Perspective is all important in life. It determines how we view things, and therefore what we decide.
There was a time when I accepted the view that of course the EEC/now EU was a good thing. I believed economic union would remove the factors for war between the European nations and lead to political union. A political union of free, democratic states uniting together to protect democracy and liberty. A force for good in the world.
I even said so in my entrance interview for University. My views on the matter were elicited and it seems I got the answer right !
I was of course young, and wanted the best for the world.
That is why I voted to remain in the EEC in 1975.
41 years later I voted to Leave the EU.
The reality of the experience had proved conclusively to me that the European project was seriously flawed, even dangerous. Various historical and critical events are explained elsewhere on this blog.
That is why I have no time for the superficial and propagandic assertions of those who continue to want the UK in the EU by fair means or foul.
Much is being made by Remainiacs and by the BBC of the difficulties the Prime Minister now faces. The future of the nation is at stake, and the situation is serious. But that does not matter because the nation has no future outside the EU, so it’s ok to wreck it all.
Because there is no outright majority for the Conservatives in Parliament, there are suggestions that the UK’s negotiating position is weak in the coming Brexit negotiations.
Well, let’s put some perspective on this.
Whoever is in government has the duty to implement the decision made on June 23rd 2016. Every one understood that Remain meant stay in and that Leave meant Leave the EU [remaining in any EU arrangement such as the Single Market or Customs Union or being in any way subject to the mis-named European Court of Justice is of course not leaving but remaining].
That, of course, was when the Remain camp fully expected to win.
In fact this presumption by the political elite was so strong, and the resistance to exiting the EU so entrenched, that the government spent £millions of taxpayer’s money to endorse the Remain view. The government also refused – and would not allow – the civil service to do its job impartially and with due respect for democracy by preparing for Brexit.
The people were supposed to rubber stamp the establishment view. Such was the state of democracy in our country that the culture of government was not only predisposed but wilfully over rode proper democratic consideration of options. The vote was prejudged by these people- and they acted accordingly.
That mentality displays no respect for democracy. That mentality says that EUtopia is so important, the masses must not really decide, but must obey the dictates of the ruling minority.
Or be required to vote again till they get it ‘right’ – just as happened in Greece in 2015; just as happened in the Irish referendum on the Lisbon treaty enshrining the EU with the Constitution which had already been rejected by referendum of the French and Dutch people in 2005.
Parliament gave the decision to the people in the 2015 Referendum Act, and the people decided. And that was done, not just because the Tory party was threatened by UKIP in the polls, but because everyone knew that this issue had been rumbling away for decades and needed to be finally determined.
It was. The verdict was LEAVE.
It was Leave despite the overwhelming bias of the BBC and of the political elite. A degree of bias so strong that their campaign continued well after June 2016 and is still going on today.
But let’s pick up on the particular parliament we now have. What does that tell us ?
According to the BBC and the continental media steeped in the assumption that the EU is Good and any other view is Evil, the UK is now weak. The media bias of the Franco-German taxpayer funded channel Arte is so great that contrary evidence is routinely edited out, and lesser, unrepresentative views routinely given prominence.
Any French or German person taking their view from Arte would believe that the British now felt that they have made a terrible mistake, just want to be forgiven and make up; and that the British people are being hijacked by a nationalistic clique bent on destroying the UK.
Well the party that said we should should vote again till we did the EU’s bidding, got just 12 seats – and their share of the vote compared to 2015 actually went down ..
UKIP of course got none. But then UKIP was always seen by the electorate as a protest movement, not a serious political party. And their raison d’etre has been taken by the Conservatives.
The Conservatives were for Brexit; and the Labour party recognised that it had to accept the Referendum result to be seen to be half way credible.
Labour could not form a majority in parliament; and few electors wants yet another general election with the prospect of another hung parliament.
That’s the reality.
And the DUP – now in negotiations with the Conservatives to give them a majority in parliament – was clearly Brexit with understandable concerns about the border remaining open. [Eire’s best option is to consider its best interests and leave the EU, too; after all, it now has to fork out and pay for membership ! [ http://brugesgroup.com/blog/why-brexit-should-be-accompanied-by-irexit-ireland-exit ]
And what happened to the other party desperate to stay in the single market and to destroy the historic union of Scotland with England ? They lost 21 of their 56 seats. And it is worth noting that it only needed an average of 27,930 votes to get an SNP MP elected while it required 42,978 votes to elect a Conservative MP [and 49,141 for the average Labour MP].
It is also worth noting that the constant talk of Northern Ireland and Scotland voting to Remain in 2016 is over stated.
