Dismay, fear for the future, alarm at a country that no longer respects the same values, anger at a political class that fails to represent. Those of us who have been waking up since the referendum with these feelings of shock and grief now have a real taste of what many of those excluded from the benefits of our globalised economy have felt for decades. It is arrogance to call leave voters stupid, as some have done. We have a responsibility to listen to what the Brexit majority want to say, especially on immigration. The horrific rise in xenophobia makes it all the more urgent for the left to develop and articulate a coherent response on free movement of people that neither panders nor patronises. The first step is to acknowledge that the referendum result was not simply a protest by the poor and marginalised. The urge to withdraw from Europe cuts across classes. Anti-immigration sentiment is felt by those who have not been directly affected by migration as well as by those who have. A few are no doubt just straightforwardly xenophobic, but I doubt most are. Look at Lord Ashcroft’s polls showing how the leave view correlates with… Read full this story
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