Friday, June 24, 2016

It's not 1975 anymore (Brexit won!)

After all the dirt, the mud-slinging, the cheap shots, the inaccurate statements, the moot points being made throughout a campaign full of histrionics, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union on Thursday, June 23, 2016.
Mark that date on your calendar, folks. History has been made. Not only did Britain take back its sovereignty, but it was the remarkable undoing of a Prime Minister. Forty-one years ago, after having been in the European Economic Community for two-and-a-half years, Britain voted overwhelmingly to stay in Europe by a vote of 67-33 percent.
Today, fueled by an irate North of England and a fed-up Middle England, the Leave forces got a hard-fought, much-deserved victory. The final tally was Leave 52 percent, Remain 48, with a voter turnout of 72 percent.

Photo from The Daily Telegraph by Stefan Rousseau

The results were noteworthy in terms of how the different countries within Britain voted. Leave won in England fairly decisively, by 53 percent. In Wales, Leave matched the national average at 52 percent. In Northern Ireland, however, Remain won by 56 percent and it triumphed in Scotland by 62 percent.
Both Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland and Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish Independence Party leader, have said that the results demonstrate a need for separation from Great Britain. While it is true that Remain carried every constituency in Scotland, Leave did win in seven districts of Northern Ireland: Belfast East, Lagan Valley, North Antrim, East Antrim, South Antrim, Strangford and Upper Bann, and a razor-thin margin of defeat in Belfast North. Not so cut-and-dry as Sinn Fein would have us believe. Perhaps the only regrettable point about the EU referendum is that Sturgeon's case for a separate Scotland, whose population clearly wants to still be ruled by the EU, is justifiable. Expect another Scottish independence referendum in two years' time. Just consider, in 2014, Scotland voted to stay with the UK by 55 percent; the vote to stay in Europe was 62!
This morning, around 8 a.m., Prime Minister David Cameron resigned, noting, "The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered." In Cameron's defense, he gave the people of this country the chance to vote, to engage democratically on a huge issue of extreme relevance to our lives. Before the General Election of 2015, Cameron vowed to let the referendum take place after he renegotiated a deal for greater powers within the EU. After the Conservatives won that election, Cameron said again that he would honor his promise of holding a referendum, which was announced this past February after Cameron's talks with Brussels had reached their completion. And although he campaigned vigorously against leaving the EU, Cameron said he would invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty which provides for a steady but eventual withdrawal from the EU, although it appears he has decided to leave that job to the next Prime Minister which could well be Leave figurehead and former London mayor Boris Johnson.
In voting to Leave, the majority of Britons said no to this current government, which hasn't shown much of a spine and has delivered budgets that are bewildering in their dissonance. The majority of this nation also said no to big business and corporations whose agendas are not in line with our own. It is the small businesses, the real heroes of capitalism, that voted Leave and it is little wonder why.
Patrick Wintour of The Guardian wrote, in the wake of a successful Brexit result, "All the familiar points of authority in London society—Downing Street, big business, economic expertise, the foreign policy establishment—have been spurned by the equivalent of a popular cluster bomb." Damn right.
The people of Britain wanted to stop being dictated to and routinely threatened by an out-of-touch and out-of-control, bureaucratic establishment. We successfully grabbed hold of the Holy Grail of greater liberty and sovereignty over our own borders, our own affairs. As UKIP leader Nigel Farage declared this morning, "We've got our country back."
In fact, many analysts predicted that in the wake of a Brexit, more EU member countries would start the ball rolling towards leaving the Soviet-style bloc themselves. That is indeed what has happened. Marine Le Pen has promised a "Frexit" should her National Front do well in the French presidential election next year. Geert Wilders of the Netherlands' Freedom Party congratulated the British and endorsed a "Nexit" campaign. Mateo Salvini of Italy's Northern League has thanked Britain, said Leave voters had courage and said of Italy, "Now it's our turn." The Swedish Democrats, too, have spoken positively of a possible "Swexit".
Americans have July 4 as their Independence Day. The British finally have one: June 23. As a British citizen since April, I was proud to play my part on this date of historical significance and to have had the chance to officially have my say. It's a wonderful time to be a Brit. I haven't felt this proud or this psyched since my beloved Boston Red Sox won the World Series in 2004.
As Farage noted, "We have fought against the multinationals, we have fought against the big merchant banks, we have fought against big politics, we have fought against lies, corruption and deceit." That's a wonderful feeling, mes amis.
The Remainiacs, meanwhile, are not happy campers. They've started a #NotInMyName campaign that is currently trending. One poor sap wrote: "Don't think I have ever felt more depressed about the future of this country than this morning." Harry Potter series author J.K. Rowling wrote on Twitter: "I don't think I've ever wanted magic more." Calm down, dearies. Just drink some more Kool-Aid and everything will be alright.
Personally, I'm happy that the real globalist-embracing lunatics lost this battle: Barack Obama, Jean Claude-Juncker, Angela Merkel, George Soros, et al. One major battle won, one more to go. Roll on November.

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