Brexit and the Wisdom of Crowds

I’m not quite sure if my phrase above is correct, but it does not matter.

I have seen some pics of the demo in London supporting the EU. What struck me as weird was that the protesters were all waving similar flags. Erm… What is the need for EU flags? What do flags matter? Are we impressed by them? Perhaps some people, and perhaps an awful lot of them, are impressed. For me, flags leave me cold. They speak of blind obedience. They speak of emotion and Gadarene Swine – ‘all in it together’ as the herd sweeps over the cliff – apart from the leaders, who lead from behind, and are distinctly not ‘all in it together’.

Much has been made of ignorance of the populace. ‘Experts’ have been saying that ordinary people do not have the intellectual skills to decide things like Brexit. Such things should be left to themselves to decide – ‘the experts’.

That premise is false. Almost every adult is ‘an expert’. You might reasonably ask this question:

“If that is so, why is it that the Brexit vote was so close?”

I could say, “Good question!”, but I would be wrong to do so. It is not a good question. Let us consider a General Election. Most seats are forgone conclusions – they are either Tory or Labour (and a few Liberals, Greens, etc). A comparatively few seats are contestable, which is why the Parties pour resources into those contests. When all the counting is done, what matters is who won the contested seats. We do not look at the specific majorities in each seat very much, apart, perhaps, from a few people who were active in those seats.

The referendum was not much different, with one exception – there were no safe seats. There was only one seat, which was highly contested. The Remainers did everything that they could to frighten people into voting ‘the right’ way. They lost the vote, despite their fear-mongering. How much bigger would the Brexit vote have been without ‘Project Fear’ being promoted by the PM and every Goddamn ‘Senior Official’ throughout the World? How on Earth did Obama, President of a foreign country, get to stick his nose in? Even that failed. Without that interference, how big would the Brexit vote have been? We shall never know.

But I think that it is reasonable to assume that the Brexit vote would have been bigger without ‘Project Fear’.

Why?

Because ordinary people are ‘experts’. They might not be ‘EXPERTS’, but they are ‘experts’ in their own fields. For example, a binman might be told that certain silly procedures must be obeyed. When he, an ‘expert’ in rubbish collection, asks why, he is told that the EU says so. No other explanation.

A prime example occurred a few years ago, although few people will know about it.

An entrepreneur worked out a way to collect the millions of cardboard boxes and burn them in a furnace to produce steam and thus produce electric power. He submitted his plans to the appropriate powers and received approval. He then spent hundreds of thousands of pound buying the equipment. At the last minute, the EU quashed his plan. Why? Simply because of an ‘authoritative statement’ from a functionary in the EU that cardboard was ‘waste’. ‘Waste’ had to be handled as dictated by EU regulation. It seems that no one in the UK Gov knew about that EU regulation. Cardboard is not paper or wood, it is ‘waste’. I suppose that the dotters of ‘i’s and crossers of ‘t’s might think that the cardboard could be contaminated by vast amounts of radioactive materials, or arsenic from the water supply, or even tobacco smoke.

“The EU says so” has even been used in Parliament by a Minister of the Crown. I have forgotten that precise event, but I do remember the Minister of the Crown, Milton MP, saying that the UK had to enforce the FCTC treaty from the UN. “Had to” are the operative words. Thus, even though no Minister of the Crown signed the FCTC, the UK Government, despite its long history, was ‘obliged’ to conform.

Almost every adult in the UK is ‘an expert’ to a greater or lesser extent. The people of Dover have seen the destruction created by crowds of immigrants. I mean the Dover inhabitants who work on the docks. Those people tell other people of their experiences. Their experiences mean nothing to MPs at Westminster.

Smokers relate their tales of persecution -the harassment, the prohibitions, the taxes, the propaganda. They do not forget. They see the EU as a prime mover. They are ‘experts’ in their own way. I have just been to Mallorca and brought back 30 sleeves at half price. I should not need to do that.

So people see the EU as a one way traffic – the EU is never wrong. It has permitted Europe to be inundated with young Muslim men who see girls with short skirts as prostitutes. It makes laws which cannot be repealed because there is no democratic structure which can be invoked to repeal those laws. EU laws can be enacted on ‘qualified majority’ but can only be repealed by unanimity. The whole thing is crazy.

Only some people, ‘EXPERTS’, see nothing wrong with that situation. The ordinary man in the street sees an awful lot wrong with that situation. His ‘expertise’ sees continuous agro and uncertainty, and pain all over Europe. He sees that pain in his own life, as smoking, drinking, and eating are penalised left right and centre. And yet the perpetrators of the bans and taxes and persecution are well rewarded. They are well rewarded by the very people whom we elect to defend us against fascism and totalitarianism.

