Saturday Commentary and Review #147
Argentina's Libertarian Revolution?, Anti-Migrant Dublin Riots, Michael Anton vs. Con Inc. (Round Two), Botswana's Impressive Political Stability, Disappearing Cockneys
Every weekend (almost) I share five articles/essays/reports with you. I select these over the course of the week because they are either insightful, informative, interesting, important, or a combination of the above.
Around the turn of the previous century, Italians seeking a better life in the New World had to make an agonizing choice: should we emigrate to the USA or to Argentina?
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, both of these countries were very appealing to potential immigrants as both had room to settle and quite a lot of economic opportunity to exploit. One recent study from the University of Groningen (Netherlands) actually placed Argentina at the summit of GDP per capita for the year 1895. It remained one of the world’s wealthiest countries for decades:
This impressive growth rate allowed the country to rank among the 10 wealthiest nations on earth at the time, ahead of France, Italy and even Germany. At the time, Argentina had a per capita income that was 50 percent greater than Italy’s, and nearly twice that of Japan’s. According to The Economist: “Income per head was 92 percent of the average of 16 rich economies.” Furthermore, Argentinians were four times as wealthy as Brazilians.
That was then, and this is now.
Argentina has for some time now been the “economic sick man” of the Americas, never ascending the heights that it did during its golden age. Most of the blame is placed on Peronism, a collectivist and bureaucratic set of political, social, and economic policies that have ruled Argentina for decades now. Argentinians are forced to live through persistent stagnation and inflation rates that hit 150% per annum. Little wonder why I encounter more and more young Argentinians here in Croatia who have left their country to try and make a go of it on this side of the Adriatic Sea.
A sick man may be sick, but he is not dead and can still fight back.
Argentina’s fight back against economic decline has come in the form of maverick politician Javier Milel who surprised many by winning the recent presidential election run-off, beating his opponent by more than 10% in the overall voting. Milel, a former lower-league footy player and noted economist, is a larger-than-life character who stormed the Argentine political stage, taking no prisoners in his brash style.
This style has led many to label (or accuse) him of being a populist, or even a right-winger. Neither of these tags fit, as he is difficult to categorize outside of his staunch libertarian economic views. His stated mission is to turn Argentina around economically, and to “awaken lions, not gather sheep” i.e. change the collectivist mindset of the people of Argentina. A Chilean libertarian who is enthused by Milei’s upset victory gives us his perspective on the rock star of Argentine politics:
The fall of Chile’s free market deeply impacted Milei. During the recent presidential campaign, he often made the case that the only way to turn around Argentina was to create a new cultural hegemony capable of replacing socialism, Keynesianism and Peronism. Thus, unlike former president Mauricio Macri and most Argentinian technocrats, Milei came to believe that winning the battle of ideas on every possible level was the crucial issue—and so he left the private sector to become a public intellectual with the goal of changing Argentina’s prevailing collectivist narrative.
The apostolic zeal with which Milei defended freedom from the cast of “parasites” that have run Argentina into the ground, coupled with his aggressive and uncompromising style, transformed this previously unknown second-tier soccer player and economist into the leader of the most transformative grassroots revolution in Latin America’s modern history. Entering the public sphere six years ago and politics much more recently, he has completely changed the terms of political debate in Argentina, harnessing voters’ anger over triple-digit inflation and rising poverty and setting in motion a true libertarian revolution.
I am skeptical about Milei “setting in motion a true libertarian revolution”, but I cannot fault the writer for being so enthusiastic.
The magnetism of Milei’s preaching can only be compared to that of statist caudillo Juan Domingo Perón. Perón surfed a collectivist wave that had been awakened decades before he came to power in 1946. Milei, on the other hand, created a libertarian movement nearly out of thin air in a country that was collectivist to the core. This makes him a political phenomenon even more unlikely than Perón and a case study for the entire Western world. It is not the case, as many have argued, that people who support him do so mainly because they reject the current establishment and want someone radical to punish it. Rather, Milei has truly achieved a structural change in the mindset of millions of people—especially the young, by bringing them closer to libertarian ideals.
I will dispute the last claim (again), as it remains to be seen. In western liberal democracies, the tendency is to vote against a party or politician, choosing the perceived “lesser of two evils”.
