Society & Culture

The British War for Independence

The anti-Brexit hysteria never went away.  “How Brexit damaged Britain’s democracy” was the headline of the regular political columnist “Bagehot” in The Economist (March 30).  One can hold different views on the value of Brexit—but a referendum is a “threat to democracy”?  All subsequent events have pointed to ever-growing economic success.  George Osborne’s doom-laden forecasts hovered between astrology and chiromancy; the hand he read was his own.  He has now taken refuge at the London Evening Standard (owned by Alexander Lebedev, a Russian oligarch) as editor, a handsomely paid and allegedly influential follow-on to the chancellor of the exchequer.  John Major, too, wished to preserve his reputation—embossed.  He and other spectral figures, such as Michael Heseltine, rose up from the grave to defend their legacy project, the E.U.  The entire referendum campaign was a remake of Peers v. People, from a century ago, and like most remakes it was not a patch on the original.  The heartland of Remainers is London, hence Metro-Retro, and there the Franc-tireurs fought in the House of Lords their last stand.

We have learned a great deal about Britain in the postreferendum data.  That is because the referendum was conducted through the regions and the parliamentary constituencies.  The people...

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