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FT One-Sided on Brexit?

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Do you read the Financial Times? If so have you found the repeated articles on Brexit (including many editorials) somewhat one-sided? Well yesterday the Financial Times actually published a letter from Campbell Gordon complaining about it, and it’s not often that editors publish letters critical of what they are issuing.

But what do we get today? Yet another editorial on the same topic and with the same slant – in this case explaining why scientists are unhappy with Brexit and should not vote to leave. The reason being that they simply get lots of funding from EU science programmes.

Now as a long time reader of the FT I have also found it somewhat tiresome of late. There is only so much one might wish to read on this topic, particularly when it seems to give a somewhat unbalanced view.

As Editor of the ShareSoc Informer Newsletter I have restrained from saying anything on Brexit for two months. But you are warned (this is a “trailer”) that ShareSoc will be publishing my analysis of the issues soon. And it will be taking a somewhat innovatory approach to the subject rather than confuse you even further with more information overload.

In the meantime, and despite the best efforts of the FT, the tide seems to be moving in favour of Brexit with an ICM poll published in the Guardian showing the leave camp in the lead. It is suggested that today’s fall in the FTSE, in property shares, and in the pound are linked. But it could be coincidence of course. It is getting to the point where anything you read on Brexit should be taken with a large pinch of salt.

Roger Lawson

  1. marben100 says:

    It is entirely a matter of opinion whether the FT’s articles are biased on this matter. They are simply expressing their view about the cases put forward by either side. The fact that you don’t like their conclusions doesn’t mean that they are biased. There is vast exaggeration & misdirection from the “leave” side (which the FT is doing a service in highlighting), just as there is from some of those in the “remain” camp.

    Mark Bentley

    • sharesoc says:

      Your comment about “vast exaggeration & misdirection” is just as applicable to the remain campaign, as my forthcoming article will make plain (and which you have already read of course). Indeed the article complains about both sides negative hyperbole. But I would normally expect a more even handed analysis from the FT (as the letter writer to the FT also did apparently).
      Just to take yesterday’s editorial, does it really make sense for scientists to support “remain” simply because they rely on EU funding? One could just as well argue that their views should be ignored because they are being bribed to support the EU. But the editor chose not to point that out!
      Roger Lawson

  2. sharesoc says:

    I think your comment “much of the brexit vote is based on objecting to foreigners” rather demonstrates your lack of understanding of the issues and why such a large proportion of the population are considering voting to leave the EU. It is simplistic to suggest that this is the main or primary motivation. There may be objections to the volume of immigrants but that is a different matter altogether to xenophobia.
    And I am very doubtful that Brexit would significantly reduce scientific co-operation worldwide as it clearly takes place between the UK and non-European countries at present.
    Roger Lawson

    • George N Martin says:

      It is true that the objection to immigrants does not stem from xenophobia. Unfortunately xenophobia stems from objection to immigrants. I suspect that just as I don’t understand the issues that cause you to want to leave the EU, you do not understand how the EU is stitched into the academic community.

  3. George N Martin says:

    Scientists do not just ‘rely on EU funding’, they rely on initiatives that are worked up over years through the EU and the rest of the world. It is hard to imagine how common projects will be agreed and funded if the current channels are broken. Doubtless in the long run other channels would be constructed, but in the meantime it might be hard to include British scientist in the many long term projects.

    Much of the brexit vote is based on objecting to foreigners, I attend presentations on general relativity and cosmology at a local university. Only a small proportion of those speaking and attending are British, and many British post doctorate scientists work at foreign universities. I’m aware that in the theatrical and musical world it is already sometimes difficult to get visas to allow people from overseas to perform here. I fear with the spread of xenophobia it will become more difficult for scientist across the world to work together, and more difficult still for artists.

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