An economic golden age:
Unlike most Latin American countries, Argentina indeed has an economic golden age to look back to. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Argentina had a per-capita income surpassing that of Italy, Japan and France. In 1895, it even achieved the highest per-capita income worldwide, according to some estimates. Moreover, Argentina’s 6% annual GDP growth for the 43 years preceding World War I is the largest in recorded history. Argentina’s impressive economic performance was not based on the export of raw materials alone: Between 1900 and 1914, the country’s industrial production tripled, reaching a level of industrial growth similar to that of Germany and Japan. All of this was accompanied by unprecedented social progress. In 1869, between 12 and 15% of Argentina’s economically active population belonged to the middle class; by 1914, this number had reached 40%. At the same time, illiteracy was reduced to less than half of the population.
Peronism, the actual populism in Argentina, marked a significant shift away from free market economics:
But with the election of Perón, Peronism came to dominate economic and social life. Under his leadership, price controls were introduced for the first time, and dozens of companies were nationalized. The constitution was reformed, free trade was restricted and public spending increased, leading to an explosive surge in inflation.
While other countries later abandoned the anti-market policies they had embraced during the 1930s, Peronism became so entrenched in Argentina’s institutions and political culture that the country never managed to restore economic freedom. In 1975, around the time of Perón’s death during his third term as president, Argentina ranked 10 among 106 countries in the Economic Freedom Index published by the Fraser Institute of Canada. In 2020, it ranked 161 among 165 countries. Put simply, Argentina—once the richest countries in the world—has become a corrupt, impoverished, rent-seeking society with 150% inflation yearly, a poverty rate of almost 50% and a massive exodus of young professionals looking for better opportunities elsewhere.
Much has been written about Milei’s social and foreign policy statements, but Argentina is not a healthy country, and his focus will be on stemming the economic decline and turning the ship around. He does not control Congress, but has a mandate to reform what he can try and reform. He will run into the wall of the entrenched bureaucracy, and we will monitor it to see if he can smash his head through it.
This past Thursday, an Algerian man who previously was ordered deported from Ireland, stabbed three young children and a school care assistant outside of a primary school in Dublin. Shortly thereafter, riots broke out in the city centre in protest not just at this act, but at the government’s refusal to listen to the concerns and fears of its own people over the issue of immigration.
By now, all of you are aware of this story, one that is typical throughout most of Europe: a migrant violently attacks people unprovoked, locals get upset, the government urges peace and calm and denounces those opposed to continued migration as “xenophobes, and racists”. Rinse and repeat. Conor Fitzgerald argues that this is just the beginning of Ireland’s riots:
Dublin has stealthily become a tinderbox on issues of immigration. When news began to filter through on Thursday that a five-year-old girl (now in a stable but critical condition) had been stabbed, allegedly by a man originally from Algeria, the whole city braced. Many saw images of young men in the area pushing back against police and hoped that was as bad as the reaction would get.
Instead, the severity of the riots accelerated hourly, as pictures of burning buses and trams flooded social media alongside 28 Days Later-style footage of a lawless city centre. Riot police were deployed and some businesses were looted; public transport in the city was shut down, much of it still suspended the next morning. Garda Commissioner Drew Harris described the rioters as “a hooligan faction driven by far-Right ideology”.
Not wanting little children to be stabbed makes one “driven by far-right ideology”, I guess.
This was not an isolated incident:
There was some sense that this was coming. Earlier this month Jozef Puska was sentenced for the murder of Aishling Murphy, an event which rocked Ireland in much the same way that the murder of Sarah Everard did the UK. In court her bereaved boyfriend read a statement which explicitly noted that Puska had “come to this country, [to] be fully supported in terms of social housing, social welfare, and free medical care for over 10 years [but could] never hold down a legitimate job and never once contributed to society in any way, shape, or form”.
This commentary was passed over by much of the press but electrified social media. One of those who amplified it most viscerally was the mixed martial artist Conor McGregor, who continued to post animated tweets about crime and the failures of Irish immigration policy even as the riots took hold. In retrospect, the statement and the reaction to it were a tremor to the riots’ earthquake.
Conor McGregor, one of the best known Irish people in the wider world, has been very vocal about the issue of migration and the need to protect the Irish people. Supposedly, he is now being investigated by authorities for “hate speech” and “incitement”.
A cordon sanitaire around the issue:
Ireland has adopted a cordon sanitaire approach to migration policy and cultural change, with previously common restrictionist perspectives pushed into the background. On its own terms, that policy has been a total success: critical assessment of these issues does not really exist in the mainstream. But the effect of that success is that mainstream figures cannot influence these currents when they need to.
