Democracy is a bitch when it doesn’t go your way. That’s pretty much the sentiment New Age mouthpieces in corporate media and the broader community of hipsters who parrot the politically-correct taglines of people “outraged” by the British vote to leave the European Union today (trending in social media under the hashtag #Brexit).
One commentator tweeted how she’d like to do a “massive projectile vomit” at the 16 million voters who voted “Leave” in the referendum conducted yesterday in the United Kingdom. Many others are flashing screencaps of charts showing financial markets in “tailspins”. Yet others, predictably, lament what is the single biggest issue to people who campaigned vigorously to “Remain” all over social media — immigration. Without the EU to tell it how to manage its borders, the UK pretty much can now deal with that issue on its own terms.
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The irony that seems to escape the “outraged” Netizens of the “Remain” camp is in the way they frame the “Leave” vote as an outcome of paranoia and misguided nationalist sentiment. And yet here they are, kicking up a paranoid storm around visions of recesions looming in the horizon, currency crises, and loss of business as the costs of trading with the Continent go back up.
The way these hipsters go into a fit over what the venerable rag The Economist itself admitted to be an event with no precedent and, therefore, lacking any sort of model with which to predict its ramifications, betrays a lack of faith in the British character. One commentator lamented over Twitter how the Vote had pulled the UK back to 1985 along with the value of the pound.
Here’s the kicker: another bozo pompously asserted in a tweet that the British, in voting to leave the EU, are regressing back to an age when Britons regarded themselves as “better than all the rest”. They make it sound like
losing regaining a sense of superiority over “all the rest” is necessarily a bad thing. What, after all, is wrong with being self-assured of one’s superiority as a nation?
The British, lest we forget, invented the Industrial Revolution (among many many other things). If they had lost the commercial mojos to re-invent it for themselves again after their exit from the EU, it likely means that Britain had lost something really important about its cultural character over the years in the course of their “integration” with the “global economy” (and their descent in the debilitating political-correctness of today’s discourse).
Britons just need to look through their long glorious history for the many precedents that make #Brexit look like a French exit from a rowdy party in comparison. Back during the reign of Henry VIII in the 16th Century, the Church of England was created in full affront to the powerful Roman Catholic Church which held much of the rest of Europe in its clutches. That did not stop England from going on to become mankind’s mightiest empire and rule much of humanity over the next several centuries.
We also recall the way the British met the bombs Hitler rained all over London during the Blitz in World War II with their characteristic stoicism and stiff upper lip. They met all that even as the rest of Europe cowered under the shadow of Nazism for much of the several years that Britain stood up to Germany alone. Indeed, in the course of that lonely battle with Germany, Britain built the finest war machines of the time. The Supermarine Spitfire was one of the greatest achievements of a British people working alone against a formidable enemy. The British economy stepped up to produce these machines by the thousands, society chipped in their best men to fly them, and the blueprints for air warfare the likes of which have never been imagined before were drawn up.
All of that, Britain achieved largely on its own. No thanks to the rest of Europe — and America — needed.
If there is a country left isolated that one could bet on would still succeed, the UK would be it. It has the track record to prove it could do it and, one would hope, the national character to pull it off.
I’m sure the late Singapore elder statesman Lee Kuan Yew would agree. Singapore, after all, was kicked out of the Malay Federation and, unlike Britain, found itself poor and alone not by choice but by force of circumstance. Yet here is Singapore today, like Britain after emerging triumphant from the Blitz, a clear winner. Did I mention that Singapore was, itself, a colonial outpost of the British Empire in Malaya in a former life? There you go. Perhaps it’s time the British learn from a former colony for a change what it means to be a strong people.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.