24 June 2016

I N D E P E N D E N C E ! !

The land of my ancestors has voted itself out of the European Union.  The result was 52%-to-48%, a margin of over a million votes -- not as big as I would have liked, but certainly enough to put the decision beyond dispute.

Next comes a period of complex negotiation over the exact terms of departure, something that is supposed to take two years according to the Lisbon Treaty (the EU's "constitution"), but will likely take longer in practice.  Prime Minister David Cameron, a fervent supporter of the EU as most mainstream politicians in Europe are, has declared his resignation effective this autumn; it's likely that Boris Johnson, a leader of the Leave campaign, will replace him and thus handle the actual negotiations.

Expect a few days or even weeks of agitation in various financial markets, fluctuations in the value of the pound, and predictions of doom and gloom of every kind from politicians, pundits, and the MSM.  The financial parasite class and the would-be opinion-shapers on its payroll absolutely hate it when we ordinary people get ideas of our own and start thinking outside the boxes they've carefully drawn around us.  You can expect similar reactions here in the US if and when, for example, Hillary puts Elizabeth Warren on the ticket and she becomes VP and then, God forbid, runs for President in a future cycle.  It's also likely that EU leaders will be as harsh and vindictive as possible in the terms of departure and future trade relations they seek to impose on the UK.  But as I discussed here, the UK is too large and has too much economic clout to be bullied easily.  And Johnson will be a tougher opponent than the Brussels oligarchy is used to being up against.

The vote is a victory for democracy; independence will restore full authority to the elected British government, reversing the steady drain of power away to the unelected institutions of the EU.  It's a victory for nationalism too, of course, and some will not like that -- but nationalism is a very powerful feeling among great masses of people all over the world, and tends to be inflamed by attempts to suppress it.  The left needs to learn how to accommodate it. The vote also means that the British are "walking away from Omelas".  They will no longer be complicit in the economic devastation that the EU's austerity policies and its misbegotten common currency (which the UK never adopted) have for years been inflicting on the southern member states from Greece to Portugal.

And the EU oligarchy's bluster and posturing toward the departing UK masks an existential weakness in its own position -- this referendum is likely to be just the first of many.  Pressure has been building for similar in-or-out votes in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden.  France's National Front has long advocated such a vote there, where the EU is even less popular than in the UK.  There are similar stirrings elsewhere.  The British victory will embolden and intensify such sentiments -- and public support for the EU is already in sharp decline across all the member states.  Even before the two-year period of negotiation is up, the EU oligarchy could be facing the wholesale disintegration of its empire.

Again, when this happens, don't be fooled by the lurid apocalyptic wailings of the punditocracy.  Countries all over the world trade with each other and maintain good relations without benefit of some gargantuan supra-national crypto-state bossing them around.  The end of the EU will simply mean the restoration of normality in Europe.  And the rest of Europe will owe the British for taking the first step and showing the way, making the unthinkable into the inevitable.

The dogs will bark.  The caravan will move on.


Blogger Paul W said...

I'm gonna have to disagree on a few points, Infidel.

It's not a victory for nationalism, it's more a victory for nativism. And I am not a fan of nativism regardless of which flag it salutes.

This is a situation where the UK could have found other alternatives to respond to some of the bad habits of the EU with reform efforts, rather than just cutting all ties (which hasn't happened yet because Parliament could refuse to Leave outright: we don't know who'll be leading the Government after Cameron departs).

This is taking a wrecking ball to a situation that required a surgeon's scalpel.

As a result, people are going to get hurt who don't deserve to get hurt.

24 June, 2016 06:41  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

SHAME ON YOU INFIDEL!!! you hurt my feelings, you must be a bigot and racist (just KIDDING guy)... I roll out of bed this morning a little before 6am, turn on the tele/ CNN, watching the hysteria over the markets, the pound, the economies, etc, and I'm laughing my ass off! (many already want a re- vote). I then go to YouTube and check out a couple of my favourite Christian's for their views, one sayz it's the end of the world, the other sayz its a great deal ... this even divided the Christians, heh, heh, heh, heh, heh! {:-) I heard the pop culture propaganda over the last week from folks, labeling folks that want Brexit as racist morons, neanderthal bigot's, folks that dont want to open their borders to the world, etc. Folks are getting a little sick and tired of this forced one size fits all globalization dictated by mega corporate/ banking owning theives, they are sick of the austerity, the lousy trade deals, the destruction of labour rights/ unions, the free ride off our backs for these top world hustlers, who we casually label as elite, as if they do any damn thing to deserve that title but rip off our countries. Damn right folks also may be upset over the immigration they are forced to take in ... especially considering these Islamic shit groups that have been on the rise right in the City of London, attacking (verbally and physically) gayz and women on the streets, and even attacking people that drink alcohol when they leave the pub or club at night, proclaiming "we are imposing Sharia Law upon you!" ... you can find video evidence of this even on YouTube, I posted some on my blog even ... they tell you straight out, that western women are whores, queers should be put to death, and you should be beaten if you drink alcohol after a hard dayz work or whatever. Enough from me though guy ... EXCELLENT POSTING! ... got to run to the dentist (another OUCH {:-)

