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Once upon a time, I believed in the goodness of the human spirit and I rather naively believed that people would work together to solve common challenges — allowing humanity to triumph over chaos and that everyone, from the leader of the largest country down to the youngest intern, would eventually find themselves living in a de facto nirvana.
Boy, was I wrong!
Be Careful What You Teach Me!
It seems something’s been lost and I can sum it up thus; ‘I’m alright Jack, I’ve got mine!’ which seems to be the overriding imperative in this age.
No longer are people hardwired ‘to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem’ as they were in my generation.
Can you spot the difference between those two statements? Many can’t.
So it is with international relations these days where if ‘Country A’ wins, it automatically means that ‘Country B’ must lose. Such Neanderthal thinking!
Surely humanity has evolved beyond the brute ‘logic’ of the apes of the jungle where ‘Win-Lose’ paradigms are a fact of life and to ‘Lose’ means certain death?
But apparently not, for ‘Win-Lose’ paradigms are popular in certain circles, while more advanced humans employ ‘Win-Win’ thinking to solve their challenges.
It’s almost like there are two species of humans living on planet Earth in the early 21st-century; The intellectuals on the one hand who work the Win-Lose side of the street and the geniuses who work the Win-Win side.
You’ll recall a quote from your philosophy studies which comes from Albert Einstein who wisely said; “Intellectuals solve problems while geniuses prevent them.”
Ahem. Yes. Not too much of that these days, is there?
The other quote of note comes to us courtesy of former U.S. President Calvin Coolidge, who said; “Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.”
So its a mystery to those on the Win-Win side why Win-Lose remains so popular even as Win-Win is obviously a superior problem-solving method. Is it because ‘Genius’ thinking continues to be as ‘unrewarded’ as it was in the time of U.S. President Calvin Coolidge?
(Someone should fix that. Let’s call it what it is; Systemic Problem #1 on planet Earth)
Is that why some (political actors especially) default to Win-Lose paradigms in the early 21st-century — because there’s more profit in that?
If so, it’s only a matter of time before some madman decides the only way to ‘Win’ is to nuke everyone else and then ‘he’ and ‘his people’ can ‘Win’.
I’ll bet there’s a ‘scenario’ written in someone’s ‘playbook’ where that ‘instant-win’ is purported to be ‘the final solution’ for humanity.
I thought we outgrew that kind of thinking at the end of the Cold War — because those doing the heavy thinking at the time were ultra-responsible humans who knew that ‘law of the jungle thinking’ would eventually spell the end of life on Earth.
So, the question is; Are we as a species regressing to Win-Lose thinking?
“As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.” — Proverbs 26:11
Let’s hope not.
‘What’s This Got To Do With Brexit?’ You Ask
Well thank you for asking!
We were talking earlier about Win-Lose thinking, and how intellectuals employ Win-Lose ‘solutions’ to ‘solve’ present-day problems.
Meanwhile, others believe in ‘Win-Win’ solutions that work to ‘solve’ present-day problems and ‘prevent’ future problems.
“Intellectuals solve problems while geniuses prevent them.” — Albert Einstein (remember?)
Theresa May worked diligently (and naively) to solve present and future problems in the UK/EU relationship with a view to improving that relationship in the post-Brexit timeframe.
I wouldn’t call Theresa May a genius. But if a person worked hard to solve present problems and to prevent future ones in a Win-Win spirit of fair compromise, such a compliment can’t be too far off the mark.
Unfortunately, Theresa May (rightly or wrongly) felt she couldn’t trust many in the Conservative Party and therefore, she took the Brexit ball and ran with it by herself as far as she could.
Having been shut out of the process, Conservatives were unable to give their full support to Theresa May — and worse — the EU failed to see the brilliance of her Win-Win thinking; Thinking designed to solve present UK/EU problems and prevent future UK/EU problems.
I think Theresa May’s intentions were 100% admirable, naive… and worth a try!
