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BBC reports Theresa May is getting on with Brexit, despite the surrounding furore

Article 50 – The Meaning of Brexit?

To invoke, or not to invoke, that is the question.

With a few exceptions, most UK Members of Parliament have accepted the result of the referendum in June.  They will support the UK leaving the European Union.  Article 50 is the next step.  But does invoking article 50 really mean that we will be implementing the result of the referendum?

In my training consultant days, on team and management workshops, I used a communication exercise.  It involved asking people to reflect (privately) on what they thought I meant by the word “speed”.  People gave a myriad of answers.  Driving fast.  Distance divided by time.  The film starring Sandra Bullock.  Drugs.  A place.  The late Welsh footballer.  Etc.

If the meaning attributed to a common word, such as ‘speed’, can be so diverse, how many meanings can there be for a phrase such as “article 50” or “Brexit” or “Leave” or “Remain”?

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UK and EU flags with a question mark

EU Referendum: making sense of the hyperbole

One of the biggest disappointments in the UK’s EU referendum is the quality of debate. In normal elections, each party produces detailed manifestos that can be compared.  This poll is the most important for a generation, yet there is nothing equating to a manifesto (on either side).

There is a lot of information being provided to the electorate, but the bulk is hyperbole.  Many people recognise this, with 48% (and 43%) of people thinking the Remain (and Leave) campaigns’ arguments are unrealistic.  The difference in numbers doesn’t matter.  They both point to a lack of realism in the arguments on both sides.  And that assessment is now official, as a parliamentary committee has criticised leaders of Remain and Leave for making exaggerated and unrealistic claims.

These stats perhaps point to another disappointment.  Despite the obvious lack of realism they suggest that many people (52% and 57%) think the arguments are reasonable.  Or perhaps, even worse, they have decided to vote without thinking about the issues.  Given the importance of the debate, not only to the UK but also to the EU and the rest of the world, it deserves better information and deeper consideration.

In this blog, I’ll outline a process to make sense of the hyperbole and arrive at a decision.  At the end, I’ll describe how the process is informing my personal decision.

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Is there a psychic epidemic in the NHS?

C.G. Jung not only provided therapy for individuals, but also for religions, cultures and societies. From his analysis of two world wars and the emerging cold war, he identified the psychic epidemic as one of civilisation’s ills.

On 26/27 April 2016, NHS Junior Doctors will be on all-out strike.  This will include the withdrawal of support for emergency care and sick children. The dispute is complex and has been going on for several years. In this article, I’m not going to focus on the nature or complexities of the dispute itself, but on how each side has dealt with the conflict. The ongoing failure to resolve the dispute is not due to disagreements over particular points.  It is the result of a psychic epidemic, which is something that is much deeper and more difficult to resolve.

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Why Labour Lost – A Jungian Perspective

The 2015 election results are in, and they are full of shocks:

  • Three party leaders resigned before all the results had been announced.
  • The Tories’ victory was contrary to the consistent message of all the pre-election polls.
  • Labour suffered their most crushing defeat for 30 years.
  • In Scotland there was a rout by the SNP.
  • UKIP gained 12.6% of the votes but only 0.15% of the seats.

C.G. Jung’s analytical psychology can offer a useful perspective on these results, one that might help voters and parties alike in their preparations for the 2020 election.

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Plebgate – a Clash of Mythologies

Plebgate Home Affairs Select Committee

Plebgate is a scandal that began with a politician (Andrew Mitchell) swearing at a police officer and having to resign.  It then turned into the police investigating the honesty and integrity of its own officers (“plodgate”).  On Wednesday (23/10/13), the Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) showed that there is more confusion between fact and fiction in this story than in a good Dan Brown novel.  For example:

  • Three Chief Constables apologised for their officers’ actions – but the officers refused to do so.
  • The officers claimed they had been accurate, but most others agreed they had misled.
  • The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), Senior Investigating Officer (SIO), and Chief Constables differed as to the charges that should be laid against the officers.
  • The SIO disagreed with his own report, which he had signed as author.
  • The way the SIO finalised the report’s conclusions was probably illegal.
  • The Chief Constables disagree as to whether the report’s conclusions need to be reviewed.

How does mythology help explain this fog of confusion?

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