So, What Now?

Well, it happened!

Those of us who did not sit up through the night of 23rd June woke in the morning to a country that is new to most of us:  an independent nation no longer huffing obediently at the heels of the ‘burgers’ of Brussels.   The UK has voted to leave the European Union.

And the question that engages me is – what happens now?

I have no doubt that the creature emerging from its chrysalis is a shadow of the voracious caterpillar it once was, in those days before a grocer’s elitist son glued it to an over-tenanted portion of the northern hemisphere known as the Common Market, more than sixty years ago.  Small, damp and rather blousy, it must spend time drying its wings before it can become what?  A glorious and beautiful butterfly, or a trundling, zeppelin of a moth?   Does the Britain that now looks so crippled soar brilliantly into the sun, or sacrifice itself to the naked flame?

What comes next will depend upon who leads.  Prime Minister David Cameron’s rather pathetic attempt today to persuade his nation that he would fall on his sword was tempered by his intention to wait three months before doing it.  He will, in his own words, ‘steady the ship’, thinly disguised rhetoric for ‘I will delay this as much as possible’.  And those of us watching got the uncomfortable feeling he has not given up,  though we may rest assured that, even if he succeeds in his tactic, the Tory Conference in October will have a finely honed blade ready.  So who?

Boris Johnson seems the obvious candidate, Theresa May is also in the running, as is Michael Gove, despite his insistence he seeks no high office.   Exciting enough, but there is an odd further possibility, which I will explore, if only because I like odd possibilities.

There is no doubt the referendum on Britain’s EU membership was the result of discontent within the Conservative Party.  Nonetheless it would not have happened had not Nigel Farage’s UKIP party given it voice.

What occurred on June 23rd was a rare example of true democracy.  For a large proportion of UK population government is an irrelevance, something to amuse the ‘educated’ which costs them money, but about which they can do nothing.  They are unrepresented, principally because the British Labour Party is a grotesque, stuck in a quagmire of trade union megalomania and neo-communist dogma that was rejected by a thinking working class (there – I’ve used that damned word ‘class’) thirty years ago.   The referendum gave everybody a simple, straightforward access to a political process:  ‘yes’ or ‘no’.   It brought The Unrepresented from their houses, many of them for the first time in thirty years.  It gave them an influence otherwise lost to them, and it raised a political map of the United Kingdom which showed starkly how little Unity there really is.

In all of England only London really came out strongly in favour of the EU.   The Superdome, the Bankers’ Bubble stood tall amidst a seething sea of doubt and dissent.  Atom City against the real world.

It is futile to even imagine the Conservative Party, or any leader arising from it, will do more than quantify the risk that carpet of inconvenient intelligence outside the dome represents.  And then dismiss it.   But they’ve been wrong before!   Suppose they decide to reinforce their post-EU mandate by calling a General Election, and suppose Farage’s UKIP steps into the breach the Labour Party have left unguarded?   Could UKIP manage to draw those same Unrepresented from their houses – is it possible UKIP could form a government?

It is intriguing, and I admit very unlikely, but what a proposition a Nigel Farage-led government presents!   A commodities trader turned Prime Minister is a very Trump-like prospect for a future independent UK, and I relish the thought because the pot needs stirring, and I can think of no better man than Farage to hold the spoon.

So there we are.  Newly independent of Brussels, free of EU federalism.  Brushing fantasy (and Farage) aside, I honestly don’t know what the future holds, but I am experiencing the optimism of youth once more, and I love it!

12 responses to “So, What Now?”

  1. Perhaps Chris Grayling will throw his hat in the ring. He might make a passable Prime Minister rather than Boris the Buffoon who given his ties and his upbringing may just do an America and further erode the rights of the working man, while ensuring the tax avoidance abilities of the rich.
    I have nothing against Nigel Farage but I’m afraid he would bring elements of an unsavory right wing with him and really become a party of Hate.I don’t think he’s quite shaken off the far right fringe his party originally was.
    Whatever happens, I hope both sides of the debate can now pull together to make this new freedom work and perhaps set an example for others in the EU who have felt the austerity measures they like to apply. Co-operation between all the EU Countries would work I’m sure without a very expensive central Government to set silly regulations for everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi David; so nice to hear from you! I’m missing you! Yes, Chris Grayling would be an interesting choice, wouldn’t he? I’ve always thought his was an under-estimated talent. I don’t really hold out any hope for Farage, and I tend to agree that the rightist tendency would gather around him like flies.

      The dream solution would be, of course, if this signalled the demise of the European Federalist dream. As unlikely as a UKIP government, I’m afraid, but wouldn’t it be nice if we could revert to a simple Common Market and ditch all the political stuff?

      Ah me! Whatever the future, I look forward to watching.



  2. Thank you for this piece which helps those of us who feel remote having jumped ship so long ago. There is much “What next?” speculation this side of the pond. Personally I am tempted to think that the stock market reaction is over the top and that things will sort themselves out in due course without a total world economic melt down. It reminds me of the Y2K uproar!


