David Mitchell: The UK's EU Referendum Should be a Matter for Politicians NOT Plebs

Watch this thread
TSR George
Badges: 16
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#1
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#1
Hampstead-based TV personality, David Mitchell, would prefer the great unwashed not to have a direct say in their own constitutional affairs, it would seem. Writing recently in The Guardian/Observer, the millionaire comedian had the audacity to suggest that those living outside of the Westminster bubble are unfit to make such choices. Whilst perhaps not totally surprising given the clique of cultural figures who were coming out in support of the status quo (up until recently), this inherently condescending, anti-Democratic, and uncharacteristically elitist stance "flatters" him not and has in no way advanced the debate. What it did do, however, was to inspire this politically unaffiliated, pragmatic social scientist to dedicate a little over "five minutes" to debunking a few of Mitchell’s myths (below)


Image

The claim that the NHS being "eviscerated" by the PM, while trendy and sensational, is scarcely reflected in reality – although it is fair to say that the PFI vampires (that Labour primarily sold out to) continue to suck the organ dry. Those who work with/within it will additionally tell you that it is principally demographic pressures, plus scientific/technological advancement vs. the ever greater expectations of service users, that threaten to render the national treasure unsustainable. Plainly, the solution to the medical morass is for meaningful efforts to be made to achieve something approaching consensus on a reformed model of public healthcare provision that will remain viable for generations to come e.g. by way of cross-party dialogue, rather than pantomime Tory-bashing

As for the BBC, to characterise efforts to introduce greater oversight, accountability, and transparency, and to encourage greater distinctiveness and conscientiousness regarding media spaces that the monopolistic organisation dominates, as "an attack" is a little puerile. Could it be that dear David is concerned that details of his own, exorbitant BBC salary will be made public? Credit to him for protesting the (mis)treatment of the disabled, however – on this at least, we can agree!

Regarding the EU, it is true to say that the consequences of our leaving could be, in part, "irreversible"; however, so too could the impact of remaining strapped to a "wasteful" and "unaccountable" quasi-imperial juggernaut facing multiple existential threats – quite likely, indeed, "leading inexorably to tyranny" or else the beast sinking beneath Fernand Braudel's 'waves of time'. Sadly, the continent grows still more socially, politically, and economically unstable, week to week, and it doesn’t take a great leap of the imagination to envisage the dystopian future Britain faces should we #Remain: roped into an increasingly disunited et. dictatorial European Union. There is nothing inherently "xenophobic" or "imperialist" whatsoever about having such misgivings, nor indeed about objecting – on point of principle, to the steady march of subversive ‘ever closer union’, at any rate

David Mitchell may believe he is qualified, and sufficiently well informed, to assert that the "trade advantages" associated with EU membership "are clear", but made no attempt to substantiate the claim, or even to cite said advantages, in his article. Contrarily, it is the humble opinion of this independent Economist that it impossible to be completely clear as to what the trade-linked economic impact of #Brexit would be; that is, except to say that when it comes to International Political Economy, and the quality of our diplomatic/economic personnel and institutions, the UK is well placed to minimise related turbulence, and that - contrary to what the media has been telling us - there are plenty of respected Economists who have conducted detailed analyses and concluded that leaving would be in our economic interests e.g. Professors Minford and Congdon, Economists For Brexit, and Capital Economics

What I am completely clear on, however, is that no trade deals will be "suddenly severed" in the event of a Brexit (Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union provides for a minimum of 2 years grace) and that, furthermore, as a Cambridge Bachelor of History, Mr. Mitchell really ought to know better than to rather wishfully attribute the keeping of the peace to the EU. WWII ended in 1945, the Paris Peace Treaties were signed in 1947, NATO was established in 1949, and a generation then passed before the UK then joined the EEC – which technically only became the EU in 1993, I might add

To tie the record of peace in Europe, wholesale, to an increasingly tense and somewhat chaotic over-grown customs union, in the above context, is simply preposterous. Clearly peace was founded on an underlying culture shift in Europe – one borne of the horror of war and the imperative of pacifism, of a common desire to build bridges, to cooperate, and to unite in solidarity and common defence (e.g. behind NATO) to reject the counter-progressive forces of fascism and Stalinism, and to safeguard shared, modern values of human progress and dignity. Interconnected economic systems and related regulatory institutions no doubt also played a role in anchoring peaceful cooperation from a functionalist perspective but, again, the underlying force is clear: Adam Smith’s far reaching "invisible hand" of industry and commerce, facilitated by technological advancement, not a bunch of bureaucrats in Brussels

The desire of the good folk of Great Britain to take control of their sovereign destiny by way of the upcoming plebiscite is perfectly respectable. We are, each and every one of us, entitled to vote in the EU Referendum, indeed even to get excited about the UK’s "Independence Day" – as Boris et al. on the #VoteLeave side would have it. Furthermore, it is my expectation that we will, by and large, vote sensibly and in the national interest, having carefully considered the arguments put by both sides. David Mitchell may not have much faith in the British people, or Democracy for that matter, but fortunately it’s not up to him. Whether the cultural and political elites like it or not, the matter now lies in the hands of the people and we can only hope that come June the 23rd those voting like him, out of fear, ignorance, or diffidence, will form only a small and ineffectual minority

Related article: Countdown to the Referendum: What We Should All Know About the EU vs. UK Independence
7
reply
1420787
Badges: 3
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#2
Report 5 years ago
#2
He had his say in an editorial manner. Now you'd had your say in an editorial manner.

