Who’s celebrating?

July 21, 2016

Frank Furedi’s piece on how the post-Brexit response suggests an out-of-touch scholarly class is strangely post-factual (“Brexit pity parties show how out of touch academia is”, Opinion, 14 July). Furedi condemns the fact that most academics deplore Brexit but offers no reasons why they should celebrate it. Academics are not out of touch: we are in daily touch with our colleagues across Europe and the wider world. When our relationship with the European Union is radically called into question, so is our capacity to collaborate with our colleagues throughout the EU. So Brexit threatens something of enormous value. What precisely does it offer us in return? And if it offers nothing but threatens to take a great deal, why should we celebrate it? The only reason for accepting Brexit offered by Furedi is that people outside universities prefer it. Is it a wonder that Leavers lack the courage to speak up in the academy if they are as devoid of arguments as this? The idea that the huge minority that opposes leaving must be silenced by the tiny majority that prefers it is not democracy: it’s the tyranny of the majority.

Howard Hotson
Via timeshighereducation.com


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