Winston Churchill said that Britain should not choose Europe but the open seas and that is where our destiny lies. The Who frontman Roger Daltry has come out in support of the UK leaving the EU and thank god for a blessed rock man who supports his nation. One of Daltrey’s biggest hits was ‘Pumping up my Generation’ a song about the rebellion of the youth movement of the time calling for the old generation to step aside and make way for the radical progressive movement of the 1960s. Back in the day it was considered to be stagnanting to recognise tradition with social changes occuring everywhere: the civil rights movement, the gender and equalty revolution, the hippy movement, the decriminalisation of sexuality. It was a great time to be a rebel, I would love to have gone back to that time. But what’s worth observing is how much of Daltrey’s time has come and gone.
Daltrey is an example of the older generation who used to wish ‘to die before it got old’. Some of his chart topping songs were amongst those that were about challenging the establishment and standing up for your rights to be your own man. It was the soundtrack of a big social and political revolution. Well as an old man he has come to realise that all those modern liberties and civil rights that we take for granted today have now become a foundation for exterminating the generation that created them. Today’s followers of the social changes have now become politically correct scholars who are turning an act of liberation into a cult. The schools of today teach children to use their rights as a privilege compared to their generation who were taught to be radical but still understand the basic order of responsibility. Democracy comes with responsibility and those that threw that away are not capable of looking after themselves and so they entrust an undemocratic body to do their bidding. That is just what I think the European Union has become since Britain joined the ECC in 1973. I would like to know what has become of the world since we gave up our sovereignty in 1973. It seemed okay to embrace Europe then, but what of the rest of the world. Was our membership worth anything good for Europe if not for what we have got out of it?
In the 1970s the world was experiencing a period of social and political unrest that was a far cry from the counter culture of the 1960s. In America the space race was over and the people had grown cynical about their leaders and heroes. The war in Vietnam had been escalting into one of the most terrible events in human history and in the Soviet Union socialism was starting to lose it’s grip as the government tried to protect the communist establishment from crumbling after years of spending sprees on development of it’s nuclear arsenal. Meanwhile in the rest of the industrial world events made us realised that the age of global domination was floundering. There was a great movement in social and economic progress as the civil rights movement splintered and the western world lost the last of it’s territories and dominions.
The empires of Europe had decolonized and in the process they become independent states with some of them forming dictatorships and some of them become republics. As they advanced they started to isolate themselves and side with their allies in Africa and Asia. This uprising led to a spate of conflicts with each other that culminated in an oil crisis that nearly shut the western economy down. Dragging places like Europe and America which for many years had relied on oil imports from the Middle East into a recession that hasn’t been unlike anything since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It was a decade in which Britain felt mired in the presence of a world melting down around them. The once great imperial power of the world was now the sick man of Europe. This is where our acceptance of the European Economic Community came in.
In the years after the Britain had been living under the post-war consensus. This involved a mass nationalisation of the country’s industries in which the working classes were expected to be guaranteed a job for life, a welfare system to care for them from the cradle to the grave and a society that had never had it so good. In actual fact it was a time of economic inflation and stagnation, better known as stagflation. In this period the industries were suffering from low productivity and industrial strife. As nationalised industries they were expected to use their vast pool of state handouts to churn out good quality products through inventiveness and trying to make business on the high seas. Instead they saw the endless funds from the public purse as a good reason to work for a living wage without trying to be clever. It wasn’t a good time to be a scientist in the engineering field neither. The factories were making goods that were bad quality and were made using old fashioned production tools and methods. It got worse when the European industries realised some real competition was coming their way to make them poorer.
Of the former British colonies and East Asian nations some of them were demonstrating a better way of doing business and experienced growth and happiness that was miles away from Europe. Japan’s economy was doing far better than West Germany, France, Sweden and even Britain. They had cars, electronic stereos and new production methods to build them that made us look like peasant farmers using screwdrivers and hammers making antiques. They even popularised computer games by exporting them across the western world. Japan once an isolated nation of peace and harmony became the most technologically advanced country in the world with an economy so powerful that it eclipsed the United States as the biggest industrial power. Exports were more prominent in the Four Asian Tiger economies which were showing the world that globalisation was the key to survival and building a better world through mutual understanding and investment in developing nations. With the threat of these emerging markets going against their way of life Europe sounded like the place to go.
