Life in a Small Country

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I live in a small country….nobody bothers much about it on the international scene with the exception of the U.S.A. when it wants a springboard for overthrowing other regimes in Central America, China when it wants non recognition of Taiwan and the exploitative Greens with their carbon exchange scam.

Its government is content to exploit its own people without bothering about those of other countries, doesn’t have an arms industry or even an army, runs an appalling fiscal deficit and bumps along from month to month and hand to mouth.

After life in two European countries trying to pretend that they are still world powers it is quite relaxing.

Had I still been living in the U.K. I would have voted to leave the E.U.: I hadn’t wanted to enter the original free trade area either and nothing since – not even the vestigial aid of European legislation to the protection of workers in the U.K. under Thatcher – has made me change my mind.

Twenty years in France reinforced my views…

The British system in which I had grown up had little in common with that of France.

We might  have had a common heritage  in the Western Church, but that was about all…

Napoleon had taken his authoritarian regime all over the continent and there its legacy stayed…keep your mouth shut, keep your head down and do as you are told.

Unless you are rich.

And this is the regime which has come to the U.K. with its accession to the  pan European regime.

The possession of money – by whatever means – gives immunity not only from the law,but from moral responsibility.

When I consider that we used to think Reginald Maudling and John Poulson as the epitome of corruption the mind boggles: today we have E.U. accounts that can never be signed off…commissioners paying their dentists with E.U. jobs…and the Common Agricultural Policy siphoning money to the big producers to the detriment of the family farms in order to subsidise the agroalimentary industry.

Next time you buy a pot of Danone yogurt seek the taste of corruption within.

The U.K.has, to the shock of its masters, voted to leave the E.U.

This is represented as a disaster.

To me, it seems like an opportunity.

A chance for the U.K.  to become a small country.

The imperial dream is long gone: could not the U.K. do without being an obedient satellite of the U.S.A., throwing the children of its young into wars which assist only foreign corporations?

Could not the U.K. revive the values of the post war settlement in order to found a future in which young people do not have to bankrupt themselves while obtaining an inferior education?

Could the U.K.not rediscover its talents without the limitation of an exterior straitjacket of rules and regulations?

And, most of all, could the U.K.not become a force for peace in the world?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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46 thoughts on “Life in a Small Country”

  1. I’ ve long thought that the EU (the Common Market, we used to call it) is an unwieldly and probably corruption-riddled white elephant.
    But I didn’t (still do not) see how Britain could, after all these years, afford to cut ties and go it alone.
    And when I look at the “leave” supporters, well, I’m gob-smacked.
    I really doubt that Boris Johnson or Nigel Farage could make a decent fist of being Prime Minister.

    But I’m half a world away and the last British election I voted in was the one that returned Margaret Thatcher and I truly believed we could be better than that.So what the hell do I know!

    1. Government and bureaucracy in the U.K. is about as corrupt as it gets…but there is always the faint hope of voting the political buggers out in the hope that their successors will do something about the civil service….like sack the top bods there and confiscate their pensions.

  2. I’m with you in some respects, Helen, but I also wonder, like Dinah, how the UK could go it alone in the modern world as it is. It is a vastly different place from the one we grew up in, and the EU is a nasty, unwieldy, vengeful entity (from what I hear about remarks coming out of it).

    On the other hand, there are 34 petitions around the continent asking for referendums in different countries. Could this be a sign?!

    1. I do hark back to a society that is gone, but in voting Leave I would have been looking to the future, with a view to avoiding the mess the E.U. is going to bring about – not least by tweaking Putin;s tail in the Ukraine.

  3. Well, if only. Back when I was marching against Viet Nam, I thought we were making a difference. I could see that the war would wind down in its own time, not really because of us. However I really did think that people my age would know better than to get us into that kind of mess again. Nope. Wrong. And in this era of volunteer military service — at least in the States — we don’t really send our children to war any more. They are lining up to go. I have three relatives in the military who really believe in what they are doing. Do they think, as I do, that war is a scam, a way for a few to grab power while distracting everybody else with chaos? No, they buy into the many old myths of fighting for freedom, all that.

    I think we need to get over the idea that war is a necessary evil and also the idea that we can somehow all manage to get along. Some people really need conflict, even violent conflict. So how do we institutionalize that in a way that lets the rest of us get on with our lives? I think we need to acknowledge the dark side of human nature, admit that the football hooligans, all that, are also who we are. Then we need to figure out what to do about that. How do we channel that energy, make it work for us?

