1/ A thread on #Brexit lies.

It is absolutely necessary to distinguish between the occasional lie which merely serves to deceive & a climate of lies which undermines democracy. This effect may be accidental or it may be deliberate. I believe the latter.
#PeoplesVote #StopBrexit
2/ What we are seeing are tightly linked transatlantic networks peddling lies on a scale unparalleled in modern UK and US politics. It is hard to see this behaviour as other than coordinated.
3/ When lies predominate facts & reasons lose their power to persuade. Without a common ground of agreed facts debate turns into shouting, insults and anger, people sink into disillusion & apathy or descend into the politics of emotion and prejudice.
4/ This is ideal for the the hard-right politics of fear, hate prejudice and the strong nation and strong leader, and absolutely toxic for an open-minded politics grounded in reasons and facts.
5/ And it is ideal for the kleptocratic rich as it diverts attention away from inequalities of wealth and welfare and onto nationalism, scapegoating of minorities and fear of otherness. It makes political orientation more a matter of personality type than economics.
6/ Political loyalties cease to be along the lines of class and wealth, and become more emotional and tribal. A leader might be rich and abusive, but if he protects the tribe then that is all the better as his wealth and behaviour makes him appear more powerful.
7/ Hannah Arendt, one of the foremost analysts of the political psychology of Nazism made very clear how a climate of lies is toxic to democracy.
8/ This is why we must stop regarding the Brexiters' lies as merely attempts to deceive. They are undermining democracy, and if we do not put an end to this climate of lies it will gradually put an end to our democracy.
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