Tuesday, June 28, 2016

GMGH's ramblings on BREXIT

I know that most of you are probably sick of hearing about all of this BREXIT nonsense, but hey, it's my blog, so I get to talk about what I want to talk about.

Now, with everyone saying this and that and weighing in with their opinions and thoughts about the UK and the EU, why should anyone listen to what GMGH has to say? Well...

  • Unlike most of my fellow part-time armchair political and economic experts on the internet, I have actually been to Europe
  • In fact, I have travelled and been to 15 out of the (former) 28 EU member countries
  • And yes, I have visited all their capital cities as well
  • And no, I do not need to post any pictures to prove anything
  • I have studied and attained A1 language accreditation for 2 European languages under the CEFR framework (sure, it's basic, but I've learnt much of the culture which can only be understood through knowing the subtleties imbedded in the languages)
  • I was a Permanent Resident of a member country in the EU

Yup, you heard that right. GMGH was a PR who lived in Europe. I was living in a European house in a European city, eating European food and drinking European beer bought from a European supermarket, taking European public transport and talking in a European language with other European people and navigating the European bureaucracy to, unsurprisingly, live the European life.

I have benefited from being a European PR. I have moved across countries in the borderless borders of the Schengen Area easily and fuss-free. Have I ever sipped pretentious wine while sitting on the beach looking out at the sunset with the company of other Europeans? You bet your ass I did.

So, am I more European than you? Well, it's not an absolute certainty, but let's just say I wouldn't bet against it. Still though, while living and travelling around Europe, people called me Jackie Chan or Bruce Li, followed by konichiwa. It's hard to be offended with this kind of weird racism. Anyway with all that information thrown out upfront, perhaps my weighing in might sound a bit more personal and biased instead of neutral, but can you really blame me? Perhaps not, since all this European background might give you the impression that I'm pro-EU, but don't be too quick to jump to conclusions. Let's get down to my post then.

I find it saddening that so many ugly things about the UK vote has been plastered all over social media. Practically most of social media has been overrun by liberal hippies who are just slamming UK for abandoning the European ideal of "no borders, no boundaries" and instead, putting up walls to stop free movement and condoning all shades of racism (whether this is in fact reality or not, is a different argument). You can hear them crying while singing Black Eyed Pea's "Where is the Love?".

And who do they blame for this? They blame all the older citizens who have a tilt for Leave. Why do these old farts who are going to die and not live with their decisions as long as the youth get equal voting power? This is one of the stupidest arguments I have ever heard in my life. And I've heard plenty of dumb arguments.

Just because they have "less time to live with their decision", does it mean that their vote should be worth less? In that case, does the vote of a 5 year old matter 10 times more than that of a 50 year old? Screw that logic.

If anything, votes by younger people should be weighed LESS than their older countrymen. What does a 22 year old know about politics, economics, medical care, pensions, taxes and worst of all, being gainfully employed? Compared to the older generation, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that they know diddly shit about what they are voting for, except for less restrictive and less expensive summer holidays to European beaches where they will drink pretentious wine while watching the sun set. Trust me. I had wine with them. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it though. I did.

If all the youths feel so fervently about remaining, then why the heck did only 36% turnout to vote when a staggering majority of the youth would have voted for remain? You know who the youths should be blaming for sticking themselves with "the most time to live with this decision"? Themselves. For not turning up to vote.

I've also heard that if the UK leaves the EU, they can't trade with the EU anymore.... wait, what? Are you kidding me? Are we in the EU? Can we trade with the EU? It's madness to think that because we're not in the "European common market" that we are unable to trade with them! Sure, it's not immediate to straight away broker "trade deals", but it is definitely an eventual thing that the UK will have control over their trade. The case by the remainers have such a bad argument on this actually. Anyone that starts off on this probably doesn't know how trade works if you're a trading nation. If you trade with more people, it's good. If you're part of a shitty union that doesn't allow you to trade, it's bad. Come on people, it's not that complicated.

