UK: Democracy finally wins
Perhaps this is the beginning of the end for the UK's Blustery Buffoon, or the end of the beginning of the Brexit process. Whatever, finally, democracy wins in the UK. Next step? Revoke Article 50 or a Second Referendum.
The United Kingdom has just stepped back from the brink of a national catastrophe. A media blackout of the truth, the full consequences of any sort of Brexit in any way, shape or form, which would have left the population incensed, has left the British people as a rule disinterested, tired of Braxit and many wanting the government "to just get on with it". If they knew the full implications of that, and especially a No Deal scenario, they would be out in the streets.
Let us not belittle the Brexit dream
Let us not belittle the Brexit dream, let us take a look at it collectively. There was a time when Britannia ruled the waves and a quarter of the world was painted red on the map, as British bureaucrats implemented the British way of life overseas, massacring those who resisted, shooting "natives" in the whites of the eyes and civilizing them with the Bible and the Bullet. Then they complain about the EU.
For people nostalgic of this monstrosity, which left 97% of Indians illiterate after 300 years of "rule", there followed the Great British Victory in World War II, only they and their media seem to forget the massive aid from the United States and the huge sacrifice of the Soviet Union, which lost 26 million souls causing 95% of the Wehrmacht's casualties.
In times of crisis and without exception, Britain has always called on allies, sometimes the Gurkhas in battle but always European partners, Russia twice when the going got tough, and other nations at different times. Its alliance with Portugal since the Treaty of Windsor in 1386 is a prime example of Britain's partnership with Europe, which began with pleas to Rome to send legions to fight off attacks from the east and the west in the time of the Venerable Bede.
Brexit could never succeed
And this is the underlying reality that the Brexit Dream cannot surpass, for Brexit is a Quixotesque dream about one man going it alone fighing windmills and looking for unicorns in the bushes. It's about Britain sticking the middle finger up at its European friends and allies and searching for some great trading quest in far-flung former colonies. When asking an Australian opinion maker about the possibility of wonderful trade deals with Pommies, he replied: "Mate, we can see Indonesia from Darwin, that's where we are today".
The best trade deal the Brits could do would be a one-way pat-on-the-head "special relationship" deal with Trump, along with chlorinated chicken in a drop-your-pants and close-your-eyes, here-it-comes type of deal which would benefit the USA hugely. The UK would wake up the next morning after the Big Party with its pants round its ankles. "Cor, the Bourbon doesn't taste that bad but you can't sit down for two weeks after drinking it!"
Nobody in their right mind is going to queue up to do special deals with the UK which go against the interests of the EU because there is something called reciprocity and nobody does more business with the UK than with the EU. It's four hundred and fifty plus million sales against a paltry 66 million. Numbers speak volumes and in today's world this is exactly the reason why from Latin America to all regions of Africa to Central Asia to the Far East, all countries are locked together in large trading groups, with rules and fees like any club.
What goes against the grain fails
And this is why, going against the grain, Brexit is nothing more than some kind of pipe dream. What it hopes to achieve are pie-in-the-sky fantasies like a 17-year-old fawning over his music teacher, a Miss Flat, when he gets into bed then finding out the next morning that she is married. To another woman.
What the UK aims to do is leave the squash club, stop paying the fees, then pay to play squash, which is more expensive. When you are a member of a trading block, you pay administrative fees to open up the market to your trade, which you then conduct for free. There are rules of course but those who do not wish to follow the rules are criminals by definition, spivs, wide-boys, sharpers...
Leave the club, you keep your administrative fee, a one-off, short-term gain. Then the fun and games begin. You then have to pay for access to sell each and every product you export and to buy each and every product you import. Those of us who have lived through several political and economic waves in different countries know very well what comes next. The markets take advantage of any half-reason to raise prices and when government ministers admit, as happened this week, that "some food prices will rise" ("will" not "might possibly") it means that all food prices will double, then triple in a second wave.
The inevitable effects of any kind of Brexit
Paying for what you enjoy today for free means that the profit margins will decrease, "will", not "might", meaning you export less, you pay more for imports, companies go bust because their margins are squeezed, this causes massive unemployment among the traders, among the factory workers, it causes misery among the families of the unemployed, a generation of people who feel disenfranchised, marginalised, confused and unwanted. This in turn means less income through taxation and more social benefits payments, and so worse public services and communities in crisis. This is the inevitable result of any sort of Brexit.