    And yes, we need to somehow shift the culture from the ideal of having more, always more, to the idea of having enough. That’s going to be tough. I don’t know that there is much will for that. If the interviews I have seen on TV are any indication, it’s not likely to come from the folks who voted to leave.

    1. Bizzyella: You have to remember that what you see and read on the BBC and in most newspapers are the reflection of the management of those organizations. Why talk to people who have used their brains and come to a decision to vote one way when you can get and show a cheap interview with some numpty?

      1. And to Lesley – sorry can never manage to keep these things linked together properly – yes: such interviews serve the purpose of the institution’s policy and reinforce lazy journalism.

  4. Ahhhhh! Now, I could use this post to launch into one – but I will desist. It is enough to quote dear, deceased Stan Parker, a gentleman, a scholar and a true comrade – ‘There are more of us than you think!’ and dream and work towards that better world for all of humanity for, as the pope recently said, ‘Even atheists can go to heaven!’

  5. If Britain is to become a force for world peace then something needs to be done to sort out the level of bigotry and envy being demonstrated in the place. And Britain’s reputation abroad for thinking it is better than everyone else. Personally I am wondering how much like being in Europe in the 1930s this all feels. History has a habit of repeating itself, no matter how tirelessly the right thinking and hard working try to stop it.

    1. No one is as yet confiscating the property and pets of immigrants….
      I agree, Britain as it is trying to give lessons to the world is laughable, but there could be change if the class divide is recognised and reformed and for that Britain needs proper education – not tick in the box stuff designed to keep future citizens intent on their feelings instead of their powers of reasoning..

  6. “Unless you are Rich” and there it is. So well written. That last question; the hope of sanity and the only important question as you stated, a force of peace in the world. Let us pray. Let us dream. Have a good weekend to you and yours.

    1. The good weekend will be spent unpacking more boxes after our move. The place looks as if a bomb had hit a pawnshop…
      I so wish that British politicians would stop strutting on the world stage and get down to serving their people.

  7. There’s much to be said for “little countries.” The US – or rather, the vast majority of its citizens – would likely be better off were the US to break up into smaller countries. That will never happen, of course, as too much is at stake for our overlords politically, economically and, most importantly, fiscally, as in tax dollars.

    Love the line, “Next time you buy a pot of Danone yogurt seek the taste of corruption within.” I’ll keep an eye out for that slogan the next time a Danone commercial comes on the television. I can just picture an attractive young lady eating her yogurt, then smiling and purring, “Umm, sweet, unadulterated corruption. That’s why I buy Danone!”

  8. It looks like Michael Gove will be the next head crook.
    He already speaks with forked tongue and has (with the help of the Daily mail & Murdoch) got rid of Boris.
    Now that is no bad thing but things will not go well. It is doom and gloom although Scotland might become independent and seven million of us will move into your old house seeking safety!
    We’re doomed I tell ye….

  9. Surprisingly (! Ha) I agree with you. Hard to explain to people from outside Europe, outside UK.
    People need to look away from power hungry politicians (of whatever type) and look to a different future. Right now it’s going nowhere (just for show).
    The country is split as much now as it was under Thatcher. But at least she got a rebate. Cameron got stuff all.

    Anyway. I don’t buy Danone. Thought it was part of Nestlé.

    1. Make my own.
      Try talking to some of the panicking Brits in France…there are a whole lot of self satisfied slugs wondering if someone is going to put salt on their tails.
      I shouldn’t be so rude, but some of the abuse from that sector is unbelievable…..

          1. Well if there is anyone (ie a politician) in the Uk remaining with half a brain we might see. Although …

            I mean really. How hard is it to work out the options and start negotiating and invoke Article 50? What do civil servants do these days? Certainly the press officers are rubbish 🙂

            Total PR disaster all round.

          2. Indeed. Let’s delay it as long as we can. Have leadership contests. Call general election. Conveniently ignore result caused by stupid ill-informed idiots. Either override it, or make a more convincing message next time round.
            That was a problem caused by earlier governments. Not just did they give the vote to men who didn’t own their own houses, tney gave it to women. Well, eventually to the ones under 30 who weren’t property owners etc etc.
            Why should any of them have a vote? Ridiculous.

          3. What would you expect? This concerns the E.U. where if the plebs don’t get it right the first time they have to vote again until they do….
            I just hope that the aftermath of the vote breaks the power of the main parties and we start to see communities electing independents from their own ranks to Parliament.