Heroes Often Fail
Ultimately, Theresa May failed to garner enough support among Conservatives and other parties in the House of Commons — and the EU did its part to ensure her eventual failure by insisting on the Win-Lose backstop portion of the deal — a thinly-disguised attempt to grab Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom.
READ HERE AND HERE (skip to point #7 if you’re short on time) where I suggest that the EU needn’t try to steal Northern Ireland using diplomatic stealth, clever language and convenient circumstance to ‘take’ NI from the UK, because the British Royal Family (which owns Northern Ireland, having purchased those Irish counties outright from the poverty stricken Irish citizens at the request of the Irish government in the year 1800) should ‘give’ NI to the Republic of Ireland.
It’s just another form of genius the Royal Family should approve — thereby putting an end to the problem of too much blood spilled and treasure spent in the 19th, 20th, and early 21st-centuries — and to prevent future problems.
It’s been a black hole in successive Monarchs’ finances since 1800, and British taxpayers have paid billions in subsidies to help UK citizens living in NI, and thousands of needless deaths occurred there, and the RF, the UK government, and British taxpayers should be glad to be rid of the responsibility.
No more need to send billions annually to NI to support an economy on permanent life-support through no fault of the excellent Arlene Foster and her DUP colleagues! it’s merely the way the entire Northern Ireland economy has ‘evolved’ rather than being ‘managed’ since 1800. And, no more needless death, destruction of lives and property, people maimed by horrible weapons, and no more heartache!
And the blame for it rests on foreign operators who wanted NI for themselves for more than 219-years — even more evidence of Win-Lose thinking by mediocre people.
With Northern Ireland Handed to the Republic of Ireland There’s No Longer Any Need for the Hated Backstop Clause in the Withdrawal Agreement
Such thinking could solve every remaining problem between the UK and the EU.
- Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement (sans-Backstop) could then be approved and implemented by the House of Commons.
- The Political Declaration too could be approved and implemented by the Commons and UK and EU politicians could host plenty of photo opportunities to celebrate their brilliant solution.
- The Royal Family would be free of continued responsibility by virtue of ownership of the land of Northern Ireland, the UK taxpayer would no longer need to subsidize UK citizens living in NI — and even if UK GDP stayed the same — billions less would be spent to subsidize Northern Ireland — leaving billions suddenly available for Wales, Scotland and England. Not to mention the NHS.
- UK citizens living in NI would of course, under my proposal, be invited to move to Great Britain (and only if they actually did move to GB by 2021) they should be eligible to receive a generous moving allowance from the UK government. Even if those combined amounts equalled the annual subsidy paid to float the Northern Ireland government for one year — it would make it the last year of NI subsidies!
Well That’s All Good. Why Favour ‘No Deal’?
As a previous generation of UK politicians surrendered some amount of sovereignty to a foreign power which is clearly illegal under the UK’s constitutional framework, it means the UK ‘joined’ the EU illegally and therefore isn’t required to ‘leave’ the European Union as the UK was never a legal member of the EU to begin with.
That’s why the UK can’t enter into a legal agreement to leave that had no force in law to start.
ab initio: A Latin phrase meaning ‘from the beginning.’ A marriage that is ‘unlawful’ is ‘void’ — ab initio — as if it never happened.
Just drop off the key, GB, and set yourself free!
The UK Joining the EEC and the EC Was Legal; Joining the EU Wasn’t
Therefore, whatever arrangements were in place immediately prior to the UK illegally joining the EU would automatically be reapplied (EC rules and regulations) and be legally enforceable until such times as both entities (the UK and the EU) agreed to any subsequent changes in their relationship — which is why in a previous post I suggested an incremental negotiation process should take place going forward.
Therefore, the only negotiation of any immediate consequence is; How much time to give UK businesses to return to EC rules and regulations in place at the time of the illegal accession to the European Union?
It seems pertinent to choose October 31, 2019 in order to streamline the whole operation.
Does the Royal Family need to ‘Negotiate’ with the Republic of Ireland?
