Profits of doom

The howls of anguish from the political classes following the electorate’s refusal to follow their advice on the referendum is enough to bring a smile to the face of any self-respecting anarchist.

Poor old Heseltine was on the radio the other morning promoting the idea that the whole thing might be overturned by Parliament and a second referendum, and Labour MP David Lammy has come straight out with the suggestion that the majority of anti-Brexit MPs should consign the Leave project to the dustbin of history.

This has been a peaceful revolution, so far, but much more of this sort of talk and the guillotine will be making a reappearance.

The BBC is still carrying on as if the matter was still up for debate and Today resorted to wheeling out a couple of voters who had now changed their minds.

Only another 1.2 million or so to go.

Much is being made of Boris’ rowing back on migration, but less of George Osborne’s abandonment of the “punishment budget” that he promised to inflict on us if we were stupid enough to vote leave.

Last November, David Cameron made a speech in which he said the the UK was quite capable of prospering outside the EU which is more or less what he told Parliament following the Brexit vote.

In between, he was going about regaling us with bloodcurdling stories about economic meltdown in an attempt to persuade us to vote Remain.

What the Today presenters don’t seem to realise is that voters – especially the older ones who’ve seen it all before – are a pretty savvy lot who are more than capable of navigating their way through the exaggerations and sometimes downright lies told by politicians on both sides of the argument.

The split between areas of the country and demographic groups has also been highlighted by the BBC.

We are told that 75% of people under 35 and 75% of graduates voted for remain and, by implication, they have been robbed of their European destiny by a bunch of half-educated geriatrics.

Sunday’s lunchtime news featured a number of young people, one of whom said he was “really angry” that we oldies had voted out for our own selfish reasons.

Another way to put it would be that older, wiser heads – some of whom remember life before the 1975 referendum – decided that the EU was holed below the waterline and opted to disembark before the ship goes down.

It was significant that, in the market turmoil that followed the vote, the Italian stock market lost 12% – more than double the fall on the FTSE.

And despite the billions wiped off shares and “the value of your pension” the FTSE is now just north of 6,200 which is 12% higher than it was as recently as March 2016 when it stood at 5,500.

I also came across some figures on turnout which cast an interesting light on the issue.

“Turnout % of each age group in the #EURefResults: 18-24: 36%, 25-34: 58%, 35-44: 72%, 45-54: 75%, 55-64: 81%, 65+: 83%.”

I can’t vouch for the provenance of these numbers, but the Daily Telegraph has quoted a 45% turnout for the under 35s, which is in the same ballpark.

What this indicates is that it doesn’t seem to have occurred to these bright young things that the best way to influence the outcome was to put a cross in the remain box.

University education clearly isn’t what it used to be.

My advice would be to disregard anything that was said during the referendum campaign.

For instance, President Obama’s threat to send us to “the back of the queue” has now been replaced by soothing words from Secretary of State John Kerry extolling the importance of the special relationship.

The queue the President had in mind was that occupied by those seeking to do trade deals with the USA.

Near the front of the line is the EU which is deep into negotiations for what is known as TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) about which you will be hearing a good deal more in the near future.

Negotiating trade deals is an EU competence and this has led to complaints that TTIP could impose trading conditions on member states against their will.

This sounds very much like the sovereignty argument used by Brexiteers, so it comes as a surprise that the the chief critics of TTIP and its method of implementation are the Grauniad and the Daily Mirror who were both in the vanguard of the Remain campaign.

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