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NEWSLETTER NO 158

Friday 24 June 2016

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This week:

Highlighting news stories important to the Civic Republican view,
particularly those that are overlooked or little covered in the main media.

All these newsletters will be catalogued on the website


EUROPE

  • The Day Vision Triumphed Over Fear

Peter Kellow, DRP Leader, writes


Courtesy Sky TV News

BLISS IT IS ....

In last week’s newsletter I wrote

If the British people vote Leave next Thursday they will show a confidence and determination that will create inspiration and joy in the hearts of millions not only in Britain but throughout Europe.

It will be a magical day of optimism and courage - with a touch of revolution. The cheers will ring out through the land.
We could even pardon ourselves for taking gross liberties with some lines of one of our greatest poets

"Bliss will it be in that dawn to be alive, 
And to witness Brexit - very Heaven!"

And so it is! The dream has come true!


Within the closed world of domestic British politics this optimistic message has yet to emerge into the daylight. But it will once we have people in charge that energetically supported Brexit.

All the major British political parties (“major” meaning according to elected MPs), Conservatives, Labour, LibDems, SNP and Plydd Cymru supported Remain revealing a gulf between them and the British people.

Only two British parties have policies that aligned with the will of the British people – UKIP and the Democratic Republican Party – both minority parties, admittedly one more minority than the other.

The big qualification to that observation must be that within the Conservatives there are some big guns that supported Leave – and it is these people that will now step forward to lead Britain into its new future, free from Brussels dictate.


THE REGIONS

The SNP still have acute relevance in Scotland, but Plydd Cymru is so far adrift from Welsh feeling that its authority has been radically undermined

Everyone is remarking on the regional disparities. And what is clear is that Scotland and London are chiefly responsible for the 48% showing of Remain.

It is entirely reasonable for Scotland to stand apart – it is a separate region by reason of geography, history and culture. This is not so with London

The reason why London stands out as different from the rest of England in the voting is because for many years, even hundreds of years, England has become more and more centralised around London – to the neglect of the English regions. The referendum graphically highlights this fact

If we separate out London from the rest of England the results for those voting Leave look like this

.
Percentages Voting Leave

England without London was the heaviest voter for Leave with 55% voting that way. London and Scotland polled 40% or less in favour of Leave

If we accept the fact that London’s support for Remain is down to the artificiality of the centralisation of Britain in its favour, then we have every right in an analysis of the results to play down its importance. The capital should not be separate in this way from the rest of the country. Sensible regional policies (such as the DRPs policy of federalism) would reverse this centralisation and thereby reverse London’s exceptionalism as we saw in this referendum


ECONOMICS

The London orientation has been expressed vividly by the comments so far on the economic effects that Brexit seems to have brought already. On the BBC coverage during the night there was early on a focus on the plunging value of the pound

It was universally accepted by everyone on the TV that this was a bad thing. Not one person I have heard has pointed out the obvious benefits that a lower pound will bring

The reason why no one sees this is that these benefits will accrue above all to those parts of the country that actually produce things – or at least try to against a hostile environment created by the centralisers in Westminster and the City of London

If the pound stays low then British exports with rise and British imports will fall, creating more employment for producing companies

This obvious fact has so far been completely lost on the economic and political commentators. All they can see is the screens going red that the City shows them as if this was a tragedy

And the fact that a lot of this fall is due to speculation is not remarked on. The pound may have fallen but this is because those traders awake overnight have been shorting the pound hoping to cash in short term gains.

The City commentator on the BBC never referred to this fact, simply taking the figures as reflecting true sentiment of the market - not minute by minute speculation

Behind this concentration on the City view of the world lies the endlessly repeated myth that the City of London contributes a lot to our GDP. But bank and financial figures for “production” mean virtually nothing as they are determined by trading volumes not by production of real goods. Overall the City is very expensive to the British people

It costs jobs by emphasising financial trading against trading of goods and services. And it is a giant vehicle for sapping the wealth of the country by zapping funds abroad, often to tax havens like Luxembourg (this will happily be more difficult outside the EU) and our very own Her Majesty’s tax haven, the Caymen Islands.

A major bad effect that will result from the falling pound (but will delight the City and its friends in government) will be the influx of money to buy up property that will now be cheaper to foreigners and so an already obscenely over valued housing market will be pushed higher still

What should happen is that all foreign originated money should be prevented from being used to buy UK property. This should have been done years ago but now it is desperately needed as long as the pound stays low. Although it must be added that a low pound is a temporary affair.


DAVID CAMERON

You might say that David Cameron, when he called the referendum if the Tories were re-elected in 2015, made a courageous decision. He put his career on the line in order to give the people a chance to express their voice on the EU

But we know that he did not expect to have a majority in 2015 and assumed the Coalition would continue. He could thus blame the failure to hold the promised referendum on his LibDem partners who would definitely have censured it.

This was a bad error of political judgment but not the last one he made. Having called the referendum he had every right to stand back from the resulting campaign and let others make the arguments. This would have put him in a position of being able to continue as Prime Minister whatever the result

His decision to get stuck in, often with derisory arguments, sealed his fate in the event of a Brexit.

He has resigned and with him will go a lot of his government chums – notably Chancellor Osborne who has made a fool of himself with his ridiculous claims and prophecies during the campaign. His credibility as a finance minister is now completely shot.


