Brexit, Sun & Glorious History
The Brexit/Sun case makes a lot of how we should return to the golden age of Free Trade. They say the EU is a brake on our sovereign right to keep the world at bay and they play on people’s fears of being swamped and losing their Great British identity.
It’s time they came clean about a couple of key facts.
The first is we were the original architects of globalisation and the South West is full of the icons of that era from Drake and the Golden Hind to SS Great Britain and the Brixham trawler. We ruled the waves and backed it up with bullying “gunboat diplomacy”, famously forcing our lucrative heroin trade on a resistant China.
Second fact is we created mass migration by moving people around the globe to suit the demands of our imperial economy.
Brexiters are right about it being a glorious era in our history. It put the Great in Britain, but it didn’t last because globalisation and mass migration create huge problems as well as prosperity. Without mechanisms for negotiating conflict our so-called glorious era led to two of the world’s most devastating wars, 1914-18 and 1939-45, and many of our parents and families (here and across the world) paid the ultimate price.
The EU filled that need and has presided over decades of peace and prosperity. It can be cumbersome and frustrating but it is not the real cause of popular dissatisfaction, just a convenient and easily caricatured vehicle. People are suckers for scapegoats and the Brexiters have been quick to fan the flames of their resentment, but anyone investing their future in a pipedream of the past needs to wake up and get real. European cooperation and coordination is not a cherry to pick and choose according to mood. It is an indispensable part of our shared platform for a sustainable future.
And as for any loss of sovereignty, look back at the moments when our parliamentary decisions and constitution were compromised - - after the War and in the oil inflation of the mid 70s, both times when we were bankrupt and forced to go cap in hand to the US and the IMF. In other words, when our economy was bankrupt and we had to be bailed out, like Greece.
Vote to Remain and honour the life and values of Jo Cox.