The fall-out from the decision by the British public to exit the EU is wide-ranging. As I am not interested in which financial gangsters’ gimp gets the Tory top job, I’ll discuss other consequences.
Opportunist Labour elite’s machinations
Jeremy Corbyn is not to blame for the vote to leave the EU. The result, achieved partly by people choosing to vote from an anti-establishment perspective rather than UKIPpy bigotry, enhances the view that there is support among the electorate for politics that challenges the dominance of an elite that only feeds itself. The turmoil in the Tory party, who need both a new leader and clarity of direction, adds to confidence that a genuine alternative could succeed against the Tories in a possibly early general election. Corbyn is exactly the right leader for Labour at this time.
Corbyn’s opponents in Labour know that he is the right leader at the right time but they despise his anti-exploitation politics. They fear his success. His politics is the opposite of what they want. They want to install a friend of the exploiters who will offer absolutely no alternative to what the Tories offer.
Two veteran Labour MPs, above, who supported the hapless Liz Kendall at last year’s Labour leadership contest, have “submitted a no confidence motion” to their party regarding the leader of the party. Margaret Hodge and Anne Coffey are merely going through a process that they know will fail in order to add to the pressure upon Corbyn from the disruptive elements of the party. It is a little party trick designed as a distraction, an inconvenience and false indicator of opposition. In both the original and more modern meaning of the word, their actions are pathetic.
SNP and a second Scottish independence referendum
Rightly, the leader of the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon, highlighted that Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU. Did she then state equivocally and boldly that Scotland must become an independent state? No, of course not. All she uttered were a few woolly words about the possibility of a second independence referendum. The SNP want to hide behind another drawn-out campaign that will, as binary referendum campaigns always are, be divisive, unpleasant and full of falsehoods and smears.
What the SNP should be doing, if it was sincere about its intent, would be to prepare for independence. Such preparation would include clear descriptions of what independence means for currency, law, head of state, armed forces, international partnerships such as NATO, etc. Preparation would be both internal and external in terms of developing good relationships with other countries independent of UK relationships with such countries. Prepare exhaustively and consistently and then, with confidence, declare independence. No faffing around with distracting referenda.
SNP will not take the bold course because the SNP is an administration not a revolutionary force. It is the SDP of Scotland.
Martin McGuinness is still on point
Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU. The vote was split via the usual divisions in the province. Speaking to the media after the result – McGuinness speaks to media – Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness managed to avoid any use of phrases such as ‘reunification’ while noting that there could be further calls for Scottish independence and also suggesting the possibility of a “border poll” in Ireland. Lexicographers are working assiduously to define precisely the meaning of the quoted phrase.
Gibraltar is out of step
It is bizarre that the lowly taxed inhabitants of a Mediterranean promontory with a small single-road border with Spain should be able to vote in the EU referendum. Other British territories were unable to. Gibraltar voted to remain in the EU with a percentage much higher than anywhere in the UK. The Spanish government quickly offered a helpful perspective on shared sovereignty – Spain on Gibraltar.
It will be quite a political obituary for David Cameron if it includes the loss of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar.