Like many – I am still in shock at the result of the historic British Referendum on whether to remain a member of the EU. I should admit now that I called it wrong.
I actually predicted the Conservative win in the last election – not scientifically but just a sense that the British would, over-all, see that there was no viable option – and enough of the population did.
On this issue however – I was wrong – I thought the “Remains” would win with a majority of about 60% to 40% “Leaves” – I applied the same logic and of course as we know – the majority of the population voted to leave.
Factually speaking, we should say that the majority of those who made the effort to cast their vote decided to leave the EU – though I cannot help ponder, if on this occasion, as a population, democracy actually failed us.
As for those who chose not to bother to vote – They should, in my opinion have their franchise removed. They plainly don’t care or feel their voice makes any difference – so they should lose the power to choose in future and they should have to apply and pay steeply (at least coving all the administration costs) to get it back. I think that should happen with everyone who does not bother to vote. You could go down the Australian route (all things Australian seem rather in vogue right now) of making it law to vote but that seems too heavy handed and costly.
The post-mortem now begins and even though I signed the parliamentary petition, along with several million others, to have it discussed in parliament – I am pretty sure – we have left – are leaving the EU. There doesn’t seem anyway of going back – we are living in a new world order that has yet to evolve and right now It feels more financially unstable and globally dangerous than I can recall in my lifetime. Let us hope we get through it – for our children’s sake, because we frankly, don’t deserve to.
I am fairly sure that many of the people who voted to leave wish, or very soon will wish they had voted to “Remain” – but time will tell and I guess it is inconsequential now. There are a few notable issues that have surfaced out of the results.
Firstly the exaggerations, if not out-right lies of the “Leave Campaign”- One could argue there were exaggerations on both sides but not to the extent that there were on the Leave Campaigns side. Outrageous claims were made and as for Mr Farage – a friend of mine suggested that he be charged with treason – I’m not sure that would stick though a more bigoted, xenophobic, smug and mendacious man it would be hard to find.
As for Boris Johnston – he was clearly caught with his arm in the apple barrel of opportunity; he was clearly expecting, if not wanting a “Remain Verdict” which would have him well placed for the top job in the future. Now I fear he is the last person we need to lead the country and he appears to have reached the same conclusion.
There are a few people who have come out of this process with credit – Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England for sure (a good candidate for benevolent dictator) – but perhaps most of all – David Cameron. He has consistently shown, both before, during and after the result was announced – true leadership; passionate and determined during the campaign and in defeat, generous, measured and dignified.
And whoever it was who compared Cameron to Chamberlin holding a piece of paper should be ashamed of himself – “You were 180 degrees wide of the mark”. Cameron was brave – some might call him “rash” but I think brave is a more accurate description. He took on those who were determined to have a fight. Sometimes in life – there is no alternative – you just have to fight.
There are some issues you need to be prepared to die for – not many but there are a few and even fewer people who are prepared to stand up and risk being blown down. The oak tree and the reed – Cameron did and he lost and he lost because the other side misrepresented the truth and played the fear-card to the proportion of our population who are less enlightened, intolerant – luddite and isolationist in their outlook and full of misunderstanding and as a result, fear. That is why Cameron and all of us lost.
But the guys and gals who really should step up to the plate and take most of the responsibility for this particular piece of world tragedy are the professional, elitist, Brussels political-crats as typified by Jean-Claude Juncker, when asked by Katya Adler of the BBC – “is this the end of the EU”? – He simply said “Non” – and stalked off in a temper.
These Europhile Bureaucrats have only themselves to blame – They are either too lazy or too frightened to try and make a case, I suspect a mix of both. They never have bothered to try and bring people, the populations of Europe with them – they just act as petulant, spoilt empire builders and adopt an attitude of arrogance and umbrage if anyone has the temerity to ask “what do you think you are doing” or “Please account for your actions and explain them”. This is the real reason we have arrived here.
We are where we are and we have to move forward now. Cameron has quite rightly and admirably fallen on his sword – there is no way he could have continued as Prime Minister with any authority. As we have always known, Jeremy Corbyn was never made of the same stuff as David Cameron or even David Miliband come to that. Mr Corbyn has earned the distrust of millions through his traitorous actions, or rather inaction. We will wait and see how that unfolds – it won’t be an edifying spectacle for Labour though.
We need a new Prime minister, a new leader and it has to be a unifying figure – someone who can bring fractious people together – someone who is a good communicator – but above all, a safe pair of hands who can steady the ship and steer us out of this mess.
I have felt depressingly devastated all week – talk about shooting ourselves in the foot – if it is only the foot – we will be very lucky. A great friend of mine was fond of using the saying – “cometh the moment, cometh the man” or perhaps in this case “the woman.” – Let us hope we find a new leader quickly. There is far too much uncertainty and a vacuum is building and I suspect Mr Putin is grinning from ear to ear.