It’s nail-biting stuff, isn’t it, this Brexit nonsense?
Well if it isn’t for you, it should be, there’s plenty at stake on June 23rd for all of us. I’m sworn to neutrality, for reasons I’ll explain later but let’s have a little look at exactly what an extremely rare shot at something like a Swiss style direct democracy this referendum offers.
Firstly, very, very few Politicians actually wanted to give you the opportunity to even consider leaving the European Union – it had to be dragged out of Cameron as a prize for voters at the last election and even now he can be trusted to do his very utmost to ensure that the result is skewed in his favour.
He’s promised reforms if we stay in, but he remains sketchy on what those reforms are and whilst he obfuscates like a meister, the EU project is simply rolling onwards without him. It’s been a very long time since the wishes or opinions of any one single state in the European Union has had any bearing on the actual outcome. Policy is made, decided and set by the unelected Politburo in Brussels and objections are simply overruled or at worst, ignored.
Labour, on the other hand, at least have the honesty to admit that anything the EU decides is fine by them because they detect that the EU has an overall socialist, expansionist agenda, albeit wrapped up in a woolly Liberal overcoat. Don’t expect tantrums from Milbank’s finest when most of Milbank’s finest have their eyes firmly set on a nice cushy unelected number quaffing fine wines and stuffing moules et frites down their throats in Brussels as a form of semi retirement before wandering off to a gold plated pension somewhere where you and your ilk aren’t.
The centralisation project of Brussels over 500M or so citizens has been the dream of many a politician since the end of the second world war – dress it up how you like, it’s a land/power grab of some of the planets richest corporations and taxpayers and complete control over a population too diverse to ever pose a collective opposition against it. What began as a membership of free trade amongst like minded northern European nations to ensure non application of pesky trade tariffs has spawned a leviathan desperate to control every aspect of life for half a billion peoples of differing ethnic, religious and cultural heritages.
Every Emperor tried, and every Emperor has failed to date, usually with catastrophic results but “if we can only get it right just this one more time….”
Now comes the tricky bit.
I’m a no borders Libertarian. There’s a lot about the free movement of capital, goods and labour that I find very liberating and the EU has certainly attempted to offer at least some of that. It fails, however, because no two regions have the same underlying state mechanisms – welfare, taxes, wealth. What works perfectly between Kent and Surrey doesn’t work between Romania and Sweden. The osmosis of higher wages and State welfare in Germany is currently emptying the censuses of Bulgaria and Portugal. The answer, of course, is to impose the same taxation and uniform bureaucracy that the EU dreams of. An identikit solution that sees an illiterate toothless crone in the Carpathian mountains herding her goats for the same rich subsidies as a Range Rover driving Agriculture degree qualified fat landowner on the Scottish borders.
That’s all well and good as long as ‘someone’ else is paying for it, but that ‘someone’, dear readers, is you and me. It simply cannot be achieved without a colossal redistribution of our entire wealth and property (this is the bit Labour like best). To bring the “mañana” Southern peasants up to the standards of the strict Calvinist Northerners, you’d have to confiscate from one and redistribute to the other, and as the Greeks are finding out, aspiring to be as rich as the Germans and actually producing and selling what the Germans do is another game all together.
Whether we like or not, the Nationalists within the EU will always hold the upper hand and despite the faux outrage expressed, German politicians are elected by Germans to look after German interests – regardless of how easy it now is to own a villa in Greece and have bratwurst delivered directly by courier. No German is going to retire to Ibiza if he can’t take his German pension with him, Euro or no Euro.
Do I respect the idea of a federalist, united Europe? Well, in some ways I do. I like the ease of travel, business, commerce and flexible taxation rules. My next abode will be within the EU, whether the UK jumps or not but it’s been chosen carefully to avoid the negatives of EU collectivism. I’m headed for a nation that ignores the diktats of Brussels, whilst greedily slurping up the gravy from the plate of goodies the trusting morons in Brussels keep putting out.
Whilst other “civilised” countries delicately pick and choose from an ever decreasing EU Commission smorgasbord of choice, my new home is happily stuffing empty carrier bags full with clenched fists from the finger buffet because it knows that free money eventually runs out and they’ll grab everything they can whilst the waiter is busy with the Ferraro Roche and the elites. They’ve seen what a diet of bland turnip soup and a collectivised economy run from afar does to a nation and they know when the pickings are rich. Pile in, comrades, tomorrow, we may starve.
Do I think the UK will jump? I genuinely don’t know and that’s pretty unusual for a wisened old sage like myself – it’s that close. Do I think we’ll be allowed to jump? I certainly don’t – far too much is at stake in the “greater scheme of things” for that to be allowed.
Perhaps the UK will end up much like Tito’s Yugoslavia – a liberal-ish mishmash of people ready to cut each other’s throats (yes, Scotland, I’m looking at you) but strangely united by the fact they’re allowed just a little more of the good life than their neighbours as long as they behave themselves. Either way, I’ll be sitting in the sun with my gun, paying 10% tax and dealing in gold and cash – just like the good old days, right under the noses of the Emperors themselves. They won’t even know what hit them…