It Just Goes Round and Round

There was a time some years ago when I often engaged in “Comments Wars” on the Daily Telegraph but what with pay walls and the automated “moderation” of comments that all became rather boring. However by accident rather than design, I have recently got caught up with on line comments debates which sometimes are quite amusing.

The thing is that papers like the FT and The Economist are protected by pay walls but both publish the short videos they have on their own websites on YouTube (mean gits !) so you can get to comment there and obviously the theme currently is very much Brexit.

The Starting Point

Was an FT briefing on where Brexit is right now following the deal outlined last week by the two sides to move on to Phase 2 which will have quite a lot of difficulties attached to it. So the link is as follows:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KuX53JmFEFk&t=6s

My initial comment as follows focused on one missing ingredient from this whole debate which because the majority of the media and including the BBC is pro EU and therefore the “Remain” cause is promoted as the “knowledgeable choice” and by definition all “Leavers” are sub human and Neanderthal by default. As both Leavers and Remainers were fairly closely matched at around 17 million supporters on each side this language should change right now :

The main problem with the FT, The Economist, Guardian and Independent is that having decided that anyone who voted for Brexit was ignorant, old, stupid etc, they have failed to acknowledge that the result was a massive voter revolt that was totally nothing to do with political parties so focusing the discussion on Theresa May and the Tories rather misses the point.

Also the big takeaway from last week was not “the agreement” or the words used, it is just the intent of both parties, the key thing was that for the first time the EU showed that it too wanted and needed a deal. As to what final deal will emerge, who can say but the self interests of all parties rather than principles will shape the final outcome. However the FT needs to accept and respect that the majority will get their way just as if Remain would have if they had won the referendum because that’s the way it works.

This got a reply from a chap who it appears was European but not German, thought Brexit was wonderful because the UK was more trouble than it was worth as a member and took great delight in outlining all the things that the UK would lose/miss out on etc. It was interesting because as I experienced elsewhere, in the early stages of Brexit, people from other EU countries that commented in the UK media were firstly shocked at the result and then, felt personally insulted and hurt.

You are entitled to your opinions of course but you need to grasp and I find it strange that you don’t, that “politics” and the “look of things” rather than the substance has always been the EU game, it has always been like a Punch & Judy show and that is part of the problem. For the EU to function at any level because it must proceed on constant compromise, when any particular member state manages to preserve or ‘win’ something, they trumpet “their strong negotiating stance”, when they lose they blame Brussels.

As for the rest of what you write which amounts to “Britain will lose this that, you will regret…and all the rest of it, do you not understand that the British electorate accepted that when they voted. Whether people appreciate it or not, the British electorate sometimes expresses a strong will that flies in the face of what “The Establishment” thinks is ‘the right thing’ and these swings are instinctive and intuitive. The biggest example was the election at the end of WWII, how could Churchill not have won it ? But he didn’t and the consequence was the Welfare State and the NHS.

The impact on the UK economy will be interesting and it will radically alter over time I an certain because despite the wishes of the FT, the UK economy has always had a different economic cycle to Europe generally and this might well accelerate in the years ahead as the global economy changes. I suspect that economically the UK will diverge from the EU at a fairly rapid pace in the years ahead and whether this will be a good or a bad thing for the average British citizen, only time will tell.

Not satisfied he came back again giving it big on a whole number of issues and clearly felt that anyone who had voted Leave had been sold a pack of lies.

What on earth are you complaining about ? You say that you wanted to get rid of the UK and here you are, it is happening so why your complaints ?

You though are as guilty as the Remainers in the UK of total arrogance because you didn’t (?) like the result of the referendum for some obscure reason. Whilst it must be true to say that on the Leave side there were some people who voted to “get rid of foreigners” they were not the majority and I doubt many believed spending £350 million on the NHS per week either. These people would have been evenly match on the Remain side by those with fear of the uncertainty, “Cling to nurse for fear of worse” so they would pretty much cancel each other out. So the real battle that engaged about 17 million on both sides was between those who believed that membership of the EU “worked for them” and those who felt “didn’t work for them”.

It would be criminally stupid to imagine that the majority in both camps didn’t in fact think about and weigh the real issues before casting their votes, regardless of the outcome I respect the British electorate far more than you do and especially on such a high poll turnout. As to the “City”, if it is as good as it says it is, it will lose a few jobs to satellites within the EU but still prosper. As for losing jobs to Paris, Frankfurt and so on, if the City is not good enough to survive due to its “excellence”, that would have happened if we stayed inside the EU anyway.

I voted Leave not expecting to be on the “winning side”, my expectation was for a 60/40 victory for Remain and I would have respected that result but mainly because it would have made no real difference in the end and the reason concerns the Euro. The Euro is controlled by Germany not London, we thankfully are not part of it but the creation of the Euro was not just the biggest mistake the EU has made but by doing so, they set in motion the circumstances whereby the EU as we know it today, will not exist in 10 years time.

There was a chance some 8 years ago roughly to salvage it if Germany had left the eurozone and set up a new D Mark zone, thus allowing the Euro to devalue and open the chance for meaningful growth in the Southern EU economies but this was the road not travelled. Today the lessons of the Euro and Greece have neither been understood nor learned, one size does not fit all, for the EU to survive and prosper it needs to lose its rigidity and allow greater diversity within it, this sadly will not happen.

I had another chap who was European and highly critical of Germany and especially them not helping, in his view, to solve youth unemployment in the Southern countries of the EU.

I cannot disagree with you and especially on the question of the Euro. When Tony Blair was Prime Minister he would have committed us to the Euro but was prevented from doing so by Gordon Brown, thumbs up for Gordon ! If the UK had been part of the eurozone, Brexit would have been impossible !

As I first wrote many years ago now, the Euro could have been salvaged and thus the future of the EU if Germany had left the Euro behind and started a new D Mark zone some 8 years ago, thus allowing the Euro to devalue.

The Germans are right in saying that many of the “bad financial habits” of the Southern Mediterranean countries need to be reformed but wrong not to realise that this also requires cultural changes too which will take time. Beating them over the head with the Euro and complaining that they are not “German enough” is both pointless and foolish. It has been obvious for quite a number of years now that the EU needs to reconfigure itself for a EU of different speeds but even this has been made more difficult because of the Euro which is the rock on which the back of the EU will be broken eventually.

Footnote

There is nothing original in all this above which in its own way rather depressing but these are the same key issues that you could have written about over these past few years. There was a point when David Cameron was trying to renegotiate the UK’s relationship with the EU when I would have backed remaining within the EU if the relationship was looser. However the lack of imagination in Brussels and the fact that the other member states seemed totally indifferent towards the UK changed all that.

We cannot know at this moment in time whether Brexit will be a great success, only a far greater distance from these times will be able to judge that but I don’t think that it matters. Providing we as a nation are prepared to believe in ourselves and our abilities, I have little doubt that it will turn out very well and we will become a happier country.

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