Say hello, wave goodbye to Europe

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Oh Good Lord, what have I done?

Some of you may dance, (Brexits) but some of us are distraught for England, Ireland, the break up of the nation, for the future generations and the people who think that leaving the EU will better their lives. Don’t dance too soon, the repercussions to be expected, at least initially, short or long-term will hit exactly those people who voted out.

As Ian Birrell (columnist of the year) in the i newspaper  June 27, said: “…Already some of the careerists and charlatans who led the Brexit campaign are confessing they conned voters, accepting it will not end free movement or send an extra £350m a week to the health service.”

Alice Jones, also in i, June 25, writes: “That this referendum represents a revolt by the working class – the economically disfranchised, angry and alienated from Westminster – is in no doubt”. One only needs to look at the geographical map of choices made.

The farmers hope to be compensated by the government for the funds they will now not get from the EU, but where will the money come from? After many years of suffering under the austerity measures of the Conservatives, lack of investment in social care, zero hours contracts, cuts in the NHS, industries collapsing, bedroom tax, inability to get on the housing ladder, London properties being sold to people from abroad and then rented at high prices, affordable housing shortage, nothing being built (and most cuts of course blamed on immigration which tipped the balance) what is there to lose? Here was a chance to tell the rich and politicians across party lines “Up yours” and at the same time be free from Brussels’ regulations.

I do get it, I also am angry about the politicians and the greedy MEP’s but while I hope I am wrong, the people who are going to suffer under the next austerity cuts will be the workers, people who are working hard to make a life, many of the group who voted out. It will not be the people who made their money now, the ones with investments (maybe loss of a little interest because the £ drops for a bit), not well off pensioners (though I am sure they worked hard to get there), it will be the community who felt already squeezed and was persuaded that out of the EU all would be well.

John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor, says in i June 25: “The weakest parts of the UK will suffer most from this shock.”

I do hope I am wrong in my fears and that the political parties, businesses and city will work together to make a smooth transition over the next 3-5 years and have a plan that helps the people, rather than lining their own pockets.

Just a picture to jolt everybody’s imagination, the world and our security could be in the hands of Boris Johnson and US presidential hopeful Donald Trump. I shudder. While a Labour supporter, unfortunately I don’t think that Jeremy Corbyn, though respected for his principles, is ready to lead at any and particularly not at this difficult, time.

[Editor’s note: At the time of going to press, (and after this article was written) Boris Johnson has ruled himself out of the leadership race and Jeremy Corbyn appears to be heading for the exit, too.]

 

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11 COMMENTS

  1. Your headline is misleading. We will ALWAYS be part of Europe. It is the European Union that we are talking about. The unelected elites who are in fact dictators.

  2. Thanks Heidi for the thoughtful and heartfelt comments.

    I would hope that we can have a national consensus (and, in due course, a government) to get on with two things:
    1. Leaving the EU (because, whatever we think about it, that was the democratic decision)
    2. Addressing the inequality and hardship in our society (because that is the real issue, which created the context in which so many people could be persuaded to vote Leave)

    If you were a Leave voter you may believe the two things go naturally together. If you were a Remain voter, you may think 1 is no help at all in addressing 2. But none of that matters now – we really have to do both things.

    The political parties are scattered across the map on these matters, with both Labour and Conservative divided, Libdems and SNP in different ways trying to block or reverse the decision. Political parties are driven by activists of whatever kind, and that can drive people apart and emphasis differences, whereas we now need our leaders to bury their differences and work together. Teresa May and Angela Eagle might bring some sensible leadership, but in both cases their party members may prefer more extreme leaders who voted Leave. If ever there were a time for the MPs of all parties who favour a tolerant society to join forces and create a coalition BEFORE a general election (a government of national unity, you might say), now would be that time.

  3. Turned the tv on this morning to see the horse artillery firing cannons at the Houses of Parliament. Assumed the Duke of Edinburgh had taken over with the army in the absence of any other discernible government.
    But then a backlit piper appeared, slow-marching out of the Abbey while he played the Flowers of the Forest (shivers down the spine). Two minutes silence for the first day of the Somme 100 years ago – to remind us of the million and a half British who were killed in two World Wars fighting for the liberation of Europe and our European neighbours on whom we are now turning our backs.
    Shame, despair and rage.

  4. How about getting rid of the doom and gloom and start talking the country up instead.
    What about all the careerist and charlatans who lied and tried every which way to instil fear into the populous (so the country would remain in order they could keep their snouts in the trough whilst sitting on the EU gravy train).
    It did not work did it? The country voted out. Get used to it.

    Nobody said it would be easy, but neither is life. In fact life is the most dangerous thing I know. Never known anybody survive it.
    The UK is more than capable of going it alone. Provided it has the support and will of the people and is not undermined by sore loosers intent on ignoring democracy. I along with the MAJORITY vote would rather have a period of turbulent change than loose all of my pride laying supine before an unelected bunch of arrogant metropolitan elite and closet communists. Namely the EU.

    The referendum said out. You lot need to get over it

    [NOTE:This comment has been edited to meet our guidelines for comments.]

  5. Loofaker, no need to be unpleasant , if you read my piece calmly you would see that I agree, we, remain voters however distraught, have to work together now with the out voters. Ranting against each other is hardly helpful.

    Sandy, thanks for your sentiment, I agree, all of us, politicians, EU and in and out voters need to look forward and do the best for the future.

    Sandra, I am a European and yes hopefully you are right in time because at the moment an unpleasant anti European feeling is surfacing in some areas.