The “safe” buckets into which the Government, press and activists have sought to divert reactionary sentiment on immigration — framing it as a debate about public services, warning about the spectre of an omnipotent far-Right — are already at maximum capacity. Ireland has elected no dedicated anti-immigration parties or politicians who can be unseated. There are no significant mainstream press outlets with an immigration-sceptic angle whose advertisers can be pressured.
Pretend that the issue doesn’t exist, and anyone who claims that it does is immediately branded “far right”.
The government is now seeking to speed-up the tabling of the much-anticipated and very, very draconian “hate speech laws” legislation:
The only move left is increased Government interference in social media, public conversation and a revival of the delayed hate speech laws. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has already signalled intent on the latter. It will likely have the desired effect in the medium term but is fundamentally based on the same premise as the tactics that have failed thus far. That is to say, if we can stop people talking about certain ideas in public, the salience of those ideas will be neutralised.
How draconian do you ask?
Here are two bits from it:
Up to 12 months in prison for refusing to give password to your devices if suspected of committing hate speech. 12 months for refusing to allow the State read messages between you and your spouse.1
Check it out:
Wildest of all, the proposed legislation doesn’t even try and define what constitutes “hate speech”.
I love liberal democracy, especially for its individuals freedoms.
(Request: if anyone is more familiar with the legislation than I am and feels that I got something wrong or that something is out of context, please let us know in the comments).
Conor is convinced that these riots will flare up again:
Everyone in the middle should expect more riots of this type, for a variety of reasons. The most troubling of these is that Ireland has designed a system to ensure the energy they represent has nowhere else to go.
During #BLM, we were told that “riots are the voice of the powerless”, something that MLK said as well.
“The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves”, said Vladimir Lenin, a man as cunning and as smart as they come.
I was reminded of this line when reading this very long, personal, and polemical essay by Michael Anton, in which he attacks establishment conservatives in the USA for being both unserious and wimpy. Mainstream media plays a very neat little trick whereby they will give platforms to self-described “conservatives” who will agree with almost everything that their liberal opponents say. Think Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post, Bill Kristol, and so on. The casual observer and consumer of news media will be given a distorted image of what conservatism is, as these types are consistently presented to them, while actual opponents of liberalism are rarely, if ever, allowed such large audiences.
Most here will remember Michael Anton from his thunderous “The Flight 93 Election” essay from seven years ago, in which he sounded the alarm on the State of the Union (from the first link in this segment):
A consistent theme of my writing over the past seven years—that is to say, since the publication of “The Flight 93 Election”—is that a non-trivial number of the leaders of America’s legacy “conservative” institutions are either liars or fools. Since I can’t think of a better way to restate the point, I will just repeat what I wrote then:
One of the paradoxes—there are so many—of conservative thought over the last decade at least is the unwillingness even to entertain the possibility that America and the West are on a trajectory toward something very bad. On the one hand, conservatives routinely present a litany of ills plaguing the body politic. Illegitimacy. Crime. Massive, expensive, intrusive, out-of-control government. Politically correct McCarthyism. Ever-higher taxes and ever-deteriorating services and infrastructure. Inability to win wars against tribal, sub-Third-World foes. A disastrously awful educational system that churns out kids who don’t know anything and, at the primary and secondary levels, can’t (or won’t) discipline disruptive punks, and at the higher levels saddles students with six figure debts for the privilege. And so on and drearily on. Like that portion of the mass where the priest asks for your private intentions, fill in any dismal fact about American decline that you want and I’ll stipulate it.
Conservatives spend at least several hundred million dollars a year on think-tanks, magazines, conferences, fellowships, and such, complaining about this, that, the other, and everything. And yet these same conservatives are, at root, keepers of the status quo. Oh, sure, they want some things to change. They want their pet ideas adopted—tax deductions for having more babies and the like. Many of them are even good ideas. But are any of them truly fundamental? Do they get to the heart of our problems?
