Sunday, June 26, 2016


The voters of the United Kingdom have had their referendum on whether to stay or go from the European Union and they voted to leave.

Or did they?

When the votes were counted only 72% of eligible voters had bothered to vote and of those 52% of them voted to leave.  By any measure that is not an overwhelming majority of the citizens of the UK who voted for leaving the EU.  As well, the vote broke along national, ethnic and age lines showing great divisions within British society.  In short the only thing this vote did was bring the divisions in British society into sharp focus. 

So, this thing is not over by any stretch of the imagination.  Like Canada the UK is a parliamentary democracy so referendums are nice but the final say will come from the UK House of Commons and the UK House of Lords.  If the vote on whether to stay or go would have been left to Parliament the outcome would have been much different.  Further the final deal to leave the EU will need to be voted upon by Parliament in order to ratify it and alot will happen between now and then.

The backlash against the Leave vote has already began and it will continue to grow, particularly when the nitty-gritty details of what leaving the EU means to the UK dawns on the British.  It will be a couple of years before any deal can be brought before the UK Parliament and this issue will dominate British politics for that entire time.  By the time any deal reaches Parliament things could be very different in the country.

Stay or go the impact on the EU will not be as dire as many in the media seem to believe. The United Kingdom has always been a reluctant partner in the EU, constantly demanding and negotiating special arrangements within the EU structure.  It has never really embraced the EU, preferring the benefits of membership while trying to reduce the responsibilities. Further the EU has always been a more continental arrangement and the two key members of the EU, Germany and France, will keep it going.  The other countries of the EU will follow their lead.  If you need any further proof of that I would point to Greece.  It has been thoroughly rogered by the EU in the last few years.  If there is any country with a case for leaving the Eurozone, Greece is it.  Yet they still continue to bend over and take it in order to stay completely within the EU.  All of continental Europe realizes that there is much greater advantage to maintaining the European Union, despite its many faults and imperfections, than to allow it to disintegrate and be required to go it alone.

Speaking of dire warnings in the media I would like to point out that they are mostly coming from the English media in the English speaking countries of the world, namely the US, Canada, Australia and Great Britain.  In other words, it is old and middle aged, English speaking, white guys who are implying that the EU cannot carry on without its English speaking partner.  As well, it was old and middle aged, English speaking, white guys who voted overwhelmingly for leaving in the referendum and they tipped the balance.

It should also be noted that it was this demographic that allowed the Stephen Harper Conservatives to win 99 seats in the last election, which is much better than he deserved and it is this demographic that has made Donald Trump the Republican nominee for President of the United States.  (And probably handed the White House, the Senate and the SCOTUS to the Democrats in the process.)

I have a message for these old and middle aged, English speaking, white guys, of which I am one.  

Our time of running the world is coming to an end.  Accept it.  We had a good run.  We ran the world for the better part of four centuries, a record that will probably never be surpassed and made ourselves very wealthy in the process.  However, simple demographics is changing all of that.  That and the actions of a bunch rich white guys who brought us Globalization which is redistributing global wealth to parts of the world where white skin colour does not dominate the landscape.  I am certain that many of those rich white guys are now regretting foisting Globalization on us because when they redistributed the wealth the beneficiaries of it began to use it to take more of that wealth for themselves, tipping the economic and political balance away from the white world to the non-white world. A trend that will continue and that cannot be stopped.  So accept it and adapt to it.

As an aside, I have a message to the under 35 set in the world.  The future belongs to you so you better get off your asses, step up, and do something to take countrol of it.  If you do not your elders will dictate your future for you.  I quote Plato at the top of this blog and there is a reason why I chose that particular quote.

The Brexit vote was just the beginning of a process of which we do not know the final outcome.  Alot of politics is going happen before that outcome is achieved.  However, I would bet a great deal of money that when this is all over things will be very different from what was conceived by the people of the UK and the world when this whole thing started.