Jude Law: ‘I had a couple of weeks of serious depression post-Brexit’

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Here are some photos from this past weekend’s Rome premiere and premiere-party for The Young Pope, the new ITV series starring Jude Law as a terrible young fictional pope. The story is supposed to be like House of Cards-goes-to-the-Vatican, wherein everyone loves the handsome young pope but it turns out he holds the same terrible, arch-conservative ideas as everybody else in the Vatican. To promote the series, Jude gave a really interesting interview to the Telegraph, which you can read here. He chats about the role, filming in Italy, the paparazzi and more. The best section is where he’s talking about Brexit, I think. Some highlights:

The Vatican approves of this series: “It isn’t trying to shock. It would be more shocking if Lenny was having rent boys up to the Vatican and smoking pot. But he’s not. He’s a conservative. In fact, he’s a prude. He’s homophobic, he’s anti-divorce, he’s anti-abortion and all those things are in the scriptures. He’s standing up for things we know are questionable within the rules. It’s more about a man trying to rein in and understand his own crisis of faith.”

His own religious beliefs: ‘I went through this phase, I remember, sort of dipping into Buddhism and spirituality, if you know what I mean. But it’s very interesting, our relationship with the Church, even if you’re not religious. One aspect of it that I really took away from this experience was its theatricality. It’s like the birthplace of theatre, with its love of costumes and scriptures and lights and sets.’

Conservative faith anywhere is terrifying: ‘There is something terrifying about conservative faith, as we all know, as we are all experiencing and seeing. I think it’s important not to lose our heads. But at the same time, it’s certainly moving in a direction that I find distasteful and uncomfortable. Anything that divides as opposed to bringing us together is worrying.”

How he feels post-Brexit: “I had a couple of weeks of serious depression post-Brexit, if I’m honest. I was stunned that I clearly lived somewhere where I didn’t know what half the population felt. And initially, there was a sense of anger at that, then I thought: “This is actually a sad situation, this is something we have to do something about.” How do we understand and reshape this country? How do we move forward? If it becomes an “us and them” situation, it will only underline the problems we already have. I had to reflect on the fact that the country felt so divided, more of a sense of, “Good Lord!” I don’t think anyone saw it coming and it felt suddenly like I was alienated in my own country. I didn’t understand what the country was obviously feeling and going through, that it was in such an extreme state, and that upset me. I think being British is something I’ve always held dear. Certainly being a Londoner. I’m not a great patriot, but I’m certainly someone who feels English out there on the international market. And it just left me feeling confused, I suppose. Separated somehow.’

Whether he thinks of leaving Britain: ‘Yeah, that’s always flashing through my brain. But I never have. In my early 30s, late 20s, when my marriage and my family were very young, I remember discussing uprooting and going travelling. We always get a bit disgruntled about where we live for a while, but then in reality, where would I go? Maybe in the next 20 or 30 years I’ll find somewhere. At the moment, I’m thinking of moving out of London rather than out of Great Britain. We’ll see; it’s not going to happen at the moment. The kids are still at school.’

[From The Telegraph]

It’s interesting how the Brexit debacle has mimicked the Donald Trump phenomenon in America. I think most of us understood that when we elected Barack Obama in 2008, of course there was going to be a backlash because that’s the political/social reality. But who among us could have predicted that the backlash to eight years of a moderate-progressive Democratic presidency would be the unhinged monster Donald Trump? That’s what moderate-progressive people feel in Britain about Brexit: “do I even know my own country?” and “I thought we were better than this as a nation.”

Also: I will give Jude $10 if he stops wearing drop-crotch parachute pants.

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Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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70 Responses to “Jude Law: ‘I had a couple of weeks of serious depression post-Brexit’”

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  1. Leila says:

    Jude, I’m still depressed and want to beeline out of the UK. If anyone knows of a job for me in their country, I’m interested!

    • Lisa says:

      Me too, Jude. Can’t cope with the idiots who have no idea what they voted for and yet are so happy that we’re out.

    • Wurstbonbon says:

      I would ask you what your job is and invite you to my beautiful country, buuut:
      I feel the same in germany. When our election results started showing really high numbers for that new super right wing party, I too got into a serious depression for weeks. As a german you live with the eternal curse of being reminded of Hitler every 3rd day, so you would think that there is no chance that anybody did not learn from this, but alas, here we go.
      Sorry for highjacking the comment.

