In this post, I’m going to share some politics stuff. Breathe. You’ll get through it. I’ve seen lots of misinformation online, and I want to straighten some of this out to help people who are confused by the whole Brexit thing. Unlike others, I’ll tell you my vote up front, so you can filter for bias, but I’ll attempt to be as objective as possible through the explainy bit so you don’t have to waste too much time filtering. I voted to leave the EU. But I also see the valid reasons people voted to stay. This isn’t an academic essay or whatever. Just some basics that might be helpful. I don’t care how you voted and I hope this helps you.
The main things that need to be discussed here, so that you can see why things kicked off, are:
- Right and left wing: what are they, and why are people cross about them?
- Capitalism, fascism, socialism and communism: quick guide
- The EU. What is it, why was Britain in it, and what will happen now it’s voted to leave?
- Why does this matter if you’re in America?
Right and Left Wing, and the ‘isms’
All of this will be VERY simplified, since this is a blog rather than a university essay [EDIT: Please re-read this. For some reason people don’t get that this is NOT an academic essay, so I’ve received some truly mean and vile comments about my intellect. I’ve always been clear this is NOT an academic essay. If you want to lay into an academic, go and troll the Financial Times. This isn’t the place to do it. This isn’t a political site. It’s only a single political post. That’s it. Cruelty and sexism won’t get published in the comments, so save your tapping if that’s your goal.] Generally, the political spectrum of thought and belief is split into ‘right and left wing’. Imagine a horizontal line. In the centre is balance between both sides. Then to the right is capitalism near to the centre, and fascism far from the centre. On the left is socialism near to the centre and communism far from the centre. So capitalism can be centre-right, and socialism can be centre-left. However, fascism is far-right and communism is far-left. We’re all along that line somewhere.
Broadly speaking, the right wing is in favour of freedom, self-reliance, and limited government interference, with lower taxes. The left wing is in favour of government organisations, taxation to provide welfare and support for ordinary people, and community before individualism. Both fascism and communism ultimately end the rights of the individual, and of society as a whole. They are also known as ‘totalitarian states’ or ‘despotic regimes’. They are undemocratic.
Some people pick a party that represents a particular point on that line, and that’s who they vote for no matter what. In the UK, our centre-right to right wing party is the Conservative or Tory Party. Our main centre-left to left wing parties are Labour and Liberal Democrats. There is a right to far-right party called UKIP.
The Conservative Party (currently the party in power) chose to back the ‘remain’ vote, to stay in the EU. Since there are better options for the UK from a capitalist perspective outside the EU, this wasn’t an obvious choice. However, Google ‘illuminati’ and ‘Bilderberg Group’ for potential other reasons for them wanting to be part of a superstate.
UKIP wanted us out of the EU. That is their raison d’etre, Modus Operandi, and various other fancy words meaning generally ‘it is why they exist and what they do’.
Many Labour voters wanted us to stay. There’s also what Scotland wanted, and their parties. Basically, this is going to get long if I go into all of it, so just bear in mind that many left wing people wanted us to stay, and many right wing people wanted us to leave. Also, some left wing people wanted us to leave, and some right wing people wanted us to stay. I’m not party political, so I ignored all of them.
- Britain joined the EEC in 1973, (later known as the EC and then EU). It was set up to help post-war European countries to trade with each other.
- The goals were free trade between nations, and peaceful negotiations between previously warring countries.
- This was before the internet and before nations such as China, India, etc had experienced the economic and tech growth they have seen recently.
- Over time, the EU introduced things such as the Doctrine of Direct Effect, which limited the freedoms and democratic process of the countries who were members of the EU. This angered and frightened people who were aware of their democracy being eroded, and they sought to get a referendum so that they could vote to take back control of their own laws and democratic process. Some were also alarmed that they no longer had control of their borders, and wanted that too. So, there was a referendum.
The campaigns on both sides were badly handled. Racists took control of the conversation on both sides. On the ‘leave’ side there was a lot of talk of people ‘taking jobs’ etc. On the ‘remain’ side, there was a lot of talk of the idea that we would only be safe inside the EU due to the risk of war if we left (the implication being that all Germans are Nazis). So, racism on both sides. Never a good thing. However, both sides also had valid points.
