I've spent far too long this last week attempting to make sense of the post-Brexit vote. I've looked at both sides of the argument and concluded that, though my vote is on the 'losing' side, I did the right thing.
Pointless me going over that again, I'm not a prolific blogger, my recent post history speaks for itself.
Reading lots of informed, ill-informed and decidedly un-informed and thus blinkered commentary on this unique situation in which we find ourselves brought home a number of facts.
Everyone who voted did so to attempt to make a very real difference in the way this country works. Regardless whether this was the time to protest or not, from what I've seen, most think it's enough.
Do you know, I'm inclined to agree. But only upto a point.
I can't see everyone who voted 'Leave' OR 'Remain' voting in the next election. I say next election because, obviously, this vote wasn't one. An election. It would be wonderful if the UK could grow the level of support for our newly-discovered sense of democracy. My fear is simple, that turnout will be in the 30%-40% range at the very next opportunity. It's a real possibility unless a General Election is called.
Challengers to Brexit have appeared today in the shape of the well-known law firm Mishcon de Reya. Operating on behalf of a number of companies opposed not to the vote result itself but to the insistence that the government and Parliament simply HAS to accept it, the firm has already been in touch with the government's lawyers.
To me this at least pauses the steamrollering of common sense. Whether the challenge is accepted and allowed to progress remains to be seen.
A number of challengers for the Tory Party leadership battle appeared quickly. I've heard a fair amount from The Backstabber, from I've Real-world Experience (in the finance industry), little from the Home Secretary, zero from the Man Who Thinks Homosexuality Can Be Cured, and zero from the Disgraced Former Minister.
Repairing the bridges between Leave and Remain won't be easy, and may prove impossible dependent on future government policies. Repairing the balance between the regions, or maybe CREATING a balance between the regions must be a priority, whoever wins whatever trivial leadership battles we see unfolding before us.
In the grand scheme of things, who wins these contests proves irrelevant. Policy changes little whichever party is nominally in control of our money. Er… whichever party has our best interests uppermost, sorry about that slip.
Over the last few days I've thought carefully about joining the Labour Party. Yes, simply so I could vote in its leadership election - for that principled man Jeremy Corbyn. Not some fly-by-night politician changing his ideals dependent on which way the wind blows or from which direction the money comes (though the Labour Party, like any other, does indeed have some pretty influential groups throwing loadsamoney at it), he seems genuinely committed to making things better for us.
The bottom line though, in this uncertain climate I just can't expose my wallet to the current fees. At £3 it would have been a no-brainer. At a one-off £20, yeah, why not. At just shy of £50 though it merits serious thought.
Kaiser Wilhelm, the last German Emperor, believed that Germany's place was at the top of the pile.
A sentiment I'm sure echoed by the British (English!) throughout all the years the empire expanded. Who could argue with any country's desire to influence, to control others?
I found a particularly appropriate quotation; the Kaiser's letter to The Telegraph: "You English are like mad bulls - you see red everywhere! What on earth has come over you, that you would heap on us such suspicion as is unworthy of a great nation… I regard this missaprehension as a personal insult… You make it uncommonly difficult for a man to remain friendly to England."
Sure I've picked that out of many available at WikiQuote. Heck, I don't even know to what situation he is referring let alone when it was penned! But if you bring that across to our current situation it's what Europe is saying about us and, eventually, what we will be saying of them.
Er… Yeah, this'll end well!
Rubbish as I am at picking winning Lottery numbers and resisting the temptation to bet just that little bit more 'next time', I see unwelcome changes ahead. Some might be tempted to say gathering storm clouds. Me, I'm not good at melodrama so…
Children, run for your lives, it's spitting!
Hopefully we won't awake tomorrow to World War III; to a collapse of our, Europe's, the world's financial markets; to a devaluation of the Pound that throws the FTSE100 into a slide, to a… No, these things take time to brew, need lots of careful stirring, tender manipulation, a gradual increase of the heat…
I still can't believe that some think it's all over; that there are no necessary trade-offs to be made when we're negotiating for a free-trade deal; and that we've no-one with experience of what's to come.
Essentially no-one's been through this before. We STILL don't know what to do to get the best out of this.
For once we need to admit we're not in the driving seat. We need to treat the negotiations like a job interview; first researching the situation into which we wish to inject ourselves, stressing what we can offer, what we're GOOD at, and then, then, to compromise on pay. Ah, crap analogy.
Sure other nations' leaders want the best for THEIR people, it's common sense. We must go into this respecting their wishes, sovereignty. Saying that only someone who voted to leave Europe is capable of getting the best deal is complete madness! Look at Brexit's Chief Architect's utterly reprehensible behaviour last week in the European Parliament - this is not how we must be seen.
Central to any further advancement out of Europe is putting the very best we have to offer into positions capable of influencing which way we head.
Luckily we have a civil service the rest of the world looks upom enviously. Don't we. Right?
"London calling, here are our votes… Europe: null points."