The results of the UK referendum on #brexit have shocked the world, starting with defrauded British voters who, bombarded with a ruthless campaign of fear and loathing, rushed towards a shining exit sign, stumbling inside a maze of frantic tabloids and siren lures, to suddenly find themselves out in the back alley of an abandoned town, naked and cold, not understanding the real outcome of the “choice” they were forced into. Today they are waking up to a story that has no storyline, no lead actors and no timeframes. They have been ejected into outer space and are now floating in the cold comfort of being the masters of their own destiny, but have no destination to go to, road to follow, or driver.
But the biggest shock and disbelief seats clearly on the side of the audience. We, the ones watching from afar, or from across the channel, have watched with horror the unfolding of a tragedy for humanity. Yes humanity I say, because to watch how a modern and mature society, with incommensurable political, cultural and economic wealth under its belt, can be so easily and quickly driven to commit euro Seppuku (harakiri) in the name of “being great again” and “we need control”, generates nothing but a feeling of profound despair and pain. I’m 0% British from a genotype perspective, but as a global citizen, I could very much feel the knife penetrating my gut while we were watching the BBC calling the results last Friday afternoon (NZ time).
Waves of shock and disbelief have reached every corner of earth. But of course, there are exceptions. Martine and Donald were drinking Champagne on Saturday morning, clicking their heels thinking “ok, ok, my turn next”, like kids in line at the country fair. They were thinking; lI want to have a go at this piñata called modernity. I want to hit it hard and see what comes out in feast of navel-gazing xenophobia.
In the case of the UK, one can quickly understand the potential impact in economic terms of the change to come. I am using a tool developed at the observatory of economic complexity to show how countries produce and consume in the global economy. Here are a couple of images showing who are the owners of the lollies hiding inside the export and import piñata the UK economy is about to hit.
Let’s start with who are the key UK economic partners when it comes to selling British products. (exports).
How about where does the UK buys stuff from (imports)
Anyone sees a pattern? It all looks very purple to me, like the eyes of a badly beaten partner. So, how on earth will you be expecting that partner to divorce you in amicable and civilised terms? Isn’t it obvious that the outcome of putting up barriers between you and them is cost, economic slowdown, and inflation. Aggravation…. What sort of response can you expect, other than get your bags and get the hell out of here?
But why on earth will you want to divorce them in the first place, jobs? anyone remembers UK in the 70s and early 80s, before the EEC boom kicked in? Were there Polish, African and Syrian immigrants stealing jobs and hospital beds? Who was in control back then?
Forgive me, but to me it’s not about economics or politics, it’s not about jobs and economic opportunities. It’s a suicidal attempt against the imperfect work in progress of modern humanity.
Today, in many societies across the globe, others are now secretly kicking their heels, waiting their turn to grab the stick and hit hard the piñata.