  6. I really must say that John Howlett must stop seeing those who voted Leave as idiots and bigots. Can I suggest he joins me in having a full frontal lobotomy on the newly enriched NHS, so as to better align our views to that of the majority of Little England.

  7. Shame, despair, rage?
    We are no less Europeans than before – we have always chosen to forge our own associations, politically, economically and culturally. To equate the EU solely with Europe is both miasmic and myopic. Our links are much broader and deeper than John Howlett credits.
    It would indeed be a shame if the EU foundered because of our leaving, but it has dismissed out of hand all our attempts at reform. It badly needs to get re-connected with its electorate, if only it had one.
    So start thinking positive, John, and snap out of your self-induced gloom – believe in Britain, believe that cometh the hour – cometh the woman, Theresa May?

  8. Further to my previous, rather glib, comments, I would like to say to Loofaker (Good British name, as the Pub Landlord would say) and people like them:

    The Leave campaign gained much traction by claiming that rights would be repatriated, yet for me the opposite is true: my democratic rights are now much diminished. Throughout my entire adult life, as an environmentalist, the European Parliament has been the ONLY institution – other than town/parish council – with a representative for whom I have voted. Thanks to First Past The Post (and sod the rest), my political views, despite being based on reason, compassion and shared values, have not once been directly represented by my district councillor, county councillor or MP.

    The European Parliament represented for me a vital check and balance to national politicians and their short term outlook. The EU provided protection for ordinary people, whether as consumers or workers, for the environment and so much more, all too often and too easily dismissed as bureaucratic ‘red tape’. Despite paying my taxes, working hard, abiding by the law, fulfilling my duty as a voter and contributing to my community, I now find myself de facto wholly excluded from our so called democracy – how is this fair?

    As the collective memory of two world wars fades, the West sees a surge in nationalism and populism, often fuelled by ignorance and intolerance, but also by a legitimate frustration at the syphoning away of power and wealth by the political elite and big business. Labour and the Tories cannot continue to pretend that nothing needs to change.

    Now more than ever we need to see a STRENGTHENING of democracy by widening participation and empowerment at the ballot box. The Conservative Party is undeniably to blame for the current mess, it need not and should not have offered to the public the pure oxygen this referendum presented – it was too much for most to handle. Having offered this Pandora’s Box to the people, the Government should have the conviction to see through this democratic reform. Amongst other things, I suggest the following:

    1. Introduction of PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION IN SOME FORM AT EVERY TIER OF GOVERNMENT . I suggest Single Transferable Vote. The AV plus referendum is not relevant to this debate, as this was still a majoritarian system and therefore highly disproportional. Last year’s general election was the most disproportionate result in British history. A recent survey found that 57 per cent of the public agree with the principle that “the number of seats a party gets should broadly reflect its proportion of the total votes cast” – compared to only 9 per cent who disagree.

    2. LOWERING OF THE VOTING AGE TO 16. The Scottish independence referendum showed once and for all that 16 and 17 year-olds are more than capable of taking important political decisions. The biggest tragedy of the EU referendum was that if only the young had voted in the same numbers as the old, the decision would have gone the other way. If young people are registered early and get into the habit of voting, we will see lasting improvements in turnout. If they vote early, they vote often!

    3. REBUILDING OF HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT. The current premises are not fit for purpose and are in any event in need of urgent refurbishment, to cost at the very least £4 bn. New premises, perhaps outside of London, would reflect the UK constitution in the 21st century, rather than the early 19th century, and the running costs of such a building could be much lower than those of the palace. A new building would be more inclusive and create an environment inviting cooperation rather than adversity. Perhaps this idea is slightly ahead of its time & we need to wait for the people of Scotland and perhaps Northern Ireland to go their own way first – they don’t deserve this pathetic shambles.

  9. Well said Sandra. It’s about time all the ‘in’ campaigners stopped throwing their dummies out of their prams. Do they think so little of this once great nation that we can’t make it great once more? We are no longer shackled by the huge amount of money we have had to throw at a dysfunctional, greedy dictatorship, financing their cars, flash buildings and endless lavish dinners. We can trade with whom we like without having to jump through endless hoops and get the authorisation of 27 other countries. We can become GREAT Britian again.
    Do the ‘in’ campaigners really think we are so stupid we didn’t realise there would be a settling in time? The markets are already recovering.
    Are our young so without backbone that the need to have a nanny state to guide their lives!
    Yes, there is plenty to do but, we are where we are. So, let’s all get our big boy pants on and DO IT!

  10. My last comments about ESCC were censored so better luck this time.
    This is serious; the Unionist Part is in disarray and facing the exit of Scotland and Northern Ireland (people born in the whole of Ireland can apply for Irish citizenship) there is no plan and the official Opposition are struggling to stay united.
    I agree with all of Dominic’s comments and I would add a couple more. It is now clear the major backers of Brexit were maverick employers like Witherspoon’s, who sense freedom from tiresome obstacles to profit like holidays and maternity leave; hedge fund managers whose vision of London is an unregulated Dubai and multi national companies like Fox (Murdoch). If you think this is the stuff of conspiracy check that Independence Day film was released on Thursday polling day (very unusual); it’s theme is a nasty alien power overcome by the small guy. Secondly the Jon Oliver programme refuting most of Brexit’s claims was postponed until after the vote.
    I find it difficult to think of polite words for Leavers so I would suggest ‘gullible and cheated by liars’. (Is that OK Ed?)

  11. Big Boy Pants says Zena Brooker. As per Boris and Garage who’ve both run for the hills?
    Meanwhile today (Tuesday) the first banks are beginning to shut down property investment accounts.
    Jolly good omen for GREAT Britain….

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