Britain

All the news not fit to print
Email | Back to History | Back to the world news | Home | Support this website

TM, ®, Copyright © 2015 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.


Brexit's Lesson to the (Young) Voters of the World
Britain = Austria
Articles on Britain published before 2016


  • (march 2019) Brexit's Lesson to the (Young) Voters of the World.
    When in 2016 the British voters narrowly decided to leave the European Union, they gambled that their "leave" demagogues knew what they were doing. It is now clear that the "leave" camp didn't know much about the consequences of leaving the EU. The list of false promises is endless. Hence some in the "remain" camp are now demanding a second referendum. They are basically saying: "Let's give voters a second chance to agree with me".

    Those who favor a new referendum on the same "leave or remain" issue, based on the fact that the voters are now better informed of the consequences, are raising an interesting dilemma. At which point should a democracy accept the will of the people? If the referendum is held again today and "leave" wins, would this be the definitive referendum, or will voters be asked to vote again when they are even better informed next year? It seems wiser to grant a referendum only once, and assume that people vote knowing what they are voting for. It is the citizen's responsibility to keep informed and vote as an informed voter, not as an angry gullible fool.

    Others feel that people vote only nominally for the title of the referendum, but in reality their vote is an expression of either support for or discontent with the current conditions. Such was the case for "Brexit": many were upset with the state of British affairs, not necessarily with the European Union.

    Others feel that many voters consciously or subconsciously surrender to cynical calculations about the outcome of the vote. If they feel that "leave" will win and the alternative to voting is going on the date of their life, they will choose the latter. This was true of many young people, who didn't find the motivation to vote. In fact, it is usually the angry citizens who vote. All elections tend to represent angry voters more than they represent happy voters because angry voters are the ones more willing to brave bad weather and long lines to cast their vote.

    Referendums are certainly not exact tools. Whenever election results don't match the latest opinion poll, i feel that the poll was right and the results are "wrong", meaning that the opinion poll correctly sampled the public whereas the election results only represent those in the public who actually went to vote.

    While imperfect, referendums are dangerous tools because they don't give politicians the option to use common sense. Referendums are a form of dictatorship: once the results are in, the politicians must implement them. Regardless of how one feels about referendums, the fact is that it is dangerous to vote twice for the simple fact that one can then ask "why is twice ok and thrice not ok?"

    In all of these cases, however, I feel that the responsibility is on the voters: if they didn't go to vote and now they don't like the outcome, they should have gone; if they changed their mind after learning more about the issue, they should have informed themselves better; and so on.

    The one valid argument for voting again comes from teenagers. British teens are complaining that they had nothing to do with this "Brexit" farce but they will be the ones to suffer the consequences for the longer time. Those who were 15, 16 and 17 when the referendum took place in 2016 are now over 18 and eligible to vote. They didn't vote to leave in 2016, when they were too young to vote, but in 2019 they are affected by that vote. Since then, about two million voters have died. Today's voters who are 18, 19 and 20 years old are not asked to cast a vote but are instead asked to accept the vote cast by people who are dead. The young are forced to accept the will of the dead, even though it is the young and not the dead who will have to live with the consequences.

    Data: in the 2016 referendum 60% of those aged 65 and over voted "leave", whereas 70% of those aged 24 and under voted "remain"; in 2019 the polls show that the vote for "remain" among those aged 24 and under would be a stunning 82% while 67% of those aged 65 and over would vote for "leave".

    It's an interesting conundrum: who should have the final say on any matter whose affects will last for a long time, the ones who are going to be dead soon (the very old ones) or the ones who will be alive for the whole time? Should the vote of these two groups matter equally? Should only the vote of the very old matter, as it is now?

    See also: The Brexit farce

    See also: Brexit is a good thing for everybody

    See also: Globalization ends here

    TM, ®, Copyright © 2019 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
    Back to the world news | Top of this page

  • (february 2019) Britain = Austria.
    What do these great nations have in common? Here is a short list of great people produced by Austria: philosophers such as Wittgenstein and Husserl, writers such as Kafka, Rilke, Jelinek, Bernhard, Schnitzler, Roth, Trakl and Musil, a painter like Klimt, scientists such as Schroedinger, Mendel, Boltzmann, Pauli, Lorenz, Mach and Freud, composers such as Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Mahler, Schoenberg, Berg, Webern and Bruckner, filmmakers such as Curtiz, Lang, Sternberg, Stroheim, Wilder, Zinnemann, Preminger all the way to Haneke. Today, however, Austria is a tiny country that most young people can't even find on the map. But it used to be the richest empire on Earth, and produced some of the greatest geniuses of all times. After World War I, the Austrian empire disappeared, disintegrated into a number of tiny countries. Although none is richer than Austria, Austria itself is largely irrelevant on the world scene: it was easily annexed by Hitler and easily liberated by the USA and the Soviet Union.

    England is the new Austria. It used to be the richest country and the largest empire on Earth, and it produced some of the greatest minds of all times: Chaucer, Shakespeare, Donne, Blake, Wordsworth, Dickens, Bronte, George Eliot, Hardy, Hopkins, Conrad, Woolf, Pinter... Newton, Darwin, Dalton, Faraday, Maxwell, Francis Crick, Stephen Hawking, Alan Turing, and the inventor of the World-wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee... Purcell and Britten... Norman Foster and Zaha Hadid... the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who, David Bowie, the Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Led Zeppelin and so on and on. After World War II, its political power rapidly declined. The empire disintegrated, although not into tiny countries but in large ones, such as India, Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa (it had already lost the USA, Canada and Australia) and this year one of them (India) is posed to pass Britain in GPD terms. Britain itself may soon disintegrate, as euro-friendly Scotland and Northern Ireland have little appetite for remaining outside Europe, and increasingly fear the deadly embrace of England.

    The difference between Austria and England is that Austria became part of the larger European Union. Austria is irrelevant as an independent country but still matters as a member of the largest world economy. Switzerland never was an empire. It produced fewer geniuses (Piaget, Jung, LeCorbusier, Euler, Klee, Giacometti, Frisch, Durrenmatt, Saussure) and it is not part of the European Union but largely obeys the rules of the union. Switzerland's relevance in world's affairs is zero (except for its importance as a place where very bad people hide their money). It cannot influence EU's policies: it can only obey them. Austria, on the other hand, has assumed the presidency of the Council of the European Union for three times: 1998, 2006 and 2018. Austria has 12 representatives on the European Economic and Social Committee, and an Austrian, Johannes Hahn, is responsible for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations. Not much, but a lot more than Switzerland.

    England, which until yesterday was on an equal footing with Germany and France, now has to decide what it wants to be: Austria or Switzerland. It cannot be Germany or France anymore.

    TM, ®, Copyright © 2019 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
    Back to the world news | Top of this page
  • Articles on Britain published before 2016

Email | Back to History | Back to the world news | Home | Support this website

TM, ®, Copyright © 2015 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.