BREXIT or EU? The Real Issue is not Leave or Remain….

An Appreciation

The European Union has established a union of 28 member states. The EU states it has built a “community of peace, freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.”

The EU states: “Hundreds of millions of people across Europe benefit from living in an enlarged union that has overcome the old divides.”

The EU has become a major economic power with a genuine interest in social protection and welfare.

The European Court of Justice has regularly expressed a humane view in its courts, expanded laws to support human rights while the EU has encouraged a degree of environmental protection,

For this and more, we have much to appreciate. Yes. Thank you.

The Rifts

The EU fails to address its deep rifts. The EU is part of a global economic problem which feeds wars, consumerism amidst rapidly depleting resources.

The current EU is not fit for purpose if it continues along the current lines. The EU is an organisation sleep-walking its way to the end of human time.

Fifteen Areas of the Current Crisis in the EU

In Alphabetical Order:

  1. An epidemic of Alzheimer’s Disease. cancer, dementia, depression, heart disease and obesity due largely to an unhealthy diet, pollution and chemicals, plus the influence of stress pervades the EU.
  2. EU and national governments have clung to a centralised authority at the expense of local communities. The EU and national governments have spawned more and more right-wing extremism.
  3. EU bases itself on capitalism and exploitation worldwide of people, animals and resources.
  4. EU bureaucracy has accumulated an excessive amount of power. The EU has often submitted to 25,000 business lobbyists in Brussels. This has left numerous citizens with a sense of powerlessness, which feeds anger and rejection of the EU.
  5. EU economic model promotes consumerism, high margins of profit and cheap labour. EU needs to include the gift economy.
  6. EU is a major contributor to global climate change through its industries, coal mining in 12 EU countries, pollution from transport, superficial products, meat farms, plastic and lifestyle.
  7. EU needs to convert the manufacture of weapons of destruction into tools of construction to help combat climate change.
  8. EU needs to develop a different lifestyle for citizens to move away from personal/family consumption into co-operation and sustainability.
  9. EU needs to draw up a huge plan of reconstruction and development for war stricken Arab nations and poverty-stricken African nations.
  10. Europe is one of the world’s biggest exporters of arms. EU hosts some of the world’s largest arms industries. Wars and weapons contribute to climate change and depletion of resources.
  11. Financial markets dominate EU society with severe infliction of austerity measures upon the poor and state employees with every financial crisis.
  12. Millions of citizens, poor and well educated in poor countries, in and outside the EU, leave their homeland to work in rich EU countries, as the EU does not offer the gift economy to those countries in real need.
  13. Most EU countries form part of NATO. Alongside the USA, these EU countries have engaged in wars and occupation of poor nations.
  14. Powerful banks in the EU feed the personal, social and national debt crisis.
  15. The EU economic system has deeply rooted flaws, which support brutal competition in the market.

Is Brexit a better option?

One might assume that Brexit is a better option for UK citizens. We might think that an independent Britain would be better off.

In Alphabetical Order

  1. At great cost to people in the armed forces and citizens, Britain has been at war constantly since World War 2 including a civil war over Northern Ireland with more than 3000 deaths.
  2. Britain’s biggest export consists of selling arms to numerous regimes. Neither major political party questions this export because it earns £billions and keeps jobs in Britain, no matter what the human cost worldwide.
  3. Far right politics dominate Britain with politicians, who think of their own power base and seem to want to return Britain to an era of the past.
  4. In terms of foreign policy, Britain remains subservient to the demands of the United States. Successive British governments behave as if we are an American outpost. American corporations from junk food to Facebook dominate life in Britain. Cheap American entertainment dominates our TV viewing.
  5. London is arguably the most corrupt city in the world. Personal and corporate laundering of massive amounts of money takes place through tax evasion and tax havens. Financial institutions in London move and withdraw large amounts of money around worldwide that threatens people’s lives and livelihoods among poor nations.
  6. Money. Money. Money. London is the home to obscenely rich Russian, Chinese, Saudi, American billionaires, who own huge properties and estates. Some buy up football clubs for their personal entertainment. Their wealth inflates prices of houses in the city with numerous properties kept empty. Obscene wealth accumulates through excess profit, minimum wages and tax avoidance. Such wealth keeps millions poor worldwide.
  7.  Our institutions, which include schools, National Health Service, the police, prisons, farms, social services and the environment lumber on from one crisis to another due to lack of vision and investment.
  8. The Brexit campaign ran on lies and false claims from start to finish. Such a campaign can only leads to more suffering. The politicians deceived the people. We cannot trust them.
  9. The citizens of Scotland decisively voted to remain in the EU. The British government rejected their decision. The citizens of Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU. The British government rejected their decision.
  10. The House of Lords is an undemocratic institution full of individuals selected by the Prime Minister. The PM usually selects those who have financed or supported political parties or various institutions. Hereditary peers take up the rest of the 800 seats.
  11. The television, radio and newspapers largely reflect the opinion of the two political parties at the expense of other ways of looking.
  12.  In 2017 election, Conservatives and Labour received 25 million votes between them and got 580 seats.  Liberal Democrats and Green Party received three million votes and a miserable total of 13 seats (12 for Libs Dems and one for the Greens). The two main political parties reject proportional representation. Where is the democracy?

BREXIT seems hardly an option. We do not have a constitution that supports a wise and truly democratic form of government.

Final word

On balance, I prefer to remain in the EU. I have taught in several countries in continental Europe over the past 40 years and more.

In terms of location, I regard myself as a European. I appreciate the diversity of culture in the 28 member states.

There is an opportunity in Europe for deep communication on personal, social and global issues but meaningful change in the EU is cumbersome and slow.

Brexit, outdated liberalism, socialism and the far right reflect political beliefs belonging to the last century and longer. We require a  new economy suitable for all people and every environment.

There is a spiritual crisis in the EU and UK.

We need a collective effort, not a return to nationalism, born out of fear and blame.

We have all got ourselves into this mess. So we can get out of it.

We all have a responsibility to work together on a global project to show wisdom and compassion.

We are not helpless. There is not a huge meteor heading for the Earth.

For the sake of present and future generations…

Let’s speak up. Let’s act.

The issue is not Leave or Remain.

The issue is Wise Action.




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