British rationality and off-the-wall American press

Well, the Brits did it; they’ve created “fear, confusion, heartache” in Europe—according to the Associated Press. From London, its typists immediately interviewed immigrant victims because the Disunited Kingdom, previously known as the United Kingdom, decided to secede from the oppressive central European government in Brussels.

Amazingly, the UK didn’t need to kill hundreds of thousands of their own people to settle a nationally contentious issue as the U. S. government did here across the pond in the 1860s.

During the war of words about “Remain” or “Leave” there were no screaming, violent mobs  burning neighborhoods, stealing property and attacking police. After the Vote to Leave won the British people remained calm and rational in the land of our Founding Fathers.

The British Broadcasting Corporation reported a 72 percent turnout (out of 46.5 million voters). Fifty-two percent elected to Leave; mostly in England and Wales. The Scots and Northern Irish wanted to Remain.

There will be some political reshuffling and follow up work to straighten out the bureaucratic mess created by the European Union, but no one will die or riot and the world economy will continue to crank on despite some temporary fickle investor panic and angst by centralized European Union bureaucrats who will lose some of their power.

The AP reports a “tsunami of uncertainty” amongst hundreds of thousands of E. U. workers from other countries working in Britain who are “fearful and confused.” Its spreaders-of-fright wrote that the Leave vote “triggered financial turmoil around the world”—poppycock.

Stock markets “plummeted” last Friday. We haven’t seen a “3.4 percent” drop since, gee…last August; a cyclic thing that happens every few months—bosh and folderol.

The British pound currency dropped 10 percent (“lowest level since 1985), but national money values swing up and down daily. This too shall pass. Likely as not the pound sterling will rise again in the Empire.

Moody’s credit rating “downgraded the U K’s economic outlook from stable to negative” because of “uncertainty.” I wonder if Moody has looked at the nearly $20 trillion U. S. debt lately? Certainly, that’s unsustainable. Maybe we colonists should be “downgraded.”

AP typists also wrote that the Leave vote “caused an earthquake in British politics.” But that’s not the messages from the BBC.

Prime Minister David Cameron calmly announced he would resign. It was the right thing to do because he supported the Remain movement.

Former London Mayor Boris Johnson is “the favourite to get the job”—he led the campaign to leave the EU. In due time, Members of Parliament will vote for a new Conservative Prime Minister from two candidates.

The UK Defence Minister Michael Fallon said without fear “The prime minister goes on, the government goes on until autumn, until there’s a new leader and a new government…We’ll remain at our posts and we have a big agenda.” Stiff upper lip, and all that.

Matthew Elliot, chief executive of Vote Leave told the press that there was no urgency to speed the process: “best for the dust to settle over the summer, and during that time for there to be informal negotiations with other states.” Makes sense to sensible people.

The UK’s European Commissioner Lord Hill resigned his post in Brussels. A close ally of Prime Minister Cameron he said it was not right for him to continue; he sounds like an ethical and honorable man. He’ll be replaced by a “Latvian politician.”

Lord Hill will stay on to ensure an “orderly handover.” Although he was “very disappointed” he said, “You have to listen to the will of the British people.” Good show, jolly good show.

European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker accepted Hill’s resignation “with great regret” and “hailed him as a true European.”

And that’s the point of this vote. Most Brits don’t think of themselves as European, just as the Scots, Irish and Welch don’t think of themselves “United” with the English.

For hundreds of years these people have built national identities: revered histories, heroes and traditions; close bonds with kindred people; inviolable family and property relationships; solidarity in hard times and war; choosing those who run their governments; and the inalienable right to decide who should be allowed into their countries.

For better, or worse these values are not compatible with a huge bureaucratic central government in a remote location that co-opts their choices and interferes with their lives.

I must credit one AP article from Washington with a fairly balanced report noting that “The ‘Leave’ supporters argued that Great Britain’s economy would improve once it threw off excess regulation imposed by Europe and was no longer yoked to continental Europe’s moribund growth. This report quoted a rational Londoner:

“We have two governments, and we are being told what to do effectively by someone who doesn’t understand us at all…We have very little influence over this.”

Hear, Hear!


About R. E. Smith Jr.

Mr. Smith writes essays and commentary on politics, American history, environment, higher education and culture. He's been published in print media and at blog sites for about 25 years. Smith's formal education includes B.S. and M.S. degrees from the State University of New York and Syracuse University. He has earned a 21-credit hour Certificate in Professional Writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Training/work experience: NYS Ranger School; U. S. Army, Corp of Engineers; soil scientist and forester with USDA; Assoc. Professor at SUNY; real estate agent; small business owner.
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