Smile at us, pay us pass us, but do not quite forget
That we are the people of England, who have never have spoken yet.
G.K.Chesterton, The Secret People
Well,we spoke and fifty two percent of us were sufficiently beguiled by demagogues and their right wing supporters to vote out of the institution that was insisting on workers' rights. For years the Conservative Right have opposed the European Union, not because of its advocacy of free trade, they love that, but because it insists on workers' rights, which they don't love, so a long campaign of misinformation was launched. They did not directly say that they primarily objected to workers' rights, but they used deception and stoked up fears of immigrants,promising that if we left Europe then we could stop the massive flow of immigrants to our shores. True, there is an a problem with migration, but leaving the EU won't stop it. Even more deceptively they promised a more democratic Britain, a Britain able to make its own laws again, one that was truly democratic. Sounds wonderful, does it not?
But a Pandora's box was opened. The racism that has been bubbling under the surface of Britain has found its head. There have been incidents of people telling immigrants to go home,for after all, the ignorant racists that we have among us were so stupid that some of them thought that the day after a vote to leave immigrants would be chased out, and then these often hardly employable racist types thought that they might get a well-paid job that their skill base does not merit. I am worried,my eldest son is married to a black,immigrant woman and I have a mixed race grandchild; and my son is already preparing for the eventuality of having to take his young family elsewhere for their safety and economic future. He is applying to activate his right to Irish citizenship.
Within a day of the result the leaders of the Leave campaign were not looking very joyful, as the realization that they had no political and financial plan hit them. Already the pound had fallen against the dollar and businesses were having contracts cancelled. My nephew lost a contract on the first day. Another reason for their joylessness was that they had expected the prime minister to instantly begin the quitting process and then stay on to manage it, but he has left it to his successor, who will be in place by October, leaving them to bear the massive burden of leaving. You can see the plan,leave the work to someone else and then take the credit for leaving when he is overthrown or resigns. But he has delayed to start the formal process and that shunts the burden onto his opponents. The over-confident Brits who thought that we could dominate negotiations with Europe have had a shock, for the European leaders are taking a hard line about the deal.Strange, the Leave campaign thought that they would come a-begging to us.
Moreover, already promises are being broken, two gone and it's only a few days.The Leave campaign stated that the money that we commit to the EU could be spent on the National Health Service, but now that they have won they are backtracking. Furthermore, we were promised a speedy departure, but Boris Johnson, the leader of the Leave campaign, is now declaring that we are in no hurry.
And to cap it all, the Scottish Nationalists are demanding another independence referendum, that will fracture the United Kingdom for good. Many people are applying for Irish passports to maintain their EU rights. Otherwise we are told to rejoice at our independence!
There is no sequel. People speak up, we are not silenced, but how far are they listened to? They were in the case of Brexit misled by a cynical demagogue who promised a pack of untruths as he wanted to become prime minister. Brexit was the people speaking, but the majority have changed their minds.
The article The Secret People by G.K. Chesterton, 1874-1936, on the John Derbyshire site quotes the author as describing that poem as "my history of England."
It's interesting to read in light of having read People of the Abyss, about the London poor of about the same time, by Jack London.
Was a sequel ever written to that poem? And what would be an example of the people of England not speaking or speaking?
Completely right. There are too many politicians who are quite under educated for the job they are doing.
This is becoming a new phenomenon worldwide. It is as if the discourse of some politicians were in serious trouble -- look at that of Donald Trump's, which is catastrophic too.
It was noted in today's Independent that a report by the Labour Party's Fabian society showed that areas that voted for Brexit were those that had been neglected by the British government and had not received a fair share of government spending. This shows that the problems that drove us out of the EU were to some degree home-grown and of our government's own making.
BSG, physicist, you are going to love this on-line discussion between a professor of physics and a leading Brexit campaigner and member of United Kingdom Independence Party, Douglas Carswell, reported in the Independent today.
The professor was discussing trade between Britain and the much larger China, so he drew on a scientific metaphor, but did not anticipate the response. "Jupiter is big, but it is the moon that controls the tides" stated the professor. Not only did Carswell not recognize the metaphor for what it was, he replied that the professor should know that it is the sun's gravity that causes the tides. The professor corrected him, only for Carswell to express surprise that the head of scientific research at a university did not know that the sun causes tides. The professor concluded with a reference to Newton's Principia. I believe that this level of scientific ignorance should be given world-wide publicity, as we need to call politicians to account.
But Brexit campaigner, Conservative Michael Gove, who has an English degree from Oxford, declared on television that he does not listen to experts.
As further testimony to the quality of thought in the United Kingdom Independence Party in 2014 one of their councilors was suspended for claiming that the flooding in Somerset was God's punishment for Britain's allowing gay marriage. So to show that he disapproves of gay marriage God floods Somerset! These are but a few examples of the idiocy that seems to be found in concentrated form among the Brexit campaigners.
Europe was not perfect, we know that, but I strongly suspect that the British people were beguiled by hard right capitalists into supporting a Brexit in which their workers' rights protected by Europe would disappear. Heaven for the capitalists,poverty for many others. Environmental protections would be weakened by Brexit. The false promise made by the Leave campaign that money spent on our subscription to Europe would be spent on the National Health Service has been dropped without excuse, now that the lie has worked.
You are right about the importance of education.
In my opinion, the UKIP was right in pointing out that the European project has been a failure so far. I wouldn't like the UK to leave the EU, though.
I live in Spain, and I can tell you, there's a huge cultural gap between the Mediterranean region -- Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Croatia, etc. -- and the countries of Northern Europe, it's a question of mentality towards looking at things. Here's a big issue.
Regarding the lies mentioned in this post, well, lies are expected to be found in ***** politicians. Good quality, free education is the basis for any free society; otherwise it is mind manipulation techniques.
The leading Leave campaigner, Boris Johnson,has suddenly declined to stand as David Cameron's successor, after his staunch ally, Michael Gove suddenly withdrew his support in an act of political backstabbing and said that he would himself stand. It is said that Boris' enemies have been building a dossier on his colourful private life, which has included an unspecified number of affairs.Keep an eye on the UK , as there might be interesting news leaking out.
The possibility of the EU collapsing lurks like a spectre over the institution, but that would be a disaster, but certain people of far right disposition want it to happen.