Poll: EU In or Out?

For anything not related to psychology

Remain or Leave?

Poll ended at Thu Jun 23, 2016 3:52 pm

Remain
52
100%
Leave
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 52

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workingmama
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Re: Poll: EU In or Out?

Post by workingmama » Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:24 pm

Peach wrote:I'm so gutted about the outcome of this referendum. I'm not surprised but still gutted nonetheless.
I'm so glad I was only working half a day today I've been bursting to talk about it but the office is not the place, I get the sense most of the people I work with will have wanted this result. It's made for a very awkward work day.
Indeed. Most of working spouse's family will be hanging the bunting --just so long as there is enough for me to do dark deeds with --
Fail, fail again, fail better.

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lingua_franca
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Re: Poll: EU In or Out?

Post by lingua_franca » Sat Jun 25, 2016 12:32 am

I was upset and rattled enough to start with, but then I made myself worse by arguing about the referendum outcome with a bunch of right-wing Americans online, who are very pleased that Britain is out and were trying to explain to me that the only reason I feel differently is because I have been brainwashed by fear. I am not in the mood for political insight from people across the Atlantic whose knowledge of foreign affairs could easily fit on the back of a postage stamp.

A HCA at my workplace: "I voted out because if Turkey joins then I'll end up with lots of people on my street who aren't the kind of people I want to have around."
Me (silently): "Well, when it becomes legal to make you work fifty hours a week you'll probably never see your neighbours' faces again, so at least there's that."
Me (out loud): "Anyone want a cup of tea?"
"Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
"Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this.
- A.A. Milne.

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Spatch
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Re: Poll: EU In or Out?

Post by Spatch » Sat Jun 25, 2016 9:37 am

Time for a CBT style reframe

Like everyone else on his poll I voted to remain, because I felt it was foolish to distance ourselves from our biggest block of trading partners and in an increasingly globalised world to leave the EU was regressing.

However, what I hadn't really understood was the EUs role in enacting the Transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP), which is a massive potential threat to the NHS and socialised healthcare and working conditions. If we are in the EU we would be compelled to go along with it, but outside it we can legitimately mount a good fight. Not many people have thought about TTIPs impact on psychology, despite having potentially massive implications.

I also arrogantly fell into the trap that the Leave camp were wholly motivated by the fear of "those funny brown people", and that for me (being a brown person who can be funny) this was a bad thing. Then I started thinking like a psychologist and actively moved outside my echo chamber of social media and preferred news sources. Much of it could be seen as knee jerk xenophobia, but the following post from Reddit did a lot to develop my empathy and highlight my own biases about "Leave".

So why did you vote to leave?

Its treaties taken together make, as Tony Benn once said, the “only constitution in the world committed to capitalism.” They place serious restrictions on public ownership, committing member states to open up public services to competition.
A Labour government determined to take our railways and postal services back into public hands would soon run into trouble with the EU. To his credit, Jeremy Corbyn has indicated that this is a fight he would not shy away from. But it is undeniable that taking back what’s ours would be easier if we were not subject to the EU treaties, which can only be altered by unanimous agreement among all 28 member states.

As well as being anti-socialist, the EU is undemocratic, in that its elected parliament is toothless, lacking even the formal power to initiate legislation; the orders are issued by the unelected Commission and the Central Bank.

But worse, it is actively anti-democratic. It overrides democracy. Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said when the people of Greece voted for a government that would end austerity: “There can be no democratic choice against the EU treaties.”
Greece’s government was humiliated and ministers elected specifically to carry out a left-wing programme were forced to implement the most extreme programme of privatisation and cuts anywhere on the continent.

Those who argue that austerity is a choice being made at a national level should ask why it is then that governments ostensibly on the left in France and Italy are attacking workers’ rights and public spending just as viciously as governments of the right. Seemingly it doesn’t matter who we Europeans elect any more: austerity is what we get.

Some imply that a dislike of the EU is a peculiarly British phenomenon. But the reality is that few of Europe’s citizens have ever been given a choice.

When they have, they have usually rejected what’s on offer — only for the EU to impose it anyway.

The French rejected the EU Constitution, so it was incorporated into the Lisbon Treaty. The Irish rejected that, and were told to vote again till they got the right answer. This is an organisation with contempt for the voters at its core.

Most on the left agree that the EU’s treatment of Greece was outrageous. Many would agree that it is anti-socialist and unaccountable. But we should stay in and reform it, they argue.

Unfortunately, no plausible strategy for doing so has been put forward. The EU is designed to resist reform: hence the requirement for unanimity among member states before any treaty is altered.

Acts of mass popular resistance, such as the millions-strong cross-border petition against TTIP, are simply ruled out of order by the Commission.

Even so, a large number of socialists and trade unionists are convinced that a vote to Remain is the lesser of two evils.
Some say leaving would cost us skilled jobs, pointing to threats from major manufacturers that they might relocate if we withdraw from the EU.

But those threats should be seen for what they are — blackmail by the bosses. When the super rich whinge that they will flee London if we make them pay their fair share of tax, we ignore them.