If conservatives are right about the importance of virtue, morality, religious faith, stability, character and so on in the individual; if they are right about sexual morality or what came to be termed “family values”; if they are right about the importance of education to inculcate good character and to teach the fundamentals that have defined knowledge in the West for millennia; if they are right about societal norms and public order; if they are right about the centrality of initiative, enterprise, industry, and thrift to a sound economy and a healthy society; if they are right about the soul-sapping effects of paternalistic Big Government and its cannibalization of civil society and religious institutions; if they are right about the necessity of a strong defense and prudent statesmanship in the international sphere—if they are right about the importance of all this to national health and even survival, then they must believe—mustn’t they?—that we are headed off a cliff.
But it’s quite obvious that conservatives don’t believe any such thing, that they feel no such sense of urgency, of an immediate necessity to change course and avoid the cliff.
I won’t apologize for the length of that quote; every word of it is truer and more relevant now than it was when first published (September 5, 2016).
Indeed, by most measures, things today are worse. To the above list of catastrophes, we may add two categories of problems. The first encompasses trends that were already obvious then but which I didn’t enumerate for reasons of space; e.g., opioid addiction, drug cartels operating on American soil with impunity, and falling life expectancies. Add to those the many others that have emerged since or deteriorated considerably: a nationwide crime wave, rampant anti-white racism, the worst inflation since the 1970s, increasingly unaffordable housing, crashing birthrates, anti-constitutional biomedical tyranny imposed by fiat, state-enforced anti-family transgenderism, pornography deliberately stocked in grade school libraries, a wide-open border, the federal government spending taxpayer dollars to transport and dump illegal immigrants throughout Middle America, years of pretrial detention for walking into the Capitol and staying within the velvet ropes, and so on and on.
Seven years later and no one from the conservative establishment has yet to address the content of Anton’s essay:
Also much worse—dumber, more in denial, more out of touch, more treacherous to its ostensible allies and more obsequious toward the ruling class—is the “conservative” intelligentsia, whose responses to all this range from “None of that is happening” to “You’re grossly exaggerating” to “Actually, all this is fine; good even” to (especially) “How dare you say that!”
As I also wrote eight days later, responding to that essay’s many, many critics:
I would be overjoyed to read a convincing account of why things are not that bad, why—despite appearances—the republic is healthy, constitutional norms are respected, the working class and hinterland communities are in good shape, social pathologies are low or at least declining, our elites prioritize the common good, our intellectuals and the media are honest and fair. Or if that’s too big a lift, how about one that acknowledges all the problems and outlines some reasonable prospect for renewal? But only if it’s believable. No skipped steps and no magical thinking. Dr. Conservatism needs to do better than his habitual “Sorry about the cancer, here’s a bottle of aspirin.”
I renewed this challenge last year, with an updated litany of contemporary woes. Seven years on, I still await even the attempt to explain why “everything is fine.”
Anton is not a fan of the “nice loser” act:
But above all, explain to me why a “conservatism” that claims to stand four-square for constitutionalism, the Founding, the rule of law, law and order, impartial justice, “freedom,” limited government, virtue, morality, religion, free speech, the right of self-defense, etc. is so incandescently angry at those of us who point out that all these things (and more) are under mortal threat while those same “conservatives” assiduously bow and scrape to those causing the threat.
Anton takes his ire out on two individuals in particular: Matthew Continetti of the American Enterprise Institute, and Damon ‘yes you’re right, any conservative one millimetre to the right of me is a Nazi’ Linker, an editor at The New Republic and a prof at UPenn.
Continetti even goes so far as to accuse me of hating America because I lament its present state. Really? It’s now unpatriotic to be against fentanyl addiction? To worry about the incompetence that led to the Navy’s spate of recent crashes and fires? To oppose genital mutilation for prepubescents? Continetti charges that my writing “recalls the ‘Amerika’ literature of the Vietnam-era left,” but that charge in fact applies to him. If I’m wrong to be against these things, then Continetti must be for them; which means it is he, not I, who is the real spiritual successor of the New Left. This reasoning, I fully admit, is facile; but it’s facile in exactly the same way as Continetti’s shoot-the-messenger brand of “patriotism,” which holds ostrich-like denial to be the epitome of love of country.
Linker’s longtime schtick, or con, is to present himself as a “true” or perhaps “reformed” but definitely “sensible” and not “radical” or “extremist” (i.e., bad) conservative. In truth, Linker turned to the Left at least 25 years ago, if he didn’t begin there in the first place.
