Brexit is a response to changes in a world that is increasingly hard to understand. It expresses a wish to control continual change lest we are thrown beneath its galloping feet. This fear is paradoxically strongest in areas that have seen least change, including less immigration – and so, predictably – these are the most prominent ‘Leave’ areas.
Many modern changes are beneficial. In almost every way we are safer, healthier, more prosperous, better educated, longer-lived than ever before. You are much less likely to be hurt in an accident nowadays, including everything from road accidents, to falls or poisoning. If you take deaths from pedestrian accidents, you are 3 times less likely to be killed today than just 50 years ago, when there were less roads, less people and fewer cars.
We are less at risk than we ever were. So much so, that much of the risk we do experience is largely that which we inflict on ourselves from our own choices. Yet our media don’t EVER reflect this improved picture of civilisation. To view any news source, you would easily form the opinion that our society is in meltdown, hanging on by a thread. The threat from terrorists generates much more alarm than that from cars. You are 100 times more likely to be hurt by a vehicle driven by you or your neighbours than by a terrorist attack. The threat of attack from unknown others is a particular favourite of our media, where burns or drowning – causing much more damage on a daily basis – are hardly mentioned.
The media justify this torrent of scary content saying that it attracts readers or viewers. But beneath their excuses, a number of cognitive biases drive our mistaken perceptions; biases are described in more detail here: https://www.verywellmind.com/cognitive-biases-distort-thinking-2794763
Brexit is also a response to the idea there are too many people chasing too few resources. This is a modern expression of something that used to be called the population explosion. But birth rates across the developed world are dropping and the growth in world population has been falling since the 1960’s. It is due to fall to zero or less by 2050/2070. This will be speeded up if we are willing to continue our investments in overseas development.
As soon as a population becomes educated and healthier with greater access to resources, birth rates plummet. Our overseas investments remain the surest means to a good reputation and reducing pressure on emigration to the UK from these places. Unsurprisingly, since Brexit there has been a call to cancel all of our investment in third-world countries. This would contribute directly to growing chaos and populations in the places we currently support. It might also drive increased attempts to get into the UK.
Here is the falling birth rate in the UK:
Populism however, views cultural purity – including race – as a credible road to an improved society. There have been many expressions of this purity, but one of the most popular, supported by cognitive and moralistic biases is that we were a purer group just a short while back. This in turn reinforces the populist view that we should go back to how things used to be, if we want to make progress. It is the ‘good old days’ theory. It has little to do with realities, more to do with hankering for the ‘good times of yesteryear’ as we age. We all have some nostalgia for lost youth.
It isn’t racial purity that delivers progress. There are more important contributors; health, security, education and investment in public goods to name a few of them. However, race is in some ways a convenient justification for hostility that does not take facts into account – like our dependence on immigrants for a whole range of goods and services – and just how much poorer our social fabric would be without their contribution.
In the analysis linked below, one of the hard-to-face consequences of our increased longevity and expectations of continued access to advanced healthcare procedures, the Independent points out how our growing ageing population can’t be supported by a shrinking working population, particularly given the types of work that many Brits no longer enjoy, like outdoor maintenance work, call centre work, nursing and care work; all essential parts of a modern, civilised society.
This is not a theoretical debate; it can be experienced everywhere in the UK today. If you find yourself on public transport, in hospital, at school or college or speaking on the phone, you will be unable to avoid the fact that a good proportion of the people you meet, those driving, serving, caring for you, are…foreigners. They may be teachers, cooks, medical professionals, cleaners, carers or all of the above. The MSM only rails against immigration: it says nothing of the key roles and contributions made by foreigners to its readers. Indeed, the MSM never mentions that unless we encourage controlled immigration our prosperity will shrink and our modernity decline.
Unpopular as it may be, we need immigration if we are to continue enjoying public goods like health, schools and roads. This is a problem all over the developed world, with the Japanese – the longest-lived nation on earth – experiencing some of the most acute crises, largely driven by its racial purity policies. Japan is being forced to open itself up to foreigners as its domestic population ages.
If the UK Government is successful in its ambition to get net migration down to the ‘tens of thousands’ by ending freedom of movement, it will mean we find it harder to cope with the burden of an ageing population. It could also mean that your kids may have to take the kind of jobs they were hoping to avoid, through virtue of education or being a local in the employment market.
We are dependent on foreign workers; particularly for low-paid public service roles.
At the time of writing there is a crisis of empty shelves in UK shops and supermarkets. The Irish Mirror seems more able to report this than the British press. https://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irish-news/irish-supermarkets-no-disruption-deliveries-24603800
Already, since Brexit, the number of overseas visitors working in the UK has fallen sharply. If we succeed in banning them altogether – as many would like – we will miss them more than we know. You may have to push your own wheelchair down the hospital corridor!