Monday 26 December 2016

Another opinion piece from Mr Marr

Andrew Marr has certainly kicked up quite a festive flurry of controversy with his New Statesman article An optimist's guide to Brexit. He's essentially called for Remoaners to stop remoaning and seize the invigorating, exciting opportunities that Brexit could bring.

His piece begins:
You hear it in the dingy corners of a crumbling Westminster Palace, at discreetly expensive restaurants and in noxious, Christmas-festooned pubs. You hear it from former prime ministers and lowly special advisers, and even from foreign leaders.
“Brexit will not happen.” It cannot actually happen. Parliament, we are told, will force the deluded people to come to their senses, aided by the judiciary and big business. If the people have made a mistake, then can they not be shown the latest economic forecasts and be obliged, somehow, to think again?
With respect to all involved, and – briefly – to adopt the demotic of Boris Johnson, this must be cobblers. If parliament asked the people of the UK to vote on a subject of such huge importance; and if, after exhaustive and exhausting debate, they made their decision, by a clear majority; and if they were then told that it wasn’t going to happen, or at least not without a second vote, the glossy fabric of British democracy would be ripped to shreds. Frankly, I dread to think what would follow.
It is time to think differently. Brexit is coming, and relatively soon. We have to assume that the UK will be outside the EU within two and a bit years. An entirely new chapter in our politics will then begin. Yet most of the British political class is so battered and demoralised by the Brexit decision that they cannot take what is likely at face value, and start to chart how they intend to reshape a country that has much more power over its own governance. 
Those Remoaners, naturally, are having none of it - well, at least the ones on Twitter who have replied to Andrew Marr. He's felt compelled to respond (and they still aren't having any of it):

So the Remoaners on Twitter are telling Mr Marr where to go but will his message hit home at the BBC? Will it, for example, ever percolate its way into the brains of the people behind, say, Newsnight, who still seem to be going through the Five Stages of Grief about Brexit (just like the Twitter crowd), six months on?  

2017 will tell. 


  1. That's not so different from the attitude of the folks over at the Morning Star, really. I can easily see Marr accepting the reality of Brexit in the hopes that it can be used to reshape Britain's future in a more neo-Marxist direction image. Nothing extreme about that, right?

    1. His list of positive ideas for what could follow Brexit appear to me to be:

      1. Keep European migration.
      2. Offer to deal to Europe on the movement of workers on a sector-by-sector basis.
      3. Move towards physical manufacturing and away from the service sector.
      4. Protect more industries (eg. state-fund steel, nationalise the railways).
      5. Make a new industrial policy.
      6. Negotiate trade deals with developing countries.
      7. Included environmental and worker protection clauses (and, indeed, human rights provisions) in trade treaties.
      8. Re-think defence and move away from Trident.
      9. Ditch our nuclear submarines.
      10. Increase funding for intelligence.
      11. Forge a distinct foreign policy for, say, the Middle East and China, and reimpower the Foreign Office.
      12. Change our agricultural policy from funding large landowners towards family farms and hill farmers, or even except that we're an urban country and cut subsidies to farmers.
      13. Keep EU environmental policies and expand them to help wildlife.
      14. Move much more towards a low-carbon economy.
      15. Extend house building and cities.
      16. Don't move towards nuclear energy.
      17. Don't loosen environmental laws but tighten regulations to protect wildlife and the landscape.
      18. Give the RSPB and the National Trust a bigger voice.
      19. Regain control of our fisheries but keep EU regulations on fishing and don't overfish.
      20. Introduce more stringent regulation in the fishing industry.
      21. Create extensive undersea conservation areas. ("We could fish less, not more")
      22. Adapt our tax system to encourage and discourage various things - eg. discourage sugar products and non-recyclable electronic products.

      That does sound much more 'left-wing' than 'right-wing'.

    2. True, but I support most of it being a left of centre populist pro-Brexiter myself! :) I think we take it as a given most BBC staff are on the liberal-left-Trot spectrum with 99% opposing Brexit.


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