I’ve told this story before, but in brief, in the late 1990s Linker misrepresented himself to friends of mine, and then to me, to use them (and me) to get him a job that would help him establish himself in New York conservative circles. He jumped ship from that perch amazingly early, leaving me in the lurch after I had spent considerable capital to help him, so that he could infiltrate another conservative institution in order to write a “tell-all” and emerge, “courageous” and suddenly respectable, as a former rightist who saw the light. In other words, the first few years of Linker’s career were the “sleeper agent” stage, during which he pretended to be something he wasn’t so as to gain entry to precincts that otherwise never would have welcomed him, which he could then betray to his own profit.
It was dishonest, it was low—and it was extremely effective. For two decades now, Linker has been dining out on his status as a righteous apostate, a virtuous convert. This is the only trick he knows, the only card in his deck, the basis of his entire career.
Linker’s character may be rotten, but he is not stupid, nor is he uneducated. Like me, Linker studied political philosophy. He must then know that all sorts of political outcomes, all sorts of regimes—and regime failures—are possible, and that no regime can possibly last forever. He must understand the many qualitative differences between the classical “best regime” and modern liberal democracy, even at its best. He must also see at least some of the ways and extent to which our present regime has departed from, even baldly contravenes, the letter and spirit of the American Constitution.
Conservative Inc. provides its employees a good standard of living without the fear of risking their station. It’s a good gig if you’re looking out for number one and if you have no shame.
What frustrates all of those on the right is how these empty suits keep being trotted out to speak for them, when in fact they speak only for the donor class, and most of all, for themselves.
Botswana is a landlocked African country where 40% of the government’s revenue comes from the diamond mining industry, and a quarter of its adults have HIV. These three indicators would suggest that it must be a very, very poor country. Surprisingly, it isn’t, and its living standards are comparable to that of Mexico or Turkey.
How can this be the case?
Samo Burja took at look at governance in Botswana back in 2019 and explains to us why it has not gone down the route of so many other African countries towards failed state status:
The crucial variable is a sound government making well-informed, long-term choices. A low population density paired with abundant natural resources provides a reasonable standard of living even in the absence of administrative genius or favorable conditions, so long as governance provides stability. Political instability can impede development of physical infrastructure and the business environment, transforming good fundamentals into a bad outcome. See, for example, Kazakhstan compared to Venezuela.
Unfortunately, there are many examples of countries that have tried and failed to achieve good governance in the often chaotic post-colonial context. These countries followed Western advice as closely as they could, drafting legally impeccable constitutions and recruiting well-educated statesmen, but the results have been mixed at best. Botswana’s positive outlier example raises the question of how it has done so well.
Good government starts with good leadership. Here is the list of heads of state of Botswana over the last hundred years:
King Khama III, who reigned 1875–1923, decided to join the British Empire.
President Seretse Khama, the grandson of Khama III, led the effort to leave the British Empire. He held office for 14 years, from 1966 to 1980.
President Quett Masire served as Seretse Khama’s vice president. He held office for 18 years, from 1980 to 1998.
President Festus Mogae served as Quett Masire’s vice president. He held office for 10 years, from 1998 to 2008.
President Ian Khama, son of Seretse Khama, great-grandson of King Khama III, served as Festus Mogae’s vice president. He held office for 10 years, from 2008 to 2018.
President Mokgweetsi Masisi served as Ian Khama’s vice president, and is the current president since 2018.
Given these clear personal, political, and familial ties between the heads of state, it seems that Botswana is actually an unofficial adoptive monarchy around the old royal family, quite similar to the case of the Roman Empire, where the head of state picks the successor and gives him the junior position.
Dynastic politics viewed as ‘negative’ in western political science:
But since America’s national mythology is revolutionary, and our institutions claim legitimacy from technocratic grounds of impartiality, we tend to view such dynasties negatively—when we acknowledge them at all. It might be that Western states are successful in spite of such dynasties, but even then, we can’t claim this is a crucial distinguishing factor between well- and poorly governed states.
Further, as argued by Gregory Clarke in his book The Son Also Rises, social mobility is about the same in all societies, and is much lower than we usually propose. Regardless of how meritocratic a system claims to be, power tends to remain in the same families.
Since the same people tend to come up on top overall, the rough composition of the elites in a country will not be significantly different if it implements meritocratic policies or not. The key difference between functionality and dysfunctionality is in the institutional mechanisms the elites use to cooperate with each other, rather than just the selection or composition of elites.
