Friday, June 24, 2016

Divorcing London

24th June 2016

Yesterday, this United Kingdom of reluctant countries voted to leave the European Union. Well, empires rise and this is how they fall - in a flurry of confusion. England voted to be an island, figurative as well as physical, and an island it will now be, little England without Scotland, and eventually without Northern Ireland and without Wales, too.


That line between the blue and the red is the Scottish border. Two different countries, two sets of law, two very different sensibilities. Within the two years it takes for England to pull out of the European Union, I predict a second Scottish independence referendum will join Scotland to Europe and away from the British Empire. With it will go Scotland's oil, its renewable energy industry, its whisky and tourist industries. All of these will cut severely into English revenues, for although Scots represent only 8.4% of the UK's population, it generates 9.4% of its annual revenues. This figure, long suppressed by the English government, has now been released and puts paid to the myth promulgated  by said government that England subsidises Scotland and keeps it from sinking into financial chaos. Now it's clear the reality is the other way around. Only, myths die hard, and voters in England weren't thinking about that when they voted yesterday to cut themselves off from Europe.

Empires never exist honestly. They rely on the spread of misinformation. In fact, they take an active role in keeping a lid on the truth.
An astute journalist in the New York Times earlier this week suggested that it is not Brussels Britain needs to free itself from but London.  It's the controlling megabuck moguls like Rupert Murdoch that we need to free ourselves from and the English old boys' club to which Boris Johnson and David Cameron belong.  This is a fight, at last, for the freedom of the ordinary people. The Demos in democracy. 
So now that the people are up and running, certain things need to be put in place to keep them going:
A free press - when was there last one of those?  Free broadcasting - that used to mean the BBC, but now - don't make me laugh! Everything has been sliding for a long time into oligarchy, just as it has in America.  It's the oligarchs, enemies of democracy, that need to go. David Cameron's is the first head to roll. If the English elect Boris Johnson to fill his shoes, his head will be the next.
And in a democracy, you need free publishing houses. I was talking to a publisher in Scotland who told me that it is hard to get any Scottish book into Scottish bookstores, whether published in Scotland or elsewhere.  I know I have had that difficulty. Most of the respected publishing in Britain goes on in where? Why, London, of course.


It was in just such a vacuum in Ireland right before that country became independent that Yeats formed the Irish Literary Society. Because empires control, just like the father of a dysfunctional family who is himself sick, but wants to make sure no one knows . So the empire takes charge and brings the literary presses under its control. London control.
The people of England need to wise up and recognise that it's these conservative governments they keep electing that are at fault for their dire straits. Not the immigrants, not even the European Union. The sickness is in their own house, and it is time to pull out the divorce papers.

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