Giant corporations support membership of the EU because big business benefits from it. But membership can hardly have been good for British manufacturing, which has been decimated over the last four decades.

EU bans on state aid to industry actually hinder efforts to protect our productive economy. Italy has been taken to court by the EU for trying to assist its steel industry.

Others say that we face a bonfire of our rights by the Tories if we leave the EU with them in charge.
But we’re facing a bonfire of our rights now. Since 2010 the Tories have slapped the Gagging Act and the Trade Union Act on our labour movement, have introduced massive fees for accessing employment tribunals, have vowed to “kill off the health and safety culture for good.”

The EU hasn’t lifted a finger.
Remainers who say the NHS isn’t safe with Michael Gove or Boris Johnson are absolutely right. But the NHS isn’t safe with Cameron either, as the Health and Social Care Act showed. And it certainly isn’t safe with TTIP, the secretive treaty being negotiated by the EU with the United States.

The third and gravest point made by socialists for Remain is that a Leave victory would fuel racism, anti-immigrant bigotry and far-right violence.

An obsession with immigration by the right-wing leaders of the Leave campaign has given this some weight. But we should be careful. The far right is on the march across Europe, in France, Austria and Hungary.

Falling wages, mass unemployment and battered public services are feeding the resentment that gives birth to fascism. And the EU’s commitment to endless austerity contributes to that.

Nor is the EU’s record on racism good. A deal with Turkey widely condemned as illegal has allowed it to wash its hands of desperate refugees. In Ukraine it supported a fascist-backed coup against an elected government. When France decided to deport tens of thousands of Roma in 2009-10, the EU looked the other way.

There is no evidence that a Remain vote would help defeat the far right. The struggle against racism and intolerance is one we will have to wage either way.

Since the beginning of the neoliberal era in the 1980s, we have seen corporate power strengthened at the expense of democracy again and again.

The “big bang” deregulated the banks, putting big finance beyond our control. Independence for the Bank of England removed our ability to set interest rates. Global trade treaties are giving private companies the right to enter new markets whatever the people think about that, and increasingly the right to sue governments if they don’t like their policies.
The EU is part and parcel of all this.
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Poll: EU In or Out?

Post by CuppaT » Sat Jun 25, 2016 10:48 am

I've never seen this forum become so politically voiced, so I'm wary not to get into a debate where I might feel the debate becomes a justification for or defence of my vote. I generally avoid political debate where I can for this reason. But thanks Spatch for highlighting that not all who voted Leave were doing so based on racist and ignorant misinformation. I suspect those who aren't being vocal about their leave vote are keeping silent because of the shame at being associated with xenophobia and so on (which is certainly an issue!) but also I haven't said much until now out of respect that this is not good news for a lot of people and it brings a lot of anxiety to a lot of people who are now wondering what the future holds. Nobody decent wants anyone to feel that way. In myself I am also anxious about the future either way. It was a hard choice and i can certainly see the 'remain' camps views as my views are similar! But it was a forced choice where I agreed with one set of views on one side, and another set of views on the other and had to think hard about what would swing it for me. I guess i am saying this not to debate the ins and outs but just want to be a small, insignificant individual single voter quietly saying 'not all of us voted leave for the reasons you think'.


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lingua_franca
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Re: Poll: EU In or Out?

Post by lingua_franca » Sat Jun 25, 2016 12:08 pm

I know that not everyone who voted Leave did so out of racist beliefs. But I think it's fair to say that almost everyone with racist views will have voted Leave, and that the most vocal and widely publicised arguments for leaving have been xenophobic. Looking at the Sun, the Express, and the Mail, I don't find any reasoned anti-capitalist arguments for departure, just ranting about immigrants and a need to 'make Great Britain great again'. These arguments were designed to play on the fears of a certain bloc of voters, and it worked. Alternative arguments in the Leave camp were like islands in a sea of xenophobic hatred.

Now we face the very realistic possibility of Boris Johnson in Downing Street, and a continued Tory government. Looking at the backgrounds and beliefs of the politicians who spearheaded the campaign to get out, are they really going to be our allies in the fight against TTIP? Start championing socialist democracy? I think we are more likely to have to fight them on TTIP while also fighting against plans to repeal the Human Rights Act. These guys are not anti-capitalist, they are not friends of vulnerable groups in society, and they are the ones who will be overseeing and enacting this decision, not a group of socialists passionately committed to the NHS and everything else people round here tend to value.
"Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
"Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this.
- A.A. Milne.

CuppaT
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Poll: EU In or Out?

