I don't pretend to be an expert on the Brexit campaign in Great Britian, moreover as an American I would think that most citizens of the United Kingdom wouldn't welcome my opinion anyway...a lesson President Obama recently learned. However, while we slept, the good people of the U.K. voted to leave the European Union by roughly 52% to 48%. All I know is...this map tells me that the Scotts were having none of it!
I have been following this issue for months now because of the impact it might have on my business, so I'm not completely ignorant of the basic issues involved. But reading a dozen articles and watching a dozen videos of David Cameron's town hall events doesn't make me an expert. Still, my reading of the thing boils down to it being a contest between the elites and the working stiffs...a fight for the soul of Great Britian between the proud nationalists and the more cosmopolitan, urbane, smart set. Yes, yes...it's much more complicated than this, but although generalizations are not often fully accurate, they are instructive. I had a feeling in my bones that the leave side was going to win when in the last week or so leading up to the vote, the remain side resorted to a fear of the unknown strategy. The Mirror had a cover photo of a giant black hole with the warning, "Don't take a leap into the unknown" or some such thing. When your closing argument turns negative....usually a bad sign. It was as if they
were admitting, Look, we know the EU stinks, but if we leave it might be much worse.
There are similarities between the Brexit campaign and our own Presidential contest. For one thing, there's this guy...
Look fimiliar? I think they have the same barber. Anyway, this is Boris Johnson, former MP and mayor of London who was a big supporter of the Leave campaign. There's also this guy...
Nigel Farage, a former commodities trader turned political gadfly, heads up the UKIP or United Kingdom Independance Party, a group steadfastly opposed to the EU. He has all the makings of a jerk...but I kinda like the cigar.
Listen, I'm not sure whether the UK made a mistake yesterday or not. Maybe the nationalism of the Leave movement winds up being nothing more than dangerous nostalgia. Maybe its stance against immigration finds its roots in simple racism. Maybe the economic fallout from their decision ends up hurting the country. But I know this...if I lived in a nation where rules were made for me by a parliament in a foreign capital...I wouldn't like it very much. We Americans are famous for our sometimes belligerent Independance in matters of sovereignty...just ask the UN. Well, from the looks of things this morning...we got it honest!