat.
Remember this ‘honourable gentleman’ (Dave, not Larry) said he would invoke Article 50 if REMAIN lost? He lied. And that he would remain PM if REMAIN lost? He lied (thankfully).
… I have returned from Istanbul and never have I seen a city with more cats. And in spite of many being feral, they are well fed and friendly. One of these days I hope to see if there is some way to see a return of the smite cats to samizdata (long standing readers will know what I am babbling about).
So un-smittting should be a bit faster now.
→ Continue reading: New smite cats recruited…
It would be very easy for Theresa May to pleasantly surprise me, given that I fully expect her to be the worst Tory PM since Edward Heath. She is a known quantity: inept, unprincipled, had a nice word for Sharia law once, and is also authoritarian, which is a hell of a combination. What that means is she is tough, but only against soft targets.
And she voted the opposite way to the majority of Tory voters on Brexit.
I am away from HQ for a few days and looking out over the horizon I see this…
Where am I*?
This may cause a delay in un-smiting legit comments that get smitten/smote/smitted by the samizdata Smite-Bot.
* Not you, Jennings, you already know
Because I cannot bring myself to write about Brexit yet again, I thought I would let you know what sits behind me every day…
…that said, as the UK will be taking control of its borders, we can keep those damn xenomorphs out now! Oh, I just wrote about Brexit again!
Tax haven route won’t work for post-Brexit UK, OECD says.
Ok then, making the UK a tax haven is clearly an excellent idea, enhancing competitiveness vs. the rest of the OECD. Of course that could not possibly be why a mouthpiece of the OECD thinks it would be a bad idea, right? Right?
…indeed, praise him to high heaven. And then when (if) you become Prime Minister, make your first order of business to knife the idiot and fire him.
Get rid of any REMAIN supporter in sensitive jobs, and the sooner you do it, the quicker the new order becomes the new orthodoxy. Anyone who was a party to Project Fear must go!