I am disappointed with the results of the referendum, but the campaigning and the process were a parody of democracy. Both sides lied to an extent that would shame Poutin.
David Cameron and Boris Johnson have played the future of this country as if it were a game of Poker. Shame on them!
Emotions prevailed over common sense. Worst of all, the public has not been adequately informed.
The result was fairly close and the leave campaign won with 52% of those who voted. It appears that because of this, Britain will invoke article 50 and leave the EU. That is less than 40% of the total electorate. EU Nationals living in UK were not allowed to vote, nor were British Nationals living in other EU countries unless they could supply a UK address. Those between 16 and 18 could not vote either, but were allowed in Scottish referendum. In my experience, that age group has been more responsible and more mature than many pensioners. I am glad that at least non British Commonwealth Citizens were allowed to vote.
I am extremely sorry that the populists and the demagogues won in a country where Oswald Mosley got nowhere.
I do not think leaving the EU is going to be a success at all. At the best, it will be just a bad decision, with loss of influence and nothing much more. We will still have to contribute to the EU budget as much if not more than before and we will still have to accept freedom of movement of people. Immigration will only go down because the British economy is in a bad state and unemployment is high.
At the worst, if poor negotiations are carried out, Brexit is going to be an unmitigated disaster with the IMF worst case forecast probably optimistic.
A lot of Brexiters look back at a glorious past. Yes, it is probably true the British Empire was the biggest, most powerful empire the World has ever known. In surface, it was larger than the former Soviet Union. In 1870, the Royal Navy was more powerful than the combined strength of the next seven largest navies. That is the past and it is important to look at why we were so powerful. There are several factors. One of the major ones is Britain was a democracy when most other countries in the World were inefficiently run dictatorships. British institutions were way ahead of rest of Europe and the British industrial revolution took place much sooner than elsewhere. I am also inclined to believe the standard of education in Britain was much higher than elsewhere in say 1840.
The World has moved on. Most of the World’s population now lives in either developed or fast developing economies. Many countries have improved their governance and institutions and are now very efficiently run democracies: look at Germany, Japan, South Korea and Scandinavia amongst others…
Britain has stayed static or moved very slowly.
In the seventies, the UK was the ‘sick man of Europe’. Since then, it has improved but not because of Margaret Thatcher. In the eighties and nineties, large amounts of oil were extracted from the North Sea. Amounts extracted exceeded domestic consumption and at one stage 60% of French petrol at pump came from the North Sea.
North Sea oil is running out and we are extracting a lot less. The recession in 2008-2010 was exacerbated because of that.
In spite of those extra revenues, British infrastructure (roads, public transport) has been behind countries such as France or Germany who do not have oil as reserves.
The Brexiters won and they are in denial of all these facts. They have no plans and keep changing their mind. I am worried. Very worried.
Scotland could become independent, followed by Northern Ireland and London. Unfortunately we have to accept the following facts: the UK is a nuclear power, has a permanent seat on the United Nation Security councils with veto rights, and is a member of the G8. With that legacy, it is simply not reasonable for the UK to break up. Let us be responsible even if Boris and David have not been. We have lost a lot of influence by leaving the EU. Let us limit the damage.
I am calling for the formation of a grand coalition that would include moderate, progressive politicians of all sides: Labour, Conservative, SNP, Liberal Democrats, Green and others. This coalition would put their differences aside and look at the big picture: Britain is in urgent need of fundamental, structural reform. Our institutions are obsolete and out of date. The EU has been made the scapegoat of what are really domestic, internal issues. We have a fantastic opportunity to do this at this time. If Germany is doing so well, it is because it is well managed. We should copy Germany and improve on it using everything we know about good governance.
When we carry out such reform, we shall carefully plan ahead unlike the Brexiters. We shall have a referendum requesting the public for approval only when we have already a written constitution and the means of how we are going to implement it.
Here are some of my humble proposals:
This is just a few ideas and vastly more than that will have to be done.
I am also making the following requests:
To the unemployed disgruntled guy living on a council estate: do not take part in violent, destructive protests when you realize the full extent to which you have been betrayed. You will get nothing through that, just more trouble. I say keep your anger under control and protest by voting for fundamental reform. We could not please everyone, but we will fight for a fairer, more just World and over a length of time, most people will be better off.
To the financier, the entrepreneur at the other end of the social ladder: it is not possible to ignore people as this referendum has shown. I do not think the approach should be helping people. The approach should be investing in people. It is that way we are going to create growth while preserving social harmony. I read we need immigrants and I think that in all circumstances we certainly do, albeit in lower numbers. Would it not be so much better if we could not train more of our own people?
Some of what I am saying may be very silly and naïve. However, let me say this: I am protesting loudly with all the rage in my heart.