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KidTempo @KidTempo
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I actually have his book on the desk behind me. Much like Machiavelli's The Prince, it's a manual on how to be a complete and utter bastard (and win). Many of the chapters point to why Leave won, others to why Remain lost. Based on its content, #FBPE need to get its hands dirty.
The article is very different, and it's Leavers that are the narcissists - they hold a belief in something and won't accept being called up on it, deny any facts they're shown as fake news and propaganda, while never questioning their own sources.
I have #FBPE in my bio, and it's because I value Freedom of Movement. I have benefited from it, as have my friends and family. I want to keep it, I want my fellow UK citizens to keep it, and I want EU residents in the UK to keep it too.
Everything I have learned about trade and economics, and I have spent a lot of the last 2-3 years using multiple sources to learn more about it, tells me that leaving the EU will be bad for me, bad for my family, and bad for the UK.
In my current job I have travelled to many places in Europe, met many Europeans, and firmly believe that we are better for the cultural exchange we have thanks to being in the EU.
As an auditor, I deal with regulations on a daily basis - many of the arguments against EU rules and regs are simply wrong, as are most of Leaver's predictions of how things will (or should) work post-Brexit. It isn't simple, and it doesn't work that way anywhere in the world.
Am I wrong for wanting the UK in a strong, stable EU? Am I wrong in my arguments and counter-arguments?


But that would mean that smarter people than me who have looked at the same facts as me and come to the same conclusions are also wrong.
Almost every reason I have been told by Leavers why they voted for #Brexit is backed by how they "feel". Immigration. Control. Sovereignty. Opportunity. Like the meme from the Bush era: "Don't think. Feel!".
All it takes is scratching the surface with a few questions and, with the exception of the honest few who admit they didn't know or hadn't considered that angle, it soon reverts to "I don't care. I feel this is the right thing to do".
The article talks about inherent behavioural instincts that we have to work hard to overcome. Let's look at some scenarios:
1) Immigration.

Leaver: We need to control our borders.
Remainer: We kind of already do.
L: I mean UK borders - stop Freedom of Movement from the EU!
R: Why?
L: [one of many reasons]
R: [refutes reason with facts]
L: Doesn't matter! There's too many of them!
R: You live in an area with less than 1% migrants.
L: Well, in other areas.
R: You work with some migrants. They're your neighbours. Your cousin married one.
L: Well, *they're* okay, but the rest of them...
Basic human nature is to fear "the other". Whether it's fear of losing what you have, resentment of sharing or not getting what you believe is your fair share, or just greed.
Leavers believe that they are right because they cannot face their instincts and realise that if they are threatened, it's because they're not good enough - which they can be if they try harder, and that accepting "the other" and getting to know them may help them become better.
2) Control

Leaver: We need to take back control!
Remainer: We already have control.
L: Absolute control! We must take it back from those unelected bureaucrats.
R: *sigh* but they are elected...
L: Not by me.
R: Did you vote for the Prime Minister?
L: Yes/No - I voted for [party]
R: You voted for an MP who was a member of that party...
L: Well, yes
R: Did you get to choose the leader?
L: No...
R: Did you get to choose the MP from your party?
L: No...
R: So you voted for an MP who thinks its better to Remain (or not the type of Brexit you voted for)
L: But they should do what we voted for - my area voted Leave! Leave means Leave!
R: MPs are representatives, not delegates. You vote for a MP to act in what *they* think are your best interests, not to blindly vote the way the majority wants.
L: But why do we have to follow EU rules and laws? What about sovereignty?
R: Our Government/MPs decided/voted to. They could have vetoed or opted-out - they didn't. They accepted the directive and implemented it. They also chose how to implement it.
L: Ha! But they can't change it can they??
R: Errr... well, they can, but it's more difficult. Rules/Laws can be changed as long as they are still within the bounds of the directive...
L: Ha! But they can't change them beyond the directive or revoke them!
R: Well... they can, but it's much more difficult.
L: No, they can't!
R: They can work within the EU (council & parliament) to try to reach a consensus where everyone agrees to change or revoke. Like I said, it's not easy...
L: Ha!
R: So which laws or rules did you want to change?
L: [a rule]
R: That's within the power of the UK parliament.
L: [law rule]
R: So's that.
L: [another rule]
R: That;s not even a thing.
L: ... Freedom of Movement?
R: Piss off!
Basic human instinct is to want control over ones own destiny. The reality is that we have very little control over the big things - international relations, government policy, laws.
Democracy exists as a mechanism to exercise some sort of collective control - it's not perfect but it's better than all other alternatives so far. Everyone probably thinks they would make better decisions, but conveniently ignores all the compromises that need to be made.
Feel taxes are too high? Think they should be lowered? To zero?? It's easy to ignore the inconvenient fact that it means that service you may rely on will not exist.
Don't use a particular service? Why should it be funded?? Someone uses it. You probably use services that other don't but pay for. That's the collective compromise.
Going back to the idealised person people think they are (or can, or should be). If only we had the control, then we could be that person - ignore the compromises.
You want to be the person making the decision - worse, you want to be the person making the decision on behalf of other people. Punish "the other" (anyone - not necessarily a migrant in this example).
Leaver's have been told that the EU (and "the Establishment" in general) hold dictatorial control over their destiny, that they have no control, that if only they could shake off the shackles then control will be returned to them.
Fact is that we live in an ordered society where people have to follow rules they may not like. The same is true for states as it is for people. Being part of the EU shares collective sovereignty with other members, as do trade agreements.
A trade agreement shares a little sovereignty - two states agree to some rules and promise to stick to them. FTA's more, and Custom's Union's even more still. Membership if the EU is just a - albeit more political than just economic - sharing not ceding of sovereignty.
Leaving the EU will not give the individual any more control. (Fact is, the only people getting more control will be government ministers who get their grubby hands on Henry VIII powers that sooner or later they will doubtlessly abuse).
3) Opportunity

