Saturday, March 18, 2017

C21 Politics

The election of Donald Trump as President of the USA came as a shock to many in Europe irrespective of their own personal positions in domestic politics. Thus  in the UK as many on the right of the political spectrum as on the left were and are concerned at the decision taken by the American electorate.

The media often mention  the British Brexit referendum outcome almost at the same time as Donald Trump's election implying that the two events are in some way connected or at least of a similar trait. This in my view is quite inept.

The Brexit  decision arose largely because of the distance felt between Brussels and  many ordinary British people especially in the North of England compounded by the hugely expensive Brussels bureaucracy largely paid for by two countries namely Germany and the UK although France too is now making a smaller net payment.

Donald Trump was elected perhaps because of the effects of the very significant growth of Chinese influence in the world and the consequences  being felt by many ordinary American workers. Personally I doubt that the new American president will prove very positive for the USA, whether for ordinary workers' incomes there or for that country in the world at large but we can but wait and see.

Brexit on the other hand gives rise to a rather different set of circumstances. Interestingly most (actually all!) catholic church priests and monks I have spoken seem  to would prefer that the people  in this country had not chosen Brexit.

My personal view on this however is that whether the UK remains part of the EU or  reverts to its place in the world as an independent post-colonial country is not a matter for God's Law but rather the Law of Caesar. After all in old and new testament times man's world seems to have comprised many separate countries and the old testament illustrates that mankind's different languages and by implication, separate nations, have been with us for  millennia - illustrated for example by  The Tower of Babel (Genesis11:1-9).

Still I voted albeit reluctantly to Remain in the EU but now wonder whether the UK will ever actually leave.

Possibly another general election in this country would assist settling not only the EU membership question but also that  of Scots' independence, once and for all.

Would the Labour Party be up for a general election at this time however?


  1. "Interestingly most (actually all!) catholic church priests and monks I have spoken seem to would prefer that the people in this country had not chosen Brexit."
    How big was your sample, Jerry?!

  2. Good morning Barnaby

    As it happens I spent the evening at a Benedictine Abbey the day after the referendum on the EU - I voted remain by the way, despite being at best, unenthusiastic about the EU because all my children who more likely than I to be affected by leaving the EU, wanted to remain.

    At supper the monks usually listen to readings but otherwise remain silent. After supper they all invited me into their sitting room for coffee and of course all the conversation was about Brexit.
    All the monks indicated that they would have preferred a remain outcome.
    Chatting to the local diocesan clergy in Wimbledon, 'remain' also seemed to be their preference.
    As for the 'Js', attending at a local SJ charity, all others present both laity and Js favoured remain too.
    People in the UK I think believe that the true colours of the EU attitude to the UK are becoming apparent now.
    That cartoon at one of the EU HQs (they have so many HQs!) in Brussels about Theresa May was allowed to remain by all present there so seems more than a silly prank. The EU's refusal to talk before Article 50 is actually invoked yet their stating in advance of Article 50 that the UK will have to agree to pay 50billion Euros up front before real talks begin; the fact that the UK has already paid what appear to be disproportionately vast sums to the EU; the original promise that the large sums paid to support agriculture eg in France would be reduced a few years after the UK joined the then Common Market, not really being fully honoured; the failure of continental Europe's free travel zone to cope with North African immigrants; the deal done with Turkey for billions of Euros which seems to me at least to be of questionable legality and the failure to offer David Cameron something decent when he tried to negotiate reasonable improvements before the referendum.

    Indeed the latter point tends to illustrate the EU attitude towards the UK generally hence sadly, the Brexit decision.

  3. Dear Jerry,
    It's such a complex subject, isn't it? One hardly knows where to begin! I would have voted Remain. For what it's worth, my two children (and spouses) voted remain; my sister voted Leave; one niece voted Remain; another and a nephew voted Leave. An old school friend voted Remain, though (like you) with some reluctance and hesitation.
    There are so many good arguments to be made on both sides, but for me the clincher is that the populists, in the worst sense, appear to be Brexiters. My own view is that there comes a point when you have to judge the message by the messenger, and I think that Farage and, I'm sorry to say, Johnson are beyond the pale. In this respect at any rate, this holds true for me in the USA as well.
    I know one shouldn't judge complex issues on moral grounds, but I'm afraid I do!

  4. The issues are larger than the characters of individuals though I sympathise with your comments.

    Still, another UK general election before Brexit actually happens, might be interesting Barnaby!


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