Tagged: Referendum

The ‘No choice’ Election

Well it looks like we will have a General Election in December. That’s a ‘maybe’, until someone tries to stall it, like they have stalled leaving the EU for over three years.

December the 9th, or December the 12th. It matters not to me, because I have nobody left to vote for.

My usual default vote would be (somewhat reluctantly these days) for the Labour Party.

But now they want a second referendum on the EU, if they win. (Which is unlikely)
At best, they keep talking about a ‘People’s Vote’, just another expression for a second referendum.

So, I cannot possibly vote Labour, as they have ignored the result of the 2016 referendum completely.

Because they didn’t like that result.

I cannot possibly vote for the Conservative Party, because they are just privileged arseholes.
I would sooner bite off my own leg, than ever cast a vote for those insufferable bastards.

Liberal Democrats? Wishy-washy, no-policy losers, who want us to stay in the EU.
My vote is never going to go in their direction.

The Brexit Party? Right-wing, xenophobic Nationalists, one step away from Fascism.
It goes without saying that they can f***k off.

The Greens. All cosy, comfy, and worried about the planet. Hmm…
No. They want to stay in the EU. To hell with the 2016 referendum result.

So, that’s me. Done with politics. Sick to my stomach about so-called ‘Democrats’ who think it is alright to fight against an election result because they didn’t win.
Fed up with elected politicians who ignore the will of the people that voted them in, because it suits their pockets, and their personal ambitions.

Good luck with the election. I will not be participating.

Unless they put ‘None of the above’ on the ballot paper.

Brexit: The new Civil War

It seems my country is being consumed by the debate over the referendum result. Friends are falling out, families are divided, and the polarisation of opinion has rarely been seen in my lifetime. This is more than falling out over a vote. Much more than ‘agreeing to disagree’ about a point of view. There is a bitterness behind it all; a burning resentment, often bordering on hatred.

The sides have been chosen, the lines drawn in so many sands, and nobody will be shaken from their beliefs. Not since 1642 has this country felt such division, though this time the weapons are words, rather than swords and guns. There was a vote, and 48% of those who voted did not get the result they wanted, or perhaps more accurately, expected. Ever since, through the mainstream media, in parliament, on blogs, and in any way that they can, that 48% (and those who didn’t even bother to vote) have been trying to overturn the referendum. Meanwhile, they have stalled it, protested against it in the streets, and campaigned against it in every single way possible.
That is their right of course, in a democratic society that provided the referendum they lost.

But what if it had gone the other way, the way they wanted? Would these Remain advocates have tolerated such vociferous opposition from those who had voted to Leave, but lost? I suggest not.

Leave voters like myself are made to feel as if we are simply stupid, or much worse. Insults flow thick and fast.
We are racist.
We are xenophobes,
We are uneducated.
We are not politically aware.
We are not ‘travellers’.
We are overweight. (Yes, one study looked at average weight)
We live in places where foreigners are hated.
We are not urbane.
We have no sophistication.
We have no world view.
We are all Right-Wing supporters, little better than Nazis.
We yearn for Empire, so are imperialists at heart.

Even those who don’t insult us directly do so by default.
We were duped.
We were fooled.
We are mere pawns of big business.
We are sheep for the use of capitalists.
We didn’t understand the implications.
We couldn’t comprehend those big words.
It was our poor education that made us vote the ‘wrong way’.
We took too much notice of propaganda.
We believed everything we were told.
We couldn’t be expected to be bright enough to have made up our own minds.

The latest cry is that ‘Its not too late”. Well, for those of us who voted to Leave, it is too late. We voted to Leave, and that’s what we should be doing. If the referendum is overturned, it will be too late for the democratic process we supposedly live by, that’s for sure.

Of course, the Remain voters contained a higher percentage of university graduates. They were all free-thinkers, many of them urbane city-dwellers with the ‘correct attitude’. They are mulitculturalists at heart; well read, well travelled, and up to date on world events. They are the intelligentsia of this nation, the keepers of morals, and the libertarian ideals. The best of the best, undoubtedly.

But it is unlikely that 48% of the population here fit those criteria. Any more than the other 52% are what they are constantly accused of being. They lost that vote, and it is unlikely that they will ever forgive the people who voted the other way. The bitterness is tangible now, and set to last for a generation, or longer.

This new civil war is not over. It has a long way to go yet.

The Independence Game

We are hearing a lot about independence these days. Britain seeking independence from the EU, Scotland seeking another try at independence from the United Kingdom, and a lot of people in Northern Ireland seeking to join the republic of Ireland, and gain independence from Westminster.