84% of the UK population live in England, and the referendum concerned the United Kingdom and the EU, not the constituent nations. And Scotland voted in its once in a generation Referendum in 2014 to remain in the United Kingdom
It is also true that the Conservatives under Theresa May increased their vote by 2.3 million on 2015 to 13,667,213 – significantly higher than the 2 previous Conservative Prime Ministers.
And yes, the Labour vote under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership increased by 3.5 million – Jeremy Corbyn being a life long opponent of the EU on the grounds that it is not really in the interests of working people … a line only recently talked down by virtue of his problems with the Labour establishment elite…
These are the political facts of the matter.
The situation of the EU economically vis-a-vis the UK is also compelling.
The noise in the media about the EU having a strong negotiating hand is at total variance with reality.
The loss of the serious net contribution of the UK to the EU budget is serious, and probably life threatening.
And they know it !
They now have to exact far more from States which joined to get the handout – not have to hand it out ! If there is any unity of approach in the EU position it is sheer selfish interest – certain nations are going to have to pay for the largesse they were accustomed to benefiting from.
EU nationals need the work the UK affords. Some 3.5 million compared with the 1.2 million Brits [like my wife and myself] living in EU countries – and most of us are retired, not needing jobs as EU citizens in the UK do.
The idea that these negotiations can in any way harm the interests of citizens living in each others countries is superficial propagandic nonsense removed from reality. I have NO fears for my position in France, nor for EU nationals in UK.
Because I look at the facts of the matter, not the propaganda – propaganda which the Remainiacs callously exploit to try to get their way. They evidently don’t care about expats; they evidently care about their EUtopian ideology or they wouldn’t put expats through needless anxiety.
German car manufacturers and French agriculture need the UK market far more than the UK needs them. The UK export market to the EU has been diminishing significantly in recent years. In fact the UK desperately needs the freedom to trade more easily outside the straight-jacket of EU regulations and the Customs Union in order to redress its significant balance of payments deficit with the EU.
They need us for the same reasons we need to get away from them …
That might sound selfish. But it’s reality.
The reality that every State is in the EU for what it can get out of it – not what it can put in. And that reality is becoming ever more pressing with the migrant crisis and the looming hole in EU largesse created by Brexit.
That is the true perspective we all need to put on this matter. That is the mature view, as opposed to the naive and idealistic view.
I can assure you that the French government is idealistic just as long as French interests are not affected. It becomes remarkably self interested when its concerns – indeed its view and its control of the EU – are put at issue.
The EU was meant to be an extension of the French mindset and the French sense of its manifest destiny. That is how the French intelligentsia see it; and the following quote is representative and true.
My impeccable source is Jacques Delors – one time Commissioner responsible for creating all the conditions and plans for the single currency and the European Constitution we live with today [yes the Lisbon Treaty is the 2005 European Constitution rejected by the French and Dutch people – its author, Valery Giscard d’Estaing, told Le Monde so].
In the preface to his 1992 book ‘Le Nouveau Concert Europeen’ where he frankly explains his thinking and actions, Delors states unequivocally on page 18:
La France, par son sens de l’universel et par sa soif d’influence, a impregne, depuis le debut, l’esprit et la realisation de la construction europeene. Et elle ne continuera a le faire qu’en restant elle-meme, avec ses traditions, sa culture, ses specificites.
Prima facie !
At best, the French tradition and understanding of liberty only goes back to 1789 and the Declaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen.
The English chopped off a king’s head for absolutist tendencies well over a century before the French did so; and the English established the constitutional protections the French got around to in 1789 back in 1689 – a century before in the Bill of Rights.
With that, the English established their modern constitutional monarchy, and have not deviated from it.
Since 1789, the French have had TEN constitutions, a number re-establishing authoritarian monarchy under one name or another, and today they still have what their own political academics call an elective monarchy
You see it was ever thus. Idealistic visions have always been swallowed by those wanting this world to be other than it is; and those who peddle them, are all too often sharks out for themselves – sharks who know a good scam when they see one.
The current head of the Commission [ the over powerful EU bureaucracy – literally bureaucracy] and thereby most powerful man in the EU set up, was 17 years in charge of Luxembourg. During that time, many household name multinationals did very advantageous tax deals with the Luxembourg government. All of which has been exposed in recent years.
The EU parliament’s investigations into Mr Juncker were conducted in true EU fashion behind closed doors. All of which was conveniently arranged by Juncker’s mate Schultz when president of the EU parliament…
So the great bastion of European freedom and democracy fails to implement the most basic safeguards against cronyism and the abuse of power by those holding power, ostensibly on behalf of the people.
As it says in the book to which those who established the 1689 constitutional settlement in England subscribed,
there is nothing new under the sun …