Ian McDonald, member of Centre for Human Emergence Global, makes some on-the-scene integrally informed observations of the morning after the Brexit Vote.
As you might imagine, it has been an interesting 18 hours in the UK since we [CHE Global} spoke. As I suspected the voter engagement was very high with 72% of those eligible to vote doing so. In recent General Elections the turn-out has typically been closer to 35%.
The easy shot for the campaigners on both sides was around fear; fear of economic meltdown if we left the EU or fear of immigration and losing jobs if we stay. So a very large percentage of the voters used the opportunity to vent both anger and fear at the established status-quo after many years of an austerity economy following the banking crash. It was a strike back at both the policy and the politicians who were seen as self-serving rather than actually about the headline issue.
The result of a 2% majority in favour of leaving has now created a power vacuum as David Cameron has resigned and the leader of the opposition Labour party who was pro-Remain is facing a vote of no-confidence through weak leadership. In theory the right-wing Conservative party has largely torn itself apart leaving an open goal for a Labour government to be formed as I am sure a general election will occur within 12 months. Labour however have a leader who has no leadership ability.
It is like a boxing match with both opponents being knocked out.
At grass-roots level business and community owners are showing early signs of trying to build bridges with the recognition that only a route that heals the rift between the two camps will endure. I believe Boris Johnson, figurehead for the Leave campaign will be seen as too divisive both within his own party and in a wider context to succeed Cameron and he will face strong opposition.
For either party to take steps in leading the exit process and re-negotiation we need a strong leader capable of uniting a very divided UK which itself may further fragment as both Scotland and Northern Ireland voted strongly to stay as parts of Europe.
So we have the risk of a Un-United Kingdom with an independent Scotland and a united Ireland both remaining in Europe and an isolated England and Wales trying to re-invent a place in the world. The hour has come; let us see who arrives to face an extraordinary challenge.
From a bewildered , bruised and tired UK.