Pride And Racism Alive And Well And Living In Britain


Brit Poll Showing Racism Of Generations ~ The Economist, May 31st 2014

It’s truly difficult to comprehend the sheer arrogance of the British government. They treat a very closely run referendum result as though it were overwhelmingly supportive of leaving the European Community, inform all concerned there will be no going back (“Brexit means Brexit,” quoth the new Prime Minister, who’d pretended throughout the campaign she was a ‘Remainer’, while actually sitting astride the political fence waiting to see which way it would go), then expect the E.U. to hand them all the trade advantages of being a member, while restraining the free movement of citizens into the U.K..

This week, Donald Tusk the European Council President, made it plain such would not be the case:

In his speech, Mr Tusk mocked a Brexit campaign promise that Britons could “have the EU cake and eat it too” – the idea that the UK might manage to keep trade benefits of EU membership while barring European immigrants and rejecting EU courts’ authority.
“To all who believe in it, I propose a simple experiment. Buy a cake, eat it, and see if it is still there on the plate.
“The brutal truth is that Brexit will be a loss for all of us. There will be no cakes on the table. For anyone. There will be only salt and vinegar.”
Mr Tusk also suggested that Britain might ultimately decide not to leave the EU “even if today hardly anyone believes in such a possibility”.[1]

Who can blame him? The Brexit vote was a vote for racism. There are many British people who resent foreigners living in their country. There are many who support the United Kingdom Independence Party’s view that ‘Britain should be for the British’. It was they who tipped the referendum balance, allowing the far-right wing of the Tory Party to gain the ascendance and take control of the country – a political faction who see their future, not with Europe, but tagged onto the imperial power that is America today.

Theirs is the attitude that Britain no longer has an Empire so we’ll be a part of America’s instead. Unfortunately, even ignoring the arrogance and hypocrisy of such political ideals, they’ll undermine the living standards of everyone in Britain, except of course, the wealthy and powerful who’ll continue to benefit enormously.

Britain has always been a racist nation. The ‘pride of empire’ still lingers among the older community. Back in the 1950s, before the nations of empire won their independence, there was rarely a ‘foreigner’ to be seen anywhere in Britain. Black people numbered only about 20,000 and lived mostly around London, with a few settling in the port areas of Liverpool and Cardiff. They were considered inferior by their ‘British’ counterparts and could only work in the most menial of jobs.

This may seem a long time ago for many younger members of British society, but there are still ten million people alive in Britain who can remember those times. That older generation of Brits was responsible for tipping the balance of the Brexit vote.

Since the referendum result the U.K. pound has lost much of its value against foreign currencies. Many British airport currency exchanges are offering less than one euro to the pound, and while back in May 2016 it bought one U.S. dollar and forty-eight cents, today that figure has dropped so low that some exchanges are only giving one dollar eight cents per pound.

As oil is valued in U.S. dollars this means that petrol and diesel products are set to rise. According to the BBC:

…the Petrol Retailers’ Association (PRA) [has] forecast that vehicle owners will be paying an extra four or five pence per litre (ppl) for petrol by the end of October because retail prices have, so far, only reflected part of the recent rise in wholesale prices.
Petrol prices hinge on the value of oil, which is priced in dollars, and the falling pound against the US currency means that petrol automatically become more expensive at the pump.
“Wholesale costs to retailers have increased by over six ppl for petrol and seven ppl for diesel in the last few weeks, whereas the UK average pump prices have moved up by less than two ppl for both grades over the same time period,” said Brian Madderson, Chairman of the PRA.
“Thus motorists can expect increases by the end of the month unless there are favourable corrections to the exchange rate and to global oil prices.
“The double impact of the pound weakening against US dollar and global oil prices strengthening will cause pump prices to move sharply upwards,” he added.[2]

Food prices are already on the rise and can only go up further given the pound’s lowly status.

Donald Tusk stated that Britain cannot have its cake and eat it. It seems likely the average Brit soon won’t be able to afford cake.

Theresa May, the British Prime Minister, was upbeat about the future when she spoke at her party’s conference recently. She could hardly appear pessimistic. Nevertheless, talk in Parliament now is of ‘Hard Brexit.’ No longer is there the optimism of blackmailing Europe into giving British politicians what they want – curtailing free movement, while maintaining free trade.

Why should Europe agree to this? If one resigned one’s membership from a club that served free beer to all its members, one could hardly expect to continue drinking there.

Donald Tusk was quite right. He still hopes that Britain may change its mind and stay in the European Community. It’s unlikely to happen. British pride doesn’t like to be dented. After all, they had an Empire – once!

[1] “‘Hard Brexit’ or ‘no Brexit’ for Britain – Tusk” BBC, October 13th 2016

[2] “Less than one euro to the pound at many UK airports” BBC, October 10th 2016

2 Replies to “Pride And Racism Alive And Well And Living In Britain”

  1. The whole Brexit debacle feels all wrong to me. It’s as if we’re talking about some other country, not the one I’d known for 60+ years.

    As you wrote, it’s not likely there’ll be any change of mind now. The only tiny glimmer of hope I’ve seen came from something, somewhere, I read where the writer wondered if, perhaps, Teresa May was trying to play some complex chess game, knowing that the result of “hard Brexit” could be so unpleasant, dire in fact, that there’d be a people’s outcry against the whole caboodle, and she could back track, maybe find a way to remain in the EU – or almost remain…or something, with no loss of face. :-/

  2. Twilight – I’d like to believe in the possibility of May back-tracking, but somehow I doubt it. To me – at least so far, and it is early days – she’s shown every intimation of taking a leaf out of Thatcher’s book.
    We all remember, “the lady’s not for turning.”

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