Sunday, 1 September 2019

I've tried to stay quiet

About the bizarre 'buggers-muddle' to borrow an old English phrase, that has been Brexit.

For those who've not read the blurb that way & I'm an Austrian who has lived in the UK since 1 was 1 year old, so more than 57 years. Although I wish otherwise, my feeling is that Britain as a country will probably be socially stronger separate from EU, although it will likely hit people in their pockets and cause some severe hardship to the poorest. That's not the point though, and it would be much 'easier' for Britain to remain.

What is the point?

It's been a really odd journey to get to the point the british government is at today.

The first bit of stupidity was the referendum (not legally binding) that was set up with a poor set of choices and a failure to create a sensibly high threshold above which a popular vote to leave must reach in order for the vote to be meaningful. At least the PM who was responsible for such a situation 'fell on his sword', though I wonder if he should have been forced to stay in office until the whole mess was sorted out.

Perhaps such an obvious device as a threshold was ignored because the vote wasn't binding, except that it has been made so in political circles. The nature of politics is that those who fight through its mire are seeking any kind of weapon they can use, and this presented such a thing with a good sharp edge and a strong handle to swing it by.

The next bit of stupidity is what happened immediately afterwards.

In time of crisis political parties have often pulled together to work things out, thus I expected the 2 main parties to settle down and try to figure out the best way through. Not a bit of it. Apparently everyone in parliament decided they should do their own thing, and if not part of the presently ruling party then attempt to pull that party down, not helped by the newly selected PM deciding that she should call a general election, neatly losing most of the previous majority her party had.

So 3 years on Theresa May (probably a genuinely well intentioned woman, but apparently slightly inept politician) has been replaced by the less honest and distinctly wily Boris Johnson. He saw what had happened and decided enough silly-buggers had been played in parliament, therefore arranged things so that the UK would almost certainly be able to leave the EU with a no-deal hard Brexit - where we find ourselves now. I don't especially like what he's done, but admire the skill with which he's circumvented the efforts of those who were determined to just keep spinning out the who process with no possible chance of resolution.

I wrote the majority of this post a couple of days back.

We are presently sat in Gatport Airwick waiting for a plane.

Why mention this?

Our flight is delayed due, apparently, to industrial action* on the part of French air traffic control. The airport was relatively quiet when we got here at 9am, but at 11.35 it's full of people whose flights have been delayed. If you want a reason why Britain wants to leave the EU, never mind all the stories about darkies or polish plumbers taking jobs away, this is it. The British are different. The disease that allows people to sod-up the lives of others in arbitrary fashion has infected the UK a little, but it's still not really taken hold. In France it's the national pastime, and has been for generations. The Brits don't do corruption or green stuff like the Germans, graft and anarchy like the Italians and Greeks, laid-back lifestyle like the Spanish. On they whole they just try to mostly follow the rules without putting people out too much.

I can shrug my shoulders gallic style about the strike & delays, but this is the kind of thing that they see their European neighbours doing that hacks them off and makes them back Boris.

Is Brexit a good thing? I REALLY don't know, though I expect everyone will be a bit poorer as a result, at least in the short-medium term. I can see good reasons for both remaining and leaving, both come with a price and simply deciding to remain after all will come with a high price, not necessarily monetary, too.

Hope we don't have ANOTHER war here.

*Correction - apparently it was a computer failure, but my point remains and striking Frenchmen is sufficiently common, even normal, that it doesn't matter they were apparently working as usual on this occasion.

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