Brexit: My social circle react

The following are posts made by family and friends, or friends of friends of mine on Facebook and other social networks in the 24 hours following the British decision to leave the EU.

They are presented here unedited and anonymised. If anyone would like to be credited with what they have said, or have their writing removed, please contact me as soon as possible.
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Critics of EU ‘red tape’

I subtitle this post, in the immortal words of Lord Kitchener, said as he encouraged men to enlist to fight in The Great War:

“Be certain that your so-called reason is not a selfish excuse”

Using two examples around data protection and privacy that I recently encountered, I will argue against the ever-popular opinion that European Union (EU) regulation is limiting Britain, and that leaving would benefit the majority of us.
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Two questions to ask of a political future

At this referendum, many of the arguments by the leave side are focused on voting leave as taking an opportunity, free from the reams of European dictacts, laws and courts, to implement a newly imagined political future.

I’m all about asking the questions ‘how did we get here, why are things done this way, and how could they be done better?’, and so I support this honourable and necessary endeavour.

However, for this particular vote at this particular juncture the two issues I would raise are thus:
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The story of five Hong Kong booksellers

Today brings the revelation of Hong Kong citizen, publisher and bookseller Lam Wing-kee that in October last year he did not voluntarily cross the border into China to meet waiting law enforcement officers, in order to repent his sins for selling rumour-laden, sensationalist, gossip factory books about Chinese leadership in a televised confession.

He was rendered by Chinese state security operatives, against his will, as he crossed the border from Hong Kong to neighbouring Shenzhen, taken to the coastal port of Ningbo and made to sign papers waiving his right to a lawyer (an inalienable right, even in Chinese law). After months of house arrest and torture he eventually made a broadcast confession, reading from a pre-prepared script. A confession he now wholly refutes.

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Recent absence is only a few months old and I’m already writing an apology for not posting updates. But this is not to give excuses or ‘manage expectations’. Writing a blog is doing everything I hoped it would. It’s made me more thoughtful and reflective, given me a creative outlet, improved my typing and web design, been a space to focus on myself and my place in the world and given me a sense of concrete achievement. I have no intention to stop now. It is simply that in the past month I’ve only found the time to escape other duties, sit down and put in several hours writing on a couple of occasions.

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House prices and rent controls

There have been two news stories in the past fortnight on the same subject, house prices, but it’s been framed in two different ways, for two different political ends. In this post I want to address the substance of both announcements, consider their utility, and address the white elephant they both show a determined effort to ignore.

Houses in Styal, Cheshire
Victorian worker’s homes in Styal

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Communism and Home Ownership in China

  1. China is a communist country.
    The Communist Manifesto calls for “Abolition of property in land” and the Chinese constitution states that “Socialist public property is sacred and inviolable”.
  2. Home ownership is a core cultural norm.
    Husbands are, by and large, expected to at least have a deposit down on an apartment before asking a girl’s hand in marriage. Preferably the property is already owned outright. I only know one person over the age of 28 who is renting, and that’s because she was recently divorced.

Clearly there is a serious tension between these two principles.

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