Now compute into this the mindset of Boris Johnson who promised in his inaugural speech to "BoJo" the country forward, or some such expression, meeting a wall of silence, even if this meant a no deal. It's like saying OK we might at the end of the day make a pact with the Devil but we'll try not to and hey let's waste a hundred million "quid" of taxpayers' money to get the country ready for it. In other words, we say we don't want it but it's coming.
Get ready for unemployment, hunger, delays in medicines and food, the pound collapsing and trillions haemorrhaging from The City?
The elitist clique of toffs have hijacked the Conservative Party
To cap it all, the Conservative Party has been hijacked by a right-wing, elitist faction, the right-wing third of the party which other sensible Conservative leaders have been trying to keep under control, and here lies the beginning of Brexit, as Cameron called the bluff of this group and their allies in the Brexit Party of Nigel Farage (ex-UKIP) with his badly-planned referendum. And lost.
And to cap it all, Boris Johnson has outraged the country, his party and the psyche of the British nation by trying to side-step Parliament and more incredibly, to purge his party of dissenting voices. Those who are afraid of an opinion are worthless.
So the Boris Johnson Side-Show, something akin to SideShow Bob of the Simpsons, has run its course. Like an Uncle who breaks wind at family Christmas get-togethers, it gets boring and what is worthless, runs out of steam.
Yesterday in voting against the Government, Parliament set the stage for taking No Deal off the table. Quite how a Government or a Prime Minister could postulate such an outcome, which all agree would be hugely damaging to the United Kingdom, seeing it break up and divide in civil unrest, huge hikes in food prices, lack of supplies, unemployment and no hope for the future as the trading chickens do not come home to roost, is staggering and is a clear indication of the irresponsibility of this bumbling, blustery buffoon posturing as Prime Minister and his sickening gang of disrespectful toffs who seem to think they are worth squat.
Now to go just one step further. For Parliament to understand finally that 70+ per cent of people in the UK want no Brexit at all. They now understand the implications, the Referendum was illegal, floored and does not represent where the people are today.
Inside the EU, the UK can fight to make changes, altering conditions which are unpopular, continuing to trade for free with its main trading partners, and to strike its deals around the world, which it can do within the EU. So what are they talking about?
Watch this space, do not trust Bojo and the Toffs
Conclusion: Let us see how this plays out. In a civilized country, the desire of the representatives would be respected. But let us remember that Johnson and his toffs are from a social echelon in the UK which is different from anywhere else. They are charicatures of the Bullingdon Club type of person, born with a silver spoon stuck up thier ass, no respect for anyone, classifying anyone non-white as a "darkie", doing what the hell they want because "Daddy will foot the bill". So do not expect them to respect anyone or anything but themselves and their pockets, of course. After all, ask yourself who benefits from Brexit. Not the people, for sure.
Photo: By James Gillray - Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, LC-USZC4-6861 (color film copy transparency), uncompressed archival TIFF version (50 MB), color level (pick white and black points), cropped, and converted to JPEG (quality level 88) with the GIMP 2.4.5., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4387253
Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey works in the area of teaching, consultancy, coaching, translation, revision of texts, copy-writing and journalism. Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru since 2002, and now Co-Editor of the English version, he contributes regularly to several other publications in Portuguese and English. He has worked in the printed and online media, in daily, weekly, monthly and yearly magazines and newspapers. A firm believer in multilateralism as a political approach and multiculturalism as a means to bring people and peoples together, he is Official Media Partner of UN Women, fighting for gender equality and Media Partner with Humane Society International, promoting animal rights. His hobbies include sports, in which he takes a keen interest, traveling, networking to protect the rights of LGBTQI communities and victims of gender violence, and cataloging disappearing languages, cultures and traditions around the world. A keen cook, he enjoys trying out different cuisines and regards cooking and sharing as a means to understand cultures and bring people together.
Many in Europe believe that the United States cannot be trusted after four years of Donald Trump's presidency