The EU referendum 1975 versus 2016.

For seventeen years Nigel Farage nurtured a dream; an ambition to take Great Britain out of the European Union and on Thursday the 23rd of July, 2016 his dream became reality. A dream founded on the dissimilarities that existed between the present European Union and that of 1975, it had slowly become a political dynasty in Brussels with overreaching effects on the common man without an in-depth understanding of his individual, cultural or national needs. The interference of ECHR (European court of Human rights) on British court rulings and the inability of individual countries to negotiate individual favorable economic deals would suggest that there are elements of truth in Nigel Farage’s arguments. But it could also be seen as an attempt by the EU to maintain the status quo for every member and citizen.

Regardless of these facts, the process of achieving his dream was flawed, a total betrayal of true democracy. The present electorate unlike those during the 1975 referendum was not adequately or honestly informed, they were bamboozled by an array of doomsday forecasts and accused of being unpatriotic should they vote differently. The blame, in my opinion, rests with Nigel Farage, David Cameron, and their respective cohorts, they made costly assumptions on behalf of the electorate. The least they could have done was replicate the 1975 referendum format.

Prior to the 1975 referendum, a seventeen-page pamphlet (document) with detailed information was sent out to the electorate. The document had the single purpose of educating the electorate. Below are some relevant quotes from the pamphlet (italicized by me):

Page 2:

DEAR VOTER

This pamphlet is being sent by the Government to every household in Britain. We hope that it will help you to decide how to cast your vote in the coming Referendum on the European Community (Common Market). Please read it. Please discuss it with your family and your friends.

We do not pretend, and never have pretended, that we got everything we wanted in these negotiations. But we did get big and significant improvements on the previous terms.

Page 5:

Aims of the common market:

  • To bring together the peoples of Europe.
  • To raise living standards and improve working conditions.
  • To promote growth and boost world trade.
  • To help the poorest regions of Europe and the rest of the world.
  • To help maintain peace and freedom.

Page 11 & 12 

Will parliament lose its power?

Since we cannot go it alone in the modern world, Britain has for years been a member of international groupings like the United Nations, NATO and the International Monetary Fund.

Membership of such groupings imposes both rights and duties, but has not deprived us of our national identity, or changed our way of life.

Membership of the Common Market also imposes new rights and duties on Britain, but does not deprive us of our national identity. To say that membership could force Britain to eat Euro-bread or drink Euro-beer is nonsense.

Page 13 :

If we say No:

The Common Market will not go away if we say ‘No’.

The countries of the Common Market would still be our nearest neighbors and our largest customers. Their policies would still be important to us. But Britain would no longer have a close and direct influence on those policies.

Page 14:

If we say Yes:

Whether we are in the Market or not, Common Market policies are going to affect the lives of every family in the country.

Inside the Market, we can play a major part in deciding these policies. 

Outside, we are on our own.

Page 15:

AND NOW – THE TIME FOR YOU TO DECIDE

Your vote will not only affect your life and your neighbors’ lives. It will affect your children’s lives. It will chart – for better or for worse – Britain’s future.

To read the entire document click here.

It is interesting to find that the electorate back in 1975 shared similar fears and concerns regarding the future as those in 2016. The similarities, however, end there as the political class did nothing to elevate those fears if anything they fanned the flames harder, inciting old wounds and hidden prejudice. If an educated choice had been made by a majority of the masses, perhaps the racist attacks and bigotry which has reared its ugly head post-referendum would not be minuscule. If all parties including the European Union had laid aside their egos, gone back to the drawing board and retraced their roots perhaps we would not have found ourselves living the chaos that is Brexit. 

Like the story of the three little pigs, the electorate is waking up to find its house blown away by the big bad wolf called reality.

They are left clutching at straws … by what percentage will immigration be cut?

They are left picking up sticks … Turkey will probably not become an EU member for a long time.

They are left with an unfinished brick house … the amount of money going to the NHS as savings from EU expenses has slowly dwindled from £350 million to £161 million.

The agenda of the 1975 referendum was to empower the people to make a decision in favor of their future, in favor of Great Britain, in favor of democracy. The agenda of the 2016 referendum was to topple a political sect, to embolden an ideology with no informed regard for the future.

Nigel Farage got his dream, but he hypnotized the country into a frightful dream. 

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Source: Pixabay free images

Brexit; a case for the eldest son.

