I though Brexit would be bad but I’d naively expected that a “deal” which minimised the damage would be done. A sort of Brexit in name only to satisfy the lunatics, lemmings and ERG but not too harsh an impact on the real working people who keep the Country afloat.
But now As the Covid crisis abates somewhat, Brexit has come back into focus. My take is that while the population was diverted trying to survive Johnson and Hancock’s euthanasia programme, dirty tricks have been afoot in the Frost and Truss camps. Frost is doing his utmost to cause no deal and Truss is giving away the family jewels (e.g. the NHS and food safety) to roll over to Trump’s demands. The ludicrous vista of the UK pissing off it’s biggest trading partner in the pursuit of being shafted by the US has me a bit spooked.
I don’t think things will be any better with China, India, Australia, etc. because they know that the UK does need them more they they need it, and the worse the UK/EU deal is the more leverage the other countries will have. The UK is negotiating itself into a corner, again.
I found this article very prescient; I’ve even ordered the book - though I may need to take an anti-emetic when reading it.
This article I just found scary; Johnson (instructed by the ERG and Cummings) can do what ever he wants. No matter how stupid.
There’s a curious tension in the Tory party between Johnson’s centralisation of power and the party’s traditional ultra-libertarians, who are still very powerful. Of course, neither gives a damn about the man in the street, but my hope is that they’ll nullify one another in a typically English fudge and that nothing too dramatic will happen.
Meanwhile the Union will become ever more fragile, Northern Ireland will become increasingly sympathetic to some sort of face-saving, fudged alignment with the Republic whereas Scotland will have to recalibrate its post-Independance economics due to the declining importance of oil.
And as for the Welsh? Don’t ask me - I haven’t a clue!
I think your view is absolutely correct John.
However, I’m pretty much past worrying - I’ve always seen brexit in terms of the ‘britannia unchained’ agenda, and the referendum and subsequent general election as the UK’s choice between going further down the American free-market-free-for-all drain or pulling back towards the European social model (free enterprise but within a basically socialist big-state framework).
The UK made it’s choice - and as my Mum used to say: it made its bed, now it has to lie on it.
Some time after the referendum there was a detailed academic analysis of the vote in Wales - I can probably find the reference given time - but I remember the most interesting finding, which was a very strong relationship between high remain and high Welsh-speaking areas - the conclusion was that it was the English in Wales, rather than the Welsh, that had tipped it to ‘leave’.
Incidentally, although I agree the view that it is too small to be independently viable is common in Wales, I see no logic in it - there are a great many smaller countries in the world - and indeed in Europe.
Would Wales be able to generate enough industry and income to survive? There’s some good industry in the south, a lot of mountains, sheep and daft tourists in other places and I would hate to see the country industrialized to survive.
Certainly an odd situation. Wales is proud of their independent identity but very reliant on England.
The anti EU that I knew in Wales were farmers and rural people who believed that the EU stifled their trade.
I’ve worked in the Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) - all of which have much smaller populations than Wales, are very beautiful, and are doing pretty well; I’ve also worked in many of the smaller Balkan states (Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Kosovo) - troubled histories, but again lovely places, and perfectly viable now.
Wales is ten times the size of Iceland in population, which most regard as a very attractive and successful country. Just in Europe, there are a dozen other countries even smaller than any of these.
I think Wales has come late to a realisation of national identity. Certainly my experience in the seventies was of the Welsh trying to be more English that the English. Maybe a hangover from Agincourt? Anyway , good luck to them if they have the couilles to stand up to Tory HQ which thinks they are only a bunch or daft taffs anyway.
Wales has been closely linked to England for a long time. Remember the Tudors, Henry VIII and all that crowd? Welsh! And even to this day, the future monarch is always Prince of Wales, even if he rarely visits the Principality.
But despite its beautiful scenery, and rich culture, Wales is still a poor country and it was easy to convince them that their situation could be improved.
The only choice was Stay or Leave. There were many other potential options, but they weren’t on the cards. We all fell for that trick. . . . . .
If my memory serves me well, during the Leave EU campaign, some dipstick stood in front of a huge sign in Wales which announced that a new motorway was funded by the EU to the tune of a considerable sum (can’t remember how much) and he said to camera “what has the EU ever done for us?” I shouted back - “look behind you!” but he didn’t hear me
That seems to ascribe too much thought and analysis to the situation.
We are here because the architects of Brexit hated foreigners, and the EU, and everything that the EU stood for, and let’s not forget - yearned for imagined days of Imperial glory.
We are here because a narcissistic, opportunist old Etonian wanted to be PM and figured he had a better chance if he threw his hand in with them.
We are here because the lie that we could have all the benefits of EU membership with none of the costs, and boot out Johnny Foreigner while we were at it to boot, was sold to a nation which has a rich undercurrent of right wing xenophobia and had been primed by the financial crash of 2008 and subsequent years of Tory austerity - they could see that their lives had not moved on and were angry. It was easy to direct that anger at the desired target.
We are here because the Labour party prostrated itself to its ultra left wing and elected a leader who was a) useless and b) reviled.
The national interest has never had a look in during all of this and will continue to play no part while we are driven by flawed ideology and dogma.