Home / Live Wire / Bugger that! Britain votes to remain an island; Live Wire looks at Brexit

Bugger that! Britain votes to remain an island; Live Wire looks at Brexit

You know that your foreign policy ideas probably were not as well thought out as you hoped when you find US presidential candidate Donald Trump agreeing with you.

Photo: And the best part? You guys don't even need a wall! (Copyright Business Insider)
Photo: And the best part? You guys don’t even need a wall!
(Copyright Business Insider)

“I think it is a great thing,” said Trump. “Basically, they took their country back.”

That’s one way to look at Britain’s decision, via a referendum, to quit the European Union. Another is that a nation whose empire once stretched across the globe is now so insular and deluded, it prefers to pull down the blinds, take the phone off the hook and pass the time reminiscing about Queen Victoria.

There was a hint of something else too, as northern England spoke about wanting to regain the “character” of their towns and UKIP leader Nigel Farage likened the decision to an Independence Day for Britain.

Faced with the challenge of learning to get along with its neighbours for the common good in a world that is shrinking by the minute, Britain chose a short-term, knee-jerk reaction.

Or, to quote South Park’s big-boned, race relation-challenged character, Eric Cartman: Screw you guys, I’m going home!

It was a very good day for bigotry. Although, to be fair, it is possible that Brexit voters just wanted to piss off Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley and his sweat-shop, sweatshirt empire based on cheap immigrant labour.

Photo: I hate Europeans... And hippies!
Photo: I hate Europeans… And hippies!

And speaking of un-endearing public figures, is it ironic that UK Prime Minister Dave Cameron never seemed so wonderful as that moment when he said “goodbye?”

Ahhh… Cameron… The Snoopy-lookalike who responded to Jamaica’s call for reparations by offering them one third of a prison instead.

The charming statesman who giggled at corrupt third world nations while his father hid his wealth—part accumulated from his great-great-grandpappy’s investment in slaves—in Panama.

And yet Cameron, just a year after being re-elected by British voters, knew which way the wind was blowing once 52 percent of the nation elected to ignore his pleas to stay in Europe.

Even though—you may need to sit down for this one—the referendum was not legally binding!

Trinidad and Tobago politicians would no doubt find that hilarious.

Photo: Good grief Charlie Brown!
Photo: Good grief Charlie Brown!

It isn’t that Cameron is of better stock, of course. Rather, it is that he operates in an environment which would make any attempt to continue his political career unworkable. Not to mention a culture in which politicians are allowed independent views without fear of being immediately “Bobbitt-ised” by a maximum leader.

Politicians falling on their swords is the perk of a mature and assertive electorate; one that understands MPs are elected to serve. Although, to be fair, it is easier to have a sensible view of leaders and their inherent vulnerabilities without the historical scars of colonialism.

And what does this do for sport?

British work permit laws for footballers are heavily weighted towards international appearances. So it could mean that, in years to come, the next Kevin Molino or Joevin Jones might have an easier time getting into an English club than the next Dimitri Payet or Juan Mata.

And what does Brexit mean for the current England national team?

Photo: Can I still pick Lallana? Will Wilshere's french accent be a problem?
Photo: Can I still pick Lallana? Will Wilshere’s french accent be a problem?

At least coach Roy Hodgson has an excuse to leave the Euros now.

About Mr. Live Wire

Mr. Live Wire
Mr. Live Wire is an avid news reader who translates media reports for persons who can handle the truth. And satire. Unlike Jack Nicholson, he rarely yells.

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166 comments

  1. Enoc Powell’s words are prophetic.

    Powell: You have two events, if I may say so, slightly confused. One was the Conservative Party conference where I said I would never assent to the act of abnegation involved in Britain joining the Common Market; and a meeting in East Ham in September 1971 when I said it will not happen. I am still convinced it will not happen. I am convinced that the people of this country cannot be absorbed into a European state.
    Day: But you said we would not go into the Common Market, and we did go into the Common Market, and are not just as wrong now as you were then?

    Powell: No sir, the British people do not mean it because they have still not been able to credit the implications of being in the Common Market. They still think they will be a nation. They still think they will govern and tax and legislate for themselves. They are mistaken. It’s not the fault of many of the pro-marketeers that they are mistaken, but it is the thing, so incredible to them, that I am not inclined to blame them overmuch. But they will learn.

    https://yougov.co.uk/news/2015/06/15/eu-vote-enoch-powells-warning-beyond-grave/

  2. I think on the contrary Brexit played on the concerns that people were experiencing and made it appear that it was an easy solution to their problems.. It reminds me a lot of what the PP proposed in 2010. Is there a reason why the proponents of Brexit did not have a concrete plan for implementation.