Slide1

The story of the prodigal son in the bible is a very interesting one, a story laced with many silent lessons. In the story, we find four major characters in play; a wealthy father, two sons and a landlord. For some unknown reason the youngest son suddenly demands to have his share of the inheritance, he leaves home with it and squanders it. When he finds himself broke and destitute he takes up a low paying job as a stall boy for a foreign landlord. On a certain day while working he has an epiphany and decides to go back home with no expectations except to have a home under his father’s roof once more. And on his return home everything goes better than he hoped for with his father, his brother, however, is not so excited to have his disrespectful, disloyal, lazy brother back home. Sensing his eldest sons displeasure, the father goes on to settle his worries, he assures each of his sons of their place in his life and encourages oneness.

Why has this story suddenly come to mind and why does it matter?

The Brexit situation and the wave of opinions tossed about on the internet encouraging Americans to follow suit brings the eldest son in the story to life.18prodigalson

A son who isn’t really aware of all he has, who doesn’t know how best to maximize/manage new opportunities.

A son who felt the way of life was changing too fast to accommodate a brother who dressed and sounded more like a stranger from many years of being away.

A son who felt disenfranchised by the celebration held to welcome a disloyal, arrogant, lazy brother, while no feast had  ever being held in his honor.

A son who thought he would never have to share anything with anyone except he chose to.

A son who didn’t know that his cousins whom he had worked side by side had only stayed because they had not seen a way out before.

A son who at that point desperately needed his father’s reassurance and clear guidance concerning his future.

Sadly unlike the father in the story, we find UK citizens driven into a hurricane of harsh prospects, finger pointing, horror stories and forecasts of greater storms by the politicians’ on both sides of the divide. But since they’re not the founding fathers, merely surrogates on a quest for personal gain one can hardly blame them for misguiding the people, using them to achieve hidden agendas. Or how else do you explain Nigel’s retraction/rephrase of a crucial statement hours after victory or Sturgeons move to take Scotland out once the die was cast (by the way I respect her a lot, she’s playing the game with the same poker face the boys use and I think she does it better.). And let’s not forget the foreign landlord, the EU leaders who underestimated the referendum, perhaps they doubted the stories of the prodigal son, stories of his father’s wealth, stories of a brother who was no longer receptive of their offers. With everyone clamoring for their own rights and demands for immediate actions to initiate the exit process, one wonders if the eldest son made the right choice.

Did he?

In all fairness his demands were not unreasonable, he had put in blood and soul to build that land and so had his ancestors before him. He has a fair idea of how many people the land can care for, how it can be enlarged. He trusts in the safety of his customs and daily rituals, the unseen things that bring comfort on a hot day. So when a visitor comes in with stories of various sorts, makes a home and starts to procreate both in assets and liabilities one can understand the eldest sons need to ensure the scales don’t tip him out of the equation. On this premise, his choice wasn’t wrong, but his forecast of what the future holds as a result of this choice has neither been true or clearly explained.

They said you will have all this, but failed to explain what ‘all’ encompassed.

They said to do this for you and your children but failed to explain that others will seek to protect their own offspring through the same channel (Scotland, Northern Ireland).

They said preserve your culture hold it sacrosanct, forgetting that this action will raise the ghosts of cultures desecrated, borders obliterated and normalcy ruined as their ancestor’s sort to conquer and sometimes misguidedly save the world.Slide2

Have they made the worst choice?

I don’t think so but that depends on who they decide to listen to from here onwards and the way they choose to handle future issues. I know there are many who understand what this was really about (self-preservation) not anti-globalization or xenophobia although the lines sit pretty cozy with self-preservation.  There are those who thought it was simply anti-immigration, that message is one that really needs redressing as the world is really blood thirst these days.

The decision has been made it’s time to discontinue the fear driven forecasts and rhetoric’s; it’s time to forge ahead. As a migrant, I am under no illusion that the days ahead will be easy, but I don’t know if they will be horrendous, thus I have decided to grin and bear whatever comes one day at a time.

“For every step we take to defend ourselves, those who would attack are going to take a step further.” Jonathan James Olivier.

This is by no means a threat, but a reminder that every action gives rise to a reaction from the observer. It is to stress the importance of reinforcing the positive message behind Brexit.

 

Brexit/in ad gone wrong.

Several adverts have annoyed me in the past, but none has annoyed me as much as the Boris Johnson/David Cameron campaign for/against Brexit.It trivializes a vital decision. A choice with parallel consequences for either side of the divide, with the potential to change the future for generations of scottish farmers and the everyday worker on the street, be he/she a migrant or an indigene.

