Brexit Threatens Britain’s Political Security And Unity

Brexit Threatens Britain’s Political Security And Unity

by Gautam Sen - Jul 7, 2016 06:40 PM +05:30 IST
Brexit Threatens Britain’s Political Security And UnityA “Leave” rally (OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Britian is now politically unstable and the influx of Eastern Europeans was a concern to those who voted for Brexit, mainly the old.

    Brexit may have an adverse effect on the wages of low-paid health and education sector workers.

Quite clearly many people around Britain, especially in the deprived north and even Wales, were disillusioned about many things and protested by voting for Brexit. These so-called ‘Leave’ voters were also disproportionately the old and a significant number were Labour supporters despite the apparent backing of the party to remain in the EU.

Significantly, Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU and their emphatic adverse reaction to their enforced departure from the EU, as constituent parts of the UK, threatens Britain’s political stability, and indeed its unity.

The Labour Party itself is now tearing itself apart over allegations that its leader and plotters around him had deliberately led a lacklustre campaign against leaving the EU. Indeed there are accusations that some of the leader’s key advisers always secretly favoured Brexit. The entire shadow cabinet of the Labour leader has now resigned, en masse!

The incumbent Conservative government of David Cameron appears to have shot itself in the foot, apparently imagining the country would vote to remain in the EU. But why, if it was such a matter of life-and-death to remain, did Cameron propose to put the matter to a vote is puzzling, since one should have also assumed a reasonable prospect of losing. Even more mysterious is the revelation that he negotiated a home mortgage, just days before the EU referendum, implying he expected Brexit to triumph.

Senior Tory party leaders are now also engaged in a very public, no-holds-barred infighting to succeed Prime Minister Cameron, with a complete abandonment of decorum. The lead campaigner of Brexit, the vastly overrated Boris Johnson, a descendant of the last Ottoman Grand Vizier, was unceremoniously betrayed by his own campaign manager. The manager has now put himself forward as the most suitable candidate for prime minister, to renegotiate relations with the EU in the aftermath of Britain’s departure from it.

Many ordinary Britons are disenchanted with identikit politicians, who hardly attempt to conceal their contempt for the ordinary masses they regard as troublesome hoi polloi, without merit. The average voter has been manipulated by politicians who bear more than a passing resemblance to used car salesman or snake oil sellers.

The worst of them is the former prime minister Tony Blair, earlier applauded as the most successful leader since the end of the Second World War. He turned out to be a liar, whose personal greed and duplicity defy credulity. Having presided over the destruction of the Middle East and inflicted abominable human costs on its people, he is busy making hay while the sun still shines. Like his counterparts in the US, the dismal trio of George Bush Jr, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, their criminality should have resulted in one-way tickets to The Hague International Criminal Court, but apparently justice is only doled out to defeated war criminals.

If there are any specifics that might account for the particular unhappiness with the EU it is the massive immigration from Eastern Europe into the UK that a core principle of the EU permits unchecked. Despite all the spin about its economic benefits and the undiluted joys of multiculturalism, its scale is consequential economically, socially and culturally. It has some fascinating aspects to it, like the transformation of London into the first truly global cosmopolitan city in world history, with all its associated infinite variety in cultural practices and cuisine.

Yet it is simply not credible to suggest there is no impact on wages for the lowest paid and it has indeed put severe pressure on public services like health and education, and caused a dramatic housing shortage. The political class in its infinite wisdom did not deploy the necessary resources to match the increased demands on such services the immigrant influx entailed.

But this is not the whole story, despite manful efforts by commentators to studiously ignore the impact of massive recent Arab migration into the EU that the chaos in the Middle East prompted. Ordinary people are fearful of Muslim migrants, as the growing public outcry in Europe, include Angela Merkel’s Germany, which first welcomed millions with open arms until an epidemic of sexual assaults on women, girls and boys provoked antagonism. This very recent Arab migrant surge became conflated with the more immediate anxiety of growing EU immigration, mainly of late from Poland and Rumania.

The average voter views the prospect of massive Arab and North African entry in the UK with palpable alarm and the recent spate of sexual assaults, almost exclusively by men of Pakistani heritage (sic!) against minor girls, on an industrial scale and apparently concealed by the authorities for several decades, added fuel to the fire. But a supine and morally bankrupt media, much like its counterparts in India, chose to play it all down in the suppose interests of the familiar refrain of communal harmony!

The negative economic impact of Brexit is undoubtedly serious, from the proverbial frying pan of unrestricted immigration to consignment in the fire of major economic setback! The British pound has suffered a sizeable devaluation against the US dollar and the Euro and other currencies. Key stock market indices have declined sharply, with only the share prices of internationally-oriented firms of the FTSE 100 recovering subsequently.

It is certain the City of London’s financial services cannot avoid losing profitable business to Paris, Frankfurt and Dublin. Financial services comprise 12 percent of GDP and contribute significantly to tax revenues and its foreign earnings finance the current account deficit. The lower pound will boost manufactured exports, but the sector has to be nurtured and skills shortages may prove a difficult hurdle to overcome. But a lower pound does not automatically translate into proportional comparative advantage because more expensive imported components will be embodied in exports. What the future holds for the British economy in terms of growth and living standards is uncertain despite all the empty pontificating by assorted sages.

Yet Alice in Wonderland thrives in British politics and one of the most urgent pieces of legislation now pending for activation before parliament is the evangelist-sponsored anti-caste clause of the 2010 Equality Act. It supposedly seeks to combat caste discrimination in the UK that is privately acknowledged by the authorities not to exist.

In the first instance, the diabolical ploy was aimed against so-called Jat Sikh gurdwaras, whom politicians and the church accused of practising ritual purity. Sikhs find such an accusation deeply offensive since it would violate a principal tenet of their faith. Hindus got swept up in this dangerous melee because one simply cannot cite caste without demonising them too, and they are a soft target anyway. And of course suitable Hindus, who will denounce their own faith, are very easy to identify. British courts, encouraged covertly by evangelists, have begun to cheerfully denounce alleged caste discrimination although the one important judgement passed, affirming such discrimination did occur, would not survive a class six discussion.

Dr. Gautam Sen is President, World Association of Hindu Academicians and Co-director of the Dharmic Ideas and Policy Foundation. He taught international political economy at the London School of Economics and Political Science for over two decades.
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