Just how bad is Britain?


The issue always missed is that Britain isn’t doing that badly in the world stage. Our status as a major economic power is holding up well. People want to come here because they see it as a successful place to be. Sure, that needs close scrutiny. The ‘rules’ made by Europe are largely positive additions to the country. I think I am blessed to live here, and have never wanted to live anywhere else.

There are challenges to how we live, for sure, but they are little as compared to most other countries. Since the end of the Second World War we have been struggling to recoup the damage of the conflict, and 70 years on we’re doing OK, global crises notwithstanding.

Our unemployment is very low (even though that hides some serious welfare contradictions). Our health service is under the cosh because of poor strategic management. We agonise about education all the time, but the only really menacing issue with that is just how much people are prepared to act in ignorance.

Fear of incomers is nothing new, either. It’s been a part of our national culture for centuries. As it is for pretty much every nation state.

I know that many Leavers are concerned about sovereignty, but again, this is mostly a smokescreen produced by people such as Messrs Johnson, Rees-Mogg and Farage et al. because they can see it as a way to their own grasp of power. Interestingly, as soon as our own Parliament is able to act as a sovereign state (i.e. to bring about Brexit) populists are getting angry that the people have spoken and so should be listened to. Get this: the people who we (the British Citizens) voted as our MPs are doing the work of the people. Not Europe.

There are some who are less capitalist, such as Jeremy Corbyn, who dislike EU because off its capitalist/commercial power, but all he is expecting is a change of focus from European capitalism to good old home grown capitalism.

Memes such as the one above are shallow and distracting. The sums are almost impossible to calculate, but they get bandied around without justification. Economics is not a science. It doesn’t produce theories, it simply reinforces opinions. And in my opinion, the European project is still developing, 70 years after it began. Our appraisal of history is so constrained by silly immediacy. 70 years is a blink of an eye. The reformation, begun 1517, still rumbles on. The two world wars of the past century were just bookends to 40 years of tension. Look at the big picture: Europe without unity is a time bomb.