It took me two days to assimilate what has just happened. The people have spoken. Democracy has triumphed. The country is ours. The leaders who pushed for it and wanted it have now all gone into hiding like rats suddenly exposed to the light. The ones who were against taking our country back have also gone! Disappeared, leaving us the people to gloat over the results.
So what just happened? The people of the Kingdom of England and Wales voted to come out of the Union. Why? Because their leaders promised that immigrants would be kicked out or prevented from coming and this would result in a whole lot of benefits. There will be more housing available for us, there will be more places in hospitals, there will be more jobs for our people; and there would be financial benefits such as more money for infrastructure, for health care and welfare; that English would once again be spoken on our streets; we would have more “control”, whatever that means. And the people on the streets daily repeat these empty slogans.
All very well but the politicians forgot to add that the results would not be seen overnight. In time sense, it would be as slow as climate change. In a few weeks when the benefits don’t start pouring in, there would be wrath in the streets. You just cannot stir hope in the hearts of people and pretend nothing just happened. Whether article 50 which will start the divorce is invoked or not is not the point. Expectations will have to be met now that the long awaited vote is over. According to some historians this referendum has been the most important event that has happened to England in centuries. Parliament cannot go into summer recess now. I say to our leaders you just cannot close the doors and go away on holiday as if nothing has happened.
This brings me to why I started writing this post. I do not quarrel with the result. The result is what we have by popular vote. If we want democracy we have to accept it. My beef is not with the people but with the politicians involved and with the media. Voting, especially in such an important matter with serious import to the nation and to the world, has to be done by an informed electorate. The consequences are hard enough to fathom for the experts. Yet, the electorate has been urged to take a leap in the dark without any cover or guarantee.
The two important figures involved in debate are two former public school boys who seem to have continued an old school boy spat. A tit for tat between boys. Mr Johnson, with his natural bent for wit and buffoonery had personal interest in stirring things up, and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom fell for the trickery. He was caught on the back foot defending his policy on immigration, a debate he should not have taken on in the first place. He should have told the electorate what in practical terms would mean to withdraw from the European Union. He should have spoken to the electorate in the terms they would understand. This is where the media is to blame. Media loves sexy slogans, slick verbal one liners. To them it does not matter if there is substance in what is said. That is why in America the media wets it’s pants every time Mr. Trump opens his mouth. The media had a great opportunity to educate the electorate and missed it.
But now, the media, the politicians. and the experts are all out there getting excited about the consequences of an out vote. Well, it is too late. A lot of the young people I have spoken to want to emigrate, taking their skills with them leaving the country to the old and the unemployable. Add to this the million or so old citizens of the United Kingdom who will come back from the continent in search of welfare and health, we have a fine mess.
The immigration tap may eventually be turned off slowly but the people who already work here have to be replaced by people who are willing to work. We have to ask why did the Poles and the Italians and the Russians and the French and the Rumanians get their jobs in England in the first place. Presumable there was a shortage of labour or shortage of local people willing enough to work. The housing shortage too will not be solved for several years. Remember those of our citizens who will come back from the continent have to be housed, even if several thousands of houses are built in the next two years.
There will be much much wider consequences to an out vote. I know, true patriots of England will say we don’t want those Scots, those Irish, those Welsh. But just think if Scotland and even Northern Ireland secede what will happen. The smaller country of England and Wales with its aging population will have accessibility to less revenue to finance the basic needs of its people. We need the young to earn money and pay taxes, and the immigrant population is mainly young. If jobs go abroad our young will follow those jobs. Do not trust the leaders to create jobs for us. So far they have presided over a massive outward drain of employment. They are not going to change their ways in a hurry while they can continue to dip into the honey pot.
There are some other juicy bits our leaders failed to work into the debate. When Scotland parts company they are going to say to us “will you please take your toxic Trident missiles and plant them in your home counties? We do not want them, and by the way, we won’t be sending our soldiers to die defending you, as we have done for centuries”. England will depend solely on its citizens to fight its defensive wars. There are plenty of our youngsters living off benefits. Maybe they will sign up to defend their country. Or conscription is a possibility. Or am I just scare mongering? From now on England becomes a little country and little countries lose power. Spain is already flexing its muscles over Gibraltar. We did a yeoman job keeping the Argentinians out of the Falklands. Are we able or willing to do that again next year?
I am sure a lot of aficionados of the game of football voted to come out of Europe. Have they thought that a lot of the continental players will have to go back? Maybe it would give the local talent a chance to get into the game. This is a good thing. And we wont be able to indulge in our national sport of going over to France and trashing it every year. In due course visa regulations would weed out the trouble makers and keep them safe in England.
There are other important considerations like the fact that London with its financial sector keeps the Kingdom of England afloat. Now, bankers are awfully skittish creatures. They work entirely by risk assessments. The slightest risk and they will bolt like so many rodents. Without the financial sector we will be back to Morris dancing. I am now not just scare mongering. After reading a lot of international assessments I do believe the price of oil along with the cost of living will go up. For a short time, say the optimistic ones. Have you ever heard of the cost of living going down? Once up, it is up. The market forces get used to the gravy.
The pundits say the vote has exposed divisions between the old and the young, between the rich and the poor, between those invested in England and others. I see it differently. It has tragically exposed the people’s anger to their ineffectual ruling classes who have for decades bumbled on without addressing the needs of the common man and taking the time to proactively change the condition in which he finds himself. So when an opportunity was offered he came out and voted off his impotent rage at the “Other”. Remember , we talk of minorities, the people of colour, the disfranchised, as the other. To the people of England, the privileged, the Guardian reading liberals, the rich, the nameless bureaucrats the ruling classes, in other words the First and Second Estate, as in the French Revolution are, “the other”.