          4. Well no surprise there. The power needs to remain in the hands of …
            One of my hope with Brexit was that it might put a jolt under the status quo, although judging by the current faffing around that hasn’t happened. I’m waiting for my FPTP vote in the next referendum for that. If I could vote in this, why not that?
            😈 plotting evil insurrection …

  10. I must reply with a resounding NO to the questions at the end of your post. None of that is ever going to happen. Call me a cynic (sure, I am one) the leavers proved it. “We can go it alone”, (no we can’t, we don’t have the means), “We want to take control of our country” (oh yes? what will global corporations say?) “We want no immigrants”, ( but we are old and haven’t even got enough nurses, strawberry pickers, scientists, sandwich makers of our own).

    You know that I am on the other side to you. Just now, while I was doing some ironing, I heard The Last Post being played absolutely beautifully during the vigil being held at Westminster Abbey (I think). I am not of the sentimental, British, kind but I had shivers running down my spine at the thought of 300.000 mean dead at the Somme. That there never be a repetition of that, for that alone I would wish the EU to remain strong. Certainly, let there be changes, great changes, but it must remain.

    Beloved who is on the way out and knows it said: Let’s move to Scotland.

    1. Between spellcheckers and my eyesight it is a wonder if I manage to write anything intelligible these days.

      I don’t think in terms of sides, but in terms of points of view…what worries me is that we risk polarising everything when we know that, as in all things in life, it is considerably more complicated than that.
      The origins of the E.U. lie in the desire to keep Germany and France from tearing each other apart again, with the Benelux countries – always piggies in the middle – eager to assist in the project.
      To me a false turn: after WWII the two mastodons were out for the count and the Americans were there to ensure that they stayed that way and kept their eyes on the threat from Russia.
      So successful has this been that when the Soviet empire imploded Europe did nothing to help the people in need….gloated, in fact. What a missed opportunity.
      Now, with the same mindset, the EU sees fit to tweak Putin’s tail in the Ukraine. Do that too often and the Somme will seem like a playground: just one of the reasons I’m glad I live half a world away.

      The campaign was a tissue of lies from start to finish, from both groups of politicians but my question is whether from this appalling shambles people can discover that their country does not need the expensive trappings of a faded military power; that its future does indeed lie with the young who deserve a great deal more than dead end jobs and turn to their own communities to take action rather than accepting the ministrations of a state machine that regards them as dust beneath its chariot wheels.

      Going to Scotland is always a good idea…

  11. Sadly I think that the possibility of getting rid of the notion that Britain will be forever ruled by egocentric, egomaniac, self-serving, pomparsed twits is naive. All that this vote seems to have achieved is to have both the main parties in chaos as the elected representatives jockey to seize the opportunity for more limelight for themselves. Whether or not Britain is in the EU is almost the secondary issue, the real issue is the fissure of discontent that is bubbling and whether anyone is strong (and decent) enough to attempt to lead and unify the country be it Great or Small Britain, be it a United Kingdom or four or two nations or just one. But I’m not living there so I try to keep my own council. Sort of 😉

    1. My hope is that people will begin to move away from the mainstream parties having had their incompetence and greed exposed so clearly…
      I take heart from what people like Ronnie Hughes ( sense of place)do…building communities, building confidence.

  12. I voted Remain simply because the Leave campaign never gave me a convincing and coherent vision of the UK as it would be without the EU, and I was unwilling to jump off the cliff into the great unknown. And I was totally put off by the endless attacks on immigrants and all the absurd promises about £350 million a week for the NHS etc. But I’m quite open-minded about it and I’m prepared to be convinced at some later date that leaving the EU was a brilliant idea. In the meantime, I’m horrified by all the vicious attacks on foreign nationals living in the UK by people who seem to have been influenced by the anti-immigrant theme of the Leave campaign.

  13. I was an avid ‘remained’ and was devastated by the result but the more the chaos ensues the more I think the thing needs to be broken apart in order to rebuild something hopefully better, more responsive to people’s needs, more just. Organised, remote, self agrandising governments have had their day and more of trying to prop them up will only deliver more of the same. Nothing will change. Out of chaos comes opportunity. Like you, Helen, I too applaud some of the really creative, visionary projects like the one Ronnie Hughes is part of creating in Liverpool, ‘Coming Home’. Enabling and unleashing the creative power of us, the people, to take things in hand and find solutions to build a world we all want to live in wouldn’t be such a bad thing would it?

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