Saturday, 25 June 2016

Bottom Line, Democracy OR Breakaway Britain

[Update April 24 2017: A French (gay) friend emailed me today to say he would be voting for Marine Le Pen in the forthcoming French election. He feels as I do, that the EU is a shambles; its failure to come up with a fair, sustainable immigration policy as well as its having to bail out Greece and Italy, not to mention the Deutsche Bank reportedly being in difficulties points to an organisation unfit for purpose. So, no, I have no problem with my gay friend voting for an anti-EU candidate even though neither of us would normally support the National Front. He knows I believe Brexit will prove to be in Britain's best interests. Who am I to criticise any path to a potential Frexit?]

[Update April 25 2017: While I probably should not comment on French politics (!) my French friend and I are further encouraged by the fact that Marine Le Pen has announced she is standing down as leader of France's National Front Party, saying she wants to be above party politics and be president of a France for everyone, thus even further distancing herself from the policies of her father.]


I am (very) surprised, but also (very) pleased by Thursday’s referendum result here in the UK. I had expected the political Establishment to win. As it is, I believe it was an overwhelming vote for a democracy that has been slowly but surely undermined by a European Union that has become unfit for purpose.

Once we have a new Prime Minister in place and the Labour leadership question, too, has been sorted, our politicians need to put party divisions to one side and work together for cross party consensus on local reforms initiated by our leaving the European Union.

While I understand the concerns of many young people who feel an older generation has voted for a future they do not want, I remain convinced that future generations will thank us for this decision in the longer term. Even so, negotiating Brexit with the EU will require tact and diplomacy; any show of aggressive defiance will help no one.

Britain is more than capable of holding its own while sharing in a common good in the modern world. As for Europe, we should never forget that we Brits, too, are Europeans and - whatever political games our leaders so love to play - our continental neighbours are also our friends.

This poem is a villanelle.

(June 23 2016)

Whatever will be, will be,
(divorcing the Union);
three cheers for democracy

Though the forecast stormy
for breakaway Britain,
whatever will be, will be…

Playing on fears comes easily
to the everyday politician;
three cheers for democracy

Braving unchartered territory,
(conscience of a nation)
whatever will be, will be…

A disaffected voting majority
rising to the occasion;
three cheers for democracy

Its potential weighing heavily   
on a younger generation;
whatever will be, will be…
Three cheers for democracy
Copyright R. N. Taber 2016

[Note: See also ]

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