I don’t want to see or hear another comment on a news website stating that the result of the Brexit referendum was an indication of a clear majority of the UK population wanting the UK to leave European Union membership.
The occasional online moron, who clearly have no access to a dictionary, have even been declaring it a ‘unanimous decision’ in favour of Brexit. The fucking cretins… for their information here’s a dictionary definition of ‘unanimous’:
1. in complete or absolute agreement
2. characterized by complete agreement: a unanimous decision
Alright? So it wasn’t a unanimous decision. In fact it was 51.89% in favour of leaving and 48.11% in favour of remaining on a turnout of 72.21%. So in actual fact, and in terms of the numbers of the British electorate in total:
37.46% voted for Brexit
34.74% voted to remain
27.80% did not vote
So in actual fact a little over a third of the electorate actually chose to take the UK down the tumultuous political river we’re now paddling – with little sign of any active paddle work.
Brexiters… you’re NOT in the majority. Admittedly a third of the electorate didn’t bother to turn out, for whatever reasons, but that clearly shows that a UK Brexit wasn’t a major concern to that third if they couldn’t be bothered to make their mark on the ballot paper. They were contented enough to assume everything would stay as it is.
Some of the commentary I’ve suffered via the media and in person displays a level of idiocy that defies reason. Thick as pigshit reasons for leaving the EU including, unbelievably:
“When we leave Europe they have to give us back all the money we’ve paid in since 1973.”
“I want Brexit because I don’t agree with all the money we give to corrupt African states.”
“Britain was great when it was an empire and I want Great Britain back.”
“Because the EU closed the coal mines.”
“We need to stop immigrants coming here to use the NHS for free.”
“We can get our own car industry back and stop being made to build Japanese cars.”
“I don’t like David Cameron.”
I understand the frustrations that some people have with the problems of the European Union. It is now, in essence, another neo-liberal political talking shop that has contributed to the problems ordinary people face today. But its origins were steeped in socially progressive communitarianism; controlling the excesses of unregulated capitalism and creating the cultural spaces for social and welfare reforms by levelling the playing fields of business between member states – primarily reinforcing the ongoing project to bring peace to a Europe that had warred for decades.
Following the increasing influence of Friedman free-market economics in the 1980s many of the interventionist policies have been reduced or destroyed and now we have an economic area that is essentially operating with the same predatory capitalist outlook as the United States of America.
These are the issues that effect the day to day lives of working people and these are the issues that need taking to task. The essence of working, and living, together as a borderless union of individually different states (with less overall integration than the USA) is a positive and not a negative thing. Despite having no customs borders, despite having the same money, despite having freedom of movement of people, nobody would say that the Spanish are the same as the French or the Greeks. All the states within the European Union have their own specific social and cultural identities. They have not been subsumed into a superstate of bureaucratic anonymity.
The idea of a greater over-arching community of individual states where each has its voice heard is a positive step away from the petty, divisive politics of narcissistic nationalism and it should be encouraged and returned to more fully.
The problems that this union has should be addressed, and I’m sure that they will be considering the still parlous state that the world is in economically (whatever politicians say we are NOT out of the financial crisis that hit the world initially in 2007/8); not to mention the impending problems of climate change that cannot be successfully approached without a united front. Leaving the union puts the UK in a position of weakness when it comes to these two most urgent issues; we cannot expect to be treated favourably by our nearest neighbours when we walk away from communal debate and action.
The European Union needs to instigate serious investigation, debate and action to address the issues that are fanning the fires of petty nationalist fractures and that can only happen from within by the members themselves who have a vested interest because of their membership.
If the UK is on the outside of the EU I think it will be the European politicians telling the British politicians ‘to whistle’ and not the other way around.
But what would I know – I’m just a bloody artist.