      • Eve says:

        Super right winged party? You mean, worse than CDU?

        There goes my plan/dream of studying German (or doing a post graduation if I learn German already here) for two years.

        *I spent some time there, back when Gerd Schröder was chancellor (after to have selling his soul to form a coalition and defeat Merkel).

        **I was told (at the time) that the guy behind Merkel, whose name escapes me now, was super right winged.

      • Eve says:

        ETA:

        Found it — The man who was always posing alongside Merkel on billboards and panflets was Edmund Stoiber, Minister of Bavaria (looks like Mr. Burns from The Simpsons).

      • Eve says:

        *(…) after having sold his soul to form a coalition (…)*

        By the way, I apologize in advance if you’re a CDU supporter.

      • Liberty says:

        lol! I met Stoiber a few times some years ago visiting in Munich before i moved there. Very twinkly eyes. Seemed way nicer than what I expected CDU to be, very engaged and intent when talking to you.

      • Eve says:

        @ Liberty:

        You live in Munich? Oh, dear…envy is such an ugly thing. I’m eating my heart out now.

        Can I hate you for a little while (yes, just for this — I’m stuck here while you’re there)? Pretty please?

  2. emmyb1608 says:

    People voted in a way in which they considered would benefit them the most, and when watching the tv programmes devoted to Brexit, it was clear neither side was going to win by a landslide.
    Now, however, we have a Prime Minister that was not elected by voters.

    • gobo says:

      That’s because In the UK you vote for a party, not a Prime Minister. Citizens of the UK should never forget that. And I’m surprised if they do since on the ballot sheet you vote for your local representative of the party, not for the party or it’s leader.

    • spidey says:

      When was the last time the UK had a PM voted for by the electorate?

      • Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

        Tony BLair – he was beloved by the people for a time.

      • spidey says:

        His party won an election but he wasn’t chosen to lead that party by the electorate any more than any other PM in history. Cameron was leader of the party last year, in the same way as Blair and he won an election but we didn’t choose him, the PCP did.

      • Robin says:

        Um…neither Tony Blair nor any other Prime Minister was elected by the electorate, apart from those voters in his or her own constituency.

  3. Londerland says:

    That’s what moderate-progressive people feel in Britain about Brexit: “do I even know my own country?” and “I thought we were better than this as a nation.”

    Yep, this exactly. A lot of my friends and I reacted like Jude, with shock and depression and horror. There have been tears shed. And all to the disdain of the Leavers among us, who say, “oh come on, we’re only leaving the EU, it’s not as if anything is really going to change!” Well, then why the f*** did you vote?! I’ve yet to hear anyone give a good reason. “I want things to go back to how they were before we joined the EU.” Yeah? Get a time machine, then, and go back. The rest of us want to move forward, TOGETHER.

    I feel like this isn’t the Britain I know. And I try to tell myself that it’ll settle, it’ll be okay, that not everyone who voted Leave did so for racist reasons, but…the Leave campaign was run almost exclusively on xenophobic, anti-immigrant grounds, so anyone who voted to leave must have been okay with that rhetoric. Which is terrifying to me, that a third of the electorate saw Nigel Farage’s pound shop Hitler impersonation and said, “I’m okay with this”.

    Scary, nasty times.

    • Sixer says:

      Lists of foreigners. Says it all really, doesn’t it?

      • Londerland says:

        @Sixer – holy hell, I couldn’t believe that when I saw it. My friend’s children were born abroad and she posted a screenshot of the text from their school saying they urgently needed to know everyone’s country of birth. I just couldn’t believe it. I still can’t. Outrageous.

      • Sixer says:

        Yep. I think business stymied the employees listings with back room lobbying cos UKG rowed back on that pretty quickly. But we powerless parents didn’t get a climb down, I notice. I’m organising a boycott at my school, as are others.

        You will like this picture from someone somewhere else doing the same thing:

        http://twitter.com/ciano_ire/status/785948563524255744

      • Londerland says:

        @Sixer (sorry, on my phone and can’t reply directly) – I saw that parent’s response, it is glorious!

    • ReineDidon says:

      I so agree with you !

