Editor’s note: Tonight’s post is by a good colleague and friend of mine, Professor Jakob Edler. Jakob and I have worked closely on issues of science and innovation policy for the last fifteen years or so. This post is not about out intellectual collaboration; it comes from the heart and sets our Jakob’s deeply personal view on the Brexit debate in the UK. I offered Jakob the pages of The Money Principle as a platform because it is time that the ‘dons’ stop their retreat; it is time for us scholars to become public intellectuals again and to stand for what we passionately believe in. Hope you’d enjoy this article and that it will make you think.
I am an academic in innovation and innovation policy studies at the University of Manchester. But I am writing this little comment to the Brexit debate not in that capacity, but in the capacity of being a European German, a German European, living and working in this country, paying taxes for almost 10 years, loving this country. I write because I care deeply about it, about Europe and about how we want to live together in the decades to come.
As a democrat, needless to say I will always respect the decision of a referendum. But as a democrat I cannot respect the tone and focus of the Brexit debate in this country. The UK takes the biggest decision for and within Europe for 50 odd years, defining the road towards how we want and can live together in the 21st century. And sadly, the debate does not reflect this enormity at all. This is not only disappointing, this is irresponsible, and I am sorry to say, it is a reflection of the culture of political debates in the country more generally. Normally, I do not care too much, each country has its way of debating, and has its media to reflect or fuel those debates. And surely who am I to tell the country what I think about this less impressive part of its culture. But in this question that concerns all of us Europeans, living and paying taxes here or not, I cannot hold back but comment.
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