St. George’s Day and a lesson from the French?

Last year I wrote this post relating to the patron saint of England, St. George. One year on and as Britain is stumbling forward through its self-inflicted exit from the European Union, I see little change in the mood of Little Britain, at least from what I read in the media.

Today, on the “other side of the channel” as we tend to call it, we saw the potential for a change in Europe as Emmanuel Macron finally gave Marine Le Pen a good run for her money and established that the center left candidate may actually stand a chance to win in a two-horse race for the Presidency for La Republique. Perhaps we will see a tide change and just maybe this will have a knock-on effect on the results of the snap election that Prime Minister Theresa May has called back in the UK. After all it may not be so much about St. George killing the dragon anymore but rather that the slumbering dragon, in the form of the disenfranchised populace who weren’t motivated to cast their democratic vote last time, will actually see that their opinions do count and turn up at the polling stations to make their mark.

Perhaps it is time for the dragon to roar…

170423_StGeorge.jpg
~Richard

Democracy inaction

 

Prompted by this article in the Evening Standard

160625_DemocraticInaction

One:

I didn’t think my vote would count

He mumbled the day afterwards

All I wanted was to make a point

And give Cameron a bloody nose

Now I look at the map

And see four countries where there was one

I don’t know what’s going to happen

I wish we could have a second chance

Two:

I didn’t think my vote would count

He mumbled the day afterwards

I thought it was in the bag

So I went to the pub instead

Now I look at the map

And see four countries where there was one

I don’t know what’s going to happen

I wish we could have a second chance

 
~Richard

Thoughts on Brexit

The Brits have spoken. In a closely run race, fueled by a combination of vitriolic rhetoric, hate-speech, fear-mongering and lies by both sides it appears that the population voted with their gut feelings, as that was all they could trust. Just over half the country will be rejoicing and just under half despairing. It would have been the same whatever the outcome.

This is democracy in action.

The stock markets, who thrive on uncertainty and fear, have plummeted as a knee jerk reaction, even though nothing actually changed overnight. Many people will have lost money and a small, but significant, few will have made a fortune in just a few minutes.

This is capitalism in action.

160624_BrexitThem
All of us always have someone to blame …

Britain, Europe and many other countries now face a period of navel-gazing, hand-wringing and reassessing their world view. What will be the final impact of this move? To be fair, the only thing for sure is we don’t know. This is uncharted territory as no-one has left an integrated community in this way.

The EU is (still) much more than a simple trading bloc; it is a mechanism of maintaining some sort of cohesion across a continent that has been war-torn for centuries. What will be the knock-on effect of Brexit – who can tell? Will others use the example of Brexit to foment grassroots anger and leave also? If nothing else the Eurocrats should, at the very least, take a moment to look at the way the EU machinery works – the unelected officials, bureaucracy and corruption. It’s time to ‘fess up guys and girls, realize you’ve been caught and do some house cleaning. Even a remain vote should have prompted this.

The idea of a united Europe is a noble one, but where did it all go wrong? Self-serving, greedy, narcissistic behavior from within – that’s where.

How sweetly ironic that similar characteristics were exhibited on Thursday by millions of voters on that small island off the west of the European mainland.
~Richard

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