It wasn’t that long ago that the Scottish people had their chance to leave the United Kingdom. They had a referendum in 2014, but chose to stay in, by a majority of 55% to 45%. We didn’t hear any rumblings from Northern Ireland either, not until the decision to leave the EU last year. Now the republican Sinn Fein party has had surprising success in local elections there, with its stated objectives of becoming part of Ireland, and remaining in the EU. They are calling for their own referendum to leave, just as the Scottish Nationalists are also demanding to be allowed a ‘second go’ themselves.

It is no secret that both these regions benefit greatly from being part of the EU. Huge grants and subsidies keep them going, and these are unlikely to be matched once Britain formally leaves the EU, in a few years from now. Pundits cry about the break-up of the United Kingdom, and the end of the Britain we have known for centuries. But I have a suggestion.

Just give them independence. Don’t waste money on elections and referenda, pick a date, and tell them from that moment that they are independent. If they want, they can try to become members of the EU in their own right. In Northern Ireland this will be easy, as Ireland is already a member. But let’s see how Scotland manages with the Euro as their currency, and a foreign country (England) along their southern border. Let’s see if Ireland is happy to pay the benefits for the 5.5% of unemployed people in the six northern counties, and to police the sectarian troubles that will flare up once all this happens. Let’s see if Scotland can get the EU to fund its own 5.3% unemployed, and manage to pay a membership contribution at the same time.

They would do well to look at some modern examples of ‘Independence’. All those Balkan countries who sought independence from Yugoslavia. The Baltic States who wanted to regain sovereignty from the Soviet Union, and so many more. Their people are now picking crops for less than minimum wage in Britain and other European countries. Living four to a room, and being exploited by gang-masters. Their young women are being trafficked into prostitution in Europe, to cater for the sexual appetites of Germans and Britons, as well as others. Talk to them about the wonders of independence.

It would not bother me if Northern Ireland became part of Ireland, or Scotland became an independent country. England may no longer be that ‘green and pleasant land’ immortalised in the hymn. It has its own problems to sort out, but I am pretty sure we can manage to do that without Scotland, or Ulster.

An undemocratic democracy

For Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, the knives are well and truly out. He would do well to consider the fate of Julius Caesar, as his colleagues collaborate to unseat him from his job. He may not come across as much of a firebrand any more these days. He is older, and perhaps tired of the machinations he has experienced during a long career in politics. He may not look the part either, with his casual attire, and an appearance that could be described as scruffy. In parliament, he has failed to make his mark as an orator, and lacks the necessary spite to take on his opposite numbers.

But like him or not, he was elected leader. And by the membership of his party, not as a result of a general election, or because he was chosen by his parliamentary party. There was a time when this would have been considered adequate, and his detractors would have had to like it, or lump it. But then came the EU Referendum. Labour fastened their colours to the ‘Remain’ camp, and lost. Instead of accepting this defeat as part of the political changes in this country, many of them sought to pile all the blame onto one person. Jeremy Corbyn. It was all his fault, they claimed. He wasn’t assertive enough, failed to get the Remain message across, and was lukewarm in his condemnation of those wishing to Leave.

Some of them are now in the process of trying to force through a new leadership election in that party. Two front runners have emerged, both with very similar ideas and policies. Not surprisingly, similar ideas and policies to the now discredited Tony Blair too, though they both deny being Blairites. One of these is the abrasive 55 year-old Angela Eagle, MP for Wallesey. She is well-known in parliament for having an identical twin sister who is also a Labour MP, and for being openly lesbian, and married to another woman. She claims much of her ‘Northern working-class roots.’ She was born in the north, that is true. It was in the Yorkshire town of Bridlington, a peaceful seaside holiday resort on the east coast. She then went on to study Politics, Philosophy, and Economics at the prestigious Oxford University, before going to work for the Confederation of British Industry. This is hardly the stuff of cloth caps and mining communities, even if her parents were factory workers. She has also hinted at the possibility of a second EU referendum during discussions and debates.

The second candidate for Jeremy’s job is Owen Smith. Smith is the 46 year-old MP for Pontypridd, in Wales. Born in Lancashire, he went on to study History and French, at Sussex University. He later worked as a producer for the BBC, and as a lobbyist for the international drug giant, Pfizer, where he earned £80,000 a year to promote their products. Once again, hardly the ‘dirty hands’ man-of-the-people working class hero we might have once expected to emerge from the Labour Party, and hope to lead it. He has clearly stated that he would like the Labour Party to promise not to trigger Article 50 to leave the EU, and that he thinks that a second referendum would be a good idea.

So where does that leave the opposition? If either of these people succeed in ousting Corbyn, we face a return to the Blairite politics of years gone by. Cosy with business, supporting the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and impossible to tell apart from the softer Tories sitting across on the other side of the House of Commons. Worse than that, they intend to try to overrule the democratic process and betray more than 17,000,000 of the people in the UK, by attempting to change the result of the recent referendum.