The ad indirectly showcases how the elite/politicians probably see the decision: it’s more about which side of the fence they would like to play on and less about the future of the citizens. But they use complex analogies/words and statistics to ensure you vote based on fear or confusion.


It’s like a movie commercial, thank you very much! But some of us like to know where game of thrones ends and reality begins, some of us like to know when it’s Gerard Butler ‘shouting this is sparta’ and when we have to stand tall to face tough life decisions. And there will be tough decisions and consequences to live with whichever side the axe falls post voting.

The decision for or against Brexit in my opinion should have nothing to do with how much we like or dislike these individuals. An advert like the present one will definitely draw attention away from the main issue, turning it into a personality crusade rather than a deciding process in the nations future.

#justsaying.

Another referendum.

Referendum: a ​vote in which all the ​people in a ​country or an ​area are ​asked to give ​their ​opinion about or ​decide an ​important​political or ​social ​question. Source: Cambridge advanced learners dictionary.

The word referendum had no applicable meaning to me until I moved to the UK. Now it has become a household term, I do applaud the leadership and citizens for having a seeming sense of balance when it comes to deciding who really should control the nation’s future. Having said that, I think the leaders still do what all political leaders do, keep the masses in the dark, while using the media to haunt them into a corner on issues they don’t fully grasp. I haven’t lived here all my life so I can understand the anger of anyone who thinks I have no right to voice an opinion on the issue, but I do love politics and would like to raise a few salient questions and ideas on the issue.

Will Britain become a stronger entity if it leaves or will it be stronger for the elite and weaker for the masses? By stronger I am referring to economic and socio-cultural strength. Can the competitive strength of the British market withstand or negotiate better with the regulatory powers of the EU when it leaves?
Is there a more suitable ‘ally’ out there? I know the UK is a sovereign nation and a strong one too, but I am also aware that the world is slowly shifting towards a global sovereignty and it will have it’s fractions with some more powerful than the other. The choice you make today determines which side of the divide you end up in the bigger picture.european-union-flag_zps6d5d2693
What level of freedom will the EU grant Britain following a Brexit? When Scotland wanted to leave there was a lot of peaceful discuss, but there were also side talks on how to tighten the remaining parties, to strengthen it against such actions in the future. Now mirror that process against the EU and it will be safe to say that the rules after a Brexit will not be coated with sugar or anything nice. It will be harsh and perhaps a tiny bit unfriendly, a move to discourage future dissent.
Is the EU really anti-democratic or is this more a case of wanting to eat the cake and still have it? I went in search of the structure for of the EU’s institutional framework I found the following:

The EU has three political governing institutes: the parliament, the council of ministers and the European commission. Members of the European parliament are elected by European citizens, it is basically a group of member state representatives. The next level is the Council of ministers consisting of a representative from each country’s national government usually a minister. The last arm of the EU is the European Commission which is its executive body. The EC comprises of 28 individuals: 1 president, 7 vice-presidents and 20 commissioners.300px-flag_of_the_united_kingdom-svg

The president is elected by the parliament, who subsequently selects the twenty- seven other candidates based on suggestions from member states. This model I believe is the same as what most European nations operate by way of democracy. It is basically the same politics but on a much larger scale. As with every ‘nation’, every member state will have it’s entitled allocations, some will get preference above others in certain areas but overall each hopes to be treated fairly, equally and prioritized in times of distress. States can negotiate issues as at the point of joining but once in same rules apply to everyone. In my humble understanding, I think the EU has been operating in line with the above.

Through the course of my research, I discovered that the European Union was formed after the second world war as a way to end the constant power tussle and needless bloodshed. It was driven by a quest for unity and a sense of interdependence balancing the scales between the weaker and stronger nations so to speak. In order for the EU to exist each member state must be willing to yield some of its sovereignty, to give and also receive the benefits as well as risks of such a co-dependence.

Some would argue that if Britain wanted more influence over Brussels, perhaps it should spend commensurate effort into asserting the EU’s leadership and Britain’s place in the centre of power rather than demanding it’s own private corner with all the privileges and none of the risks.

These are just my humble thoughts spurred from reading and listening to the news. Would love to hear yours.

‘When we select a prime minister, we give them a short-term lease on power with the right to change our minds after five years. In or Out will be a generational choice about the future of the United Kingdom.’ Andrew Rawnsley