  3. It is amusing though how Leave politicians are quickly pulling back from their positions now that they have ‘won’.

  4. Lasana I saw the Guardian article since last night but I didn’t bother to post since ‘our experts’ said there will be no fall out..

  5. If we have a referendum tomorrow and couch it in terms of: Sign this and keep Venezuelans, Guyanese and Grenadians out… Which way do you think the majority of Trinis would be tempted to vote?

  6. Prof Andy Knight: “I think that many Brits just wanted to send a message to the British Government (and to the EU) that they were fed up in being taken for granted; they could not see the benefits of globalisation and European integration.

    All they could see was that they were falling further and further behind financially while immigrants seem to be benefitting from the social, political and economic benefits that accrued for globalisation. Those Americans that think that way will most likely support Trump, unless Hillary Clinton can convince them of the uncertainty that will come with a Trump presidency and of the damage that he can do not only domestically but also globally.”

    Savitri, that is exactly the argument that caused the Remain camp to lose. Can’t the intellectuals understand that it is a better to make a positive case for your side than a negative case about the other?

    http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2016-06-26/brexit-fallout-problems-trade-tourism-caribbean

    • Exactly what the Politico article said as well. Anybody who thinks this was a xenophobic vote has been seriously misled by journalists. People vote how it affects them. I know I did during the Thatcher and Blair years and one thats why I cant understand the sycophancy here

    • It is also Sales 101. Don’t tell people they are dumb for thinking something. Show them a way that is better for them. DUH!!! :-/ Lol

    • Lol! I need a salesman like you yes…??

    • But seriously eh, we see the same thing happening locally and when this pot boils over it will explode

    • True. Trinis are more conservative than they think. They are mostly Republican and Conservative in spirit. It is only that they identify with personalities and think they aren’t as a result.

    • Yes cause they never had to fight for anything. How many of them do you think could live in a one-bed Council flat, paying gas, heating, Council tax, suffering public transport (which is still better than driving here) and now you can’t even get a GP to register you?

    • Savitri – the plethora of social media posts, reports of racist incidents increasing plus the variety of interviews across the Uk from different media outlets point to a different view. I am not saying that there wasn’t other arguments but it seems more the case that this is more the continued move to the far right happening globally.

    • Kendall you know the media has a lot to do with that. Why aren’t they asking Cameron and No10 to explain the process now? Where is the Chancellor? I hope he’s locked up somewhere with the Gov of the BoE drawing up an exit route and possibly to tackle the Markets in a few hours

    • The media is responsible for social media posts? Cameron made it clear he was giving way to another leader for the process of leaving so other than stabilising the Pound and stock market, he won’t be charting any future plans.

  7. Look at the Debt to GDP ratios.

  8. “Greece became the center of Europe’s debt crisis after Wall Street imploded in 2008. With global financial markets still reeling, Greece announced in October 2009 that it had been understating its deficit figures for years, raising alarms about the soundness of Greek finances.

    Suddenly, Greece was shut out from borrowing in the financial markets.”

  9. That assessment fails to take into account the actions of the various governments in mismanaging their economies though.

  10. “The reason is obvious. Europe has failed to fulfil the historic role allocated to it. Jobs, living standards and welfare states were all better protected in the heyday of nation states in the 1950s and 1960s than they have been in the age of globalisation. Unemployment across the eurozone is more than 10%. Italy’s economy is barely any bigger now than it was when the euro was created. Greece’s economy has shrunk by almost a third. Austerity has eroded welfare provision. Labour market protections have been stripped away.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jun/26/brexit-is-the-rejection-of-globalisation?CMP=fb_gu

  11. The more I read about this the more I’m convinced that many of the people who voted ” leave” ..poor working-class sobs…are already regretting their decision. Assuming of course that they are able to discern the medium and long term repercussions of their vote.

  12. Jeremy, we have so many Brexit pieces up you can maybe put your blog in any one of them. Thanks. 😉

  13. I think there is a lesson to be learnt from this referendum. The referendum should not only be determined by first past the post, maybe there should also be a requirement to set a winning % to the winning votes that is tied to the number of people voting.

    • There’s a petition asking Parliament to review and bring a second vote. The petition mentions your % point, but I dont know how valid that will be in hindsight. Cameron screwed up badly in that sense, cause the Tories are the more Eurosceptic of the lot.

    • Is this why the EU commissioner is saying the Cameron must take responsibility for the final vote?

