There are few sights more likely to stoke up the feeling amongst the UK Electorate that they “have had enough”, that they “are being ignored”, that “no-one understands nor cares” than a fully paid-up member of the Establishment Elite, be he or she a politician cosy in their London constituency or expenses-paid Westminster office, or a CEO or Chairman of Big Business cosy in assured Route One access and influence to those who make the rules, or a TUC grandee nestling into Transport House’s comfort zone (let alone an unaccountable, unelected Brussels Panjandrum threatening “punishment” or being “cut adrift”) patronisingly, in a “there there” sort of way, saying that they understand about fears around immigration, about the disconnect between the representatives and the represented, about loss of sovereignty BUT…………..
The “but” is never followed by an answer; there is no solution proffered, no meaningful reform put forward, just a “you don’t know what’s good for you and we do” response. “Just put up with it” is what faces people and they see no way out……and that is what next Thursday is all about.
It is no surprise therefore when, given their only chance to answer back for some 40 years, so many people vote for the underdog, vote for the little man, relish giving the Pompous Preachers from the Establishment a good kicking.
No answers, no solutions ……just a “we know best” attitude, and the carpet-bombing of Project Fear (especially when coming out of the mouths of overseas politicians) just stokes that particular fire.
If the Nation votes next Thursday to Remain I fear that the Establishment will just heave a collective sigh of relief, that the EU leaders and the Vested Interests that connect with them will quietly reflect that “we got away with that one” and life will return to the norm:- 520 million people being led by the nose, in Asia’s Century, backwards to an uncompetitive environment which will be incapable of generating the wealth to provide the healthcare, the welfare and the pensions for our grandchildren.
Only deep, meaningful EU reform can put this right. The “Business Plan” and the sacred cows of The Treaty of Rome which suited the post-war Europe of 1957 are not fit for purpose in Asia’s Century, and so much of the frustration of the Electorate is evidence of a sub-conscious appreciation of that fact. The people have had enough of watching the Establishment sleepwalk the EU towards impoverishment without the democratic means to stop them.
When I hear Messrs Cameron and Osborne say that a Reformed Europe is what we’re being asked to vote Remain for, when I hear Union Leaders say that with our continued place at the table we can bring about much-needed reform of the EU rules concerning free movement of labour, when I hear charities say that only by staying in can we change the rules to enable Developing Nations to create wealth by selling value-added produce on a tariff-free basis into Europe, I could weep. Who are we kidding?
Kicking the can down the road has been developed, from Berlin to Brussels and back again, into an art form. The monolith that is the EU is incapable of meaningful reform. Why would a French President vote to redirect money from wealthy French farmers to skill up the 50% unemployed youth of Greece (so that they can come to our Country with transferable skills to help our (and their) global competitiveness or stay in their own country and attract inward investment because of their newly-developed skills-base?) Why would the leaders of Southern Europe allow the value that can be added to commodity agricultural products from Africa to enrich the poor there by abolishing tariffs stay there and risk career-damaging wrath at home?
Staying in a reformed EU is attractive. But sadly the EU will not reform and our tiny seat at its table will make not a scrap of difference. So it is time, reluctantly in my case, to say “Enough!” and allow this fabulous Country of ours to be free to fulfil its potential in Asia’s Century and provide for our tomorrows and the tomorrows of our friends around the World.
Our Country’s relationship with the EU will change forever after the vote whichever way it goes; the status quo is not an option. Hitching the UK wagon today to a train in the reverse gear of relative decline in the globalised economy of Asia’s Century will do our grandchildren no favours as they seek to pay for healthcare and pensions when they are ninety five.
If we weren’t in the EU today, would I join it? No. If what was on offer was an EU reformed to give its population a real chance in fifty years’ time then I would. But it isn’t, so I won’t. And please don’t preach that Nanny knows best; the economic malaise of today’s EU is proof that she doesn’t. The Establishment Elite of the EU has failed the people and, next Thursday, the people have their say on the matter.