Post by CuppaT » Sat Jun 25, 2016 2:23 pm

I do agree with your thoughts. I avoid all of those papers because they represent mindlessness to me. I also don't believe the EU was our friend on enough important matters either. Your points are fair, and my vote was based on the fact that when its a situation of hobsons choices, then go with the choice the opens up more opportunity for voice, choice and change. That's why this country voted In the tories (not me, I voted labour but the majority voted for change). The EU wasn't listening by giving the voice and choices. Our government doesn't give much of that either, but at the end of the day our government is elected by us so there is some hope to influence what happens in the UK. I believe we now have more chance of directly fighting our politicians on these issues. As for the all the xenophobia, and the media's irresponsibility - there is also a chance to fight that too. I don't know how much of the leave voters genuinely voted on the back of racist hype. Maybe as much as you suggest, maybe less. I know the leave voters I know of very quietly and seriously thought about their vote and after voting there was a series of "I didn't want to say in case I looked like a racist but I looked into it and this is why I voted leave" - and it had nothing to do with the racist hype. I want GB To deal with itself and take responsibility for itself. It can't hide behind the EU or be bullied or claim otherwise. It can't hide from itself. I want the issues in this country to be between the people and its politicians as far as possible and I just didn't see that happening with the EU involved. If we are such a horrible country at the end of it then this is the nations shame. These are the issues we have to take responsibility for and deal with now. Can britain now do what is right and own its own decisions? I hope so. It has the freedom, independence and option to find a way. If all of this is total rubbish and completely wrong, then the politicians really do need to look at the media and how it communicates issues I'm voting on, because it took a lot of reading around for me to make my best informed decision!


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lingua_franca
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Re: Poll: EU In or Out?

Post by lingua_franca » Mon Jun 27, 2016 6:22 am

Those papers have a very wide readership and represent a significant chunk of the voting public, so I didn't ignore them no matter how mindless I found the content. We can't pretend that they don't matter.

I have been avoiding EU debates because there is no point in saying much now that the result is through, but your argument seems like it can basically be summed up as, "I agree that we've handed a megaphone to the radical right and empowered a bunch of Tory politicians with regressive policies to start putting these policies into action, but at least voting to leave will enable us to fight these policies more effectively!" We would not have had to battle for the Human Rights Act or paid maternity leave or funding to thousands of university research projects or any of the other myriad things that are now in jeopardy if we'd voted to remain.

Also, the idea that if things go wrong now at least its on our own heads is only comforting if you aren't a member of a particularly vulnerable group. The results of this grand neoliberal experiment in autonomy and 'freedom' will fall on some heads harder than others.
"Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
"Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this.
- A.A. Milne.

Monroe
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Re: Poll: EU In or Out?

Post by Monroe » Tue Jun 28, 2016 1:23 pm

Also, the idea that if things go wrong now at least its on our own heads is only comforting if you aren't a member of a particularly vulnerable group. The results of this grand neoliberal experiment in autonomy and 'freedom' will fall on some heads harder than others.
Agreed!

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Re: Poll: EU In or Out?

Post by matt.berlin » Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:12 pm

I disagree on TTIP: yes, it is been done under an EU framework but massively pushed for by the UK. On the European level, it looks like it is close to collapse particularly after strong domestic opposition in many countries, including Germany. But "domestic" is perhaps not the right word - it has been pan-European opposition that has been strengthened by people across Europe working together to defeat it. Not sure we will have so much success when the UK government tries to push ahead with a separate deal with the US (which will also be much more in the US's favour as it is a much bigger player than the UK on its own).
Ordnung ist das halbe Leben ... aber die andere Hälfte ist viel schöner!

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miriam
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Re: Poll: EU In or Out?

Post by miriam » Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:31 pm

I think Brexit is a disaster for the British people, driven by fear and misinformation. I wrote a blog about it, and I've written a brief letter re Brexit to the psychologist...
Miriam

See my blog at http://clinpsyeye.wordpress.com

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Re: Poll: EU In or Out?

Post by matt.berlin » Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:35 pm

Now I've got TTIP out of the way, here's the post I logged in to make:

Please let us all consider the impact of last week's referendum on our clients, particularly in light of increased xenophobia and racism being expressed in public. Any of our clients could be having a tough time in relation to the result. However, other EU citizens may be feeling their place in the UK is less secure (or be feeling unwelcome in this country) and people of many different backgrounds (including British citizens) may have either experienced greater levels of hatred or intolerance towards them (either directly or indirectly) or be more fearful in public in anticipation that they may be at the receiving end of it soon even if they have not already.

I campaigned for Remain in inner London, in an area that voted strongly for to stay in the EU. During the campaign I received lots of verbal abuse and even a death threat (the latter I reported to the police). Other volunteers were spat at or pushed up against walls. Today I have heard of men chanting in Soho at the weekend "First we'll get the Poles out, then we'll get the gays" ((source).

During the campaign, many people told me they supported Remain but would not put a poster up because they feared getting a brick through their window. I respected their decisions as everyone has to judge how best to keep themselves safe.

I know repeating the above may make some people feel scared or anxious. I hope, however, that it will also mobilise everyone - whether they voted Leave, or Remain, or did not vote - to now look out for each other and to explicitly reach out to those who may be most likely to be at the sharp end of the vitriol that has been unleashed. I would argue that as psychologists we need to demonstrate this to our clients by checking in with them and acknowledging that people's experiences will inevitably be influenced by what is happening outside of the clinic room.
Ordnung ist das halbe Leben ... aber die andere Hälfte ist viel schöner!

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