25 Jun 2016

BUGGER BRITAIN, BUT IS IT CATCHING?


It's of minor importance to Australia, worth only a couple of percentage points of our exports. If the Poms want to shoot themselves in their economic foot by withdrawing from a powerful trade bloc, I don't care.
But I do care about the isolationist small-mindedness that seems to have driven the Brexit vote; the shrinking vision, the reduced hearts and minds of what was once a rather grand outward-looking nation. The danger, as many have commented, is that it gives heart to similar xenophobic, anti-globalisation types.
Many of the protagonists know no better. They are people with minds closed to the reality of the world being made a better place by maximising engagement, by welcoming differences and enlargement. There are others, the worst of them, happy to exploit ignorance for their short-term advantage. It sells newspapers. It can win an election. It can give an aspirant power.The same populist forces that swung the British public - that demonise migrants and, especially, refugees, that push a myth of a smaller, protectionist future being better – are at work here and more broadly in the world. That's a worry.

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/business/by/Michael-Pascoe-hve4e

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