(This is an article I wrote on 26 June 2016 and that was first published in the Western News)
The British people have just said, in the slightly-altered words of the Stones’ old song, “E. U., get off of my cloud”. Thoroughly fed up with having their country run by faceless unelected bureaucrats in Brussels, who never stopped telling them what their own Parliament and Courts could and could not do, they have clearly told the EU and their own pollies that they want their country back.
Wouldn’t we say the same thing if more than 40 years ago we’d joined what we were told was a ‘common market’ of Asian countries, perhaps based in Jakarta, only to see it grow into a separate, powerful and undemocratic nation-state that slowly but surely took over all our rights and powers to protect and control our borders, our fishing grounds, agriculture, trade policy and foreign affairs to name but a few. And to top it all, that required us to allow unlimited immigration by any citizen of any of the 27 other member-states that wished to live here.
From the very start of the referendum campaign the Brits have had to endure the most intense bombardment of propaganda since the Second World War. It came from so-called ‘experts’ and ‘leaders’ – from President Obama down – who all warned, lectured and threatened them on the dire consequences they would suffer if they dared vote ‘Leave’. Well, none of these knuckleheads obviously knew a thing about the country that produced Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher. Like us, the Brits were never going to be intimidated, and by their vote they gave the perfect two-finger salute to the lot of them.
Of course there will be short-term turmoil on the markets. Bankers and financial institutions got their forecasts wrong and panicked. But that’s what bankers and financial institutions always do, isn’t it? After they have calmed down, they may begin to learn afresh that financial markets follow, not lead, the political facts of life. In this case the key political fact is that Britain has just voted to return to being an independent and self-governing nation. It is more than likely that the release of decades of pent-up frustration will spark a new entrepreneurial spirit in Britain that will prove all those prophets of financial doom and gloom to be about as accurate as the Flat Earth Society.
Finally a word about democracy. In practical terms it means accepting the will of the majority; abiding by the result of an election or referendum even if it doesn’t go the way you would like. Unfortunately the elite in Britain and Europe only accept democracy if it delivers the result they want. They’ve already started a movement to hold a second referendum and continue to describe all those who voted ‘Leave’ as “racist bigots” and “xenophobes”. Let’s be clear about one thing. In the Brexit debate immigration was only one of many subjects discussed. The terms “racist” and “xenophobic” have become the go-to slur of every cheap and dishonest commentator with no evidence to back up his or her claims. It is neither “racist” nor “xenophobic” to want your country to have the power to control unlimited immigration. It is common sense, and such offensive and unwarranted attacks on the motives of ordinary voters should cease.