Friday, 5 June 2020

Brexit: The Long Walk To Freedom (Part 1)

Brexit: The Long Walk To Freedom (Part 1)

“When a nation rises up ardent to fight for its freedom and honour, it is always a minority that really fires the multitude.”

Oswald Spengler

Issue 2 of Caledonian Voice – The Voice Of The National Liberal Party In Scotland. Whilst obviously written from a Scottish point of view, its main article argues that ‘the EU holds no loyalty to the nations or peoples of Europe itself.’ Caledonian Voice looks at the EU policy of allowing the 'free movement of capital and labour' between EU member states. It notes that this has meant that Scottish industry has ‘upped sticks’ and chased – and exploited – the lowest wages across Europe. ‘At the same time we have seen a massive influx of Eastern European workers, who understandably want to improve their lives but the result of their movement has placed enormous strains upon local services.’It believes that the EU (and the political elites) exist to benefit big business and not ordinary working families and communities. Therefore, we must ‘move away from the centralist and bureaucratic EU towards a Europe of free nations working together where needed but at all times retaining their independence and national and regional cultural identities.’ Caledonian Voice sums up its position with the slogan: ‘For a Europe of free peoples and nations – not a Europe of bankers and super-rich elites!

ON THURSDAY 23rd May 2019, the electorate of the United Kingdom went to the polls to vote in the European Elections.  Ironically, this was virtually three years to the date (23rd June 2016) since the same electorate had voted to leave the EU.

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The National Liberal Party – NLP – campaigned to leave the EU in 2016.  Thus it came as no surprise that we asked our members and supporters to ‘lend’ their vote to the main anti-EU grouping (the Brexit Party) during the May 2019 EU election.

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There were many reasons why the NLP wanted Britain to leave the EU.  However, the main reason is that the raison d’être of National Liberalism is the concept or principle of Self-Determination.

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For us the principle of self-determination can be applied largely in three areas; National, Political and Economic.  The website (1) of the National Liberal Party describes these three areas thus:

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• National Self-Determination seeks to ensure decisions affecting the collective future of a nation are taken by ALL the people via referendum. This may be ‘External’, for example: the creation or maintenance of a nation state, or ‘Internal’ – framing/updating a constitution to reflect how a people should rule themselves. (We favour independent nations and liberal, democratic, states).

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• Political Self-Determination seeks to ensure that the collective will of the people as well as the variety of political opinion is reflected in decision making. Thus, for example, we favour greater use of referendums to meet the former, and PR to reflect the latter (we favour a system close to the Swiss model of Direct Democracy).

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• Economic Self-Determination seeks to distribute ownership as widely as possible and as close to the individual as practical by favouring home ownership, self-employment, small businesses, cooperatives and employee shareholdings. (We believe that ownership is the key to economic and social health: where workers obtain a just reward for their labours and gain a feeling of well-being through their having a genuine personal stake in society).

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The above principles underpin many National Liberal policies but others are rooted in common sense and usually aim to strike a balance between conflicting opinions, as befits a centrist party.

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Ever since the original People’s Vote of June 2016, the NLP – and in particular its youth wing, Liberal Future (2) – has effectively provided a running commentary on the ever changing events relating to Brexit.  The NLP and LF have also promoted the belief that Brexit represented a move towards popular sovereignty and democratic renewal (3).

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With the above in mind, it came as no surprise that the NLP would take a principled and pragmatic approach to the EU elections held earlier this year.

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Therefore, prior to the election in May, Jagdeesh Singh, a National Council member (4) of the National Liberal Party called upon National Liberals to ‘lend’ their vote to the newly formed Brexit Party, led by Nigel Farage (5).  In a statement (6) released just prior to the election, Mr. Singh stated:

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“We invite all UK citizens, to use the Euro election on 23rd May 2019, to re-affirm and express their wish for independence and self-government for the UK; by voting for the BREXIT PARTY.

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The whole issue about Brexit is about the rights and freedoms of small nations to freely run their domestic and international affairs on trade, immigration, security, health, education and more, from an independent position.  Certainly not by control and domination by an overriding and overarching superstructure like the European Union.  By taking a positive and assertive stand for Brexit, we (the people) are sending out a principled and fundamental message to not only to the EU and our UK government (as we already have in the 2016 Referendum).

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AT THIS ELECTION…..

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WE URGE YOU TO ‘LEND YOUR VOTE’ TO THE BREXIT PARTY, as a collective of pro-Brexit voices.  Self-determination of our affairs, domestic and international, is going to shape our future economy, public services, NHS, global trade and more.  We are sending out a message to big, imposing, domineering state structures across the world that small is beautiful and powerful!  Small can and will succeed! Small is democratic! Big is imposing, suffocating, centralising, diminishing and undemocratic!

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Vote for democracy! Vote for self-determination! Vote for the Brexit Party!”

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It should be obvious from this statement that the NLP doesn’t support the Brexit Party per se. We recognise that the are many and vast differences between ourselves.  For instance, we are opposed to both capitalism & socialism whilst we feel that the Brexit Party are, at root, a national capitalist organisation.

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The decision to ask National Liberals to vote for the Brexit Party wasn’t taken lightly as we had to balance principle – our belief in Self-Determination and the fact that the UK should have left the EU after article 50 was triggered – and pragmatism – in that it was necessary to send a large contingent of anti-EU MEPs to Brussels to safeguard our interests.

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Readers will be well aware that the Brexit Party (which was only formed in April 2019) were the big winners of the EU Election.

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According to European Parliament Liaison Office in the United Kingdom (7) there ‘are 73 UK MEPs.  They are elected in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.’  The ‘UK is divided into 12 electoral regions made up of the nations and regions of the UK.  Each region has between 3 and 10 MEPs and each MEP in a region represents each person living there’.

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The Brexit Party had 29 MEPs elected and won the European elections with more votes than the Tory and Labour Parties combined.  Indeed Mr. Farage’s group won nearly 32 percent of the vote – with well over 5 million votes.  The scale of the Brexit Party’s victory can be seen by the allocation of the other seats – here the Lib Dems won 16 seats (20.3), the Labour Party won 10 seats (14.1), the Greens seven (12.1) and the Tories four (9.1).

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To put the Brexit Party’s result into context, for EU elections – and as noted above – the UK is divided into 12 regions – Scotland, Northern Ireland, North West England, Wales, North East England, Yorkshire and the Humber, West Midlands, East Midlands, South West England, South East England, London and East of England.  Of these regions, the Brexit Party topped the poll in nine of them.

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Despite the efforts of pro-Remain spin-doctors (8), this was the third time that the pro-Brexit vote for self-determination had triumphed.  The first time occurred in the 2014 EU elections, where the UK Independence Party – UKIP – became the largest UK grouping with 24 seats – around 27% of the popular vote.  (In contrast, Labour won 20 seats with 24% of the vote, the Tories collected 19 seats with 23% of the vote whilst the Lib Dems only managed 1 seat with a poor 7% of the vote.)  The second time was, of course, the original People’s Vote – the EU Referendum in 2016.  And the third time was the May 2019 EU election.

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So what are we to make of the rise of the Brexit Party?

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To be continued …


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1 http://nationalliberal.org/

2 http://nationalliberal.org/liberty-wall-3/liberal-future

3 http://nationalliberal.org/liberal-future-carmarthenshire-denbighshire-flintshire-youth-say-…-ignore-the-establishment-media-narrative-–-brexit-now

4 http://nationalliberal.org/the-party-organisation/national-council

5 https://www.thebrexitparty.org/

6 http://nationalliberal.org/lend-them-your-vote

7 http://www.europarl.europa.eu/unitedkingdom/en/european-elections/uk_meps.html

8 https://off-guardian.org/2019/05/28/no-remain-did-not-win-the-european-elections/

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