Brexit Stage Right?

brexit stage right copy

Hello folks if any are still out there after my prolonged absence. I have some thoughts about blogging and where I’m at to share however I think I’ll save them for another post because clearly I have a topic in mind with this one. Yes, Britain leaving the EU.

Well it’s on many people’s minds. Interesting that my facebook feed by which I am sure I can perfectly gauge the feeling on any issue in the world without exception has clearly shown me that no-one wanted to Brexit. And yet here it is – it happened!

The UK has long been one of my absolute favourite places to visit. If I go to Europe, I have to have some time there. And so now this has happened and well, yes the pound went down as well as the Euro but really that’s about the extent, for the moment, of the effects of this decision for travellers. Although who knows what it will mean when they are officially out and if visitors will require visas etc.

I have actually been asked by friends and family for my thoughts on this, and even what I thought would happen before the vote. I said then that I thought they would vote to leave. Then I got the raised eyebrow. A few days after the vote and I’m reading about people regretting voting to Brexit. And to me that is at the heart of the matter because frankly, well, what’s the point of voting for something if you don’t vote for what you want, and more importantly you don’t think about the decision until after it’s happened?

Democracy. I was told by a lecturer at Uni many years ago – ‘it’s far from perfect but it’s the best system we’ve got’. I think the flaw is not in the concept of democracy but the reality that in fact it doesn’t really mean everyone gets a say, but in fact it means ‘majority rules’. This is highlighted when the majority is incredibly slim.

And then people vote as a knee-jerk reaction to one issue, whilst being told barefaced lies about things like money given to the EU going back into the health system. Majority rules or mob rules?

The real shame I think of this vote is not that the UK is saying ‘Sayonara’ to Europe. It’s still in the same position, trade will change between the two parties and the UK may need to look for other trade partners, the shame is what it actually says about where the Kingdom is in fact at with attitudes.

From the reports seen on TV and social media, it seems clear that the most decisive issue that turned the vote the way it panned out was immigration. Oh gawd, it’s always an ugly debate, isn’t it? People coming from other countries taking jobs AND welfare, causing crime, changing way of life etc etc etc. Hmmm when things are grim find someone to blame. Good policy because it always appeals to people who are indeed looking for someone to blame.

Ideally a vote should happen in a completely even handed way. Two lists of facts given to the voter, who doesn’t have any preconceived ideas about which way they will go, facts checked and independently given the thumbs up. Not with a bunch of anger and vitriol and slogan. Then a person can, without emotion, make a decision. But the way it was held was the exact opposite of that. For fuck’s sake, it got so out of control that an MP was MURDERED.

Sorry Britain, but the rest of the world is now looking at you and saying ‘WTF’? You want to blame immigrants for whatever you can dream up? Good on you. We do that well here, and they’re not bad in America at it either because their Presidential front-runner as plugged that line to the point of exhaustion yet it still gets heaps of traction.

I’m not drastically concerned that the result will lead to instability, in fact I think you’ll find that little actually changes. But I am concerned about what it says about Britain and how this will lead other countries down a similar path. In Australia we will, in the next 12 months I think, have a vote on Marriage Equality. Why do we need one? Just make it legal so that people can marry the person they love! Oh but no, throw it open to a national debate leading up to a vote so that we can hear all the ugly, bigoted views out there. I’m married. To a woman. I fell pretty safe that should gay people be allowed to marry my marriage will not be affected, devalued or put in to question. Why do we need a vote about something that only affects part of the population. Ask the LBGT community if they want to be able to marry? They do? Fine it only affects them so pass a bill.

Phew. Sorry. Yes world events are getting to me. Madness, sheer madness. Perhaps it’s because I watched this from the brilliant John Oliver.

 

Does my post make any sense? You can be the judge and comment below. And please, be nice! I will certainly delete anything I think is offensive but I think there’s a lot to debate here.

The biggest question might be though, will the UK be thrown out of Eurovision? Probably not, but it’s worth considering that without them Eurovision fans might never be subjected to songs like this. May the Journey Never End!


Oh final, really scary thought. THIS could be the next British PM. A man who doesn’t even own a comb!

BorisJohnson

9 comments

  • I’m still here. My thoughts: boo to Brexit, yay to John Oliver, and we do need to start a Comb Fund for our leaders in both the USA and UK.

  • It’s interesting to see the referendum from the point of view of those who live outside of Britain for once. 🙂 As a British person who voted to remain I can assure you that when you said “Sorry Britain, but the rest of the world is now looking at you and saying ‘WTF’?” 48% of us are looking at the 52% and feeling exactly the same thing.

  • Shikha (whywasteannualleave)

    I second the comment above Andy. Myself and many of the others are very much echoing the sentiments of so many around the world in wondering what the heck is going on here?! I can’t tell you how disappointed so many people were in the UK that way with a genuine level of upset that I think none of us had quite imagined we would feel. I think many of us felt more passionately about this than we’d even known ourselves but what is most upsetting to read about is those who cast their vote and THEN decided to read up what it actually meant and regretted it?!?! This seems ludicrous and such a waste of a crucial opportunity. Really interesting to hear the take of someone outside the UK.

  • I’ve heard lots of different opinions on this, both British and European, and it seems like such a complex issue! I really don’t know where to begin. For the rest of the world, I think it’s a fairly obvious “WTF?”, and as has been mentioned, it seems like “the day when the UK became a small island off Europe”.

    That said, I recently read an European opinion where they were saying that they were tired of the British being divisive and exceptionalist in the EU parliament, and good riddance (which, to be honest, is another side of things I had never considered).

    And as for democracy, ehhhhh I’m not convinced its the best system we’ve got…. but that’s a discussion for another time I guess.

  • Kind of agree with Tim about the downside of democracy is that ordinary people, many who can’t be bothered informing themselves, can vote on something that will effect the majority. “Ideally a vote should happen in a completely even handed way. Two lists of facts given to the voter, who doesn’t have any preconceived ideas about which way they will go, facts checked and independently given the thumbs up” – well, that doesn’t happen in the real world. People have to bother educating themselves and then they actually have to get off their asses and vote. Only 36% of 18-25 year olds, the ones most affected by this vote, bothered to actually vote.

    Lying politicians, uninformed public, lazy non-voters. That’s how these things happen.

    Frank (bbqboy)

  • It’s a very complex issue but let’s hope travelling is not gonna be that difficult :((((

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