After working over 12 years in the UK, I was frequently amused by visiting academics from the USA (my home), who would start giving me advice about everything from the university to the UK and Europe virtually as they were walking off the plane. So I am resisting my natural US-instinct to weigh in on Brexit, and what should be done.
What I have learned from working in the UK is that this nation of nations has a wealth of brilliant people, who will inform debate on the issues arising out of Brexit and, with the civil service and Parliament, will come up with a number of sensible and pragmatic ways forward. In due course, the leadership selection process will be pivotal to arriving at one or more compelling visions for the nations and regions of the UK. The process is already progressing.
I won’t end with the quote from Churchill on democracy being the worst form of government, as I prefer another familiar quote attributed to a Dick Tuck, a political dirty trickster of the Nixon era (he organized tricks against Nixon), who later became an elected politician. In giving his concession speech after losing his election for the California State Senate, he said: “The people have spoken, the bast….!” I know that my British friends would not be so vulgar, but many of my friends feel very angry over the vote. It is frightening indeed.
That said, the voters have spoken, and the people of Britain will make this work. Count on it. I – for one – will not panic. But I will follow the course of the coming debate with great interest and with much at stake in a successful outcome.
I’ve read with interest that the Prime Minister has put together a group in Whitehall to focus on Brexit. I have high expectations for them to arrive at some sensible scenarios for the next PM and government to refine and move forward with. This would be a wonderful time for the House of Lords to rise to the occasion as well. If ever the best and the brightest need to prove their worth, it is in this context.
5 thoughts on “Brexit: No Advice from this American”
[…] response to my blog about Brexit, Richard Collins sent me the following, originally as a personal email message. Since Richard does […]
Dear Professor, I think I agree with you: No advice is the best advice indeed. 🙂
I can’t believe that you won’t make some kind of statement that shows your feelings and why. I think the people made a statement that will benefit the country and shows the feelings that they have been disenfranchised by the government and this is why the Donald will also win in the US. Sorry for you socialists that Bernie will not be able to bring home the bacon and ruin the whole country as he would like. He needs to move to Venezuela and fix that disaster. Socialism does not work anywhere!!!!!
Good to hear from you, Hank, especially since we don’t agree. I don’t think that support for free college education at this period of time is any less reasonable than free high school education in our time. It is really not that radical, as are his other proposals, but you are right, Senator Sanders has gone as far as he could go – to my dismay.
I respect the votes of everyone who voted in Britain, and hope the process of responding to the outcome of the referendum moves ahead as rapidly as possible. Despite news coverage to the contrary, a number of major strides have been taken, such as in the PM stepping down and moving ahead on the selection of new leadership.
All the best to you and Vicki
Just in case you haven’t read it already. This article is worth checking out as well by Glenn Greenwald from the intercept.