EU Referendum: all about nationalism & xenophobia
It was frightening to see in the EU Referendum the effectiveness of a single slogan being repeated over and over and over and over again: ‘Let’s take back control’ with ‘over immigrants’ being the sous-entendu.
Therein lies by the way my slight nuance that the decision was largely taken by people who have felt left behind. A very close look at and some recalculations of the Ashcroft Poll which is the only detailed exit poll easily available on the Referendum illustrates the point that it was all about nationalism, xenophobia, even racism.
‘Immigration’ and ‘Multi-culturalism’ were by far the most outstanding gripes in the ‘forces for ill’ versus ‘forces for good’ survey on last Friday. That was indeed to be expected from the less-prosperous and less-educated elements of society. However, it permeates through all levels of education and ABC economic classification. Incredibly, among the higher-university educated (doctorates, advanced degrees etc.), one-in-three see Immigration as a ‘force of ill’ and one-in-four see Multi-culturalism as the problem (the numbers are higher for the ‘merely’ university educated and much higher clearly for the secondary-school-only and below). 80% or more of the people who expressed those views voted for Leave.
Put differently, this was not just a movement of soccer hooligans and ‘white van man’. Of every ten Leave voters, 4 were Conservative, 2 Labour and 3 UKIP. 58% of Conservatives voted Leave, 37% of Labour, 30% of Lib-Dems and 96% of UKIP.