Friday, 24 June 2016

An uncertain future

The country woke up to the news that the public had voted to leave the European Union. Already this morning there have been a number of developments as a result of the Brexit victory.

David Cameron resigned as Prime Minister (though won't actually go until October) and Boris Johnson (unsurprisingly) has put himself to the fore despite not formally announcing a challenge. Many people will wonder why a general election hasn't been called since this is a major defeat for the government, but there's going to be problems enough for this country without dragging more uncertainty.

Jeremy Corbyn appeared on TV looking lost and haggard with no real answers to the questions being put to him, almost throwing one of his now legendary tantrums when pressed by the host. We were told Jeremy was a basically "nice man" but from what we have seen thus far this doesn't seem to be the case.  Unless you are one of his fawning fans who dote on every word he utters.

A challenge to his leadership has been brought forward by retiring MPs Margaret Hodge and Anne Coffrey neither of whom will be concerned about deselection threats before th next election since they won't be standing.

The Labour civil war will continue unabated whilst nearly all of them will ignore the reasons for the Labour vote going against them in the referendum. Corbyn was only part of the problem. He just didn't care for the EU and it showed despite his formal adherence to the "Remain" camp and as a result despite the efforts of rank & file members the message did not only not get across. It was ignored.

The other and unsurprising outcome was the rewed call for another Scottish independence referendum. All the main parties got wiped north of the border and nationalism has grown, not abated since the SNP's last effort. Given the Scots voted to stay it's probably a foregone conclusion that Scotland would vote for independence this time round.

There is a need to address the "elephant in the room" which was responsible more than anything else for the No vote. Immigration.

If any single act finally put the nail in the coffin of Britain's membership of the EU it was Angela Merkel's decision to open Germany's borders. The sight of a million or more people marching across Europe caused not just a reaction in Eastern Europe but here as well.

Problem is no-one except the real xenophobes really addressed the problem and all attempts to discuss the issue of immigration in large numbers met with either silence or wild eyed cries of racism. However people were and are concerned. The expansion of Europe (which was too fast in my opinion) had already brought in countries and economies that clearly were not ready for membership but also fears of migrants here. Add to this the wave from the Middle East and people's concerns were met with silence from the establishment.

Labour included.

People right asked why the other Arab and Muslim countries were not doing more to help these people. Saudi Arabia had a huge ready built and working camp for thousands up thousands of pilgrims going on the Haj. But they proved to be more concerned with their political control of the Islamic pilgrimage than helping refugees. So much for the charitable nature of their Islamic religion. No different to any other "politicians".

And so control of our borders became a central issue. Rioting in Calais and elsewhere did not help matter. The Labour vote turned quite clearly in favour of ending mass immigration. 

Yet Corbyn, the left and even the "Blairites" remain in denial.

It will take time for us to leave the EU (two years apparently) and for the economic situation to stabilise but our political system has undermined itself. Cameron has gone. Corbyn should join him. The political future is uncertain but the politics of the old ways have failed us.

Time to meet that challenge.

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