Archives for June 2016

Mad Dogs and Englishmen : The EU referendum and its Other Scene

1.Mad Dogs   Like most of you, I have been following the public debate about the EU referendum  with   horrified fascination  and growing anxiety. Listening to the claims and counter-claims of the Remainders and Brexiteers reminded me of that  famous opening verse of Yeats’ poem ‘The Second Coming’ written in the immediate aftermath of the First World War: Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. What is clearly  falling apart is the managed consensus of  the Westminster political class, with its electoral pre-occupation  of capturing the ideological  centre ground. As for the ceremony of innocence, the widespread disenchantment  with mainstream party politics has opened up a space for  more  authentic and expressive  forms  of civic engagement,  to reclaim [Read More…]