The ‘remain’ camp wanted the protection of EU legislation as it pertains to working conditions, etc. They were fearful of being ‘alone’ in the world, without the EU to protect us, and they equated the EU with Europe, so they felt as if we were breaking from Europe, when we were actually just breaking with the EU.
The ‘leave’ camp believed there should be no taxation without representation (the issue that led to the American Revolution and eventual independence) and wanted the right to fire the people who governed us, rather than being part of a communist superstate that dictated our rights to us without us having a say.
What Happens Now And How Does it Affect The USA?
The ‘Leave’ vote won. So, we now have around 2 years of paperwork ahead of us until we’re fully out of the EU. In the meantime, the markets have gone into shock, which was predictable, and there may be a short recession. If so, that could trigger similar events elsewhere. But it won’t last long. It’s what happens when there’s a major change. After a sharp drop in the pound (sterling), it has rallied at the time of writing. Only took a few hours to happen. So even if it drops again, it’ll come right eventually. We’re probably talking a few weeks or a couple of months of turmoil before things settle. This will affect the US markets, of course. Oh, and our Prime Minister (UK equivalent of American President) resigned. So, there’s that. It’s all a bit of a kerfuffle, but we’ll get through it.
[EDIT – Many of the nastiest comments I’ve received, most of which aren’t published here – have relied for evidence of my insanity and lack of intellect on my clearly stupid hunch that the pound would rally in any way in the days following the crash, insisting that it – and the markets in general – would only go downwards with no sign of recovery in any way for at least 2 years. So… just leaving this here…]
I’m not giving you financial advice here. Ask a financial advisor. However, personally, I wouldn’t panic. If you’re British and your currency has dropped, you just became more affordable for Americans if you charge in pounds… OR you just got a pay rise if you charge in dollars. Either way, it’s no bad thing.
If you’re outside the UK, buy British. It’s a bargain right now.
Also, if you’re outside the UK and have some concept about Britain now being isolated, you may not know ’bout us. 🙂 We have a few pretty cool clubs elsewhere. We’ll be fine. This explains:
There’s a lot of BS being spoken about Britain right now, and about the people who voted to leave. This is because it’s deeply embarrassing to our government that we chose freedom over fear. They need people to discredit us. If you’re interested in why I voted the way I did, it was because I have qualifications in both law and politics, so I understand what’s been happening to some extent. I’ve watched our democracy being slaughtered by an unelected superstate, and while I am neither party political nor strictly either right or left wing on all topics, I don’t want to live in a communist superstate, which is what it seemed to be becoming. I love democracy, so I voted for democracy. I’m now living in a free nation that has a democracy. I’m looking forward to working with any Brits, regardless of how they voted, to step into creating a Britain that is exciting, creative, successful, and everything we know it can be. But, there will be some hating for a bit before that can happen, and I’m enough of a grown up to be able to handle that, however irritating it might be.
Rebecca (Dangerous Revolutionary and Free Thinker)
P.S. Constructive criticism’s one thing but if you post hateful comments, or comments that are clearly just rallying people to a cause for Google juice, they just won’t be approved. I believe in democracy in politics, but my blog’s an absolute monarchy, so your random hate-filled name-calling rants aren’t going to be published here. Say something that adds to the conversation and I’m all ears – whether I agree or not – but this isn’t the place for your hatred. Plenty of other places online for that. This is a blog that’s primarily about self improvement, entrepreneurship, mindset, etc. This just happens to be a political post. That’s all. Find a news site if you want to attack people for their political beliefs. Not my job, or responsibility, to publish you. Pitch a political magazine for a column if you think you’re all that. Best of luck to you. Since people have criticised me a lot for not posting a stack of stats in this post, this video, by an Italian commentator, gives some more detailed info for people who want more stats and facts regarding the Brexit vote. Ultimately, the point of this post though isn’t to defend my choice regarding the vote or whatever. I’m just responding to all the criticism I’ve received and hope to inform a little more about this choice of vote so that people don’t get the impression that those who voted to leave are all a bunch of immigration fearing racists. There are other reasons that people chose to leave.