Despite doomsayers and forecasters of disaster if Great Britain cut ties with the European Union, the British voters wisely choose to leave the union.
“One of the good things about Brexit is the rich curriculum of lessons it offers leaders and electorates in other democratic countries,” Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne wrote. “Citizens who live in the economically ailing peripheries of wealthy nations are in revolt against well-off and cosmopolitan metropolitan areas.
“Older voters lock in decisions that young voters reject. Traditional political parties on the Left and Right are being torn asunder. Areas usually voting heavily for Labor candidates cried ‘enough’ of happy and prosperous London.” (Londoners voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU)
As the New York Times editorialized: “A gamble on the unknown was better than staying with the present over which they had no control. It was a cry of anger and frustration from a class that felt alienated from those who wield power, wealth and privilege both in the British government and Brussels, the E. capital. It was a world they felt was leaving them out.”
Populist anger at the established order had finally boiled over. The Brits had rebelled. The vote was a rebuke to the establishment. As Fraser Nelson, England’s Daily Telegraph columnist, said: “It was the biggest slap in the face ever delivered to the British establishment in the history of universal suffrage.”
British voters were tired of rule by and for the elites.
The idea of a 28-nation common defense has always been nonsensical in a nuclear age. As for its free-trade provisions, Donald Trump rightly blistered the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), calling ii rape of the U.S. economy.
Free trade sounds great but would cost scores of American jobs as already seen in outsourcing that swells corporation profits but harms workers. If elected president, eurosceptic Trump promised to withdraw from TPP if it is ever enacted by Congress. In his plea to restore U.S. economic independence, he denounced China’s currency devaluation in order to take advantage of the U.S. monetary system.
SMALL IS BETTER
So the sun is again setting on the British Empire, pleasing Matthew d’Ancona, political columnist for the UK’s The Guardian who says “small is beautiful.”
Farewell to Shakespeare’s rhapsodic words in “Richard II”: “This sceptered isle, this demi-paradise, this happy breed of men, this blessed plot, this earth, this England.” (Act 2, Scene I) Great Britain has become Little England.
Withdrawal was an astounding decision, resulting in a political turmoil, volatile global stock markets and gyrations in worldwide currency markets. (The British pound fell to a 31-year low after the Brexit vote.)
The Leave vote also again encouraged other nations yearning to be free. It revived independence movements in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, which deserve to be free of Britain’s shackles. The 300-year-old UK is threatened.
In Spain, the Catalan independence movement yearns for freedom from the reign of Spain and the rule of France.
In France, Marine Le Pen, president of the National Front Party, called the Brexit vote “an act of courage of people who embrace their freedom.” She asked in a column printed by the New York Times: “Do we want an undemocratic authority ruling our lives? No!
“In the name of ideology, different countries are forced to adopt the same currency. It’s ridiculous that a Polish member of the European Parliament makes law for the Spanish. France and The Netherlands rightly voted against the EU constitution. The Greeks correctly revolted against a Brussels-imposed austerity plan.
“The British vote for withdrawal is the People’s Spring!”
CAMERON’S AUSTERITY DESPISED
The exit voters shattered the Conservative Party and its prime minster, David Cameron, who staked his office on a no-vote. The working class is rightly furious about Cameron’s austerity government and feel neglected.
His conservatism never suited Britain, far more suited to Left Labor–and not the sell-out variety of former
Laborite Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The resignation of Cameron paves the way for a Laborite to become prime minister of England. A Labor leader should restore the luster of the once glorious Labor Party which brought the country universal health care.
Yves Smith, author and financial expert, declared that the E.U. has broken down. It has, she said, “ceased to satisfy its citizens’ needs and aspirations. It is heading for a disorderly disintegration.” (It costs the British government about $175 million a year in dues.)
Brexit is an awfully complicated matter what with Article 50 and other arcane matters. But withdrawal from the E.U. promises a brighter day for the English people.
Jake Highton is an emeritus journalism professor from the University of Nevada, Reno. (firstname.lastname@example.org)