I am a pretty apolitical person, but today I make an exception. Here’s my open letter to the leaders of the UK, the EU, and the rest of the world…
To the vast majority of politicians all around the world, but at this time most especially to the leaders of the UK and Europe, I say this:
YOU DIDN’T LISTEN
Here is what you did. Left, right, centre, whatever.
You ignored us.
For years you have chosen to ignore the voices of dissatisfaction that have been clamouring for your attention for so long. For years you assumed that you could disregard the people for whom you had a duty of care and pursued agendas more favourable to your personal dreams and aspirations. Why? I’ll tell you:
- Because you are adept at shouting down every argument, i.e.: you could ignore us.
- Because you are adept at skilfully answering questions of your own choosing rather than those asked, i.e.: you could ignore us.
- Because you are adept at cleverly turning conversations to topics you feel more comfortable discussing, i.e.: you could ignore us.
- But mostly because you believe you knew more and better than anyone else; and so you could ignore us.
Don’t get me wrong: I am sure that a large majority of you entered politics with every intention of changing the world for the better. But to iterate: I am absolutely convinced that a large majority of you believe that you know best.
Why do I say that? I’ll tell you:
- Because you believe your ability to understand complexity exceeds that of the rest of us.
- Because you bicker between yourselves and apparently don’t care how it sounds to others.
- Because you are addicted to half-truths.
- Because you prefer to call each other names, rather than talk sensibly.
- Because you are convinced that you, disregarding all others, are right.
- Because you make promises, fail to meet them, and then don’t respect us enough to say sorry.
- Because, when confronted, you revert to bad-mouthing your opponent’s policy rather than answering the question about your own policy.
- Because you hardly ever say, truthfully, “I don’t know”.
- Because you so rarely admit to your mistakes, and even more rarely apologise for the hurt you cause.
- But mostly, because you have no respect for us.
Do you actually know the reason why the vote favoured Brexit? Do you care to know? I’ll tell you anyway.
It was never really about straight bananas, excess bureaucracy, immigration or austerity. Those were factors, certainly, but they weren’t the real reason. The real reason is because: you never asked us.
It’s because way, way back in 1975 the people of the United Kingdom voted to join a Common Market. That’s all. A COMMON MARKET. Not a United States of Europe.
But since that date there has been an ever-increasing, ever more urgent drive towards greater and greater unity in Europe. Across the board. Financial. Political. Social. Legal. Powerful men (and a few women) sat in their lofty castles and drew up plans to build a brave new world. They set up mechanisms and rules and laws. They set up a civil service to enable those mechanisms and rules and laws. And British governments – all of them – went along for the ride.
But nobody asked us if that was what we wanted. Until now, not one politician, once in power, ever asked us if that was what we wanted. You all just assumed that you knew best.
Credit to Prime Minister Cameron for at least giving the people of Britain this opportunity. But I’m pretty sure he did his sums before he decided to give us this chance, and it’s a personal shame for him that when he added up the numbers he came up with the wrong answer.
There’s an assumption and a question still on my lips, though – how will the rest of Europe will fall?
There’s one last thing to say, and this is also intended for all the leaders of the world, whether in democracies, dictatorships or whatever:
At least we in Britain have had our revolution relatively quietly and peacefully.
And I expect that the decision of (little more than half) the people will be observed without undue prevarication or fuss.
THAT’S BECAUSE WE’RE BRITISH.