    1. Yes, Stock Markets and currencies panic like startled deer whenever a small crisis happens. I hear that Germany is already seeking to work out a special relationship with us – for good reason; we buy a lot of their cars! Things will settle down in a matter of a few weeks, I think, when the elitists of the ‘Westminster Bubble’ stop sulking and get on with the reconstruction job.

      No melt-downs, I hope!


  3. The people have spoken, and that is what it counts. And you are correct, the future now is quite uncertain for you guys, I believe in the short term things as all things will take time to adjust and you´ll have a bumpy road, but in my opinión in the long term is much better for the U.K


    1. You’re so right. Give the people the chance, and they will tell you what they want. Our trouble over here, and I guess it’s the same in US, is that we haven’t been listening. The idealist in me hopes we now will try to do better, but the realist says no – a few words and platitudes, a few meaningless promises, then everything will return to normal.


      1. I guess you guys will have to wait and see how things turn up, but it is a democracy and the majority voted for that, it may turn out good and obviously it can turn out bad, but people are people, imperfect and sometimes they are wrong sometimes they are right when it comes to these type of things. I do believe that the vote was much more about keeping your borders and not letting Brussels telling you what to do, and the sentiment in general that there are too many people comming into your country from these crazy middle Eastern countries, in my humble opinnion I thing that is what they voted against. Might be wrong, but we´ll see how it turns out, plus the U.K is a strong country and it has quite a lot of things to offer (in terms of products and investments) to Europe and the U.S, so I don´t think is going to be a catastrophy, a bit bumpy that is for sure I belive, but who knows, you guys will have to wait and see.


  4. Interesting to read your reaction since the news here in the US is all negative about this. What I see and read seem to suggest doom around the corner, that the English have gone nuts, etc. On Facebook there are lots of posts about the number of Google searches by English people after the vote, asking “What is the EU?” and “What is the impact of leaving the EU?” The suggestion seems to be that the Leave voters were uninformed. I am still confused.


    1. I’m amazed, frankly, at the lack of awareness leading to the vote. All the information was there, yet apparently unassimilated by those biological mechanisms that (forgive me for being scathing for a moment) use Google as substitute for a brain. It’s always possible to be negative, I suppose, in the face of a challenge, but its also very stimulating, and our version of democracy could certainly do with some shock therapy at the moment.
      The EU needed this, as much as UK. Our argument for leaving bubbles beneath the surface of several other major players, notably France, and as a result of our referendum that discontent has a chance to find a voice. The effect is already being felt in Brussels, where it has every hope of finally extinguishing the Junkers faction and returning to a more realistic trading model – which is all, apart from a very small inner clique, anyone wanted or wants.
      Watch this space, I suppose, is the answer. Merkel has already stated ‘the process of UK’s exit need not be nasty’ and German industry generally is looking for trade concessions with Britain. All options, as far as UK is concerned, are open. Scotland may leave, which is not unattractive in many ways, because England standing alone is by far the best economic unit, and I can start a new business as a cross-border smuggler! There are even voices suggesting London should become a City State, like the Vatican!
      All bets are off. I’m hoping that the country will assert its identity, and that politicians will be enlightened enough to lead rather than extort – but we shall see.


      1. I have been saying to my friends here that in the end, this will all amount to nothing much. England will always be England (there will always be an England, right?). In the end, people want control, they want identity, and I guess we can’t ignore history and culture for the sake of some unified economic entity. I get it, I think. I just hope that all the doomsdayers are wrong.


  5. We were out of news & internet reach for the last 3 days, so it was with interest that I read of the outcome of the vote.
    After reading your post & the comments up to now, I can see that there is a degree of uncertainty over the future in Britain as a result of that outcome. I hope your optimism is well-placed and that the future becomes as bright as you all hope.
    We have our federal election here on Saturday, & I hope we get some sensible outcomes instead of the far right economic crap we’ve had to put up with for the last many years. We at least need a govt that recognises that we can’t sell our country to the Chinese & the overseas multinationals, that we need to resurrect our manufacturing industries, & that we need to stop destroying our farming lands! I hope, but am not optimistic. 😦


    1. Good luck with that election, Linda, and thank you for your comments. Frankly, I had no hope the ‘leave’ argument would prevail, but since it has… Now we have a further drama on our hands, as everybody in the Governmental Labour Party thinks Jeremy Corbyn is a terrible leader and wants him to resign. Everybody, that is, apart from Dianne Abbot, who is the last politician anyone could want as an ally, and Jeremy Corbyn, who refuses to go.
      Now, how interesting is that? He can stick it out, claiming the support of Party membership in the country. But if he does, it is likely the Party will split up, and if they actually ASK the labour voters in the country, they will discover they all voted to leave the EU. And which party could claim to represent their interests now? UKIP! Suddenly, there is a real possibility UKIP could become a major player. (BTW, I don’t really want Nigel Farage, UKIP’s leader, to become Prime Minister) but ouch, what if that is what happened?


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