Tim Parks writes about Italy and the problems with its tanking economy and grumpy electorate - and, in doing so, he bashes the EU nail firmly on the head:
There are two logical ways out of this impasse and the irresponsibility and frustration it breeds. One is a move to a genuine political and fiscal union of Europe; the other is a return to increased national autonomy outside the Euro. Present animosities make the first solution unthinkable. There is no appetite for it. Yet the economic power of the markets to punish any move to leave the Euro makes the second solution suicidal; as Greece has shown.I keep banging on about how the reason for leaving the EU is to allow us - in most areas of life - to govern ourselves, to give us the chance to do the opposite to how Tim Parks describes Italy and elect people because of what they are going to do not for their chasing of rhetorical unicorns.
What we can expect, then, is more and more empty rhetoric and clownish behaviour at a national level; more and more people voting in a spirit of defiance, while tacitly accepting that their vote means nothing. It is a system in which you vote for someone because of what they say they would like to do, not what they can actually do. In short, if you don’t rule your country you can’t expect a viable ruling class.
Earlier today I took part in a brexit debate at Bradford College - my opening remarks were:
I voted to leave because the EU is distant, unaccountable and fundamentally undemocratic. For all the trappings of democracy – flags, anthems, parliaments, five presidents and periodic elections – there’s no way for us – “we the people” as it were – to change who rules us. For me, if we were simply a member of a trade pact, the sort of thing we joined in 1973 (before I could vote), then I’d be arguing to remain a member. But we’re not a member of “just a trade pact” – the EU wants to have a say in how much tax we pay, in consumer choice, in what is taught in schools, and in the organisation of transport, health and welfare. This is not simply a trade pact.There are down sides to leaving probably including a short-term economic hit but the big gain is that we can begin the long job of restoring trust in government, in saying to those millions who, for probably the first time in their lives, cast a meaningful vote that we hear them and will give them back the some of the control over government that elites in Westminster and Brussels took away.