Leaver: The EU is holding us back! We need to be a globally trading nation!
Remainer: We are...
L: But we can't make our own trade deals!
R: But we are instrumental in making EU trade deals...
L: But they take ages!!
R: Not so long. Anyway, trade deals take a while - look at the WTO, they take...
L: The WTO! Yes, we should trade on WTO rules!!
R: Oh, FFS. Let's not go there for now. The EU has made some huge trade deals, they took a while, not so long really, but they're really good.
L: The UK can do that to.
R: They really can't... It's a question of leverage.
L: The UK can compete with the EU!
R: It really can't, it's not even the strongest economy *in* the EU...
L: We can lower our tariffs and get cheaper food.
R: Most of the food we import comes from the EU - if we go WTO it'll be more expensive.
L: We can have FTA's with the rest of the world and buy cheaper food!
R: Half of that we already get at 0%
L: Alright, the other bit.
R: Hormone-fed beef?
L: I'm fine with that.
R: Chlorinated chicken?
L: Maybe not that.
R: Questionably-farmed food flash-frozen and shipped over several months from China?
L: We can get a trade deal with the US!
R: It will suck.
L: No, it won't.
R: Yes, it will. Trump has an America First policy...
L: What about TTIP?
R: Have you read what's in it?
L: Read it.
R: Read a summary.
L: [readreadread] Okay, fuck that...
L: But cheaper clothes and shoes!
R: Many/most come from 0% tariff countries.
L: Cheaper electronics.
R: From China, maybe a little cheaper.
L: We can get cheaper products from China!
R: Maybe a little. But they want us to lower our standards in return for a trade deal.
L: Sounds okay.
R: If you think some of the cheap Chinese stuff we get here is a little wonky, you should see the shit they are selling in markets without the EU's standards...
Very few people outside the industry fully understand logistics, tariffs and trade. Even people *in* the industry will usually admit to only having a high level of understanding of only their specific area of expertise.
It consumes *years* of the top people's lives to negotiate trade deals. It's important, and people want to understand it because it's important. Unfortunately, they want to short-cut that knowledge and reduce it to being no more complex than they deal with in their lives.
Many people don't like to admit they don't know something. Most hate to admit that they were wrong. It takes courage to admit to a mistake. It takes humility to acknowledge that you don't know enough or don't have the skills.
In the field I'm most interested in, Science, it's notable that the people who we expect to know the most are the ones who will make a big point of how little they understand. The more we learn the more we realise how little we understand.
People want to be successful - everyone does to some degree. They want to feel that they are rewarded for their work and they feel that they aren't being and arguably, they are right. People feel that they have less opportunity than the generation(s) before them.
The EU has been too slow to prevent the widening wealth gap, but that is as much the fault of some member state's governments. Directives like tax avoidance, which conveniently coincided with the #Brexit referendum would suggest that Leavers are in for a rude shock.
Populist Leave leaders have exploited this. Leave the EU and opportunity will come knocking - sunlit uplands await. It's not *your* fault you're struggling to make ends meet - it's the EU holding us back!
Remainers tend to put their trust in experts who work in the field - the facts and the raw data is there to be verified. Leavers trust in the belief that it's not their fault that they're not successful - it's the EU's fault.
Leavers also refuse to believe that they should have to try harder. If they feel threatened that some unskilled migrant with poor language skills is going to take their minimum wage job then what does that say about them?
If they believe they're being denied opportunities because more skilled migrants are available, shouldn't they be improving their skills? It's easy to fall back on the idea that British jobs should go to British people...

