Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Brexit is a silly word

A man said to me yesterday, 'We should stop talking about Brexit - Brexit is a silly word - and start talking about independence'.


  1. Yes Brexit is a silly name for a stupid idea. Independent from what exactly? Modernism, globalism, imperialism? When you or others write, that I should stop arguing and get behind Brexit, my reply is this. Let us suppose I’m walking home one night through Knightsbridge and come across a group of thugs smashing cars. Do I shout at them that I think what they are doing is wrong, or do I join in with wrecking simply because there’s more of them than me?
One thing above all weighs heavy with me and that’s the Irish Border. Years of peace largely a result of both the UK and Ireland being in the EU, and precious little to do with the Good Friday Agreement as well as all the goodwill and hopes for the future thrown away. For what? We never lost our sovereignty . We were, and at this moment still are part of the highest volume and value trading organisation in the world. Virtually all of our prosperity in the last forty years is because of the EU not despite it. I am old enough to remember free EEC and the economic basket case, dirty man of Europe we were.At the moment on the world stage we are the hammy actor who thinks he is greater than the role or the company and that the crowds will follow him , yeah even to a backroom in Hackney.

    For seventy plus years there has been peace in Europe. Countless millions died in wars before that. And for seven decades more or less we have rubbed along. Not perfectly but without murdering each other on an industrial scale. WE punched above our weight politically and if there was domestic strife we blamed it on the foreigners. Didn’t matter what. Immigration, EU’s fault, unemployment? EU’s fault. Falling care standards? EU’s fault. Bake off? Nope that’s all British. Except when someone in a Hijab wins it.
Then what happened? Basically a right wing coup engineered by an elite who brought us austerity , and who managed to convince 52% of the electorate , well those that were allowed to vote, that people like Rees Mogg, Johnson and Gove are somehow not the elite or the establishment.
Agencies which we will have to deal with in future are already leaving for the mainland ,chips on shoulder at ready, companies and more more will follow. We are laughed at now by the rest of the world who are amazed at this act of self harm. But the Little Englanders will sit amongst the ruins whistling Land Of Hope & Glory as US companies cherry pick the last of our assets, amongst them the NHS at rock bottom prices, then you will really know what modern globalism feels like for a third country outside of the protection of the bloc. 

    Don’t think this was the plan all along? Arron Banks , Farage, Rees-Mogg, Fox, Gove, Redwood. This is exactly what they’ve wished for and been working towards for decades. 
And you Brexiteers handed it to them on a plate. The rollback in animal welfare rights as well as human rights without a compensating ‘British Bill of Rights” as well as the contingency plans for internment camps for post Brexit civil disturbance are simply the slim end of the wedge.

  2. Simon you seem a voice of sense in a sea of frothy jingoism. to badly paraphrase Tacitus/Calgacus " They create a solitude and call it independence ". Bede's words now on the people of the British isle are as resonant now as in the 10th Century, tribalism still running deep within the Psyche. There are four people, The Irish, The Scots, The Remoaners and the Brechtums. Except this time those opposed to Rome have chosen to call themselves the true Britons. The divide is reversed too , this time they are the north and West and South of the Watling Gap are the metropolitan elite, the lackeys of Lisbon.

  3. This article appeared in a Swiss Newspaper and was translated by Paula Kirby (17th June 2017)
    This article in a Swiss newspaper today is so ruthlessly clear-sighted in its assessment of just how screwed we are that I just had to translate it for the non-German speakers. Hold on to your hats:

