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Number Crunching

67% – Proportion of UK electorate who voted to remain in the European Economic Community in 1975 in a referendum.

22% – Proportion of UK electorate who would definitely vote to remain in the EU were a similar referendum held now.

40% – Proportion of UK electorate who would probably vote to stay in EU were a similar referendum held now.

51% – Proportion of UK electorate who would probably vote to leave EU were a similar referendum held now.

Source: ICM poll commissioned by The Mail Telegraph The Guardian

Actually, I take no pleasure in this at all. Those at the vanguard of the Euro- sceptic lobby are the self same type of eejits who want the return of fox hunting and the death penalty. I would actually quite like to be pro EU, as such a concept of international cooperation and fraternity suits my liberal view of the world.

However many years ago I noticed that the EU seemed to be based on a whole series of summits where no one could agree on anything.

After each one there would be briefings and statements from the various leaders which made one wonder if they had indeed been party to the same discussions. The impression given in photo calls was a unanimous one. A unanimous smile through collective gritted teeth.

I’m quite old fashioned in that I think that effective government is probably better situated quite near the location of the population affected by its legislation and decisions

That’s not to say that national governments should not cooperate and agree – of course they should, but what is the most likely route to that agreement?

In the housing estate where I live there is a Residents Association. At meetings, residents come along and discuss the various matters which concern them and in the main, can usually (indeed always) settle on the way to go by debate and discussion.

I sometimes wonder what the spirit of cooperation between residents would be like if there were connecting corridors built between each house, members of each household were free to come and go as they pleased and that everyone’s pay was credited to a single bank account.? If one household got into financial problems largely through not sticking to agreed rules and regulations, the others would rally round and bail them out.

It wouldn’t work.

Neither I’m afraid does the EU or the single currency.

The UK electorate it seems has woken up to that fact.

The mainstream parties have to get a handle on this soon, otherwise that jolly old jackass Nigel Farage and his UKIP cronies will continue in their untroubled ascendency.









5 Responses

  1. Well, it generally works in the USA, but the analogy is far from perfect. And of course there are always people talking about seceding. 🙂

    • Yes Jeni the comparison is often made. However, at the end of the civil war there was a pioneering spirit and a new nation was the logical outcome. There was a necessary process to decide a common currency, language, federal law and the only cultures were the various ones inherited from the old world.
      I wonder how things would have worked out though had there been six of the world’s top economies in amongst those states? and that they had their currencies, language and laws all worked out to the reasonable satisfaction of their various populations over centuries? and a centuries long history of rancour and war amongst them?

  2. Well, our first attempt to organize ourselves after the revolution (Articles of Confederation) was not successful, it took a while to sort out things like currencies (and there are some today who want to trash the whole thing and go back to gold), we still don’t have an official language (much to the annoyance of some), and we had to fight a civil war four score and seven (or so) years later, the repercussions of which are still felt nearly 150 years later.

    But yes, it’s an imperfect analogy for many of the reasons you point out. An awful lot of change in a very short period of time with no apparent Plan B.

    Still, it’s not like Europeans are the only ones affected by all this. Take pity on the crossword puzzlers of the world who have had to get used to words like “former” and “erstwhile” appearing in definitions referring to certain currencies. 😉


    • The route of all evil.
      Or something like that James..
      I get the impression with the hunters that chasing the scented rag is a bit like masturbation for them. Ach! good enough eh?

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