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Headline

Why I, an architect, stood as a Brexit Party candidate in the election

Comment

This is an interesting article but contains many flawed and simple arguments ignoring the complexity and nuisance of the situation. The Lib Dems cannot possibly be described as undemocratic - they set out a clear position and then didn't get many votes - isn't that exactly how it should operate? They weren't, before the election, advocating for anything but a second referendum - so let's put that aside as incorrect. Also, it's strange that the Brexit party could talk about democracy having arranged (with some clear offers of quid pro quo involved) an electoral pact with the Conservatives in order to best serve the right-wing vote - was that democratic? (You must have been one of the lucky few candidates who wasn't tricked out of their fee by your party’s leadership.) Architecture is undemocratic, not sure any professions are, but that's one of the main reasons why the profession is failing so dismally. The reason why architects are detached from the 'public' we aim to serve, is because of Brexit-style thinking - that's petty, short-sighted and simplistic rather than understanding and responding to the complexity of the situation. This is reflected in the NIMBY attitude - Brexiteers are happy to benefit from a decent economy, health service and construction industry, propped up by EU migrants, but just don't want them living nearby. We've got a housing crisis and the public wants more housing for their kids etc to live in but none of it can be in the green belt (which I almost completely agree with) or near to them. Architects are predominantly, and perhaps ironically, keen to break down walls and barriers. It's generally left-wing people, trying to help society and serve people. Brexit is the antithesis to that - a regressive and nationalistic step. It's inward looking and will reduce our influence in the world. We'll each, individually, have less power and influence as a result, but if we 'take back control' (a meaningless slogan - proven to be inaccurate) then it's good. The reason Brexit is so important is that distance matters - it's easier, more practical and sustainable for people and materials to travel shorter distances - which is why diminishing our relationship to Europe is not the same as moving closer to Angola. We're not taking down any barriers to Africa, only adding a new one - so it's not at all how you've presented it. Not sure also, how you've managed to somehow suggest that just-in time deliveries from the EU are worse, from a carbon perspective, than something that has to travel ten or more times the distance to get here - this seems to be more inaccurate Brexit propaganda. Progressives and perhaps many architects would probably support more open borders - it's people who voted Brexit that are ironically against that idea. Although not all Brexiteers are racist or that profile, which has been generated falsely by those on the remain side, you cannot reasonably argue that this vote has empowered that group and increased hate crimes. Not all Brexiteers are racist for sure, but can we all agree that all racists are Brexiteers at least? Brexit isn't about preferential treatment for some, and it won't have any impact on our relationship with other nations. The principle of breaking down boundaries as well as supporting not imploding our economy, is that remains key. Unfortunately, Boris didn't expect to win but underestimated the power and success of simplistic propaganda-led campaigning. He's got exactly where he wanted to - just didn't want to have to do Brexit. Nobody knows what will happen next, but most of the projections (independent or otherwise) aren't good - even for those advocating Brexit. It's likely that it won't be apocalyptic, but the poor will get poorer and the rich will get richer more than would have happened had we stayed - the reasons for Brexit though are primarily ideological rather than evidence-based. Immigration was a large part of the argument, which doesn't make you racist or bigoted, but there was also a general dissatisfaction which this has and will do nothing to change. Politicians won't be honest and admit that in any event, for our public services and economy to survive, immigration will likely remain at the same levels. This is part of the main argument here and why us 'remoaners' have fought so hard for another vote or a softening of the hard Brexit that nobody voted for (as it wasn't on the ballot). Brexit wasn't clearly defined, but also the vote was not democratic because it was no fair. Although Remainers had more money, the government's official leaflet etc, the Leave parties (official and otherwise) spread disinformation. If the vote had been anything more than advisory the courts would have declared it null and void due to the electoral over-spending. If the vote was a great demonstration of democracy, then surely the top search result the following day probably wouldn't have been "what is the EU" and other similar lines. There's also lots of anecdotal evidence of people changing their minds, understanding more and realising that their 'protest vote' hadn't had the effect they wanted it to. It's also fair to say, as was said in Parliament by Jacob Rees-Mogg, that a second referendum on the terms of the deal would have been a fair way forward - however it seems that the Brexiteers didn't want this much democracy presumably because they feared people wouldn't give them permission once there was something concrete that they would be getting themselves into. The election was clearly influenced again by propaganda and misinformation (88% from the Tories for example), however we all accept the result as there was a clear position put forward unlike with Brexit (remember ‘Brexit means Brexit’). Whether I might choose to leave the country is something that is seriously being considered and I, a white British middle-class male with only English heritage back as far as we can do, don't feel comfortable in this country anymore - does that give you any cause for pause about what you think and advocate? All I hope is that what remains of the 17.4m don't regret the reality of what is to come. I'd be more worried from your perspective now it's going to happen - although this deal is worse than May's it's better than a no-deal clearly. What happens next is in your hands and perhaps after you'll understand 'remoaners' and wish we'd been more successful in getting a softer Brexit or avoiding this entirely.

Posted date

8 January, 2020

Posted time

11:49 am

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