Jump to content

An Opinion on Brexit


old man emu
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have a schoolmate who, before he retired, was near the top of the European political/economic tree. I asked him for his opinion of the effects of Brexit, and this is what he said:

 

As regards Brexit, I am not a fan, for so many reasons, – economic, social and institutional. Business decisions will mean a slow but steady drift of companies and investment out of the UK and slower (albeit hard to measure) growth than would otherwise be the case if the UK had stayed.

 

 

 

Younger people, who feel comfortable with being ‘ European’ as well as being British, were outvoted in the referendum by older, white, English people, either nostalgic for an England that no longer exists, or simply want to put into practice their long-held (but no longer valid) feeling of superiority over mainland Europeans. These Brexiteers will not pay the price for their decision….younger generations will.

 

There is a real risk to the stability of the United Kingdom, with Scottish independence claims now actually having a valid basis, rather than just some long-held anti-English resentment. The Irish border issue is very relevant but no Brexiter has come up with a solution to it. Finally, while the EU itself is far from perfect, it has been patient and reasonable in the negotiations to date, hoping no doubt that Brexit would not in the end occur. I fear that whoever becomes PM will seek to cover up all the UK failings in addressing real issues by being aggressive to, and then blaming, ‘Europe’ for whatever happens next….which is wrong, but fits neatly with the feeling of superiority referred to above.

 

I suppose his opinion sounds a warning to the British - Invest in your country, or go under.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unsurprisingly, I disagree entirely with both of the above comments, since they do not reflect the reality that Ican see here

 

HOWEVER. . .

 

IRefuse to fall out with you on a political matter,. . we shall just have to see how it all pans out.

 

We're all mates and I for one, do not want to lose the privilege.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's what I sent in reply:

 

Thanks for your thoughts on Brexit. They are worth considering since they come from someone "in the know".

 

I can see why those of our generation would want out. I have some young Brit relations who also support getting out. From way across the Seas, I see the exit as a door opening to the members of the Commonwealth of Nations to re-establish the trade links that were broken by entry into the EEC. I wonder if Britain can pull up its industrial bootstraps to get back to its industrial strength of the mid-20th Century. The thief in the night is the USA which has to be the greatest war-mongering nation on the planet.

 

Admittedly, the loss of easy of travel across the Channel will affect both the young and old of Britain, but they can get used to using the Foreigners' line at Immigration just as we citizens of the Commonwealth do at Heathrow.

 

And he said:

 

I wish that your scenario could come to pass, but I have my doubts. There is nostalgia for the past, but in mid-century the UK was a slowly but steadily declining economic force, Commonwealth links and all. PM Thatcher got the UK into the EU as almost a desperation measure to try and stop that decline. Industry was hollowing out. While globalisation has continued to make manufacturing jobs disappear since then, the revival of the motor vehicle industry was due precisely to the UK’s entry into the EU. Those car companies are now rethinking their investments because of Brexit. It is just hard to see how being inside the largest and richest market in the world is worse than being outside it, or how the Commonwealth will compensate for that. The UK’s trade is mainly with the EU, and the UK will now have to renegotiate all its trade relations (tariffs etc) with a much bigger and stronger trade bloc. Agriculture is a good example of how things will be tricky. Some Brexiters are strong free traders but others are in favour of the existing level of EU subsidies continuing, which will be costly and which the UK will have now to pay out of its own budget.

 

 

 

Having said all that, it is the case that the EU is far from perfect. I think it will stumble on as an institution because its members will not be able to agree on how loose or tight they want their relationships to be (i.e. a United States of Europe, or a looser association of independent nations). It may fail in the end. But meanwhile I suspect Brit politicians will miss being able to blame ‘Brussels’ in future!

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I reckon that bureaucracy is strangling Europe, and Britain is well advised to break away from it.

 

China, in about 1000 ad, lead the world in many ways. Alas, they became bureaucratic ( the word Mandarin comes from this time and these days refers to any senior bureaucrat ) with the result that they became poor.

 

The only real product of bureaucracy is poverty. We in Australia are going down that pathway too.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When's that? 50's with wool a pound a pound and every cockey had a Cessna, Tamworth had more rollers than Toorak. You missed it if you came here after 62. THEN I was stoney broke and doing Uni at night with one pair of drip dry trousers to my name as well as trying to complete a Commercial PL. Nev

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There were some bad things in the 1950's for sure. Terrible things went on with bullies running institutions, for example. Our revered war-hero governor general was a paedophile. The whole population was kept in the dark over more things than now.

 

But we knew none of this and grew up so free that I look back with wonder. My parents rarely knew where I was. And when we left school, the whole world was full of jobs for us to choose from.

 

My grandkids in comparison are wealthier than I ever thought possible and are having a good childhood, but I wouldn't change times with them even if I could.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, the younger generation is wealthier, but does it enjoy a stress-free lifestyle? I think that's where the Australian lifestyle we enjoyed in our youth has gone. It seems to me that our young people are intent on scrambling over each other to make loads of money, which they use to gratify themselves immediately. Ask those youngsters you know when was the last time they made up a picnic of sandwiches, small tasties and the makings of a hot drink and went out to relax in the open air. They'll probably tell you that they would prefer to spend the day at a cafe with a view, eating and drinking nouveau cuisine or its current equivalent.

 

I know that we bemoan the lack of employment in traditional occupations, but these youngsters are creating new occupations. Although my thought is that these new occupations seem to concentrate on ways to separate others of their generation from their money.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, the younger generation is wealthier, but does it enjoy a stress-free lifestyle? I think that's where the Australian lifestyle we enjoyed in our youth has gone. It seems to me that our young people are intent on scrambling over each other to make loads of money, which they use to gratify themselves immediately. Ask those youngsters you know when was the last time they made up a picnic of sandwiches, small tasties and the makings of a hot drink and went out to relax in the open air. They'll probably tell you that they would prefer to spend the day at a cafe with a view, eating and drinking nouveau cuisine or its current equivalent.

I know that we bemoan the lack of employment in traditional occupations, but these youngsters are creating new occupations. Although my thought is that these new occupations seem to concentrate on ways to separate others of their generation from their money.

I think young people are as diverse as our age group. I think some in our age group are obsessed with money. I have just moved to early semi-retirement but I do have some friends who believe they can't do the same because they feel they need the cram more money into their super.

 

I keep in contact with many of my ex-music students and it seems that may not picnic as much but they do travel and not just to the obvious tourist spots. I am following on FB the trip of a young woman I used to teach as she travels through Costa Rica and other interesting places that I would not have dreamed of visiting when I was her age. Not all young people are sitting in cafes with a plate of smashed avo.

 

I am thankful (and maybe a little jealous) that my son does not earn his living from a tradition occupation.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They don't have the assurance or likelihood of a job for life situation but I've had to change course about 5 times so what's new? They don't know how to budget and really cut their costs to an absolute minimum. They are bombarded with so much crap about what you need to do and be to "Make it". Many go without a car. How good is that? IF you can THAT save so much worry and cost. IF your employer provided accommodation that would eliminate the other major concern /cost in life.. What's left might just have more of the real life experiences and contacts with the types of people who don't have such underconfidence it hold s them back from doing what they really would like to be doing. (Not just existing). The young are not so different from what they ever were. The toys, hairstyles and tattoos change but the real needs don't. Nev

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...