    • paolanqar says:

      Some people voted without even knowing what they were about to vote for.
      I think the Brexit happened because the ‘Leave’ campaign had the loudest voice against the ‘Remain’ campaign which didn’t even exist so all the dumb people voted to leave because they have been brainwashed by politicians (who still have no idea of what to do/what will happen)
      Unity is the only solution nowadays and I hope my country will never even consider the idea of leaving Europe.
      That would be a tragedy.

    • LAK says:

      As i’ve said before, this election was a bremain one to lose because the brexit campaign started in 1973 NOT the recent few months that people think.

      About a minute after Edward Heath signed us up to what was then the common market in 1973, the Brexit campaign began.

      There has been a very high profile Brexit campaign and a demand for a referendum for 30+years. Every election cycle, Politicians promised it, but never delivered on that promise.

      I can understand why Cameron gave in as a political maneuver to silence his Tory critics in the party because Brexit campaign and the referendum demand has been the bane of every Tory govt since 1973. It nearly brought down Thatcher and Major’s govts which were paralysed by the infighting over this single issue.

      As the decades went by, it became poisoned by the immigration issue, but the call for a referendum and a demand for Brexit has always been with us.

      Bremain lost because they forgot or didn’t take into account the 30yr head start of the Brexiters AND they didn’t focus on the positives and instead waded into the mud. It’s ironic because the Bremainers had just lost the London Mayoral election for similar tactics.

      • Londerland says:

        @Lak – oh definitely, the will to leave Europe didn’t materialise out of thin air. Euroskepticism has been part of the political landscape all my life, certainly. For decades, our politicians have been happy to blame Europe for just about anything – things we had to do because the EU told us so, things we’d simply love to do if only we didn’t have to give so much money to those pesky bureaucrats in Brussels. They’ve been more convenient and more consistent bogeymen than any terrorist group.

        On top of that, we have a media that’s constantly looking for scare stories, people to blame, and immigrants are the current favourite (along with people on benefits). Even if people don’t necessarily believe what they read in the paper, a constant stream of negativity about immigrants becomes a kind of background noise – people just take it for granted, they don’t question it.

        In reality, though, because nobody actually expected the Leave campaign to win, nobody bothered to lay out what leaving would actually entail. Maybe there are actual, good reasons we should want to leave the EU, but I’ve not heard a single one. The people who voted Leave voted for nothing, they were taking a leap into darkness. It’s insane.

      • spidey says:

        Would you mind telling me how old your are LAK.

      • Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

        In a way De Gaulle was right to block our entry into the EEA for as long as he did – he famously said we were not ready for it.

        I have hope that we will end up with a softer Brexit than the one currently being pushed by May, but it depends how much parliament can prevail. She is trying to push them out of the negotiations which is very scary, plus she has said that they MIGHT get a vote on the final deal. Am not sure how much of this is politicking but am sure she’ll give it a go.

        Her talk of a hard Brexit pushed the pound down, I wonder what the wounderkid Carney will do to bring it back up.

      • spidey says:

        “In a way De Gaulle was right to block our entry into the EEA for as long as he did – he famously said we were not ready for it.”

        No good deed goes unpunished as they say.

    • moe says:

      I feel exactly the same way. I am an american but I have lived in Ireland for 20 years. I really really fear donald is going to win by people wanting to ‘send a message to the establishment’, just like they did in the uk. People get caught up in the drama and anger and easy shock messaging of much of the media (immigrants are bad! they are taking your jobs! they are raping your wives! Fat cats in brussles/DC are getting your money! people don’t respect our Great British/American empire anymore!)

      i get the feeling a lot of people who voted for brexit might be of another opinion now that it is too late. And i’m afraid people wont’ turn out to vote in the us presidential elections because of apathy and/or anger and he’ll slip by and we will all be repenting THAT debacle too! I’ve never feared things in politics they way I fear now…

  4. Mara says:

    Likewise felt really sad when I first heard the result and not unnerved by how divided the country is – I suppose living in London which was largely remain sheltered me from what a lot of other people were feeling and how desperate they were economically to make such a risky choice.

  5. ell says:

    same. actually, since may took over and recently seem to be going for a hard brexit, i’ve been feeling even more depressed.

    i’m a british citizen, but as i’m an immigrant this is very personal to me since brexit is about immigration, and i accept no excuses or anyone telling me otherwise (they’re lying to themselves if they think there’s any other reason). it’s the first time since i moved to the uk i’ve had to question whether i’m even welcome here, and i’m ‘the right’ sort of immigrant; i can completely hide my roots since i can speak with an english accent, and i have a british passport. it’s really quite unsettling and scary. i also relate to being a londoner, it’s lucky in a way because london has a different mindset to the regions that voted leave and i’m proud of that, but it’s also alienating to see such a divide. basically, it’s a mess.

