Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Brexit Wins, Intellectualism Loses

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Brexit Wins, Intellectualism Loses

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Brexit wins, intellectualism loses


An editorial from the Winnipeg Free Press, published June 25:

In the end, anti-intellectualism won.

"I think people in this country," declared Vote Leave's Michael Gove, "have had enough of experts." This was in response to Great Britain's "remain" campaign that had experts lined up, solid in their belief the British economy would fare better if the country remained part of the European Union.

Early Friday, it was clear that experts be damned, leaving the EU was what the majority of Britons want. With the outcome of the Brexit vote, Prime Minister David Cameron resigned and has said he will leave the unprecedented task of managing the country's exit up to his successor, who many believe will be MP Boris Johnson, the former London mayor who campaigned heavily for the leave side.

Mr. Johnson himself was never a markedly pro-exit politician, however, he is extremely ambitious. He became a cheerleader for the leave campaign in order to situate himself as the heir apparent for the Conservative party and he was ruthless in his tactics, relying on misleading information about the cost of EU to Britain and invoking racist and anti-immigrant rhetoric. He didn't act alone in that regard.

U.K. Independence Party Leader Nigel Farage, who was also pro-exit, fuelled antagonisms toward foreigners as well. The party, founded in the early 1990s on an anti-European platform with strong anti-immigrant and anti-homosexual beliefs, has become home for neo-Nazis and supporters of the far-right who actively campaigned for the leave side. They pitched a vision that Britons can take their country back. …

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