Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Brexit: The Big Issue

I participated in a TV debate on the topic of Brexit yesterday evening and, as is customary on these shows, there was a lot of anger being vented on air and a few people were being openly rude to each other as soon as the cameras stopped rolling. How on earth have we got ourselves worked up to such an extent about leaving our European partners and why are we so divided about the issue?

Alastair Stewart hosted the C5 debate 
Look no further for the genesis of the whole debacle than our erstwhile Prime Minister Tony Blair and his sidekick Gordon Brown. It was their policy, as soon as they took over the reins of government, not only to flood our country by permitting whoever wanted to come here to settle but also by actively encouraging as many migrants as possible to relocate to Britain. Just like his policy to invade Iraq was ill-thought through, so was his immigration policy.

Gordon Brown & Gillian Duffy
The UK has always had racists living among us but, overall, in my lifetime we have prided ourselves on being a tolerant, inclusive country. Blair/Brown couldn't see how trampling over all immigration rules would ultimately stretch tolerance levels and engineer the increased popularity of the politically far right. While they were in charge of the British government, the topic of immigration was out of bounds among New Labour ministers and we citizens were fed the impression that even to discuss the topic suggested racism. How utterly puerile (remember Gordon Brown referring to Gillian Duffy as a 'bigot' because she had the temerity to bring up the subject).

The vast majority of the Brexit voters based their decision upon their frustration at the speed of immigration with which this small island has had to cope during the past eighteen years, some towns having their population almost doubled.

We are now paying the price because, as a protest, many have voted for leaving Europe and my bet is levels of immigration will be unaffected and the topic will continue to dominate the political agenda just as much as it has been doing. Meanwhile, as we all argue and throw insults among ourselves, Tony Blair will continue to make himself richer.

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