Sunday, 1 July 2018

Brexit: and the 'culture wars'

The 'culture wars' have dominated and distorted political discourse in the United States for decades now:

They are coming to Britain - as with these piece from the Telegraph and FT from earlier this year: 

The Brexit vote may be the first shot fired in a British culture war

A group of pro-EU supporters gather outside Parliament to protest against Brexit as the EU Withdrawal Bill CREDIT: WIKTOR SZYMANOWICZ / BARCROFT IMAGES

Rob Ford
Maria Sobolewska
31 JANUARY 2018

Among the various well-known explanations of the outcome of the EU referendum, there are many that promise, or have already proved themselves, to have had a lasting influence on politics.

Generational and geographical divisions are some of the more prominent examples of this, as are value divides over the role of globalisation, immigration and social liberalism more broadly.

While almost all political commentators use the labels of the ‘left behind’ or the ‘cosmopolitan’ voter, little attention is paid to a very prominent feature of these divisions: attitudes towards ethnic diversity, and their impact on the political choices of white voters...

Britain’s looming culture wars 

Once class and economics were the familiar drivers of national debate and politics. Now, these have been replaced by values

© Jonathan McHugh

Frederick Studemann 

JANUARY 13, 2018

To say that British voting habits have changed profoundly in recent years would be something of an understatement. Once class and economics were the familiar drivers of the national debate and politics. Now, as Helen Lewis argues in her opinion piece for FT Weekend, these have been replaced by values.

Helen views this as part of an expanding culture war, familiar to anyone who has been following US politics over the last quarter century or so. Americans are now veterans of raging arguments over divisive issues from abortion to gay rights, from guns to religion. Britain has taken a while to catch up, but now Helen sees a development in full swing that she says is coarsening and complicating politics.

Brexit has turbo-charged Britain’s culture wars and given them their own particular twist, writes Helen. The terms “Remainer” and “Leaver” are now shorthand for a whole range of views. Bridging the divide between the two seems beyond the reach of the two main political parties. But if they fail to do so they will struggle to secure workable majorities. Any hopes of a ceasefire seem far off. Outrage and controversy fuel social media and tempt traditional news industry down the same path, bringing necessary and lucrative clicks.

Opinion today: Britain’s looming culture wars | Financial Times

And from the Guardian from this month: 

The ‘bad boys of Brexit’ have some big questions to answer

Matthew d'Ancona 

The sheer scale of contacts between Arron Banks, Andy Wigmore and Russian officials has been revealed. The implications for our politics could be huge

Sun 10 Jun 2018 19.04 BST

This is a parable of geopolitical imbalance, culture wars and deep political sickness. 

For here is where we seem to have ended up: under our noses, a well-developed network of far-right and nationalist forces seems to have arisen, apparently digitally mobilised and funded by Russian state actors; the law regulating elections, campaigns and referendums is woefully out of date (passed four years before Facebook was launched); Moscow is laughing at the rest of the world as Trump pleads its case at the G7; the far-right swoons over Vladimir Putin; and Jeremy Corbyn misses no opportunity to give the Russian president the benefit of the doubt over the use of nerve agents on British soil and the deployment of chemical weapons in Syria by his puppet in Damascus.

This week, as the Commons votes on the very future of this country, don’t forget how we got here; how badly we underestimated the populist right; and how the leader of the opposition tends to make things easier for Putin, too. Still laughing?

The ‘bad boys of Brexit’ have some big questions to answer | Matthew d’Ancona | Opinion | The Guardian

See also:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and Clexit: or the links between Eurosceptics and climate change sceptics

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