Another bad argument that I've heard is that people are slamming the leave vote as the "uneducated" vote because the "intellectual centres" of Oxford, Cambridge and City of London have very strong votes on the remain side. Well, if all these intellectuals know what's best, then everyone should just disregard the vote of the majority and listen to the few who thinks that they know better? Bloody shit. Isn't that one of the main arguments for leaving the EU? So that the British public doesn't have to take shit from a small group of unaccountable Eurocrats that think they know better than the peasantry?

To be fair, maybe I am wrong and Remain is better for the UK. But you know what? That's just how democracy work. If there's 10 people in a bus and 6 vote to drive the bus off the cliff, then well shit, it sucks to those 4 that didn't like that idea. That is exactly what democracy is. If this idea ain't good enough for you, then you might like my idea which I plan to enforce in my kingdom, where people are tested in the voting subject and are required to pass before they are allowed to vote. At least, that's how I would do it.

Much of social media has been focusing on how this vote has given the green light for many of the racist Brits to come out and be openly racist in public. I don't like this idea of racism and it does make me a bit angry/sad, but then again you have to realize that the people who voted to Remain are the ones sorely unhappy about this outcome and they control and flood social media channels with news from their angle. Don't get me wrong though, I'm not saying that racism is okay, because it's not. I'm just saying that reading some things on the internet won't be able to give you the full picture. I would assume that most of the sarcastic GIFs and memes being shared on social media are not produced by and representative of the 45 and over crowd.

All along, I've never thought that the vote to Leave is one of hate and racism. To me, it has always been able accountability and sovereignty. And about saving themselves by getting out of this failing European fantasy project. These cartoonist seem to agree as well.

The argument by the more intellectual voters of the Leave has never been focused on immigration and forcing out non-white people. It was always about jumping out of the car before it rolls off the cliff. But we all know that you don't get what you want by telling people the truth. You get what you want by pressing the buttons of voters and finding what gets them the most worked up. Is it hard to imagine that someone in the working class would not get riled up when you present to them that even more migrants are going to come in to compete with them for everything, from jobs to accommodation to services? I wouldn't say that it was a clean fight, but politics has never been a clean fight.

I came across this video of Daniel Hannan debating for the Leave cause which I would like to link up and share. It is a fantastic speech and I think that he made his points very clear. I know I wouldn't be able to argue against that.

I've mentioned Daniel Hannan before. His previous debate was one that strongly resonated with me and made me explore, and now, denounce the practically of socialism when compared to capitalism. I think what makes his views hold so much weight is his background. He is an MEP, he speaks several European languages, he's lived all over the continent and have spent 17 years in Brussels. If what he is campaigning for goes through, it means that he effectively campaigned himself out of his cushy and comfortable job to stand up for something that he believes in. And also how many times did he talk about immigration? Never. Not once.

As much as people are hating on BoJo for his bus campaign (I honestly didn't keep up with the shiny things dangled by the leave campaign), I am still a strong supporter of Nigel Farage. Ever since the Greek Crisis, I've noticed how his stance has always been the same and his points are always clear and on the same topic - the systemic problem of the EU. I do hope that Hannan and Farage have a place steering the UK based on how much they feel for the country. In the future, we might look back and talk about this huge mistake by the UK or it could just as well be their turning point to prosperity, but it is hard to blame these men for standing up for something that they believe in which is for the interest of the nation, and not themselves. They do have their hearts in the right place, at least to the casual onlooker like myself.

Some people might think I'm a conservative and I am against liberals. I am just a pragmatist. It either makes sense, or it doesn't.

Hannan's opening statement really strikes me hard. "One of the features of this campaign is head vs heart". As mentioned before, too many people are enamored and confused by the European fantasy CONCEPT of love and peace and other hippie stuff of the EU, and they confuse that with the REALITY of what it is (Wow, doesn't this sound exactly like the socialism argument? Delusional? Hmmm...). Of course, the counter-argument to this is so easily brought up by saying, "Well, if we don't strive for something better, how can we ever improve?".

Stop trying to see the world as what you want it to be, and instead see it for what it is. Once you've grasped reality, you can then start working towards ideals.

And of course, you have to be awake to do this.

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