I saw it coming but went into denial. I didn’t think a smidgen over 50% of a country like Britain could be so reckless, so isolationist, so insecure in a global environment.
I didn’t think the leave-like-lemmings herd mentality would have such consequences. I didn’t believe that wiser heads would not prevail and a tsunami of self-immolation would ensue.
Well, I got that one wrong, eh?
I’ve got relatives in the UK and they live in the West Midlands. That region voted 58.something to leave. My relatives voted to stay. The comments they have passed on to me and this seems to be consistent from both camps, is that the proponents (of both arguments) lied and were thin in substantive argument. Both camps were cynical of their own side not to mention the opposing argument.
What I can’t fathom is why so many people voted for such a drastic outcome when they were not given all of the facts and consequences that blind Freddie could see. They didn’t take Paul Keating’s advice over the GST in the ’93 campaign – “if you don’t understand it, don’t vote for it”.
So far the outcomes have been catastrophic. The political fabric in England has broken down, with a PM resigning (only to stay on as a lame duck for three months), half of the shadow cabinet have resigned to oust the Leader of the Opposition, the pound took a nose dive worthy of an Olympic medal, the stock markets around the world have reacted negatively, xenophobia has taken off, Scotland wants to go it alone in the EU and revisit the independence referendum and Northern Ireland sided with Eire in a notable expression of Irish unity.
What part of global citizenship don’t these people get?
When I did Defence and Strategic Studies at Deakin Uni a hundred thousand years ago, I was taught that the art of diplomacy was being in the conversation. Being inside the tent meant staying dry, outside and you get rained on (so to speak, if you get the drift). Isolationism is not only yesterday’s notion, it is dangerous and deadly.
Some pundits say that the sovereignty of Britain was under threat from a non-elected European Parliament, some say that Britain was shouldering more than a fair share of the economic load needed to sustain the European community, some say that the open borders policy has wrecked the health system and Jobson Groathe has snuffed it.
Well, the immigration issue is not something new in Britain. One has only to wander in some of the major cities to see the multicultural nature of today’s Britain. Closing the borders is not going to solve the issue. Too late she cried. This has only created anxiety and with that comes desperation and then reaction. There are huge numbers of people living in Britain who now fear they will be asked to leave. There are huge numbers of ex-pat Brits overseas who are worried they may be asked to go back to Britain.
I’ve just scratched the surface of this insane outcome. Let’s hope that the invocation of Clause 50 is held over until people have had a chance to take a deep breath. I know of stories where the “Leave” voters have woken up to a morning of great uncertainty, greater chance of job losses and financial hardship. I have heard stories of people wanting to change their vote. Given that it was a 52/48 split, perhaps it would be wise to do it all again.
When I came into the world, it was at a time of the final disintegration of the British Empire, with India and Pakistan going it alone. The Raj was finally dead. During the ensuing period, Britain has gone through tough times and top times but there are clearly some millions of folks there that refuse to accept that the Empire is dead. The Commonwealth, a constitutional monarchical yet democratic institution of member states, has replaced it.
Will Britain now leave the Commonwealth if it doesn’t suit it to remain? Will “Great” Britain now completely disintegrate with an independent Scotland, a re-united Ireland (with the Welsh just sitting by, watching)?
This tsunami may just be the catalyst for the ripping apart of a once great nation. Sad really.
All because of the Streaker’s Defence! It seemed a good idea at the time!