    If it weren't so serious, the situation in Great Britain would almost be comical. The country is being governed by a talking robot, nicknamed the Maybot, that somehow managed to visit the burned-out tower block in the west of London without speaking to a single survivor or voluntary helper. Negotiations for the country’s exit from the EU are due to begin on Monday, but no one has even a hint of a plan. The government is dependent on a small party that provides a cozy home for climate change deniers and creationists. Boris Johnson is Foreign Secretary. What in the world has happened to this country?
    Two years ago David Cameron emerged from the parliamentary election as the shining victor. He had secured an absolute majority, and as a result it looked as if the career of this cheerful lightweight was headed for surprisingly dizzy heights. The economy was growing faster than in any other industrialised country in the world. Scottish independence and, with it, the break-up of the United Kingdom had been averted. For the first time since 1992, there was a Conservative majority in the House of Commons. Great Britain saw itself as a universally respected actor on the international stage. This was the starting point.
    In order to get from this comfortable position to the chaos of the present in the shortest possible time, two things were necessary: first, the Conservative right wingers’ obsessive hatred of the EU, and second, Cameron’s irresponsibility in putting the whole future of the country on the line with his referendum, just to satisfy a few fanatics in his party. It is becoming ever clearer just how extraordinarily bad a decision that was. The fact that Great Britain has become the laughing stock of Europe is directly linked to its vote for Brexit.
    The ones who will suffer most will be the British people, who were lied to by the Brexit campaign during the referendum and betrayed and treated like idiots by elements of their press. The shamelessness still knows no bounds: the Daily Express has asked in all seriousness whether the inferno in the tower block was due to the cladding having been designed to meet EU standards. It is a simple matter to discover that the answer to this question is No, but by failing to check it, the newspaper has planted the suspicion that the EU might be to blame for this too. As an aside: a country in which parts of the press are so demonstrably uninterested in truth and exploit a disaster like the fire in Grenfell Tower for their own tasteless ends has a very serious problem.
    Already prices are rising in the shops, already inflation is on the up. Investors are holding back. Economic growth has slowed. And that’s before the Brexit negotiations have even begun. With her unnecessary general election, Prime Minister Theresa May has already squandered an eighth of the time available for them. How on earth an undertaking as complex as Brexit is supposed to be agreed in the time remaining is a mystery.

  4. Great Britain will end up leaving its most important trading partner and will be left weaker in every respect. It would make economic sense to stay in the single market and the customs union, but that would mean being subject to regulations over which Britain no longer had any say. It would be better to have stayed in the EU in the first place. So the government now needs to develop a plan that is both politically acceptable and brings the fewest possible economic disadvantages. It’s a question of damage limitation, nothing more; yet even now there are still politicians strutting around Westminster smugly trumpeting that it will be the EU that comes off worst if it doesn’t toe the line.
    The EU is going to be dealing with a government that has no idea what kind of Brexit it wants, led by an unrealistic politician whose days are numbered; and a party in which old trenches are being opened up again: moderate Tories are currently hoping to be able to bring about a softer exit after all, but the hardliners in the party – among them more than a few pigheadedly obstinate ideologues – are already threatening rebellion. An epic battle lies ahead, and it will paralyse the government.
    EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has said that he now expects the Brits to finally set out their position clearly, since he cannot negotiate with himself. The irony of this statement is that it would actually be in Britain’s best interests if he did just that. At least that way they’d have one representative on their side who grasps the scale of the task and is actually capable of securing a deal that will be fair to both sides. The Brits do not have a single negotiator of this stature in their ranks. And quite apart from the Brexit terms, both the debate and the referendum have proven to be toxic in ways that are now making themselves felt.
    British society is now more divided than at any time since the English civil war in the 17th century, a fact that was demonstrated anew in the general election, in which a good 80% of the votes were cast for the two largest parties. Neither of these parties was offering a centrist programme: the election was a choice between the hard right and the hard left. The political centre has been abandoned, and that is never a good sign. In a country like Great Britain, that for so long had a reputation for pragmatism and rationality, it is grounds for real concern. The situation is getting decidedly out of hand.
    After the loss of its empire, the United Kingdom sought a new place in the world. It finally found it, as a strong, awkward and influential part of a larger union: the EU. Now it has given up this place quite needlessly. The consequence, as is now becoming clear, is a veritable identity crisis from which it will take the country a very long time to recover.