The EEC had a number of laws to protect failing industries from going under which including barring imports, developments in technology, tariffs on trade and regulations on the rights of the workers to prevent them from working in a way that made their competitors look like slave labour, as well as cheap labour. Against the beliefs that Churchil had for Great Britain on the high seas their was a feeling of protagonism towards the EEC then as it allowed them to live the way of a socialist state. This is why feelings towards Europe were better then because it allowed them to remain in the practices of trade as they wanted it to be. It was only an economic free trade zone then but if you consider the other factors in the world like the loss of the colonies, the oil crisis and the emergence of Asian superpowers there was serious concern that Britain would become isloated and impoverished. There is a striking similarity to this feeling of isolation then and the isolation we have now in the scare tactics used by the Remain campaigners. Well Remainers let’s take a look at the world now…
Europe 2016: 40 years after the United Kingdom joined the common market, which evolved into the European Union. The world has changed dramatically and the EU has failed to catch up and try to better itself than the rest of the world. Many of Britain’s former imperial colonies like India had become world superpowers; the communistical bloc countries of the Soviet Union like Kazakhstan, Romania, Latvia, Georgia and Russia embraced capitalism and trading with the west; and most successful of all the People’s Republic of China, once the world’s most isolated and undeveloped country in Far East has become the most powerful economic miracle in history.
Now when we joined the EU in 1973 most of these countries had no money to spend on our goods and they wouldn’t even touch our goods because of our past connections from them from the wars and the colonial conquests with them. But now having emerged and becoming some of the greatest economic superpowers in the world they want to buy comodities, properties and products from us, trade with us and exchange ideas with us. Many multi-millionaires and billionaires from China and India are buying European motors and buying properties in our cities, going on holidays to our towns and their children are studying at our universities. I share a university dorm with some Chinese students and in my class there are plenty of Indian and Malaysian students studying sciences over here.
The economies of these countries have expanded in a way that is unprecedented. China has overtaken the United States as the world’s biggest economy with so many building projects taking place on a daily basis. They have roads which stretch right across the land interlinking with Russia, India, Mongolia and Vietnam. They have some of the biggest of engineering works in the world: ports, bridges, buildings, cities. Most importantly of all they are the biggest manufacturing country in the world supplying plenty of goods to western shoppers. About one-third of all the world’s consumer goods are made in China. India is another miracle and has a level of wealth and prosperity on a par with China, so if we leave the EU and build better relations with India we will have a strong trading partner in the newly established bloc of superpowers in the East.
The success behind India’s economic miracle, and China’s also, is the abolition of protectionist policies inspired by socialism. Until 1991 these kept India from worldwide expansion and it wasn’t until a balance of payments crisis that the country needed to liberalise the economy. This free market system has allowed India to join the World Trade Organisation. India is the second biggest exporter of textiles and has the world’s biggest telecoms operations. These nations set an example that now make us as western nations second best and some EU members will admit that they are struggling to make bridges with them. For us to be a successful trading nation we need to reach out to the world not confine to an outdated crumbling megolith on the continent. Talking of colonies of post-imperial powers becoming superpowers Portugal’s former colony Angola is a rich oil producing country. It’s economy has become so successful that it has now become a saviour of Portugal’s economic woes in the Eurozone crisis. The Portugal-Angola relationship is now an example of post-imperalism transformed into a new form of world trade where the colonies now have the upper hand with their former imperial masters. The key to the success of the western economies in international trade now is to turn to their former colonies for economic cooperation and development.
In 1973 the European economy accounted for 31% of the world’s economic output, today that figure is now at 17%. The trouble with the EU is that they have put too much restriction on creativity and innovation on science and industry that we have to build something within the limits of the commission’s directives. Household appliances need to have a limited amount of wattage on them before they can be produced, farmers that produce too much stock have to give it up to prevent going bust instead of finding ways to sell out outside the EU, the commission has even banned the development of some life saving medicines that other countries distribute freely on the world’s medicine market.
There are also some innovations that could advance developing countries in our Commonwealth neighbours which are in need of trade more than aid. Consider the use of farming technology in arid and barren plains in Africa. Many scientists in the space community are trying to develop technology that can allow astronauts to grow food on Mars in a process that can adapted for the barren lands of Africa in places like Kenya. There are also opportunities for improvements in agriculture and fishing that have shown great precedence in the developed world that the EU has not permitted in it’s member states because it’s much more interested in protectionism. This is leading to a trade barrier with the outside world which is protecting Europe at the expense of the economic freedom of outside nations in Asia and the Far East. There are plenty of opportunities beyond Europe where it’s greed is only ensuring that it keeps sovereign nations from leaping out into the pond and across the globe. Britain is keen to increase trade and commercial ventures with China and India but under EU regulations there are barriers to reach out to this rich prosperous economy. I know we can survive on our own, there is a vast pool of opportunities out there in the Commonwealth and in our special relationship with the United States.
I think we should leave it here to research some opportunities to find in the Commonwealth. You can find some yourself through a study of the economies of these countries through the Commonwealth Exchange at http://www.commonwealth-exchange.org and they are campaigning for a free movement of labour and goods on a much grander scale than the EU has achieved. There is also this article which sums up the best part about swapping EU bloc trade for international trade: http://getbritainout.org/andrew-rosindell-mp-commonwealth-trade-a-thing-of-the-future/