Magna Carta and the Hunt for Democracy
Okay, I've got to admit it, I'm as gobsmacked as the rest of the world about the events in Britain in the last week, the British people have gone and torn up one of the most important political bodies on this Earth today, not to mention left the world's biggest single economy shattered as they took the second biggest chunk of that economy out on a path that seemingly leads to nowhere.
As a Brit who's still got a love for Britain (though not necessarily a desire to live there) I've followed avidly the events of the last week in the news and through the media just to find out what's going on there and why my fellow countrymen and women would make such a brave and bold stand.
I'm going to make it plain at the beginning that even though I haven't lived in Britain for nearly twenty years, and although as a British citizen I had the right to vote, I didn't think it morally right for me to do so. Having said that I've had a long hard think about the referendum they had (even before they held it) and came to the conclusion that I would have voted to leave, and here's a bit of the reason for why.
Who Started it All
Back to the Beginning
To really understand some of what's gone on you've actually got to go back a long time in history. Literally back to the signing of one of the most famous documents in history, the signing of the Magna Carta or as its literal translation says "The Great Charter."
The year 1215 was the last time that a person in England ruled the Kingdom without some form of Checks and balances that kept his power in check!
That's right, it kept the power of the ruling King in check, there was a limit to what the King could and couldn't do (naturally John had breached that limit and that's why there was a need for it to stop a war!)
One of the things that happened as a result of the signing of the treaty was two bodies were created that later went on to form into the Houses of Parliament, the house of Lords was to grow into the most important Law court in Britain and the House of Commons was where the people were to have their voices heard. Eventually the House of Commons would become the place that people would be able to elect others to make those laws, but if they didn't like the laws that were being made then every five years we could elect new officials who would then repeal the laws and make changes that need to be made, at least that was the idea. Didn't always work and we had a few wars in our history that happened due to the fact that various Kings and others thought they knew better, but in the end democracy always won out!
Down Through the Years
Through the years Britain has always been a place where more than one person was in charge, and there was at least some degree of accountability of those in charge to those who put them there, that was built in to the systems right from the beginning and it's something we cherish and will fight to preserve. It's the bedrock of society and one of the great things that Britain has given to the world, yet it's one of the things that recent events in Europe have sought to undermine.
Let me explain
A Brief History
That's right, it was originally formed after WW2 to stop France and Germany from having a war every twenty or so years that decimated the rest of Europe (check the history books, go back as far as the middle ages and you'll find a major war in Europe every twenty or so years with France and Germany on different sides, Britain usually allying with Germany except for the last two!).
The idea was simple and a good one, bring the countries together for prosperity and economic benefit of all, get the economies working together and you'll have prosperity, or so the thought went.
But something went wrong!
Money Money Money!
There was a meeting of EU leaders discussing the creation of a single European currency. One leader stands up and storms out of the meeting claiming that any country giving up it's currency also gives away it's ability to govern it's people because it's handing over it's financial responsibility to another.
Can you expect to be a good housekeeper when you don't control your own purse strings? That's what Europe was proposing!
People will say that Britain "crashed out" of the exchange rate mechanism (the system that was put in place for helping usher in the single currency by aligning all the currencies at the start so they could do a simple replacement with the Euro) but what they don't realize is the British people never wanted in from the start (it was done behind closed doors by the government at the time) so we were glad when that happened (George Soros did us a favor)
Skip forward a few years and you see the damage that the Single currency did as Europe went into meltdown through financial mismanagement in Southern Europe that spread and engulfed the economies of some of the stronger nations of Europe and is still ongoing!
This left only a couple of nations in Europe "picking up the tab." The Biggest was Germany, followed by Britain ($15 billion US per year of which only $5 billion is spent on things Britain gets benefit from) yet we have no voice on how it's being spent!
You've heard that Scotland and Northern Ireland wanted to stay with the EU, that's because that's where the $5 billion is spent and naturally they don't want to lose that, Wales and England get nothing!
Truth is the last time there was a referendum on Britain being in the European Union was 1975! Two years after we joined and as the second video points out we'd been turned down twice we'd just come through a crippling miners strike that had resulted in major political changes like you're seeing now, there was no way we would be ready to leave then, and besides back then it was an economic community.
The last government in Britain to fight the European Union as the Thatcher government (they are the reason Britain's "membership subscription" was only $15 billion and not $21 billion,(she refused to pay the full amount!) and since then no government in Britain was willing to take it on.
At the last election David Cameron was facing criticism in his party from the "euro-skeptics" in his party so he gambled on promising a referendum if they got back into power. The Conservatives got in with a landslide majority and had no problem with any of the promises they'd made actually happening so a referendum was on the cards, what no one expected, not even the people voting to leave was that the leave vote would win!
What was it About?
What was Brexit about? It was about a people finding their voice again! It was about the little guy in the street in a small town who's been told by the big Banker in an office somewhere in a big city that doesn't even know the name of the town that they know best and if he wants prosperity then he or she is going to have to give up a few freedoms to have it!
It's about the man who'd being told he "Can't have the cake and eat it" saying "fine, I'll take a something else that I can eat then!"
Here's the surprising thing, since Brexit, it's come out that the reason Europe was so afraid of the result is that there are six other countries also pushing for a referendum on membership, six other countries that either want out, or want a bigger say in their future!
What Do You Think?
Okay, I've had my say, but this is something that is going to affect pretty much everyone wherever they live. Even President Obama actually tried to have a say about how Britain would vote with a bit of political blackmail (yep he did!) threatening that if Britain was to leave they'd be at the back of the queue with regard to free trade deals. The tune has changed a little since then (Trump thought it was a good thing, and I've not heard what Hillary said)
But what do you think? It's going to affect you in some way even if it's going to the store and finding things either cheaper (the pound took a nose dive) or more expensive!
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This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.