Sunday, 26 June 2016

Owch! Should have bought Euros on 23rd June*

But it was raining a lot, and I was aching from a physiotherapy session.

Friday morning, checked my phone and was shocked that the 'Leave' vote was ahead of 'Remain'. Someone from Singapore Whatsapped to comment. I still thought, maybe they have got it wrong. Surely, 'Remain' were going to triumph! Surely, I thought.

I voted weeks ahead by post. I have been called an 'economically-illiterate racist'. Here's why I am an 'Outer':

Having studied south-east Asian history and Singaporean (ie foreign), the ideology of self-rule is important. The sovereignty of a nation is important.

How could a country like Britain allow itself to be subjected to the diktats of Brussels? Imagine Johore telling us how to spend our money!

Never mind that the EU is run by overpaid, unelected bureaucrats. I went to school with one. He flew into London every week to attend class. Nothing against him personally (except that he thinks Foucault is the answer to everything). It was an illustration of the waste of money that Brussels and Strasbourg expect British taxpayers to tolerate.

[Much of local and national governments departments and QUANGOS are also money-wasting agencies.]

Immigration was touted as a major issue. I have no problems with immigration. I am an immigrant myself, albeit a reluctant one.

When controls were lifted on new accession countries, my local area was suddenly flooded by what can be best described as beggars.

How does a man with no legs (only thigh stumps) sitting (standing?) on a bit of wood on castors manage to get to Britain? Had he come to Britain for work? He had clearly been shipped in here by people traffickers or gangmasters to make a living by begging.

In the short 50 yards or so that he rolled himself with hands protected by some bits of fabric or bandage on his specially-designed wooden device, at least five well-meaning Britons dropped money into his begging cup.

Freedom of movement means that the vulnerable can very easily be exploited.

The other 'evil twin' in this equation is the generous benefits system.

Most parents get more in Child Benefit alone in one week than they get for a month in whatever Eastern European country they come from. Theoretically there should be no 'welfare tourism'. In reality, lots of EU migrants come over to the UK simply because they can and claim benefits as soon as they can.

My voluntary work has led me to encounters with many such migrants who simply rock up to Britain 'because I prefer the education in Britain' and expect us to provide for them and their children.

[NB. There are different types of EU migrants: most of my EU friends work and work very hard, pay taxes, interact with Britons, buy a home here, etc. Another would do the minimum work and claim maximum in-work benefits, sending most of these back home, to build their villas. There is another group with few resources to work in this country like the man on wheels described above. There are possibly other types.]

It is possible that I deal with the worst of the economic migrants and welfare tourists. With every additional one of these, the British public becomes less willing and able to deal with the genuine asylum seeker.

If the benefits system were scrapped tomorrow, I might have voted 'Remain'. Why are there thousands camping in Calais trying to get to Britain. France is a safe country. Why do they not seek asylum there?

If migrants want to come to Britain despite not getting any social benefits, then they are very welcome.

There is another effect of this mass legal and illegal in-migration: complacency and laziness.

Why invest in nurse/doctor/other professional training when we can easily import EU citizens?

Indeed why invest in education at all when we can depend on eager EU migrants to staff farms, cafes, restaurants, factories, care homes, supermarkets, bus companies, etc?

Meanwhile, thousands of Britons are left to rot on the welfare system as they cry, "No jobs, there are no jobs."

If there are no jobs, there will not be such high in-migration from the EU.

So which is true? There are jobs or there are no jobs. They appear to be mutually-exclusive conditions to me.

For so long as we remain in the EU, corporations and government will not bother to think where they could draw literate and diligent labour from. If these supply lines are cut, there is a chance that there will be a re-think of how we teach our children.

Better still, scrap the welfare system, so that children will aspire to be successful in something when they grow up. It is heart-breaking for me to see how in a country where everyone gets free education and health care, there are families who have spent generations on the dole.

This cannot be right. Our generous welfare leads to a poverty of the soul. Hence the obesity and mental illness.

Another classmate noted 'we shouldn't have come to this', and she is right. The intransigence of Brussels has led to the referendum. If they had been more amicable in renegotiation, then the result might have been different.

But the EU bureaucracy has grown so cumbersome. It has, like many organization with good intentions, suffered mission creep. Not being accountable to the people who fund them (they are unelected), there is no way we can keep them in check.

Perhaps Brexit will make Brussels think again about their mission goals.

Meanwhile, 'self-rule'!

Sadly Britain does not seem to know what to do at the moment.

I try to imagine how our forefathers felt as we cut our umbilical cord from our colonizers. Not just in Singapore, but elsewhere in the world. It will be great if more Britons could feel a little more like that.

Video: Former (economically illiterate?) director of the CBI, and business minister, Lord Digby Jones tells BBC Breakfast that the UK has a "golden opportunity"

Me, economically-illiterate? I am probably guilty as charged. But it goes against every fibre of my body to think that a nation like Britain is not able to thrive on its own again. Interestingly, some of my 'settler' friends from other ex-colonies think like me.

This is an opportunity for Britain to reform so much of its social infrastructure that is so wrong, and in so many other areas of public life.

There are many of us who are keen to work with you on that. We can put the 'Great' back in Great Britain.

Update: 27th June 2016 -- Way forward? A cross-party group to work on exit, taking into view the opinions of cross-section of electorate, including those who voted remain.

Update 2: 27th June 2016 -- businesses threatening to leave. Like the rich individuals who threatened to leave if a particular party comes to power, only people with the power and money can afford to leave. Just as many 'refugees' in this country are the richest and most powerful from where they originate. Those without the resources are left behind. Just as many Britons do not have the wherewithal to do that. Leaving is not an option. Threatening to leave shows these agencies do not understand the plight of the common people.

Update 3: 27th June 2016 -- There is one downside to this result: that of racism rearing its head and possibly extreme right-wing activists who have mistaken a vote to leave the EU for a right to abuse those who look foreign. This is tragic.

*It was fascinating to hear how some Britons were only concerned about the value of their holiday money, European football and whether we could still compete in Eurovision.

No comments: