99. OUT NOT IN

I rarely change my mind on important issues, but I surprised myself when I shifted out of the British camp which wants to stay in the European Union and found myself recognizing that change is necessary and can only come if the UK votes OUT. Having been born in Holland and partially educated in France, the US, and the UK, I have always thought of myself as being pro-European. I strongly admired the leaders who created the Common Market after WWII as well as those who followed with the realization of the European Union in an effort to end centuries of hostility.

Until about a year ago, I took it for granted that I would support the UK remaining in the EU. My first serious doubts were aroused by the narrow and inept ways the European community dealt with the Greek financial crisis. The scandalous way the Europeans then dealt with the immigration crisis horrified me. I began to see the sprawling bureaucracy in Brussels as incompetent, reactionary and unaccountable. A serious desire for change altered my perspective.

I began to see the vitriolic exchanges coming from both the protracted electoral campaign in the United States and the four months of raging debates in the United Kingdom between the “ins” and the “outs” as a reflection of popular concerns which exist on multiple fronts: An obvious demand for change in “Big Government,” global inequality, environmental control, runaway technology, banking instability, migration and immigration, and despair over the ineffectuality of the United Nations and the European Union. Add the challenges of capitalist corruption, and the lack of genuine leadership in all of these areas and the message became clear that we cannot go on as we have in the 21st Century. The rise of populist figures like Donald Trump, Marine Le Pen and others of both the left and the right is an indication of the general disaffection.

That is why I am NOW advocating Britain’s exit from the European Union. If the “Remain” camp wins, nothing in Europe will be changed. Should the Brexit camp win, the floodgates for change could be opened, starting with the resignation of the Prime Minister and followed by unknown consequences in the European Community, the eventual break-away of Scotland, and the beginning of a major shake-up of the world banking system with unknown consequences for the global economy. My hope is that such major challenges would renew democratic initiatives and fire the spirit of people around the world with hope. A “Leave” vote could also mark a change for such huge bureaucratic organizations as the European Union in Brussels and the United Nations in New York. It could possibly lead us to smaller, cooperative groupings in which the voices of the electorate become heard. People are fed up with ever more remote bureaucratic centralization for the sake of cost-cutting and “efficiency.” The public is beginning to recognize that “efficiency” comes at the expense of both accountability and human contact.

The prospects for the European Union look increasingly bleak as the “social” part of the European social market is being sacrificed to focus on the need for greater economic stability. The politicians in Brussels still believe they can push through a fiscal union even as unity is crumbling. Acting in the interests of the big corporations which, through their army of lobbyists and inside dealers, have corrupted the administrations in London, Washington and Brussels. Moreover, the unaccountable elite in the EU, who originally embraced the lofty ideals of the “Democratic Process,” are also failing to act effectively on the increasingly undemocratic tendencies of the governments in Eastern Europe. These bureaucrats in Brussels have never been exposed to the will of the people and don’t want this to be recognized. Unless they are shocked out of their routines, the EU and the UN will continue to be more bureaucratic and more centralized. Is this not the time for change if we can affect this by voting for the Exit?

Such an exit by Britain could be the death rattle for the increasingly remote 21st Century leadership and herald in a new and hopefully sympathetic era as Steve Hilton, an ex-strategy advisor to David Cameron, has been promoting in his book More Human. The real choice for Britain is not between economic security and economic risk. It is about the birth of the kind of sustainable democratic governance which will best guide us through an increasingly challenging and unpredictable technological era.

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7 thoughts on “99. OUT NOT IN

  1. Dear Yorick With great sadness I read that you have decided to vote ‘out’. You are right that the flood gates for change will open, but not for the better. Right wing, nationalistic parties all over Europe will smell blood and reinforce their efforts to rip Europe apart. The result will be nations hostile to foreigners and immigrants and in the not to distant future the proud Nation States will stand and act against each other – again. We might not see the result, but your and my children and our grandchildren will suffer. I am also sorry that you have fallen for the propaganda of the ‘Buerocrats’ argument. Brussels employs 55000 civil servants. The City of Birmingham employs 65000 civil servants and the British Government 405000. The European civil servants get their directions from the European Council (28 heads of governments) and the European Parliament. Both are democratically elected. A Russian Czech Bank has financed Marie Le Pen’s party with 9 million Euros. ‘Divide and Rule’ is Mr. Putin’s aim and the Leave campaign is working straight into his hands. The tendencies of Eastern European States to become more authoritarian will not be stopped by a British Brexit. It will accelerate the dissolution of democratically elected governments with foreseeable consequences. Your idea that a shock out of the routine will improve matters is misguided. It will endanger the peace and stability we have enjoyed for the last 70 years. With great sorrow

