Posted by: rogermitchell | February 10, 2019

Redeeming Brexit

Anyone familiar with my past blog posts and more recent posts on Facebook and Twitter will know that I continue to regard Brexit as a mistake. However, it is pretty certainly a mistake that is now going to be made. So how to redeem it?

1. Two things to recognise. The first is that Brexit is the product of our deeply flawed parliamentary democracy. As my published research and writing make clear, this is the progeny of the old partnership of church and empire where the rich and powerful always dominate. The second thing to note is that the debt based capitalist economy that this partnership gave rise to, and our established system is dependent on for its survival, is in terminal crisis. These two factors, an inadequate democracy and an unsustainable economy, have opened up the new political space that the mistaken 2016 referendum was in part a response to.

2. The new political space. I have been writing about this for several years now, and some of the best work on it can be found in the recent special edition of Global Discourse Journal 8.4 on “Cultivating New Post-secular Political Space” of which I was the guest editor [ ]. All six articles and responses are well worth a read. For those who are unable to access the Journal for free via a university or college library, my contributions to the journal are also available for free via my Academia site [ ]. The  challenge is to seed the new space with positive possibilities, and it is with that in view that I am looking for ways to redeem Brexit, which will otherwise be an ongoing cause of poisonous growth corrupting this new political space.

3. Produced space and open space. In the course of conversation last weekend, my friend Mike Love emphasised the important difference between produced space and open space. The newly opening political space is bordered by the established political system.  It is this produced political context that is poisoned by the sovereignty deception of the partnership of church and empire and the debt based nation state construct that followed. So crucially, if we are to redeem Brexit by cultivating the new space opened up by it, then great care must be taken not to pollute that space with the toxins that it was at least in part a response to. Party spirit, domination, xenophobia, scapegoating and blame now need to be displaced by a politics of love.

4. Choosing the right words. Even the word redeem, that I have chosen carefully, needs accurate filleting to cut away the toxic baggage of exchange that it has been invested with via transactional theories of atonement consequent on the subsumed theology of empire. The God of the Jesus testimony is not a God demanding payment for sins committed but rather a Trinity who pour themselves out in love into the space produced by inhumanity and injustice in order to forgive and restore. To redeem, in the way I am using it here, means to make the inevitably chaotic consequences of Brexit the opportunity for love to flow. The only way this is possible is for those with a heart for suffering Others to use every means at their disposal to work collaboratively with them for social justice, in particular for women, the poor, children, immigrants, the natural environment, the sick and those in prison.

5. A new way of relating. What we must avoid at all costs is responding to Brexit with the same self-orientated attitude that has led to it, whether from the left or right. This is why I am overjoyed that initiatives like the Poverty Truth Commission are growing organically in many parts of the country at this time [ ]. Being with the Community and Civic Commissioners of the Morecambe Bay Commission earlier this last week as they wrestled with practical issues of social justice, and then later in the week listening to Community Commissioners testify to cross-party MPs up from Westminster to investigate the evidence of an exponential increase in poverty, filled me with hope.  Commitment to the loving, relational, co-production of mutual human flourishing has to be inseminated at the heart of the space now emerging from the crisis of our unraveling democracy and economy. In this way we may yet see the redeeming of Brexit.



  1. Reblogged this on hungarywolf.

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