    • Yes! I believe if he really wanted to stay in, there are mechanisms he could’ve used.

    • You see Brian, Britain have never been totally committed to this Political program. Thatcher had the biggest fights with her counterparts and they’ve always had to fight to keep certain rights to laws. Keeping the Sterling as their currency was bitter. I will say again, a trading bloc was what it should be, not political. Too many leeches in the Euro institutions, its a scandal

    • Yes I agree, many are saying immigration was the issue but it also appears that an apparent erosion of sovereignty was also an issue.

    • All those are interlinked. With massive immigration you get social services, housing and health services etc affected and for those who know what the NHS provided in the past, it must come as a shock when there’s a drastic deterioration.

  14. Yeah Rose-Marie, it will take a while and all these mega businesses will have to function in whatever environment. Remember their main objective is profits. The Spanish vote tomorrow and that will indicate what will happen with the other original less well off countries. Richard Branson and all those who have their headquarters abroad should now come back home.

  15. A friend of mine posted this. …….

    “My last post on this… at least for now. Businesses need a stable environment to facilitate investment. Brexit is probably the start of a domino effect. Scotland may now want to leave the UK as the Scots want to be part of the EU. Europe will spend the next 2 years negotiating the UK exit, and other countries may try to leave the EU. As companies hold out to wait and see what happens next, we could face several years of reduced business spending in what was one of the stronger parts of the global economy.”

  16. Lasana this could set the ball rolling and the whole Euro project will have to be reconsidered/reengineered. The Spanish, Greek and Portuguese who are suffering now will take heart.

  17. I’m guessing those are the people who voted ‘Leave’ and didn’t know what the EU was..lol

  18. But Sav so many British businesses are located overseas now. And so many home-based British companies rely on low-level European labor.
    I think British businesses could become less competitive while at the same time they would lose benefit of trade deals.
    They will survive. But impact could be huge and really damaging!
    (Disclaimer: only O level economic certification about two decades ago! Lol)

    • Lol…ok I hear the O level thing…me too and even longer than you….hahaha! ??
      True about a lot of businesses located overseas, but there are those still doing well. Europe sort of destroyed the Motor Industry. When Vauxhall closed down in Luton that town was devastated, they were the biggest employer for Luton and the surrounding towns. Thats what I know personally and Im sure it has happened all over the country. They need a personality like Maggie now to take the reins. She knew how to get things done but I cant see anyone, I dont know how Theresa May, if selected, will manage.

    • Maggie you say? Surely not Maggie “Ding Dong” Thatcher?! Lol

    • That lady self! Think of her first term, how she dealt with Scargill and the Unions.

  19. Britain will do just fine outside, I have no doubt. It will take some time tho and the Euros, esp the Germans will certainly put obstacles along the way. Remember Spain has an election tomorrow, that will be interesting.

  20. All this trouble over what is basically a fear of too much immigration. And this from a country that has thrived on colonization for over 500 years. If it wasn’t going to have an eventual contagion effect on the world economy I would say “It good fuh dem yes! “

  21. He is delaying the inevitable, he seems to have the support of the unions but that support is going to wither away in time.

  22. Trump’s thinking is an oxymoron

  23. Like many other articles on the ‘net’, Lasana, you glossed over the real issues. You have not dug deep enough into WHY the typical British (the ‘man on the Clapham bus’ – look it up) felt the need to exit from the EU. Don’t buy into the hype, as you and many comment writers here obviously have. Find out WHY. What were the issues, how they saw those issues affecting them, what made them think they would be better off outside the EU etc… ?

    Media facts aren’t always reliable and unless you have spent time examining the EU and the way its functions affect the individual countries, including England (as I have) you will not understand what went/is going on.

    By the way, I hope you note that all the reactions are based upon ‘how will exiting the EU affect me?’ and that none of the doom and gloom predictions so far have come to pass. The EU has been on the radar of the British people for years as being too bureaucratic, too unwieldy, too out of touch with the common people (not only of the UK) to be allowed to continue. You will note that since Friday, more members of the EU are calling for their own internal referenda, to exit the EU. It looks like the EU has pissed off not just a few… the end result is the likely collapse of the EU. And that’s no joke.

  24. That was not a very convincing vote, with paticipation of 72% of eligible votes to a referendum and obtaining about 52%? There is certainly going to be economic and political chaos.
    Once known as ‘Great Britain’ may now be ‘Break Britain’!

  25. Brussels people are just a bunch of parasites. No one ever voted for them . They want to save their jobs. Hypocrites. Burn them

  26. soon come Tobago TOEXIT….

