Saturday, April 27, 2019

UK Politics in April 2019

Many news reports, rather sadly but particularly on the BBC suggest that UK is a laughing stock internationally about the long delayed attempts to leave the EU ie to achieve Brexit.

If the news reports are true then those reporting the news have clearly no idea of the meaning of true humour.

The relevant history of Brexit is that some  three years ago the UK was asked to vote in a referendum, on the questions of whether the country should remain in the EU or leave. The answer was a smallish but clear majority to leave since when, politicians of all parties have argued about whether leave means half remain or fully out or whether there should be another referendum as the voters must have got it wrong first time round.

There are even some politicians who suggest that there should not have been a referendum on the subject at all as the public was too naive to make a decision on such an important point.

In fact the debates both within and without parliament about the EU and the UK's involvement with  and/or its withdrawal from it have been hugely interesting and largely peaceful. 

Possibly some EU countries that receive billions of Euros in aid from Brussels know that they could not afford to leave and anyway their peoples would be likely to vote essentially for the money. Others have their own internal problems which take priority over any  EU membership issues, for example Spain which has yet another general election looming with Catalunya seeking independence, for which some politicians there are being tried as criminals. 

Perhaps France with its yellow vest movement still so active, has enough on its plate for now in any event. German politics too appears to be in a state of increasing flux and the Italians still have their own problems so a referendum  about the EU was probably only practicable for the UK to consider at this time. If the UK referendum and its outcome are really making this country an international laughing stock, then sadly countries elsewhere must be losing their understanding of the comic, or the sad or the tragic but most of all of real democracy.

In other words whether the UK actually quits the EU or not, surely the huge debates that are taking place are  healthy positive signs of democracy at work rather than laughable? 

Possibly the laughing stock reports are caused by the majority of newspapers in the UK being in favour of Remain, coupled with so much of what used to be British business, now being foreign owned often by the same countries which also own so much of the British press. 

For example, the strongly remain  Financial Times is Japanese owned, with such owners (though I do not know whether such if in fact motivates the FT owners) naturally seeking free trade within the EU?

People complain that the Brexit parties misled the voters prior to the referendum in 2016 or that they spent too much money on the leave campaign. This ignores the huge publicity supporting Remain which included a pamphlet delivered to every household,  not to mention vast amounts of advertising by businesses wishing to Remain, where the costs of such advertising  were and are not apparently  government limited at all. 

Add to the above, the EU publicity even now given to Remain, the basis for those not wishing to leave the EU,  and/or seeking a second referendum is quite transparent.

Nigel Farage is not my cup of tea at all but although I voted Remain in the original referendum, true democracy now in my humble opinion, warrants a vote for his Brexit party should EU elections actually take place next month.

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