The Curse of Brexit
A totally divided country, one half wanting to stay in the European Union, the other half wanting to get out of it, has caused more disruption than could possibly have been imagined by David Cameron when he called for a referendum on the subject. That it was stupid to initiate one was clear even before it was held. The only referendum voters should have is called a General Election. The constitution lays down the circumstances under which one can be called. These are out of date in the United Kingdom. They should be amended. Whatever the changes, they should not amount to holding referenda whenever the government is weak.
Since the referendum was held, much information – some even factual – has come to light about the practicality of separation, the complexity of keeping the Union together and the advantages and disadvantages of Britain ‘going it alone’. Delving into this detail won’t help you make a better decision because the elephant in the room is not to be found there but in the changes in world politics over three years. We are told, monotonously, that change is everywhere and keeping up is a prerequisite to good governance. Not apparently on the subject of Brexit.
Brexit may have meant Brexit at the time of the referendum and when the, often fake, data available was limited. It certainly doesn’t mean the same thing today. For a start, America’s position and stance in the world has changed dramatically. So has China’s, Russia’s, Ukraine’s, Turkey’s, France’s, Germany’s, Italy’s – well please go ahead and rattle off as many countries as you like. More important even than these, the position of the European Union has changed. Brexit, or rather the threat of it, has been a big factor in that.
Even the means of communication have changed. The new high speed, heavy duty internet connections combined with Artificial Intelligence have created a world of interdependence and contact we simply didn’t know about three years ago. The urgency of climate change and its effect on the sustainability of the planet was a sideline in 2016 for most people. Today it is second only to the survival of some sensory form of humanity. To take an ill informed, cobbled together, vote from what amounts to another era and continue claiming it is valid is stupidity gone mad.
Forget everything i have said so far, if you like. Forget climate, Trump, communications. What is the biggest change that has happened since the ill-conceived referendum? Why the British voter of course. That doesn’t mean that they will vote differently in another referendum – even if we have one. That doesn’t mean they have suddenly become enlightened by all the new information available. It means they are fed up, totally, completely, absolutely and unwaveringly fed up with a government that calls itself the Mother of Parliaments appearing to be bereft of power.
The mockery of Britain, the disregard for Britain’s achievements, the isolation this government has brought the United Kingdom to, is shaming beyond belief. The country’s roads, rail systems, other infrastructure, National Health Service, education updating and ability to attract brains and culture from the rest of the world and to give back some brains and culture, has disappeared. The behaviour of institutions once regarded as responsible and reliable is crumbling before us.
The prospect of Nigel Farage as British Prime Minister is a cartoon too far. But it is only a short step from May’s dislexic mayhem or Corbyn’s looming catastrophe. Several people in the EU are openly discussing the possibility already. One thing is certain. There are no visible leaders in the House of Commons and certainly not in the Cabinet. So lacking in leadership qualities are they that they had to have their mobile phones confiscated by the Prime Minister in order to stop leaks from Cabinet meetings. Difficult to get more disgraced than that.
Britain has been in tough corners before. Men and women of stature and command came forward to fill the leadership gaps. Can we see one today? Frankly no, but if you can, please say so. Those of us who remain UK citizens but who choose to live abroad would like to hear a name.
We know that absence makes the heart grow fonder because we live it.
We’d like to know that Britain can be in good hands again.