And we thought we lived in a democracy.

That’s it then.

OK, it’s official. I am tired of the repercussions following the vote to leave the EU. I don’t care who the Tory leader is, and I don’t care who the Labour leader is either. I have never voted for the former, and I was expelled from the latter. They can all ‘do one’, as far as I am concerned. No more from me on this subject. It has split families, and divided a nation. I might say, ‘All the better for that.’ Nothing so important has happened since the English Civil War, in 1642.

But what do I know? I am just a moany old person of no consequence; retired from work, and unlikely to live to see the repercussions of the vote. Either way. I am pretty fed up with it all, to be honest. The side that won doesn’t seem to be able to present a cohesive argument, and the side that lost has thrown their teddy out of the pram. Get on with it, without me. Do what you want, I won’t comment.

At least people got off of their arses and voted. That must count for something? Maybe not.

I just can’t be doing with it, any longer.

EU Referendum: The Irish Connection

The panic over the EU referendum continues. This week, the Irish Prime Minister was recruited to throw his hat into the ring, on behalf of the ‘Stay’ campaign. So we have had Obama, Angela Merkel, and The World Bank getting involved. In addition, we have Merchant Banks, and the Canadian head of The Bank of England, all urging the UK to vote to stay in. Then the Irish PM arrives, with the sanction of the British government, to urge all the Irish people in the UK to vote to stay in.

We have over 1,000,000 people in the UK who claim some Irish descent, or are actually Irish passport holders. As well as these individuals, we are also (amazingly) allowing EU citizens resident here (Poles, Lithuanians etc,) to vote in the forthcoming referendum. Ireland wants us to stay in. Of course they do. They can travel a short distance to the UK province of Northern Ireland, and enjoy shopping for much cheaper goods.

These people are essentially ‘foreign nationals’, but they are allowed to vote in our elections. This sums up everything that is unacceptable about the EU, and the laws that govern it. What other country allows outsiders to vote in their elections? Do I have a vote for Sanders in the US elections? Of course not. I am not an American. Can I vote for a moderate government in the Philippines. Not a chance. I am English, not Filipino. Do I even have a vote closer to home, for the Irish parliament? No, because I do not live there. The frustrations attached to this for British voters can only be imagined. We are at the mercy of foreign nationals, with vested interests to protect.

I want to punch my own face in frustration. No other country in the world would allow outsiders to determine their fate in a national election. So why do we allow it?

Because of EU rules.

Is it any wonder that I want to get out of this failed system?

The EU Referendum: Obama speaks

When Barack Obama made his recent visit to the UK, he did all the usual things. There was a cute photo opportunity with the Royal Family, he played some golf in Hertfordshire, and glad-handed David Cameron for the benefit of the cameras. There was also some talk of our ‘special relationship.’ This is something that has never really been clarified, since it was first mentioned by George Bush and Tony Blair, who was then keen to support the war in Iraq.

President Obama then decided to give an ‘exclusive’ TV interview to a reporter. What followed seemed much more like a scripted conversation, allowing the US President to say what was on his mind. And what was on his mind was the forthcoming EU referendum, and the scant chance that the British people might actually vote to leave this failed experiment. He set about telling us, in a forthright manner, that a vote to leave was not acceptable to the USA. We would find ourselves excluded from trade deals, he told us, and America would continue to trade with the EU whilst making sure to leave Britain out in the cold, as punishment for doing what he didn’t agree with.

Personally, I don’t think he could care less. I doubt that anyone in the US cares whether or not we leave the EU, from a farmer in Wisconsin, to the Commander in Chief. I would hazard a guess that many Americans don’t even know what the EU is. Even in the UK, where the issue is supposedly ‘crucial’, many people cannot name more than a few other member states, and understand little of its setup and organisation. And Obama is leaving the presidency anyway, handing over to Ms Clinton, so why should he give a fig? Maybe they have offered him a lucrative job, but I very much doubt that. Perhaps he fears for the ending of the much-vaunted ‘special relationship’? I doubt that too.

He was probably just doing Cameron a favour. Maybe repaying some similar service, or an old debt from the times we have supported his country’s antics around the world. Who knows? He gave the interview, frightened the pants off of many waverers, and said pretty much what Cameron hoped he would say. The truth is, Cameron doesn’t want to be the Prime Minister at the helm if Britain leaves the EU. Just in case…Add to that the fact that he is representing the European business interests of so many pals and cronies, and it was understandable that he felt nervous enough to ask Mr President to step in on his side.

