Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Brexit: the sequel

Update 13/07/2016:  Democracy and prosperity are closely linked

Update 30/06/2016: Concessions from France and Finland

First of all, this post refers: Owch! Should have bought Euros on 23rd June*

Referendum day last week was a very, very wet day for most of us.

Some of us struggled to the polling stations to cast our votes. Others, mainly young people, were having a great time wallowing in mud ... and either did not bother, or forgot to vote. My heart bleeds.

So, a week after, they are still out on the streets protesting the results, asking for a second referendum, etc.(O, maybe they have stopped, as it is raining again.)

No, young people, that is not how the real world works. You had one chance, just as everyone else in this country who is eligible to vote.

You took the trouble to ensure you got yourself the £228 (+ £5 booking fee) ticket to get to Glastonbury. But you were too lazy to make the arrangements to vote (by post or proxy). Tough.

You whinge about us 'old people' not caring for your future, when the exact opposite is the truth. Hopefully, in 30 years' time, when you get to my age, you will understand the personal sacrifices we (the 'old people') had to make.

Such as my shares losing value, big time, overnight. Sadly Richard Branson lost a bit more in his Virgin empire. My heart bleeds, again.

Or that the value of our properties would go down, as the Chancellor of the Exchequer so accurately predicted with his crystal ball. (In reality, no one knows.)

While some banks were losing share value as they gambled with other people's money, I was here, watching my personal nest egg haemorrhaging away. Just how much further could it fall? Some of us saw that the future of Britain was important enough to accept that we will take a personal hit.

So DON'T even dare say that I am being selfish.

Truth is, everyone was expecting volatility after the vote if 'Leave' resulted. However, as Lord Digby Jones said (paraphrased), "Hurray for the people who -- despite knowing that homes and shares might lose value -- there is something far more important than ... value of shares and homes."

There is something called 'democracy'. (See Video.)

Simple question: What IF the Remain vote has won by the same margin? What IF the Leave voters are the ones now out on the streets?

Would the Remainers not also say, 'Suck it up. You voted 'Leave'. 'Remain' won.'

While we are imagining things, let us also imagine that Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to leave, and for some inexplicable reason England and Wales voted to remain by exactly the same margins. What then?

Would England and Wales be made to leave even when England and Wales wanted to remain?

I suspect if 'Remain' had won, the 'Leave' campaigners would just accept that this was the will of the people and carried on. (It is far easier to maintain 'status quo', inertia, whatever.) Why can't the Remainers have the same grace?

This mirrors what happened in my gym. (I am diligent in going to the gym due to early-onset arthritis, just in case you are wondering.)

A few gym members have been intransigent in attending instructor-led classes when they had not booked or had been too late to book. These few people kept disrupting the classes, arguing about why they should be let into the class/pool. Eventually the gym management implemented an onerous booking system requiring booking online, collecting a physical token, submitting the token to the instructor, etc. This was all down to a few members not having the grace to accept that if the class is full, there is no room for those who have not booked. Try to remember to book the next time.

The poor staff members now have a lot more to do. Instructors continue to receive verbal abuse, etc. from these few vocal people. At least, at the gym, the management could terminate their membership. But British citizens on British streets??!!

I made one other observation: many 'Leave' supporters were reluctant to make their stand clear on social media. My one friend who did was shouted down by others. Bullied, even. Not until after the 'Leave' result did 'Leavers' 'come out of the closet' on social media to explain why they voted 'Leave'. That was how toxic and intimidating the situation had been.

Why did the bookmakers fail to pick up this trend? A simple and perhaps simplistic answer is that these 'Leavers' are not gamblers, unlike the bankers and others who are.

I am also appalled by how people were going, "What about my house in France?", "What about my holiday this summer?" and "Who is going to pay for this?", etc.

Why should I care if you own a house in Britain and another in France when lots of young people cannot afford to buy their first home? (Rather like Singapore where people own both HDB and private properties and then complain that their children cannot afford to buy their own flat.)

If, as Mr Osborne said, property prices are going to drop, those young people who previously could not afford properties are more likely to buy one now.

When the banks do move their businesses abroad, they could always take their British staff with them. If they or the EU staff now working in Britain sell up, the house prices will come down to benefit the young people.

Worse, still, are the many British nationals who live abroad most of the year and do not pay any tax. They swan back to Britain whenever they need medical attention because it is free on the NHS. (There are in fact restrictions for those who have been away for more than six months.)

What about your summer holiday? Shame on you if you jet off somewhere instead of supporting local business. Incidentally, due to the weaker sterling, lots more tourists can now be expected. hospitality businesses can look forward to more custom. Is this not good?

Who is going to pay for your EU-funded research? Actually, Britain has been paying that all this time through what they pay into EU. It just comes to you 're-badged' as EU funding. Ultimately, the funding will be returned to British students.

Incidentally, if the pound continues to slide, lots more parents outside the EU can now afford to send their children to university in Britain, not only the rich and spoilt children of Chinese and Russian oligarchs. (Uhm, the pound is rebounding.)

I've said in the previous post that this country has, for a long time, been too lazy to train their own professionals: doctors, nurses, etc.

See what has happened to English football. Labour ministers around the world, take note. Train your own precious people instead of relying on foreign talent.

Meanwhile, for the young people who insist that they want to live in the EU: The last time I checked, the EU is still open to them. They could pick any of the other 27 countries and move there before they stop this freedom of movement between Britain and the EU.

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