June 23rd, 2016, is the new V-E Day for Britain. Actually, no, it’s not. In fact, they may never be truly free again. Their near-obsolete ‘freedom to choose‘ may be used one last time to forever close their painful chapter of individual liberty once and for all. [LL&TNPOS]
The Labour government of Britain, in April 1975, formally agreed to remain within the European Communities (EC), based on renegotiated terms that were adopted the previous month in Dublin. Then in June, because of one of the Labour Party manifesto promises, the British people were given a chance to provide a popular opinion on whether to stay inside the EC, or to leave. At that time 67% voted in favor of remaining inside the union. It was noted then that even if that referendum showed public opinion wanting to leave, since Parliament had already agreed to remain inside the union, the referendum results could be ignored.
Fast forward to 2016, and another June referendum is in progress; this time the union is called the European Union (EU). In 1975 the union was based on economic arrangements; by 2016 the union had experienced massive mission creep, and was now involved in all aspects of civil life, the economic ‘common market‘ component just one aspect amongst many.
From external trade quotas, to regulations on dairy farming, from the maximum wattage on vacuum cleaners to the legal action that can be taken against immigrant criminality, the EU in 2016 had become all-encompassing. The 2016 referendum therefore is much more consequential from a civil society point of view; everything that affects or can affect a British citizen is now subsumed into the orbit of the EU.
At this time, various polls show an almost 50-50 split between ‘Remain‘ and ‘Leave‘ supporters. Some obvious talking points [see here] are highlighted below:
- Membership net cost
- National culture
- National security
When all is said and done, Britain, or England, as you like it, was once a people united by the belief in freedom (our mostly inner experience) and liberty (our mostly outer experience). To the naked eye, leaving the EU, could provide Britons the following:
- Eliminate a $15 billion bill
- Trade on whatever terms with any country on earth
- Create national incentives to attract any overseas investment
- Control who comes into the county, and why
- Allow employment to follow free market principles (i.e. the industries people actually want will grow, then attract and demand the employment that is actually needed)
- Determine and encourage your own national culture, heritage and history, and attract immigrants who believe in it
- Just like immigration, control who comes into the country, and why
What’s more is the fact that this mission creep into all aspects of people’s lives would be eliminated; even if things get a little worse for a short time, you’re free! Your future is in your own hands! Isn’t it better to live poor but with freedom, than with handouts but as a slave? Apparently these are difficult concepts for the British today. They are literally in two minds about freedom and liberty. In 1945, they were pretty clear about the difference between freedom and totalitarianism. In 1975, they were decidedly unsure about Britain’s economic ability. In 2016, they seem almost ambivalent about what freedom (individual, economic or otherwise) even means. It just doesn’t seem to matter any more.
So what matters: give them a few pennies off their phone data plans whilst roaming on the continent and all will be well apparently [see here]. Just give them one last chance to choose, then we can close that awful and embarrassing chapter of their history when individual liberty and national pride where celebrated and meant something. This way, when they are seriously injured in an Islamic jihadist attack at a European point of interest, at least when they make that call to England it’ll cost just a little bit less.