    • Norman Bates' Mother says:

      People, who say it’s not about immigration are either trying to sugar-coat their nationalism or are lying to themselves. Even the politicians are open with their motives.

      I used to live in the UK and even though as a “bad immigrant” I had to deal with the regular prejudices, like some British people being condescending, assuming I work as a cleaner and speaking to me like I was slow, it was nothing extreme and I had missed Devon dearly afterwards. But right now, since Brexit and numerous attacks (and murder) on my fellow Polish people, I’m scared to go back. I just found out that I have to travel to London for a week-long delegation in November, and a year ago it would be a dream come true as I’ve never been there before, but right now I don’t feel safe or welcome. My family members act like I’m going to a war zone: “Don’t speak Polish in public!”, “Hide your accent!”, “When someone asks, tell them you’re French/German” etc. and the worst thing is, they have every reason to act like that, because politicians like May create an atmosphere of hate towards us and my relatives and friends, who still live there warn me that some Leavers think it’s basically a legal kick an Eastern European/Muslim/Indian etc. day every day since Brexit.

      • spidey says:

        In my case it was because I strongly objected to the creeping federalisation, and the fact that what I voted for in the 70s – the EEC is not what we ended up with.

        But people will believe what they want to believe – doesn’t make it accurate.

    • Robin says:

      Really? So every single one of the 17 million people who voted leave did so because of immigration? No one voted on the basis of the economy or wanting to have control over their own country rather than having a bunch of unelected Eurocrats making decisions for them?

      • spidey says:

        Thank you Robin. There is an arrogance around SOME remainers that they think they know why everyone who voted to did so. They don’t seem to realise that some of us were looking further ahead than the next year or two or the next immigration crisis.

        17 million people didn’t become idiots overnight, and 16m suddenly didn’t ALL become very smart.

        I am old enough to have voted for entry into the EEC in the 70s. The EEc is not what we have now.

      • Sixer says:

        Yes, but everybody has to take responsibility for their choices.

        Every consequence of Brexit was predictable. Including the rise of xenophobia and racism. A pro-EU, pro-immigration MP was assassinated by a far-right terrorist a few days before the referendum, FFS.

        Nobody is saying every single Leave voter is racist or voted leave because they are racist. But to go into denial about the part racism and xenophobia played into the Leave vote is just to abrogate personal responsibility.

        Like it or not, Leave voters aligned themselves WITH racists and xenophobes.

        Like it or not, Leave voters aligned themselves WITH people who would rather see the entire UK economy crashed than have even the slightest relationship with the EU.

        Like it or not, Leave voters aligned themselves WITH a bunch of politicians who have just made the most outrageous power grab for the executive, thus DECREASING parliamentary sovereignty, not increasing it.

        I love you Spidey, and believe in your personal goodness as a human being. I really, honestly do. But this is what you did. And this is why, despite being Eurosceptic, I didn’t do it.

        It’s just the same thing as voting for Trump because you believe he’s onto something about the hollowed-out middle class in the US. He might well be onto something, but a vote for Trump for that reason is still a vote for everything else he stands for as well.

      • spidey says:

        I think we will have to agree to disagree or we will seriously fall out and I don’t want to do that.

  6. Sixer says:

    Many similarities between Trump and Brexit, I think.

    On the upside, there are many, many people in my (Tory-voting, Leave-voting) little village who are walking about saying exactly the same things as Jude. How did we get here? On the downside, all the nasty people (and not all Brexit people are nasty) think they have been given free rein to splurge all their hatred (of everything, it seems) all over the place to such an extent they are drowning out everything else.

    I was reading comments on your Trump thread yesterday and wondering – he’s probably going to lose, but even when he does, what is America going to do about the third at least of the population who will have voted for him? He’s given them the same free rein to shout the usually-unspeakable as loud as they can, hasn’t he?

    Societies can’t go on happily for long with such extreme polarisation, whether that be about Brexit or Trump.

    Still, something NICE will happen soon, right? 2016 has been rubbish so far.

