It would seem strange if I said nothing on this subject a day before the referendum. I can’t vote because expatriates who have not lived in the UK for more than fifteen years lose the right to vote. The matter seems to be one of debate – but that’s how it is at present. I don’t have the vote!

I have already expressed ideas, in the sense of the UK leaving the EU, mostly influenced by nationalistic ideas and a notion that the EU was becoming a kind of Orwellian Big Brother. We are being told different things on the media, and I am so confused about the issues. Some are lying to protect their self-interest. Others are saying what they believe to be the truth, but may be confused as most of us ordinary folk are.

As I understand it, the EU was intended to put an end to European wars as well as rationalise trade and the use of money. I have heard it said that it was intended to be a kind of “United States of Europe”. America has been the land of opportunity and freedom to make one’s living through work and practice any religion according to one’s conscience. On reading some sources, the USA now frightens me. To what extent is the EU the vassal of the USA and the various power elites?

If England leaves the EU, we might face a break-up of the United Kingdom. Our old Empire has not existed outside a few token islands here and there since World War II. We would have to live on what we can sell on the world’s market, with industry being but a shadow of what it was. Politics may go back to the rhetoric of Churchill and Thatcher – maybe that of Trump! Maybe that would be a good thing, perhaps a dangerous illusion of British triumph. Housing would become no more affordable. The NHS might go the way of private American health insurance. Those with all the money will have a free hand, and life might become very difficult for workers and poor people. I am afraid as many others are.

I am no longer sure of anything. Nationalism showed many ugly fruits in the twentieth century, and the world said “never again” as the Nazi concentration camps were liberated in 1945. I could see small federations of even smaller states like the Swiss cantons. I like the idea of breaking up the gigantic bureaucracies to make life more human and democratic. Is that only a vain dream?

Perhaps dissident elements need to work for the destruction of the present EU structures before they become something like the old Soviet Union. That rather than individual countries leaving and leaving the rest intact. That is the anarchist in me speaking…

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5 Responses to Brexit

  1. Stephen K says:

    Politics may go back to the rhetoric of Churchill and Thatcher – maybe that of Trump! Maybe that would be a good thing……..

    I hardly think so. Father, whether the Brits leave the EU or not is squarely a matter for them and they will have to live with the consequences either way. But in case you haven’t been listening, politics has been mired in the rhetoric of Thatcher, Trump etc for a long time. Wherever you go, on both what we conveniently call either the “right” or “the left”, there is increasingly shrill politics suffocating considered, considerate policy-making in the greater interest. Tyrants and demagogues wear all sorts of uniforms and the struggle is, as it probably always will be, the struggle to find the best balance between freedom, order, the individual and the collective, but, as Churchill I believe said, democracy is not perfect, but it’s better than the alternatives. I don’t think any person could seriously prefer the dystopian consequences more of the same will bring.

    Father you’re more a Romantic and idealist than a Christian. I say that, not because you’re not trying to be a Christian, but because you want love and peace, and there are whole phalanxes, in their thousands, of Christians who want war and sectarian division. Arguing who is or isn’t a Christian isn’t going to get anyone anywhere. I’m reading the Dalai Lama’s book “Beyond Religion: Ethics for a Whole World” where, if you forgive my simplistic way of putting it, he seeks to understand and articulate the universal nature of the foundational elements of peace, inner and outer, and justice, compassion and harmony, with each other and the wider creation. It’s the sort of thing you would have no argument with. In the meantime, you, like everybody else, is going to have to continue to act according to your conscience and principles in your own sphere, however localised or small that may be (and ours generally are), and hope that such power of one is replicated a billion-fold across the globe so that the hate-speech of dictators of whatever stripe is rendered impotent.

    • The noise and the shrill polemics are what I most dreaded on putting my boat on its road trailer and coming home. I still have the “protection” of living in the country – though I would prefer remote Brittany to Normandy. We Romantics will lose, we will have tyranny and something like Hitler without the moustache or German military music, and a person will be worth his money! Ultimately, we will die from their war of mass destruction.

      But we can carry on with our little voice and refuse to collaborate in the madness…

      • Dale says:

        Actually, Father, I think we shall have Stalin, mouthing platitudes of social justice, whilst sending millions to their deaths.

  2. Dale says:

    “[T]here are whole phalanxes, in their thousands, of Christians who want war and sectarian division”; one suspects that there must be hundreds, if not thousands, of non-Christians being beheaded by the Methodists as we write. Perhaps millions?

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