There is a lot I have been reading about the European Union, and pretty much none of it good. A few months ago I felt a little more neutral towards the EU, but at the same time I considered the UK government an uncontrolled dog that the EU might be able to stop from making laws that would desecrate our human rights and our liberties. But now I’m not sure where the hell I even got that idea, or how it makes sense, and I now loathe the implications of the idea: that we need a large, centralized political power to protect our liberty. Given that this same power has done nothing to protect the liberties of other European countries, or even our own, and the realization that change in our country is best done on the independent, local level, on the part of the people of our nation rather than very much relying on a greater power, supporting the EU for me felt like a complete betrayal of my values. And I only thought the EU might be worth staying because I thought they might stop our Tory government from infringing our civil liberties and human rights, but that only ever amounted to the logic of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. But why the hell would the EU protect our rights and liberties if they’re perfectly fine with France, Germany, Belgium, and other countries in the union pursuing illiberal policy and stifling the liberty of their own people!?
In reality, such expectations betray my political values. Partly because I’ve had something of a history of being skeptical of the EU, or at least not caring about its value. In my blog’s history I’ve referred to the European Union as a useless monolithic body consisting of nothing but bureaucrats, and I’ve expressed hatred towards the idea that the UK can’t support human rights and civil liberty without the EU prodding them in the past, and only last year I expressed my concern that Ed Miliband would “suck up to Europe” (back then making the mistake of referring to the European Union as Europe – the two are obviously different entities). Clearly, I never actually liked the idea of something like the EU hanging over the UK and our leaders having to answer to bunch of bureaucrats, and I’ve been pretty consistent about that. So how the hell did I decide that the EU might actually help us, and for the same reasons I hated the EU for in the past? It boggles the mind. And the more I read about what the EU does, the more it sort of seems like the negative aspects actually outweigh a mythical narrative that they’ll actually preserve our human rights. Hell, the European courts actually upheld that ban on burqas which was put in place by France in the name of the idea of “living together” which they felt trumped civil liberty and freedom of religion – and the European courts obviously agree!
They screwed up the migrant crisis, they helped Greece become the mess that it is, they reject the will of European nations who say no to their treaties (as demonstrated with Ireland, which was pressured by the EU in 2009 to vote Yes to the Lisbon treaty after its people previously voted against the treaty), they sometimes impose their own leaders on countries who otherwise democratically elect their leaders (like in Italy and Greece), and they’ve been cozying up to dictators like Colonel Gaddafi (when he was still alive, and to keep African migrants out of Europe no less) and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan; in fact Germany in particular worked to satiate Erdogan by arresting a German comedian who made fun of him – and they have the most extensive hate speech laws in Europe – and the EU doesn’t bat an eye. I also suspect that last thing has something to do with the prospect of Turkey potentially becoming a member of the EU, which David Cameron also supported. They even think they have the authority to put pressure on America, and the worst part is that, apparently, Obama is actually planning to visit the UK to try and convince us to stay! What is his role in all this? What does America have to gain from our leaving a body of elites who shouldn’t have any influence over us anyway, without whom we can actually still trade with other European countries as if nothing happened? Our is this just characteristic of his nature as an interventionist politician (his handling of Syria being an example of this trait, and its failure through which ISIL comes to power).
What’s even worse in the UK is that the political establishment is so intent on staying with the EU that not only are both David Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn remaining with the EU (the latter after a long history of Euroscepticism, and the former after previously stating his intent to leave the EU), but the government actually planned on spending £9 million of taxpayer money to send pro-EU leaflets to every home in the country as a blatant attempt to intercept the public vote in favor of remaining in the EU. If that doesn’t stick in your throat and make you suspicious. Also, why does David Cameron want to be in the EU so badly? Given his authoritarian leanings, it’s obvious he has decided he has something to benefit from us remaining in the EU, that they can help him carry out his agenda. Or maybe it’s just that he considers the EU leaders his chums, and we all know how much Cameron likes to scratch his friends’ backs at the expense of the people and the country. In addition, the whole debate in the country is interpreted by the political establishment and its state-sponsored media wing the BBC as a matter whether or not we love Europe and Europeans or hate them, rather than simply about whether or not we want anything to do with Brussels. This distorted narrative clearly says to me how much our political establishment wants to dismiss those who wish to go against it, disregarding their opinions to stay in the good graces of an overarching political establishment that is indifferent to ordinary individuals and deeply interested in having control of Europe – a fact that even the president of the European Comission, Jean-Claude Juncker, may be catching on to. The argument for remaining in the EU always seems to be about how the EU will punish us if we leave, or how we may lose jobs if we leave, and never about what the EU will actually do for our country, or for Europe. Nope, we just have to stay in the EU or something bad will happen. The Independent even claimed that our national health system will suffer if we leave, which to me just seems wrong; the healthcare system is already suffering, it has nothing to do with being in the EU, and if it gets better, trust me, it won’t be because of the EU. The other problem is that the EU debate seems to have been made mostly about immigration – too many people are going on about the UK having control of its borders and how supposedly that’ll be used to prevent other Europeans from coming to the UK, as if we couldn’t just uphold their rights without having an indifferent union telling us we should.
Which brings me back to my main point: I’d rather countries buckle down and solve their own problems without being run by indifferent powers, just as humans should. I’m convinced, once more I might add, that the country I live in should own its own problems, and change should come about independently, at the behest of the people rather than at the behest of an indifferent higher power. If anything, it’s only the people who you can rely on to get anything done – not the government, and not the EU. If liberty is to exist anywhere, this is how it must be. But hey, I’m a liberty before prosperity kind of guy. I don’t think independence and personal agency can or should be bargained for anything – not for jobs, not for the stability of the status quo, not even for a well-off life – not for anything in the world. I only ask that I not be lumped in with the xenophobes, racists, UKIP, George Galloway, and some of the Tories – believe me, I have nothing in common with those guys and I have suspicion they want out of the EU for different reasons (mainly that they hate immigration and think that the UK is just gonna up and get everyone out of the UK when we leave the EU – poor fools). All I want is for us to take a chance and take control of our destiny, free of the influence of those who would impose their own rule on the rest of Europe while approving of illiberalism across Europe, and for us to rebel against others who wish to keep the UK in its current position, including Barrack Obama.
What’s really interested though, finally, is the rumors I’ve been hearing that Scotland make try again to break from the UK and become an independent state if we leave the EU. My brother also tells me that he’s worried that England try to assert power other Wales, which to me opens up the possibility that Wales will resist and possibly push for its own statehood along with Scotland. It seems like a stretch, knowing a lot of Brits will probably prefer the status quo if it means they get to keep the Union Jack, but who knows? The potential chaos (for lack of a better word) that awaits our political establishment if we leave the EU ought to be interesting for a change.