The arrangement we see in Botswana—where the previous head of state publicly declares a successor—solves the problem of power succession. This both helps prevent organizational sclerosis and renders succession conflicts unlikely. Many post-colonial states struggle with the problem of succession. Civil wars and coups are endemic. It is open to discussion how much of this is the result of internally driven miscoordination, and how much is due to destabilizing foreign interventions, especially during the Cold War. But at least some of the instability is internally driven.
Homogeneity and autonomy-preservation:
Historically, in another feat of competent political strategy, Botswana joined the British Empire on its own terms under King Khama III, preserving its autonomy. The tribal structure continued to govern during the colonial period, building its own bureaucracy. This means the current state stands on an actual base of power rather than being a legal fiction.
Moreover, compared to other African states, Botswana has a relatively homogeneous ethnic makeup, with a single dominant tribe, the Tswana. This helps stability because it means the tribal power structure and the formal government structure are one and the same in practice, reducing motivation or opportunity for political conflict.
The demographic fundamentals are not perfect, however. As Amy Chua argued in her book World on Fire, one of the most important drivers of civil war, expropriation, and genocide is the dynamic of conflict between an ethnic majority with an economically dominant minority. The political conflicts between the Hutu and the Tutsi in Rwanda are a canonical example.
Botswana vs. Zimbabwe/Uganda re: dealing with a white economic elite:
Superficially, the conditions in Botswana are present for the development of such a scenario. A significant minority of the population, around 3%, is white. This minority has substantial social and material capital. And yet, it continues to exist with few problems after half a century of independence, with no campaign of expropriation or expulsion, unlike countries such as Uganda.
What is the source of this rare good fortune? It seems it was good judgment by the ruling dynasty. Seretse Khama pursued independence in a much smarter way than had been done in countries like Zimbabwe. For example, his government bought half of the local branch of the international De Beers corporation, rather than seizing it. Seizure is disruptive and often destroys a company’s ability to produce as the best managers and engineers flee, while purchase ensures continuity and continued production.
Income from taxing or owning shares of such large companies can be used for patronage of political allies (Sheila Khama served as CEO of De Beers Botswana) as well as social programs that develop state power further. This reduces the pull of alternative institutions such as clans, radical religious groups, and ideological organizations. Another well-known example of this tactic is Saudi Arabia’s use of the Saudi Aramco oil company.
Successful successions have been the key to its success, argues Samo:
According to conventional developmental economics models, Botswana shouldn’t be doing as well as it is. As a landlocked country, its access to international markets relies on neighboring states. This is commonly recognized as an important barrier to development, with its own acronym “LLDC” (landlocked developing country). It is suffering among the world’s worst AIDS pandemics. This not only incurs significant direct medical expenses, but also lowers productivity. Morbidity drives up the dependency ratio, depriving it of a demographic dividend. Lastly, it is a post-colonial state. The norm for this reference class is corruption, political instability, and unexceptional growth. Together, these factors should have sealed its fate.
But our usual models do not sufficiently account for the difficulty and importance of succession. We model power and power succession unrealistically, if at all. Hand-picked successors and political dynasties are overlooked as viable solutions, or regarded as a sign of corruption. Thus we usually miss or shrug at Botswana’s success, and likewise miss some of the key sources of functionality in our own governments.
I will admit to not knowing anything about Botswana other than its mining wealth and its very high rate of HIV, both mentioned in this analysis.
We end this weekend’s (yes, I know it’s Monday) SCR with a short piece that sparked a lot of commentary on the internet: the disappearing Cockney and Queen’s English accents in the UK:
Cockney and received pronunciation (Queen’s English) were once spoken by people of all ages, but they are no longer commonly spoken among young people in the south-east of England.
In new research, colleagues and I recorded the voices of 193 people between the ages of 18 and 33 from across south-east England and London. We then built a computer algorithm which “listened” to how they spoke and grouped them by how similarly they pronounced vowels in different words.
What defines these accents?
Around 26% of our participants spoke estuary English, which has similarities with Cockney but is more muted and closer to received pronunciation. The people in our sample who spoke estuary English would pronounce words like “house” a bit like “hahs”, but not as extreme as you would find in Cockney. Estuary English is spoken across the south-east, particularly in parts of Essex, and is similar to how Stacey Dooley, Olly Murs, Adele or Jay Blades speak.
Click here to read the rest.
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link to legislation - https://t.co/eO26Jmcg7x