24 June, 2016 07:00  
Blogger Rosa Rubicondior said...

I have to say I profoundly disagree with you, much as i'm reluctant to because we normally agree on so much. I set out the reasons why I thought we should have stayed in the EU in this blog post prior to the vote and how we were being conned into betraying our children's future in this one. For many of us it feels like we've had a right-wing coup. The world has suddenly gone mad and is looking like a rather nasty place now.

24 June, 2016 07:34  
Blogger Green Eagle said...

My thought about this is that it is going to end up making a lot less difference than the wailing pundits are predicting now. As you say, people still have to make a living, and economies still have to function.

What interests me is the way that this is being totally characterized as a racist, nativist reaction to immigration, utterly ignoring any notion of Britons that this is the only way to free themselves from the curse of "austerity," i.e. Germany, where all the creditors are, forcing the other European countries to pay for their losses by impoverishing their own people.

24 June, 2016 10:15  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Paul: Sorry, but I don't see how a vote for independence is anything other than a victory for nationalism. I'm not sure what you mean by "nativism" in this context.

I've been following this issue closely, and blogging about it, for years. The scalpel approach has been tried and tried and tried. Cameron tried to negotiate a better deal for the UK, and they refused to make concessions on the major issues even with the threat of a referendum hanging over them. Weaker countries are simply bullied into submission to the oligarchy's will regardless of what their people vote for.

As for people getting hurt, that has been happening for years all along. Prolonged economic stagnation causes suffering and death. If the EU finally breaks up and the single currency vanishes with it, there's some hope for the European south to escape its current death spiral. As long as the EU continues, there is no such hope. And don't forget the fundamental issue of democracy. If an unelected oligarchy were able to dictate policy to the elected US government the way the EU does to its member states, we'd be screaming bloody murder.

Ranch: Thanks! Yes, I admit it, I'm a bigot against oligarchs. And strangely enough, insulting the voters by calling them names doesn't seem to be a very good way of winning elections (as I suspect Donald Trump will soon discover).

Reasonable people can disagree about immigration, but each country's rules need to be set by the elected leaders of that country.

Rosa: Yes, I saw those posts and I follow the British media online, so I'm familiar with the pro-EU arguments. It's simply not true that the EU has brought peace and prosperity. Peace was brought by the H-bomb, and that would have happened with or without the EU. The euro currency and austerity policies have condemned the Mediterranean member states to years of stagnation while other countries at a similar level of development, such as Turkey and much of Latin America, are booming and vibrant precisely because they have no such shackles on them. If the EU had never existed, Europe would have been just as peaceful and probably a lot more prosperous.

If anything is right-wing, it's the imposition of austerity and endless spending cuts on already-weak economies which desperately need the exact opposite. If anything is a coup, it's the transfer of power from democratically-elected governments to an unelected cabal in Brussels.

Green: Certainly nothing much is going to happen for a while yet, other than investors having self-induced panic attacks. It will be a while before negotiations about leaving even start. If you've got some spare cash, it's probably a good time to invest in UK pounds -- they'll go back up soon enough, once things settle down.

As for the media characterizations, it's the same as what tends to happen with the Hamas/Israel conflicts -- the media settle on a "narrative", choose terminology to reinforce it, and ignore anything that doesn't fit it. Notice how all anti-EU parties are described as "far right" even though many of them have economic and trade positions more socialist than Bernie Sanders, and the first major proponent of the movement was Pim Fortuyn -- a gay, Marxist professor, not much of a far-rightist. The real issues -- austerity and national sovereignty -- are too nuanced for such an attitude to handle.

24 June, 2016 18:03  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

I have to admit that I was not in agreement with your post, but I am open to learning more and understanding why I disagree, knowing that I don't have as much of an insight as you do.

25 June, 2016 19:34  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

My reasons for taking this position are mostly in the post itself, and in my earlier posts on the EU.

25 June, 2016 23:02  

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