    (I can’t help liking Jude, for all his douchey ways.)

    • Eve says:

      Let this “something NICE” be my death, please.

      Seriously, January 1st 2017 and you all can start wearing t-shirts saying “I survived 2016″.

      • Sixer says:

        Never your death, my darling.

        But I am beginning to feel that 2016 is something to be survived and then forgotten as quickly as possible.

      • Eve says:

        It CANNOT be forgotten. It MUST not be forgotten.

        If there’s anything good about this horrible, horrible year is that it works as both a warning and cautionary tale.

      • Sixer says:

        You’re not wrong there.

        I feel like 2016 is a rising tide that’s lifting all bigots. Honestly, I do.

      • Eve says:

        @ Sixer:

        I’m honestly surprised *and disappointed) at how many racist people are there. I never thought that about the UK.

        And to think that around 2001 I planned to live there (go to study, stay if I could — legally, I mean). Not anymore.

      • Sixer says:

        Two part answer – part a) I am sad to say that there are many more racists and xenophobes in Britain than it is comfortable for me to acknowledge; part b) Brexit has amplified their voice so that it appears that there are more than there are. I am hoping that part b) at least is a temporary phenomenon. A mass – but shortlived – racist hysteria, if you will.

        I’m doing my best to help that to happen, honest.

      • Eve says:

        I believe you when you say you’re doing your best.

      • Eve says:

        ETA:

        It’s the others doing their worst that scare me.

        I’ve heard horrible stories about Brazilians being deported from Heathrow Airport even though England was just their hub (they were going somewhere else). And that was long before Brexit.

      • Sixer says:

        We’ve had a NASTY NASTY system like that for ages now. Part xenophobia, part ridiculous restrictions over war on terror ending up affecting everyone.

        Brexit Britain is… the fabric of society is crumbling around me, I tell you, Eve.

        The latest lunacy: the country’s biggest supermarket chain has taken one of the biggest food brand’s items off its shelves (things like Marmite, a British staple, FFS) because the pound has crashed so low and neither side wants to take the hit.

        Have we become a banana republic overnight?

      • Eve says:

        Nah…that’d be us, Brazil (unfortunately). We became a banana republic the moment the right winged parties managed to remove (legitimately elected) president Dilma Rousseff from presidency.

        It makes me want to cry. They didn’t just circumvent the Constitution. They ran over it. A country that treats its Constitution like that is no country at all.

        As a Law student, I’m both angry and ashamed. And afraid of what comes ahead.

      • Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

        @Sixer: A 10% price hike across the board is quite a big hit to take and me thinks Unilever are taking the piss a bit, sadly they won’t be the only ones. Supermarkets are already overpriced for many items and is why the everything for a pound shops have taken off. Many suppliers will use the low pound as an excuse to up prices, the negotiations haven’t even started and the fighting and cash grabbing has begun.

      • Sixer says:

        Eve – I have been following, as much as time allows. We should run away to another planet together, you know.

        DU – tip. Iceberg. I agree that we’ll see more of this. Unsure how much control the people have taken back. Actually, am sure: none.

    • Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

      Maybe the Labour party will perform the miracles of miracles and finally get their act together and form a strong opposition to the Tories. Its a sad day when the former leader seems to be making more sense over Brexit and how May is handling it than the current Comrade in charge, who’s only response so far is a list of 170 questions (which comes across as a gimick rather than something serious and substantial). Ed Milliband at least has a plan on how to combat it – still waiting on Corbyn enlightening us with his (and how his party would deal with Brexit).

      • Sixer says:

        Without wishing to break my torrent of negativity (!) – I’m workless this week so watched the debate in the Commons this afternoon. Quite encouraging. Starmer did very well. I can live with Brexit if I must – provided the complete headbangers (May + the three Brexit ministers) aren’t allowed to trash the entire country with their deeply unpleasant version of it.

        It occurred to me earlier that it really comes to something when a leader in the very left of the Labour Party has a PMQs in which he more accurately reflects the views of big business than the very right leader of the Conservative Party!

        We really are treading strange ground.

      • Eve says:

        @ Sixer:

        Go to that links post and bitch slap me. You’ll be horrifyed by what I wrote.

      • Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

        @sixer: yes and very unnerving but I have hope that parliament prevails as there seems to be many voices of opposition to her and her stooges vision. Much of what she has been saying is not quite legal – however I am a bit scared of what is going to be in this much touted ‘Great Repeal Bill’. Me thinks much of the EU human rights, trade and employment laws will be wiped- you know, the ones that actually work. [This last part was edited].

      • Sixer says:

        Eve: Which post? I’d never bitch slap you. I exist to ask you to bitch slap me!

        DU: I think we are as one on that!

  7. paolanqar says:

    I am depressed just looking at those trousers. wtf is he wearing?

  8. Alix says:

    Conservative faith is NOT the same thing as religious extremism. Idiot.

  9. Nev says:

    So hot.

  10. Dippit says:

    I went through something similar, and yet still cannot deal with those who voted Leave as a “protest vote, but I didn’t think it would actually count/happen”. Add to which the Scottish Independence element and I continue to feel uncertain and fearful for the future of Britain and Scotland.

    I am, however, reconciled to a democratic vote being a democratic vote, however wrongheaded I believe the outcome to be. Now we must work with a will to ensure that the manner and terms of Brexit do not further erode freedoms, liberties, and values I believe, fundamentally, still to be the best of British.

    Some of the signs do not augur well for this, sadly. Nonetheless, those of us who campaigned and voted for Remain must be active voices in ensuring the best is made of a bad lot.

  11. DianaB says:

    It’s the same I feel about Colombia and the peace plebiscite. It is so depressing! I feel like I don’t know my own country. And to know it was all because of lies, shameless lies, I feel truly hopeless.

  12. Lensblury says:

    It’s not only Brexit and Trump. There’s Hungary, Poland, … This year, we have presidential elections here in Austria. We’ve had to repeat the process of voting a few times over. First, when there were many candidates involved, it ended in a run-off. Then, after the run-off, which ended up a super close call, we had the loser party (right-wing) contest the numbers because they themselves apparently sabotaged the process and only yelled foul play after they’d lost. And now, which would have been the third time, the election was postponed because the envelopes for the postal ballots didn’t stick the right way. So now we have our fourth polling day in December. The way the right-wing party is sabotaging the act of finally electing a president – who wouldn’t have been their candidate – is a farce. They used the short attention span of some voters to manipulate them through the media (“we never said this or that”, “you’re just interpreting it wrong“, with corrections way after people had stopped caring about actual verisimilitude), and it’s just incredibly sad how many people fell for it. And those lies weren’t even clever. So now people are actually (partially “protest”-) voting for parties whose members not only financially ruined one of the nine states of Austria completely, but whose members also called themselves “the new Jews” in 2012 when people demonstrated against a highly official right-wing dance event.
    There have been a few important changes in the government since the first round, which might bring positive effects. We’ll find out in December. I hope people will finally wake up. I try to factor in different reasons, but in the end I still do not understand how people can choose the most simple, sensationalist and vitriolic media outlets as their sources. Have we really become this basic and zombie-like? There must be a socio-cultural, economical and psychological explanation for this pattern development of 50/50 division among societies all across the world. Is this the result of echo chamber sociality? Is this what’s left of a memory of two World Wars?

    I’m scared. Yet I refuse to believe that this is how we’re continuing as humanity. This, most certainly, is a phase. I will keep my own personal hope alive, I’ll use my peace and all the calm I have. I want to remain strong and not leave Austria, especially not after a sharp turn to the right. There’s a lot to fix.

    Also, I agree with @Eve and @Sixer – a warning, a cautionary tale, “2016 is a rising tide that’s lifting all bigots“.

    Thanks for covering politics, CB.

    • Sixer says:

      I feel your pain.

      I think the root cause is the collapse of centre positions everywhere after the financial crisis of 2008. The dissatisfaction of entire populations is now making itself felt. And we know that the far right excels at filling a void.

      • Lensblury says:

        Thank you for your reply. It is comforting to talk about this.

        Yes, many parties shifted from centre to right. Austria is lacking a sizeable left party. Even our mildly left parties are pretty conservative already.

        Since midsummer, Austria has had a new Federal Chancellor who is a newcomer to politics. This seems to be a factor that makes people trust him more than if he’d previously proven to be “one of those stupid politicians“. In his first speech he confirmed that he, his team and colleagues had definitely taken notice of the signs of protest, disapproval and distrust, and that they were going to do their best to react to it with inclusivity and conscientiousness. No new elections have taken place since, so I don’t know if that’ll be enough. But this guy gives off vibes similar to Justin Trudeau’s, which imo is good. He sports a calm attitude. I hope I’m not delusional when I say that I believe in change, trust, and love, and that I’m still hopeful people might chill out again.

