Abbey Heffer

Mar 17, 2020

2 min read

Wallace, thank you for your response. Ah, there’s a lot to unpack here.

To start with, you seem to have confused several terms (both used and not used in this article).

For a start, this article is not talking about all leave voters. The first section deals with Brexiteers: politicians who campaigned for Brexit, many of whom did so on an anti-immigrant ticket. Slogans such as “taking our country back”, therefore, in the context of this article on citizenship, become rather ironic when we’re talking about the rejection of one citizenship in favour of another through direct democracy.

Moving on from the Brexiteers themselves, this article addresses leave voters who, based on the campaigns of these politicians, voted to “take their country back” — those who voted for an anti-immigrant ticket.

These voters could be considered nationalists: Individuals who leverage their political/economic/social power to further the interests of their own ‘nation’ to the detriment or exclusion of those not considered a part of this ‘nation’ (immigrants).

Nationalism could be just one part of a leave voters decision.

A remain voter could, of course, also be a nationalist, and the EU itself is a supra-nationalist project that furthers the interests of members of an in-group while excluding others.

Those who voted purely on an anti-immigrant, pro-nationalist ticket, however, are extreme nationalists.

Next terminological issue… Neoliberalism. The EU is certainly a neoliberal (economic) project that favours business and trade. It’s an issue that I, as a socialist, have with its institutions.

However, from the sounds of your uncritically anti-remainer response, I would bet your use of the term is liberal (political) which tends to refer to those politically active (and generally young) voters who favour political inclusivity, openness and equality. At the very least, you seem to use the terms interchangeably.

Which leads to my final point, which is that, much as you have accused me of lumping all leavers in one basket (please refer back to the first half of this response to reclarify about which section of the leave-voting population this article is directed at), you have assumed that the remain-voting population are a monolith. We are not. Obviously.

This article is about a very specific section of the population who voted/campaigned for leave, and a very specific area of politics (citizenship). If you want over-simplification and broad-brush strokes, please look elsewhere.

China specialist, feminist, political scientist in progress. Reviews, socialism & everyday academia. Low-brow, no jargon/acronyms. Editor of The Open Bookshelf.

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