Whether you voted to leave or remain within the EU the result of the referendum does provide our country with an excellent opportunity to have a deep think about where we are going.
I voted to leave, I did this because I wanted to live in a democracy. I also sensed that there was something not quite right about the EU or our own Parliament. To my mind we were heading in the wrong direction, making bad choices and repeating the same mistakes over and over because it seemed no matter which way we voted we ended up with the same people.
On June 23rd millions of us said we wanted change. Democracy triumphed over what many viewed as a globalist agenda and in the past few days our Parliament shows promising signs of waking up from its stupor and becoming what it should have always been, servant to the people of Britain rather than powerful interests.
However you voted on June 23rd we should perhaps accept that our relationship with the EU has changed forever, if Parliament ignores the vote it effectively ends democracy in this country and would in my view lose any legitimacy to govern. More practically I think the EU would be extremely reluctant to engage with a country where over half its population has clearly rejected them. That route would I think quickly spiral out of control.
I find it astonishing that having called a referendum the Government made no obvious plans for Brexit. It does appear to me that the establishment decided it wanted to run both sides of the campaign by choosing Vote Leave to lead for Brexit. This decision ignored both UKIP and Leave EU – two organisations that did go into the campaign with a plan for Brexit (Flexcit in the case of Leave EU). Both organisations enjoyed better connections with grass roots campaigners like me.
So we are where we are but we do need to go forward. Whatever we do there will always be an establishment, so perhaps it is time for a pleb to hold out his hand and say work with us, draw a line under Brexit and move forward with us and lets build a better future.
So for me a brighter future would need to consider some of these things;
First and foremost – reassure all EU nationals in this country that if we cannot get a deal they have permanent leave to remain – and do something to remove the tension from the lives of British ethnic minorities, tell them that they are valued and cherished and that they are the Queen’s subjects now not the EU’s. Forever.
I would like to see a foreign policy that does not involve dropping tonnes of high explosive on dirt poor Muslims and a re-assessment of our relationship with the House of Saud. Right now a Saudi blogger, Raif Badawi languishes in a Saudi prison with the threat of a thousand lashes hanging over him merely for doing what I am doing, sharing his thoughts. More generally a rethink on how the UN is run, the permanent members of the UN Security Council are five of the nations that were victorious in the Second World War. Is it right that they continue to have permanent seats? Besides, India, Brazil, Canada and Australia also fought alongside the allies – what about them?
I would like to see a policy on what a sustainable population level should be for these islands. Over sixty million people is to my mind too many people, we need to make some room for nature, so a policy to reduce numbers over the next few centuries would need to consider the appropriate level of immigration, tax and family planning strategies and the fact that we are living longer.
Constitutional reform is I think needed, not perhaps the sweeping changes that some want, I don’t think our system is that bad – but I would argue that going forward political parties should only be funded by their own members, does anyone seriously think rich people give money to political parties for fun? I also think a House of Lords with fewer non political appointees serving fixed terms would be a useful reform.
Control and ownership of the media is another area that needs attention, I think it unwise to allow one person or one organisation to own too many media outlets, in the case of the BBC it is downright dangerous and something needs to be done to shrink it back down to a less threatening size.
Finally we need to think about the banks and their current influence, their ability to create money and the enormous debts they have landed us with. I suspect one of the main causes of the dissatisfaction with the EU had more to do with the financial crisis, the way the banks are run and how austerity has fallen the hardest on the poorest. It is perhaps time to look at the ideas floated by Lord Turner on helicopter money and more broadly the wisdom of allowing banks to create money (technically credit – but that is for another day).
Some say the biggest risk to the country is a botched Brexit, I would argue our nation’s biggest risk is the same risk we had before we went into the referendum, our debt. A debt so colossal we have to face facts. We probably cannot pay it back.
Let’s not waste a good crisis.