Interesting piece from Professor Wynn Jones of Cardiff University on the role of competing identities unwriting the Brexit result in June 2017, which offers clues as to why attitudes are unlikely to change not least because cultural certainties will likely withstand economic hardship…
Nothing since the referendum has shifted the identities that underpinned the result – quite the opposite. Far from seeking to manufacture what political scientists called “loser’s consent” following the close overall result, Theresa May’s administration has simply doubled down on the Anglo-British nationalism that was at the heart of the Leave vote.
It is now commonplace to hear supporters of Brexit describe their opponents as unpatriotic “traitors”. The wholly predictable response on the losing side has been an entrenching of a sense of distance and alienation.
This has already had tangible political results. In the June general election, Labour outperformed expectations in Wales in large part because those strong-Welsh but not strong-British identifiers swung heavily towards it. Similarly, much of Jeremy Corbyn’s success in England was a result of a significant swing towards Labour among those who feel strongly British but not strongly English. You reap what you sow.
So, according to sources, one lefty Remainer comedian who quipped about the increase in food prices discovered recently that some jokes no longer travel from London to Bolton.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty