I've been a lifelong Conservative Party supporter. Or at least I was. I've always believed you need to earn money before you spend it, and that well regulated market forces will always trump (sic) state attempts to create wealth. I still believe in this, which is why any party who believes leaving the EU assists this objective is deceiving its citizens. It's irrelevant what the People SAY. They should never have been asked to make decisions in the first place. That's why we elect representatives. To make important and usual complex decisions for us. Not for us to tell them what to do. Democracy means everyone is represented, not a ruler.
The day after last year's Brexit referendum, I cancelled my funding of the party and resigned my membership. Perhaps I should have had the guts to resign before then, but like most people I know, I believed sense would prevail and 'The People' would listen to experts. Every expert! So I resigned because 'The People' should never have been asked a question they weren't competent to answer. It was also meant to be advisory, not a mandate. A further blunder was that for some mysterious reason, 2m British ex-pats living abroad were not allowed to vote. Including their votes (presuming turkeys wouldn't have voted for Christmas) would have changed the result.
So now 16m of us are called Remoaners because we all still passionately believe that it's madness to leave the EU. But I accept that the Leavers will have succeeded in at least one of their objectives... nobody outside the UK now wants to move here. Mission accomplished. We made the UK less attractive.
Unfortunately we've not only made it less attractive to hard-working, well-educated immigrants any economy should treasure and encourage to come, we've also made it less attractive to the other three tenets of the EU. Free movement of Goods, Services and Capital. Goods because the UK£ is falling like a stone (and has further to go when we eventually crash out without a trade deal in place), so importing anything we need (pharmaceuticals, technology, raw materials etc) will become increasingly painful. Services will dry up going either way. 'In' because we probably don't need other country's anyway, and 'Out' because we'll no longer have 'passporting rights' for financial services (every large bank has already announced pulling thousands of jobs out of London). And Capital because why would anyone want to invest in a declining economy with no connection to the world's largest market?
So May calls a general election while her main opponent, the Labour party is in disarray because of their own 'inconvenient' version of democracy where they elected (and then confirming with a second vote) a party leader who couldn't lead a government. Democracy is failing intellect worldwide it would appear. What she hopes will happen is that her party will win a greater majority than they already have. She claims this is to 'strengthen her hand' in the forthcoming negotiations with the EU (and the 53 other major trading nations with whom we will have no trading agreement once we've left in under two years time). What it really means is that many in her party desperately want what I want... the negotiations to fail and we give up trying to leave. Better still... predict that this will happen and save a lot of time, expense and pain (whilst removing uncertainty slowly destroying the economy) by rescinding our notice to quit the EU NOW - and at the risk of upsetting 17 million, but the relief of 7 billion (except maybe N Korea and Russia).
The problem for me is that no party offers me and nearly 17 million Brits (plus the 2 million ex-pats who will be allowed to vote this time) what we all desperately want to happen - a rescinding of Article 50. A cancelling of Brexit and to join forces with the rest of Europe, especially France it would seem, to amend the rules of the EU so we don't break it up. And the main issue is the free movement of people. Solve that one in a fair and sensible way, and it all settles down into a peaceful and thriving cooperative.
There is another possibility that works for all. Leavers, Remainers and the EU all get what they want.
The UK is deeply, and I mean really deeply divided. In all my life, I've never known my country (or more correctly, this collection of countries - more later) to be so angered on both sides of a debate about division and isolation versus unity and collaboration. It goes straight to the heart of the questions: What is a nation, and who should be responsible for its decisions?
The idea of a democracy is that everyone has an equal say in what we want the future to look like (except the young, prisoners and people who might live here but aren't defined as citizens). But that doesn't mean that 'the people' have to decide how it's achieved, and in particular issues they probably don't have the skills and understanding to make sensible decisions about that will achieve their ambitions. You don't ask the patient what the surgeon should do. But rather than dwell on why it was dangerous to ask voters to decide on something so complex, let's sum up by observing that Remainers had a pretty good understanding of what Remaining meant, but nobody knew what Leaving would mean. We still don't. A referendum was reckless.
That doesn't mean it won't work out well for the UK in the future, just that nobody, experts and voters alike, know. So rather than risk damage, sensible people and businesses in particular are taking action now to try to reduce that risk. That damage is becoming self-fulfilling irrespective of our skills in divorce negotiation.
The USA is still trying to work out what Trump means for their future. I think most are coming to the conclusion that he may improve things for some in the short-term, but not all for the long-term. That's what democracy does. It allows short-termists to win.
[note to reader. I started to draft this in 2017 before the last general election with a view to calling for a new centrist party dedicated to rescinding A50 and remaining part of the EU. Despite it being prescient in its predictions, I stopped writing it because I hadn't, and still haven't, worked out what that new party would look like in contrast to the extreme left wing Liberals and now the amorphous Independent Group (who stand for what?). I'm now publishing it unfinished to demonstrate that everything that has transpired was totally predictable (so blame Cameron and Farage) in the hope that we'll get clarity soon about what the Independent Group will stand for and whether the Libs will reach out to disaffected Tories like me.]