John Harris

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Archive for June, 2019

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Britain is horribly divided – but that’s also the fault of remainers | John Harris

Tuesday, June 4th, 2019

Opposing a reckless, no-deal Brexit by embracing a tribal war would be disastrous

In the buildup to the European elections, I travelled around Britain and had the sense of people talking about the state of the country in wildly different ways. “Democracy is broken,” shouted a Brexit supporter in Swindon. I met lifelong Tories on the affluent edges of the Cotswolds, anxious about how England seems to be embracing the politics of extremes. In Manchester, everyone was remain, but remarkably disengaged from the Brexit conversation. In Merthyr Tydfil, a woman who had voted for Nigel Farage’s Brexit party, offered the brisk rationale about her town that “it’s the same as it’s always been, so that’s why we need a change”. In retrospect, everything fitted the picture offered by that much-discussed YouGov poll last week, of a politics so turbulent that the Liberal Democrats are suddenly popular again, Farage is newly insurgent, and the two-party carve-up of 2017 seems like a distant memory. What polling wouldn’t pick up, however, was present in encounter after encounter: woven into very different conversations, a shared sense of weariness and exasperation.

Related: Corbynism is now in crisis: the only way forward is to oppose Brexit | Paul Mason

Related: Don McCullin: England is at war with itself over Brexit

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