Thursday, July 07, 2022

Sir Ed! With the Conservatives in Total Disarray and Labour Having Ruled Out a Return to the EU, This Is Your Big Chance. Carpe Diem!

At the risk of stating the obvious, the Conservative Party is clearly in total and utter disarray. Further, it is a divided party – divided between the pro-European wing and the anti-European wing, the so-called Remainers and Brexiteers.

David Cameron exacerbated the problem, of course, by calling the Brexit referendum. In so doing, he projected the longstanding rift in his party onto the nation. And what a rift it has caused! It has divided the regions and even divided families. Many of the divisions are based particularly on age, but also to a great extent on class as well.

Older folk are often more inclined to be Brexiteers, many of whom lived through the Second World War or were told many stories by their parents of life at that time. There is no doubt many have been unable to put the war behind them. They live in the past. In addition, many of them are resentful of Germany's clear and enormous economic success. How many times in my life have I heard old folk say "we won the war, but Germany won the peace"!

In my humble opinion, many of the people who fought hard for Brexit, people like Nigel Farage and his trouble-making partners surreptitiously played on past prejudices to bring people to the point of voting for the suicide of our nation. This, of course, was just what the fossilized Tories needed to pull the wool over people’s eyes.

Coming out of the European Union was the greatest mistake this country has made since World War II. It was an act of self-harm. One could call it national suicide. To walk away from the greatest and best single market in the world—The Single Market—made absolutely no sense at all. It is a market of approximately 500 million consumers. A market with free movement of goods and people, and no impediments to the sale of services either. Moreover, despite Margaret Thatcher’s hostility to a federal Europe, she was for the Single Market. Very much so. Indeed, she was one of its architects! Would the Single Market exist today had it not been in part due to her tireless efforts? And we have walked away from it! Go figure! Further, to add insult to injury, we have walked away from it when ruled by a Conservative administration, the Party which prides itself on being pro-business. My word! What a topsy-turvy world we now inhabit!

By coming out of the European Union, we Brits have relinquished all the privileges that came with our membership: We lost our rights as European citizens. Rights such as the right to live, work and retire to any member country. The right to free healthcare, which is based on reciprocity. Free education for our children, too. In fact, I believe that Germany offers free university education to many, as well. In addition, we have also relinquished the right to fall in love and marry across borders. And so much else besides. Our leaving of the European Union was nothing short of insanity.

A small number of people at the top have been able to gain from our leaving. For most, however, it has been, and will remain, a great loss. For the billionaire class, free European healthcare is not an issue. For most people, it is. A big issue.

As a result of Brexit, many businesses have ceased trading. So how many small businesspeople have seen all their hard work to build up their businesses supplying goods and services to Europe going down the tubes? How much hardship has this act of insanity really, truly caused? Clearly, the MSM is reluctant to inform us.

But even apart from all the economic losses that we have suffered, and all the inconveniences, there was another very important goal of the European Union: the goal of maintaining and cultivating peace and good relations between our European nations. There was cross-cultural exchange between us, the importance of which should never be underestimated.

Despite being raised as a Conservative, and despite having been a lifelong Conservative voter, when Brexit came along, I was disenfranchised. I simply could not vote for a party—any party— which is anti-Europe. Europe is my home. Even outside of the EU, I still consider Europe my home. Wales is a European country/principality. Yes, it is part of Greta Britain, but it is also part of Europe. Certainly, geographically speaking. But also, politically. We have so much in common with our European sistren and brethren.

Keir Starmer of the Labour Party has ruled out trying to re-join the European Union. This, in my opinion, gives the Liberal Democrats a huge opportunity. At the next election, whenever that will be, it can put clear blue water between it and the Conservative Party and the Labour Party. It can offer the electorate a clear choice; it can offer the Remainers, of whom there are so many, and with the increasing disillusionment of voters by the obvious false promises offered by Brexit—remember those sunny uplands we were promised, ‘dem da’ hills of gold yonder? Eldorado?—well it didn’t happen, did it? It came to nothing. And it will come to nothing in the future, too.

The Liberal Democrat Party is a good, solid party with a great liberal history—liberal in the British sense, not the American sense—and it has a great leader: Sir Edward Jonathan Davey , usually known as Ed Davey, who is, I feel sure, a thoroughly decent man. Decency is not a quality readily found in politicians. But from what I have read about this man, he is decent. Decent and solid.

I therefore have a suggestion for him. It is as follows: Be brave and give the electorate a real choice. That way, the LibDems will be able to capitalize on great recent successes in by-elections. I am as certain as anyone could be that if the British electorate were offered the chance to return to the European Union, they would vote for you in droves.

Go for it, Sir Ed! As you well know, fortune favours the brave.

© Mark Alexander
Thursday, July 7, 2022

Ed Davey: Leader of the Liberal Democrats. MP for Kingston & Surbiton. »