His had better jokes in though.
3
reply
ODES_PDES
Badges: 18
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#3
Report 5 years ago
#3
Idiotic man, in my opinion
2
reply
34908seikj
Badges: 2
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#4
Report 5 years ago
#4
(Original post by ODES_PDES)
Idiotic man, in my opinion
How dare you. He's an up and coming national treasure!
0
reply
ODES_PDES
Badges: 18
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#5
Report 5 years ago
#5
(Original post by 34908seikj)
How dare you. He's an up and coming national treasure!
National R Sole
0
reply
34908seikj
Badges: 2
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#6
Report 5 years ago
#6
(Original post by ODES_PDES)
National R Sole
Image
1
reply
TheyHateUs
Badges: 1
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#7
Report 5 years ago
#7
The Politicians are Plebs
0
reply
Passion Fruit
Badges: 1
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#8
Report 5 years ago
#8
Speaking as someone coming from quite a diverse family in many ways including social class and who is voting to remain. I have certainly noticed that wealthy, well educated people are often the most self-righteous and patronising people, yet have flaky head in the clouds ideas rather than a common sense approach which gets results.
2
reply
caravaggio2
Badges: 17
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#9
Report 5 years ago
#9
Multi millionaire telling poor people they shouldn't get a vote? Surely not?
2
reply
SakuraCayla
Badges: 14
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#10
Report 5 years ago
#10
A comedian makes a joke article about politicians and plebs? Surely not
0
reply
moggis
Badges: 18
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#11
Report 5 years ago
#11
He is one of the wisest men on tv.

Although thats not saying much
0
reply
sleepysnooze
Badges: 3
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#12
Report 5 years ago
#12
but he's also a pleb so why should we listen to him?
1
reply
Drewski
Badges: 19
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#13
Report 5 years ago
#13
(Original post by caravaggio2)
Multi millionaire telling poor people they shouldn't get a vote? Surely not?
Telling people he also shouldn't get a vote, in fairness.
0
reply
rockrunride
Badges: 19
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#14
Report 5 years ago
#14
(Original post by Passion Fruit)
Speaking as someone coming from quite a diverse family in many ways including social class and who is voting to remain. I have certainly noticed that wealthy, well educated people are often the most self-righteous and patronising people, yet have flaky head in the clouds ideas rather than a common sense approach which gets results.
This is admittedly true. However people look to public figures and comedians for inspiration.

(Original post by caravaggio2)
Multi millionaire telling poor people they shouldn't get a vote? Surely not?
That's not true. The argument is being made that there ought not to be a referendum on the issue, which is a very plausible argument.

It is utterly misleading to say that by arguing against a referendum you are depriving the populace of their democratic right.
0
reply
Fullofsurprises
Badges: 20
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#15
Report 5 years ago
#15
I wonder if he was joking? It's often had to tell with him.

He's done a nice short history of the EU for the OU (another fine organisations the Tories tried to close down several times).
0
reply
Elivercury
Badges: 16
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#16
Report 5 years ago
#16
Really? The Tories have done nothing wrong to the NHS despite the cuts, restructuring and alienating a generation of doctors? You can argue what you like for the referendum, but putting people in charge of the NHS who believe it should be disbanded is hardly acting in its best interests.
0
reply
the bear
Badges: 20
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#17
Report 5 years ago
#17
i thought this was going to be about the MP with the bicycle...
2
reply
moggis
Badges: 18
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#18
Report 5 years ago
#18
Having only just read Michells article I think he's spot on*and I wonder if one or two people commenting on this thread can have possibly read the article?

Then again I think he's utterly an brilliant man.(I realise that to someone with my meagre IQ anyone with an IQ above 120 would seem like a genius)


*I say spot on with regard to his main points concerning the referendum.
0
reply
Fullofsurprises
Badges: 20
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#19
Report 5 years ago
#19
(Original post by rockrunride)
This is admittedly true. However people look to public figures and comedians for inspiration.



That's not true. The argument is being made that there ought not to be a referendum on the issue, which is a very plausible argument.

It is utterly misleading to say that by arguing against a referendum you are depriving the populace of their democratic right.
Referendums don't fit well with the British 'constitution', as this one is clearly demonstrating - it can't be binding on the government and we are also going to dive into a prolonged period of political chaos if it's a Leave vote because there will be perceived to be a need for Prime Ministerial resignation - because that's our 'system' - and no guarantee whoever replaces him would be any more or less likely to want to enforce the result of a Leave.

This kind of thing is why we have a Parliament.
0
reply
Jebedee
Badges: 17
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#20
Report 5 years ago
#20
I challenge you to find anyone on the BBC payroll with any other opinion.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Has advance information helped during your exams?

Yes (1)
50%
No (0)
0%
I didn't use it to prepare (1)
50%

Watched Threads

View All