But just what was Mr Obama thinking? Is it really acceptable to tell the citizens of another country how to vote, then throw in a few veiled threats about what will happen if they don’t do as he says? I can only imagine the reaction of voters in the US, if a European leader like Cameron popped over there, had his photo taken with Michelle and the girls, played some golf at Augusta, then told them just who they should vote for in November. He might even be brave enough to throw in some vague threats about what might happen if they didn’t do as he asked, but I doubt it.

The world had high hopes for the first black president of the US, back in 2008.
I just have three words for him, in 2016. Shame on you.

EU Referendum: The scaremongers are gathering

Only a couple of weeks ago, the government was pleased to announce that there were record numbers of workers in employment, here in the UK. The politicians pointed to their successful economic policies, a growth in trade, and increased opportunities in the service sector. Everyone from the Chancellor to the lowest junior minister, took any opportunity to appear on TV, making a soundbite about the success of the Conservative administration.

Today’s news, after only a matter of days, is very different. It would seem that employment figures are falling rapidly, and that there are less people in employment today, rather than more. What can be the reason for this catastrophic reversal, during the same month? According to the pundits and ‘spokesmen’, it is fear of Britain voting to leave the EU. Employers are refusing to take on new staff, as they are terrified of what will happen to their companies or industries should the unthinkable happen, and this country votes to leave Europe.

Keen to add more voices of panic, the Americans are chiming in too. On the same day as the drastic news is issued by our government, a chorus of disapproval travelled from across the Atlantic, as US politicians lined up to issue more dire warnings about the fate of this country, should we leave the EU. President Obama was enlisted too, voicing his grave concerns about Britain’s possible departure. He is due to visit the UK soon, when no doubt he will reinforce these comments.

So everyone is lining up against leaving. Employment figures are being flung around like so much meaningless confetti, and foreign observers are all coming out on the side of those who wish to stay in. I imagine that more ‘big guns’ will soon be added to these harbingers of woe.

If they are all so worried about us voting to get out of Europe, that leaves me with one firm conclusion. We should definitely do just that.

The EU: A Referendum conundrum

Cameron has returned with his much-lauded deal. Not the deal he wanted of course, just the one that all the other EU members told him he could have. Something to wave around, spout off about, and pretend it has any solid basis. We were never in the Euro anyway, so why all the fuss about that aspect? NATO membership is not unique to EU members, just ask America and Turkey, so why the emphasis on defence? More hot air about something about nothing, and back to situation normal, short of some benefit restrictions that will only affect the poorest immigrants.

Now the sides are lining up, and the polls are in a frenzy. Various celebrities and politicians are joining the In or Out camps, and they can’t even seem to decide on a proper name. Is it ‘Stay of Leave’, ‘In or Out’, or ‘Yes and No’? Nobody seems that sure. The date for the vote clashes with the Welsh parliament elections, but nobody seems to care about that. They are only Welsh, after all. The Scottish Nationalists are not only firmly supporting the ‘In’ vote, they are insisting on another Independence Referendum, should the vote not go the way they want.

I voted against the EU in the 1970s. Despite never meeting anyone in my life since who claims to have voted for it, we were told at the time that we had been defeated, and we were staying in. I wanted a recount, and still do. This new referendum comes at a time when antagonism towards the EU has never been higher in Britain, yet I have a sneaky feeling the vote will be to stay in, and the polls don’t open for months. I welcome my chance to vote against being in this shambles. I have my reasons, and they are mostly political ones. I despair at membership of this capitalist club, this merging of nations with nothing in common, other than multi-national conglomerates, greed, and self-interest. I have never been comfortable with the European mentality, that suggests we are all similar, due to geographical proximity. I have enough issues with feeling like a part of the UK, let alone Europe.

The trouble is, I have to be on the same side as some very undesirable bedfellows. Racists, Right-wing thinkers, Right-wing extremist groups, Nationalist parties like UKIP and the National Front, old-school Tories and aristocrats. These are not the sort of people I feel comfortable to line up with, whatever the cause. Flag-waving patriots, old colonialists, newspaper barons, and holocaust deniers. Far from being the sort I would generally have any time for. Try as I might, I search for a reasonable voice to join my cause. A thoughtful alternative, Leftist thinkers against the EU, or someone I respect who agrees with me. But it is a difficult search, believe me. I have found an ally of sorts in the Communist Party here. They are urging to vote ‘Out’. But they sadly have little influence, and even less members than a big golf club. The Socialist Workers Party has also joined the ‘Out’ campaign. Once again, they have less influence than a TV chat show, but at least their thoughts are in the right place.

So, the Communists are for ‘Out’, and the Socialists too. Maybe I am on the right track, after all.