No. Under my proposal, the RF would notify the Republic of Ireland (now) of its intention to quit Northern Ireland by December 31, 2020. And that’s it. That’s all the government of the Republic of Ireland is entitled to by the present owner of Northern Ireland.
(Under this proposal) we’re ‘giving’ it to you, you’re not ‘taking’ it. Do you get that?
Maybe they don’t want it. Maybe they’ll give it to Steve Bannon. Maybe they’ll drive all their sheep up there and use it for pastureland. Who cares?
A Better Modus Vivendi
What matters is, this proposal is designed to end present problems and prevent future problems in regards to the sorry situation that’s existed in Northern Ireland for decades. Genius!
No longer would there be a need to send billions annually to subsidize Northern Ireland — and any NI residents who want to move to Great Britain prior to December 31, 2020 should receive generous funding from the UK government to relocate without losing (potentially) hundreds of thousands of pounds sterling. Genius!
There’s no need for a ‘Brexit deal’ as the original treaties allowing the UK to obtain EU membership were illegal for any UK government to sign, and therefore, as it was never a legal joining, let EC rules and regulations be reapplied from October 31, 2019 onward. Genius!
And forget about the never-approved but much-talked-about £39 billion exit fee. The UK was never a legal member of the EU and the UK paid much more to the EU governance architecture than it ever received. Genius!
If the UK and the EU ever decide they want a trade deal similar to the highly-regarded CETA deal with Canada, great! Until then, EC rules and regulations would continue to apply. Which, if UK politicians from a previous decade hadn’t erred, would have remained in effect all along. Genius!
The Emotional Context of the EU Election 2019
If you want to begin by discussing the result of the EU Parliament Election 2019 in an emotional context there’s certainly no problem with that here (I’ll try to keep the euphoria out of my voice!) as the political map in the European Union has changed dramatically in less than one week, causing panic among pundits throughout the EU.
It seems that some people in Europe are frightened by democratic elections and may lose enthusiasm for democracy when the election results don’t go their way — but when the results go their way they’re among democracy’s strongest proponents!
It’s the funniest thing to see when politicians, pundits, commentators and even normal citizens gloat about ‘how great and strong our democracy is’ when election results go in their favour — yet at the very next election when the result goes the other way, they shriek about ‘how our democracy is broken’ and those other parties need to be outlawed! Hehehehe!
You either have the courage of your convictions or you don’t. Hissy fits are uncool.
The one thing that adults must admit and understand is, that in a democratic system sometimes you get what you want and sometimes you don’t. The peril of democracy.
“Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” — Forrest Gump
Looking at the EU Parliamentary Election 2019 from a Practical Standpoint
Whether you’re pleased with the results of the EU election or not, one thing that must stand-out is that the EU runs a clean election. Not a word about election fraud, not one report of armed men taking over polling stations to prevent citizens from voting, and no candidate (to my knowledge) broke campaign laws.
A sincere ‘Well Done!’ to the European Union. That’s the way to do it.
On a related note, it’s another reason why EU election monitors are sought-after the world over particularly where elections are taking place in or near conflict zones, and in developing nations where democratic elections benefit from the assistance of a mature democracy to attain a clean (free from fraud) and safe election framework.
Even myself, as a Brexiteer (and notwithstanding that I hate the ‘black hole’ that is the EU budget, etc) admire the EU for being able to pull-off clean election after clean election, and it makes me happy to think that even after Brexit the European Union will continue to be the kind of neighbour any country would appreciate.
We all have neighbours we like and neighbours we don’t like, but in the post-Brexit world, the EU will remain a neighbour we like. May that ever be the case.
The Rise of Nigel Farage and The Brexit Party
In 1973, the UK joined the European Economic Community and a democratic referendum was held in the UK on June 5, 1975 that allowed Britons to approve/disapprove of that decision. British citizens voted to approve EEC membership by a comfortable margin. It must be noted that in joining the EEC the UK was not asked to give-up any amount of national sovereignty.