  27. All propaganda stuff Brian…probably more Brits living inside the EU than anywhere else

  28. Lol.. was now gonna post this…⬆⬆⬆ ?

  29. Imagine people are openly praising UKIP. UKIP is actually openly cool. Stunning. Bizarre.

  30. I expect Britain is going to start encouraging territories to withdraw from the monarchy in the name of greater sovereignty blah blah blah…

  31. Screw you guys i’m going home

  32. Wait for Trump to win elections..yuh better get an early start eh Lasana

  33. LOL!!! Who would have ever thought Dodgy Dave would end up smelling like a rose

  34. I was gonna ask you to expand on the possibilities for our footballers as it may not be doom and gloom because it would be easier for a club to snap up readily available talent outside of Europe who would now be on level pegging with other talents within Europe… everybody needs a work permit now…

  35. This may sound bigoted, but I can often guess that someone’s British without even hearing them speak. :/

    • How I can tell someone’s British? I’m not sure. Something about their skin, features and manner. I’m looking at a guy on TV last night with the volume off. I guessed he was British and I was right.

    • Do you mean British or English? I would find it hard to believe that you can look at anyone and tell they are British….English you may stand a chance…..

    • Johnathan Roberts Probably English. I now have to go remind myself the difference between Britain, England and the UK.

    • If Erline means on TV, then I can understand. In USA, they only put glamorous people on television and it is different in Britain. For the most part anyway.
      So I agree with Erline. While I lived there I could tell a tourist from a Brit in London without them saying a word too.

    • Brits generally don’t look strangers in the eye in public places, be it on the streets, bus or subway. Or maybe I should say Londoners there.

    • English is Anglo Saxon…..white…..British is anyone who is or has become a native of Great Britain…like myself…I am British….but can never be English

    • Lasana Liburd…I am Trini but also British…so I will look you in the face anytime, any place…Leicester Square or Frederick Street lol bus, train or Maxi Taxi LOL

    • But I’d bet you know what I mean Johnathan. 😉

    • I did mean a white English person. I wasn’t thinking of other races.

    • Put me in a UK night club and show me a black American, Brit and African and I can tell who is from which continent. But then I’d be judging from fashion preferences. Lol. I can tell from how they interact with ladies too btw!

    • Erline Andrews…I buy that argument wholeheartedly….The English are indeed a breed that stand out even before they open their mouth. British is everyone…Trini…Jamaican…Guyanese….Pakistani…Greek….anyone who legally is or has become a citizen of the UK

    • Lasana Liburd….you might be missing the point I am trying to make or the clarity I was trying to bring to the fore….people tend to use British and English interchangeably and they are not. I will put you i that said UK night club with myself (the Brit) my buddy from Brooklyn (an American naturalized citizen from Cocorite) and yes you will be able to tell the African apart but no difference between myself or my buddy……

    • Johnathan hence why i didn’t say Trini. Lol. Trinis are like salt.
      But I wasn’t splitting them up. Londoners are different to Brummies and Mancunians and Glasgwegians… But they all have more in common in terms of aesthetics and culture than Americans.

    • Lasana…We are basically on the same page…I do believe my brother….but I am Trinidadian, British and American…have the three passports to prove same….So a Trini of African descent can be British but NEVER English….English is Anglo Saxon….white,,,,which brings us full circle to where I first came in on the roundabout of our discussion…..Finally and then i’ll leave it there….I am a Londoner and I am American so that somewhat negates your statement….but I will take it that you are referring to those Born American and it would have to be white Londoners, Brummies, Mancunians and Glaswegians that you are referencing……for the most part regardless of where we have become naturalized citizens…Caribbean people remain true to their roots…much love my brother….wish we was having this discussion on the Avenue over a cold Carib….

    • Lasana Liburd….sent you a friend request…..I appreciate lively discussion and folk who can think for themselves and articulate their thoughts….do me the honor of accepting….

  36. Hahahahahahahaha. Why you so?

  37. Imagine all this occurred because Dave Cameron was “forced” to make an un-forced error!!! – in the attempt to placate the Eurosceptics in his party……I am sure his autocratic and intransigent namesake of WICB fame saying that could never happen to he

  38. Heard on the midday news that the Netherlands are discussing their own withdrawal, Nexit. So if Sweden decides to join the party and withdraw, would that qualify as Sexit?

  39. Democracy. Well that’s the system we have. Like it. Or hate it.

    Its strange that some people want democracy when it suits them. But when it goes against them they get upset.