I have consciously used Remainer throughout rather than FBPE because I reject that they are different. A FBPE is a Remainer in my eyes. Remainers want to #StopBrexit.
Recently, and especially in the past weeks, there has been conflict between FBPE and Corbynistas. Some have seen it coming for a long time - since the General Election, the Local Elections, the party conferences... Now we're in the final 100, it's finally kicking off.
FBPE has been critical of Corbyn because they always suspected him of being a Leaver - through his actions, his words, and most importantly what he hasn't said. They have always suspected that his weak opposition to #Brexit was because he wants it to happen.
This doesn't mean FBPE is against Labour policies, the manifesto (except the referendum part), or anything party political. It is pro EU - and that means opposing #Brexit.
He may want it to happen on his terms which he may feel will be for the good of the nation. He may want it because he thinks it will get Labour into government which he feels is more important. It doesn't matter - #FBPE can't support him because it means #Brexit will happen.
I must admit that I don't know how people who wish to Remain can reconcile that with their trust in Corbyn. I can understand still wanting him to be PM, but since he has almost explicitly said that Brexit will still go ahead if he is PM then... I just don't know.
If tomorrow Labour were to turn around and unequivocally say they would work to #StopBrexit - by pushing hard for a #PeoplesVote with #Remain on the ballot - they would probably get almost all of FBPE's support.
I think many, if not most #FBPE are (or were) traditional Labour voters. The hashtag is not associated with any party - and I've seen little nativism separating people who are Labour, Lib Dems, Greens, SNP, or even Tories! They are aligned for one purpose. To #StopBrexit.
But I think the stem of the argument is that #FBPE is narcissistic because a) it won't see past the EU's flaws, and b) it believes it is right to try to #StopBrexit and refuses to compromise.
a) Remainers can see the EU's flaws - maybe not all of them, but they acknowledge them (maybe not all of them). It's always been an project that changes according to what does and doesn't work. It has changed in the past, it is changing now, and it will continue to change.
b) You have to participate in the project if you want it to change - leaving or threatening to leave it unless it changes in the way you want it to won't work. #Brexit breaks that for many of us.
It's an injustice for the EU citizens who have made their homes here in the UK, and this isn't virtue signalling - it's personal for a lot of us. Many of us have wives, husbands, children, parents, relatives, fiends and colleagues that will be affected.
Many work in industries that will be affected, or live in areas where the EU has heavily invested (which has often been unnoticed by Leavers), or live in the EU27 itself.
Many are concerned about making ends meet in the economic disruption that will inevitably follow. Some fear that supplies of medication their lives depend on will be interrupted. It's not virtue signalling - it's personal, even if they just like the idea of being in the EU.
It will undoubtably have far-reaching and profoundly negative effects for our nation - Remainers and Leavers alike. There would be little point in Leaving if it wouldn't change anything, but leaving won't deliver what was promised - it will only make it worse.
It also lets the populists win - and we've seen in the past how this can go terribly wrong. When everything starts going sideways, people won't shrug their shoulders and admit to being wrong - they'll look for scapegoats.
And who will those scapegoats be? Bad times for anyone with an accent, a difficult surname, or is suspiciously brown.
In the current situation, it's difficult to accept any compromise. One foot still in isn't an option - any remotely acceptable compromise would include the Single Market and with most Leavers wanting an end to Freedom of Movement that isn't going to happen.
The stakes are high, but there is a way out - Article 50 can be revoked. We can #StopBrexit.

I like the slogan "Don't Leave. Lead".

The UK is good at that. We should be part of that.
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