There is an utter craziness about politics at this time. In the USA, either a decrepit, unhealthy, possibly slightly senile 70 year old woman, Clinton, will become President, or a 70 year old maverick, Trump, will become President. But does it really matter? He/she will still be bound by prior certainties, like Global Warming, Tobacco Danger, Exhaustion of World Resources, Population Explosion, Obesity Epidemics, along with minor emergencies like Ebola and Sika.

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A vast reorganisation is long overdue. The UN has become corrupt, as is usually the case with such unaccountable organisations. But there is a problem in doing away with the corruption, in that the corruption suits the USA and other major players. Perhaps the utility of corruption is the reason that Cameron et al so wished to continue membership of the EU.

But ‘The People’, via their own experiences and expertise, have decided that THE EXPERTISE of would-be dictators is unreliable, untrue, fascist, totalitarian (sorry to repeat), manipulative, socially disruptive, unpatriotic, and, worst of all, UTTERLY TOP DOWN. Vague blatherings about local control are no use, since, for decades, local administrations have been weak. At the moment, there is no local political structure to stop manic special interest persons from getting enough support to be elected. We are so used to Central Government assuring that crazy zealots do not get elected and flood local government, that we assume that the Big Parties will exert such control. They do not. Or, at least, those Big Party people are frightened to death of ‘offending’. That is why you get smoking bans in outdoor areas. Those in favour of such bans are strong and courageous, until they personally have to actually enforce the bans, whereupon they are nowhere in sight, while those against are apologetic, uncertain, fearful.

Is there an answer?

There is, and Brexit is the perfect example. There will come a time when the puritans will be routed. The more that we see them on TV, the more that younger people will be antagonised by them, and the more likely it is that such people will act courageously in favour of liberation, and kick out of office the witches.

Is it not very simple? If I want to enjoy tobacco, that is my right. I do not need permission. By ‘permission’, I mean having to pay extortionate taxes. Those taxes ‘permit’ me to smoke. The same goes for alcohol taxes, petrol taxes and all duties. All of them are cruel, discriminatory, totalitarian and, probably, racist.

The critical thing is that individuals have their own expertise which is just as valid as that of university professors. In fact, it might be more valid since it is based upon experience rather than ‘book learnin’.

When I was manager of a bank branch, I learnt masses of stuff about banking for various sectors, like farming. That ‘study’ is an example of academic learning. It was useless in the circumstances of my branch. In fact, had I given priority to ‘farming’, I would have neglected my core customer base, which was industrial.

I do not rate university professors. To get to that status, they must have led charmed lives in academia. A perfect example is a course in a California uni. It is a ‘climate change’ course. The blurb tells potential students not to apply for the course unless they accept that climate change is real. If they doubt anthropogenic climate change, then they are advised not to take the course. That is, ‘the science is settled’. No scientists would accept that. Not for a single moment. In fact, it is astonishing that the university has allowed those ‘professors’ to demand such conformity.

The example above illustrates clearly why the ordinary person distrusts ‘experts’. They always seem to be just too certain, and they never seem to admit error. Is it not true that all the ‘experts’ predicted devastation of the UK economy following the Brexit vote? They were utterly wrong. They were not ‘experts’ at all. The ordinary people were the ‘experts’.

 

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5 Responses to “Brexit and the Wisdom of Crowds”

  1. Rose Says:

    How much bigger would the Brexit vote have been without ‘Project Fear’ being promoted by the PM and every Goddamn ‘Senior Official’ throughout the World?

    A lot bigger.

    To my amazement, Project Fear certainly worked on my Mother and Sister. They are no lovers of the EU but were absolutely terrified of what would happen to them if they voted Leave and told me so in no uncertain terms.

    • junican Says:

      Precisely, Rose. I have seen it said that the Brexit Vote went ‘the wrong way’ because of Project Fear, in the sense that Project Fear was the wrong tactic. Erm…. No. Project Fear was the only way, since there was nothing to recommend the EU.

  2. garyk30 Says:

    Ahhh, the wisdom of Experts.
    It takes a lot of ego to think that you know more than the accumulated wisdom of millions of people with decades of experience.

    Imagine a strong man on one end of a rope pulling against a thousand people pulling on the other end of that rope.

    • junican Says:

      Yes Gary. But the trick that TC has pulled, again and again, which no one has deigned to observe, is to deny that the vast majority of people amuse themselves in the way that they wish to do so.
      What it comes down to is that how individuals wish to amuse themselves is not the business of the UN, etc.

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