    Johannes

    von Stumm

    President of the Oxford Art Society President of Open Studios West Berkshire and North Hampshire

    Wellhill House, South Fawley Wantage, OX12 9NL, United Kingdom T: +44 1488 638 194 M: + 447796448522 E: vonstumm@aol.com http://www.vonstumm.co.uk

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  2. With great sadness I read that you have decided to vote ‘out’.
    You are right that the flood gates for change will open, but not for the better.
    Right wing, nationalistic parties all over Europe will smell blood and reinforce their efforts to rip Europe apart. The result will be nations hostile to foreigners and immigrants and in the not to distant future the proud Nation States will stand and act against each other – again. We might not see the result, but your and my children and our grandchildren will suffer.
    I am also sorry that you have fallen for the propaganda of the ‘Buerocrats’ argument. Brussels employs 55000 civil servants. The City of Birmingham employs 65000 civil servants and the British Government 405000. The European civil servants get their directions from the European Council (28 heads of governments) and the European Parliament. Both are democratically elected.
    A Russian Czech Bank has financed Marie Le Pen’s party with 9 million Euros. ‘Divide and Rule’ is Mr. Putin’s aim and the Leave campaign is working straight into his hands. The tendencies of Eastern European States to become more authoritarian will not be stopped by a British Brexit. It will accelerate the dissolution of democratically elected governments with foreseeable consequences.
    China is flexing its muscles in the South China Sea, pushing Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan aside. A unified Europe together with the USA will be more influential to react against unwelcome interferences.
    Your idea that a shock out of the routine will improve matters is misguided. It will endanger the peace and stability we have enjoyed for the last 70 years.

    • Perhaps I am over-optimistic that if the flood-gates were to open the results would be for the better. Of course there is the danger that the right-wing in P0land, France,Germany and the UK would prevail over common sense and take the opportunity to oust inept centrist leaderships.
      The long term problem is that without a shock, without economic or political change, the deadlock on crucial matters like immigration, corporate corruption, the degradation of the environment, increasing
      unemployment caused by robots and the new technologies etc., will not be tackled by the EU with any degree of effectiveness.

      I believe that if the Stay-in triumphs the European nations will not
      alter their inept ways. The European nations made minimal concessions when Cameron made the rounds earlier this year. Should Britain stay in,they will no longer listen to Cameron at all.

      It is true that if faced with a choice between the risks of the unknown and a continuation of the status-quo, the electorate generally prefers to vote for the status quo. My blog pushes for change in the hope that the younger generation would push for truly meaningful alterations in
      the economic and political perspective which has thus far prevailed
      in the 21st Century.
      It would be wonderful to stop the clock and carefully consider how
      we are changing the planet beyond recognition. Our children are going to wonder: how did our parents let such inequalities, such
      pollution, and such a corrupt economic system continue without any
      effective protest? I would like to leave a better heritage than that.
      My call for OUT is my voice in favor of change before it is too late.

      • Dear Yorick!
        Thank you for ‘Opening the Flood Gates’.
        1. Britain is heading into another recession for the next five to eight years. Insecurity will reign, Investment will shrink and businesses will relocate some of their services and production to the continent. The pound will fall with an increase in the trade deficit.
        2. The United Kingdom might break apart.
        3. The Leave Campaign convinced the voters with lies and half truths, nationalism and xenophobia. Emotions won the battle over facts. All over the Continent far right wing parties are now raising their voices, asking for a referendum in their country. Democratically elected politicians will not withstand their pressure for long. The right wingers will copy the style of Johnson, Gove and Farage and Europe will fall apart with known consequences.
        I shall think of you when the first ones are drowning.
        Kind regards
        Johannes

  3. How disappointing to read your blog. Constructing something of value often takes many years , much work and much patience while destroying it can be done in five minutes.Instead of persevering to try to reform and improve the EU, you are willing to throw out the baby with the bath water. While all of those who are in the leave camp are not right wing fanatics, it is interesting to note that all of the right wing fanatics are in that camp. It should tell you something.I do hope that you will reconsider and vote to stay and work to deal with the defects that you perceive in the EU.

  4. Brave and prophetic blog,Which I agree with, and I have hope, as always, that we can and will, adapt to the changes.

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