Subsequently, the UK was invited to join the European Union (the EU was a new entity as of January 1, 1993 and it replaced the old EC/EEC framework) and in 1998 the UK government did vote to join the then-recently formed EU. British citizens weren’t given an opportunity to vote on EU membership until 23-years later in June 2016, whereupon Britons voted to Leave the European Union. It’s important to note that in joining the EU, the UK did give-up some amount of sovereignty, and that under the UK constitutional framework that existed then (and now) it was (still is) something illegal that UK politicians approved.
At no time in all of this did the EU break any UK law. Rather, they merely asked the UK to join their union. Therefore, this is not an issue with the EU, this is an internal UK (House of Commons) matter.
In summary, the UK joined the EEC legally in 1973 and with the benefit of a UK-wide referendum in 1975 — but the UK joined the European Union illegally in 1998 and without the benefit of a UK-wide referendum to approve it until 2016.
It wasn’t until 23-years later that Britons were offered a chance to vote on the issue, and the first chance they got to vote on EU membership (June 23, 2016) they rejected it.
Illegally joining in 1998, and then forcing Britons to wait 23-years to voice their opinion on joining the EU, isn’t democratic enough in the 21st-century, no matter how much we love our EU neighbours!
All of this is what has led to the Brexit referendum, to the hiring of a ‘Brexit Prime Minister’ (Theresa May) and an election win by Theresa May (June 8, 2017) in an election where all major UK parties campaigned on a pro-Brexit platform.
Further, the rise of UKIP, and now The Brexit Party and their astonishing success in last week’s EU election from a party that’s only weeks old at this point, have resulted from errors made by a previous UK Parliament.
The Brexit Party won 29-seats — and that, without running any candidates in Northern Ireland, nor did The Brexit Party run candidates in every constituency in England, Wales, or Scotland. Amazing!
Had The Brexit Party run candidates in all constituencies, they might’ve captured as many as 60 of the 74 seats available to the UK in the EU Parliamentary Elections 2019.
The Future of Brexit
In the wake of EU Parliamentary elections, if UK Conservatives don’t now deliver a reasonable Brexit by October 31, 2019 they will lose the next election in the biggest political landslide in British history and may never form a government again.
The time for ‘talking about talking’ is over!
Likewise for Labour; If they’re seen to be obstructing Brexit, they’ll go down at the next election as never before. Other parties will simply take their place and both Conservatives and Labour will become unknown to a new generation of voters who demand responsive and accountable politicians in government. And that’s a fine thing.
Citizens Want Responsive and Accountable Politicians in the 21st-Century
At the next UK General Election the Brexit Party will run a full slate of candidates in the UK and win a majority government on a platform of delivering Brexit (and they will deliver Brexit!) while the Liberal Democrats will represent ‘Remainers’ and form the official opposition in the House of Commons. The Green Party is likely to make significant gains and take seats from the Liberal Democrats in the House of Commons.
British MP’s in 1998 pulled a fast one on Britons and then didn’t give British citizens a say on EU membership for 23-years — and having finally gotten a vote in EU membership they’re not about to give up their right to shape the country as they see fit.
Whether Brexiteers realize it or not, The Brexit Party exists merely to correct an historic mistake that hasn’t been corrected in all this time, and it will; Become the government; Fix the mistake once in power; And eventually merge with whatever is left of the Conservative Party in the post-Brexit era.
That is the way of things. And nothing can stop it short of an asteroid destroying the planet.
A wrong will be righted. And life will go on. Sans drama, one hopes!
Just to help you wrap your head around the scale of The Brexit Party win in the EU election 2019, I’ve posted this graphic courtesy of the BBC.
Please click the image to visit the original article where you can see some interesting charts that help to break down voter preferences.
EU election results May 27, 2019
Areas in BLUE are Brexit Party winning seats
Here is the Summary across the UK as of May 27, 2019 (10:00am BST)
Don’t forget to watch this short video with Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage discussing what might happen next in Brexit.
Congratulations to Nigel Farage and his team on their momentous win in the 2019 EU election!