OTHER PARTIES

Cameron is losing his position as prime minister, just when the Conservatives are set to become virtually the only party with potential to govern in England and Wales

The Labour Party by backing Remain has ruined its essential constituency of support in the more industrial regions of Britain. Diane Abbot said in 2015 that Nick Clegg has “trashed the brand” of his party, the LibDems. It is not far off the truth to say that Jeremy Corbyn in drifting so far away from Labour supporters’ sympathies and worries has done the same thing for the Labour Party

The LibDems having led the way in brand trashing now have suffered a total humiliation by the electorate. Liberal Democrats leader, Tim Farron, has said he is "devastated and angry" at the EU referendum result. That is to say, he is “angry” with the voters for not agreeing with him. Perhaps no one has told him, but in a democracy, you never get angry with voters. People will now dessert the party in droves.

The LibDems now cannot turn things around for themselves. They face total wipe out

It might be thought that UKIP will now move centre stage. Their key policy has been vindicated. But it has also been achieved. So where can they now go. All credit to them for a decades long fight, but they will not be the beneficiaries

And Nigel Farage made a huge blunder when we made a victory speech at 4 am this morning saying that the referendum result was a victory for “decent people”. That comment will be hung around his neck for he in effect accused those who voted Remain (nearly half) of not being “decent” instantly alienating half of the electorate.

The victory in the referendum will not translate into victory for Farage and his party. Unfair perhaps, but true


BORIS JOHNSON

Politically the real victors coming out of the referendum are the Brexitteers within the Tory Party.

With the other parties nowhere to go, they are the only show in town. And it is difficult to see how that could change before the next General Election which at the latest must be 2020, but now could be called any time

Step forward, Boris.

He put his career on the line for Leave, and his impassioned speeches in the campaign evidenced his complete sincerity. The fact that he hesitated before going against his leader shows loyalty not lack of conviction

And he is potentially a healer. He has popular appeal, no doubt more because of his buffoonish public image more than his politics, and people will give him a chance and rally behind him.

He will be elected leader of the Tories when Cameron stands down in October.

I will be very surprised if he does not call a snap General Election to seek a fresh mandate, which with the disarray of the other parties being as I have described, he will get. Big time.


GOING FORWARD

British politics may look messy in the wake of the referendum but it will be knocked into shape as those with no relevance sink into obscurity, those who failed to understand the British public will pay the price.

Once Boris is in the driving seat with a fresh mandate from his party and from the country, the landscape and furniture will be rearranged. We will turn a page once and for all and there will be no going back

As I have said the disgruntlement in the City and the capital (of which Boris was elected Mayor let us not forget) should be ignored. The Scottish will discover that life outside the EU will go on better than before. Talk of a new Scottish independence referendum will come to nought.

And so the country can move forward with a degree of unity. The European issue has been settled. Everyone accepts that


THE WORLD STAGE

In spite of all the negativity around, Britain is now is an unrivalled position of strength in Europe and in the world

It is the EU that is now on the back foot, not Britain. We have settled the matter of EU membership as no other country has.

What will now happen on the continent is difficult to predict in any detail for there are so many different countries – all with different agendas and politics

But the EU will now suffer questioning like it has never done before. A referendum in another country will certainly be triggered and this will open up the scenario of EU disintegration which will be plain for all to see

This weakened EU will be balanced by a stronger Britain. It may not be much of an exaggeration to say that there will henceforth be two roughly equal major players in European politics – Britain and the EU

Our economy will grow if we take the right decisions and attend to the regions and reverse the London centralisation. Agriculture, fishing and industy are all well placed to benefit. If they do not then that will be the fault of the government

In spite of the City of London’s moans, the City is now in a better place to challenge other financial centres, notably Wall Street. One of the reasons that the USA favoured our staying in the EU was to reduce the presence of London as competitor to Wall Street.

I am not terribly sanguine about a stronger City for that could too easily lead to continued neglect of the regions. It could also encourage the City in its malign practices of siphoning British wealth off into tax havens, facilitating all kind of tax avoidance so impoverishing us all, accepting dodgy money from overseas and constantly pressurising and bribing the government to put regressive financial capitalism before progressive productive capitalism


This is the moment to enlarge our world vision. Britain can take a new role on the world stage unhampered by EU dictates. We will be envied by many countries for our decisive democratic decision and our independence

Forget the pariahs and the “experts” that the British have shown they do not believe or trust

We absolutely must develop and even enlarge the Commonwealth and make it a major force for trade, cultural relations and world peace. It is there waiting for the call. We must lead the way.

We must not shy away from using the benefits that history has allowed us to accrue. A prime example is the English language. It is already the global lingua franca. We must now promote and encourage this development – not for selfish benefit but for harmony and civilisation

And we must use our influence for peace and disassociate ourselves from the warmongering driven by the US arms industry and, to our absolute shame, our own arms industry as well.

Sanctions against Russia (which the EU is ready to renew) must be dropped. We must destroy the myths that Russia is our enemy and that we need to be able to vaporise Moscow and all its citizens at the drop of a hat to maintain “security”.

Britain can now become an inspiration to other countries everywhere.

We have always been a great nation – but too often that greatness has benefited only a privileged few of our own citizens

We must now go forward as a renewed, reborn, great-status nation, that seeks freedom, respect and prosperity for all our citizens and for all around the world.


 


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David William Pear, is a columnist writing on economic, political and social issues.
Regular columnist for The Real News Network, Op Ed News, and an editor for OEN.