        So anyway, what’s the way to react to this swing to the right? Pull an Iceland and keep amazingly calm during a crisis? I think that would be amazing. One thing I have realized when cross-referencing maps of moderate / alternative votes and maps of transmission ranges of austrian non-commercial radio stations is that they’re pretty much identical, even in rural, traditional areas. I think mass media consumers often don’t realize – or acknowledge – how wide a spectrum of opinions can be. I’m generalising now, but there is a gap between city residents and large parts the rural population; the latter seem to be afraid of spending time in bigger austrian cities and to carry a deep fear of the unknown. Austria is small, but there are certain areas that only get one private, commercial radio station (not even the federal ones), and that’s where right-wing ideas seem to be spreading more profusely. I wish people had more trust, but I can understand why people feel sceptical. All in all, I am genuinely sad that many people don’t consider the consequences of their doing. The irony of people who don’t believe in the power of their voices, actually influencing world politics.

      • Eve says:

        @ Lensblury:

        “The irony of people who don’t believe in the power of their voices, actually influencing world politics.”

        I quoted Plato yesterday, I think…about the people who avoid participating in politics. You sound a lot more into politics than I am so I’m probably preaching to the choir here.

        Anyway, here’s Plato’s quote:“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”

      • Lensblury says:

        @Eve, thank you for replying, and for the quote.
        I can’t say whether I’m more into politics than you; I certainly wish I knew a lot more than I do. I was raised by an inclusive small-town politician, but he retired when I was a kid, so I don’t know how much that may have influenced me.

        I think I do feel very similarly about participating. There is a big sigh building up inside of me now. I have friends who prefer not to vote – not even to prevent inhumane things from happening. It makes me angry, and I realize part of that anger comes from fear. But even though I couldn’t disagree more with them, I understand that I have to accept their opinions and concepts. The thing is, though, that we’re still all in this together, outside any political systems. So if someone’s views or needs are not met or addressed and they want to change something about how the world is run, we all need to engage in a discussion. It might take super long (I mean – this situation now is the best we could come up with?) and I probably wouldn’t live to see the outcome, but as an expert once said, “democracy will always be a process.” I don’t want to ignore these non-participants’ needs as much as they do mine by their not caring very much that I am not keen on experiencing a crash. Either way, I don’t think apathy is a very fair way of finding, or contributing to, a solution. To me it’s also kind of a chicken-or-egg problem.

        I have a biweekly show at one of these non-commercial stations, that’s one reason why I was interested in cross-referencing the maps. It warms my heart when I see how motivated and good-hearted my colleagues are when it comes to creating genuine content by doing responsible research and addressing uncomfortable things. It’s also a short reminder that it’s okay to talk about things. I think one way of continuing now, as fellow people, is to stay calm, listen, pay attention to each other, and to have a lot of patience.

        For a second, I just had a completely absurd thought (it was sort of a technicolor film sequence): I imagined all world leaders decided to take a break from all political and economic processes for one day to think about how to get out of this mess together. It is 2:30 a.m. and I can’t sleep, but that doesn’t mean I can’t dream.

      • Sixer says:

        Lensblury – I believe in community organising. But this may be because I come from a large family which has a long history of it. I don’t think you “win” by organising necessarily, but I do think there are large numbers of fellow citizens who get swept along by the horribleness and who can be talked down from the ledge. You need a very thick skin though! Never let yourself be shouted down.

        Longer term? A new centre consensus WILL eventually emerge and things WILL eventually calm down. The short term effort just has to go into preventing the worst excesses until that centre position re-emerges.

        I very much agree that you can’t shut people out. There are problems out there and everyone’s problems need to be addressed. We need to find solutions that don’t involve xenophobia, that’s all. And the solutions are out there.

      • Lensblury says:

        @Sixer: Feels good to read that. These are definitely interesting times, and I, too, believe the solutions are out there. I think you summed it up perfectly, and I’m thankful you did. Love from Austria. Also to you, @Eve.

  13. hey-ya says:

    …he had depression…Cameron in tears…me roflmao…