If Great Again Britain finally wrenches itself loose from the toils of the EU, and is politely asked to withdraw their Governors – General, Lieutenant, State, or Honorary as the case may be – from nations that have finally decided that they can also govern themselves, there will be formalities to be completed.
In the case of the United States these were conducted at Yorktown in Virginia some centuries ago. The representatives of the British Crown under Lord Cornwallis were invited to throw their muskets into a heap and get on board Royal Navy vessels and go away. The alternative was to be shot dead. It may not seem a very formal procedure, but it was effective.
We need not go the musket route here in Australia or New Zealand, though it would be a lot of fun. We can simply pack up the silver, paintings, Rolls Royce cars, and portraits of H.M., place the Governors on top of the pile, and send them back to Tilbury Docks via the next container ship. The various Government Houses can be occupied by the state or federal leaders and if it is done with efficiency no-one will really notice anything.
Canada may have a problem in that they will be replacing a Queen with a Trudeau and there may be a lot of popular sentiment against it. If they substitute a hockey goalie the thing might go well.
I think the UK would do well to look to a hitherto untapped source of funds – the Loyal Oath taken by new citizens of Commonwealth countries during their naturalisation ceremonies. I underwent one such affair in 1970 and it was a solemn and joyous occasion. A Bible was held and an oath of fealty to HM Queen Elizabeth II, her heirs and assigns was taken. This was not given a run-out period and is in force today.
If the British BREXIT from Australia as well as from the EU, I am prepred to pay a fair fee for the cancellation of this oath and/or its transfer to an Australian President or King or High Ruler. If the transaction occurs during the reign of King Charles III, I would be prepared to pay more.
I am starting to think that the British have a problem with independence…in all its many forms. And I suspect that they have had the trouble for a long time.
This has been in my mind as I watch the reports on the BREXIT business – reports that have been coming in from them and their erstwhile EU colleagues for the last two years.
They’re in a mess. They seem to want to be an independent nation – they say ‘ once more ‘ – but have not figured out how to implement it. They seem reluctant to even declare it clearly. But I think that this is a hangover from their history of dealing with other people who wanted to be independent.
The case presenting most clearly is the United States of America. They wanted to be independent in 1774 and made the effort of fighting a successful revolutionary war to achieve it. The fact that they won this against Great Britain told heavily in the UK and its echo still is there in the minds of the British people.
The French revolted against themselves – again successfully – a few years later and this also tells in modern Great Britain’s mind.
And finally, some former colonies of Great Britain – their overseas empire of resources – also declared themselves independent after Great Britain spent itself poor in half a century of modern war. And the UK could do nothing but pretend that they agreed…being powerless to prevent it. This is the latest and most acid memory.
Perhaps there is more…tomorrow.
I have been pondering for some months about the whole Brexit situation – as an outsider before they voted, I could only speculate about the issues and frame of mind of the pro and anti voters. But as it seems to have been decided in the affirmative, I can concentrate more on the question of why. I’m still and outsider, but the question is now…Why did Great Britain vote to end its connection with the European Common Market or European Union? Here’s some possibilities:
- The new formation of a European army was a timely reminder of the last few times the Europeans have formed armies under Napoleon, Hitler, etc. and of what Europeans would like to do with their armies. There’s only one tunnel under the Channel but there’s always the Channel.
- The trade and farming regulations from Brussels that prevent some British farmers from working their land for produce and profit are a thorn in the side.
- The ready supply of illegal migrants camping in France and other places with an eye to getting to the UK and disappearing is a daunting prospect.
- The continued prospect of propping up spendthrift regimes and dole bludgers in the sunnier climes of the Mediterranean is a particular annoyance to people who live in the damp climate of Wales and other rural portions of the UK. They might as well spend the money on parish cases at home.
- Why not?
- The French have hated the English since the time of the King Henries. In the last century they dragged them into two world wars, and left them to play the last one out by themselves for years. Then they supplied De Gaulle to make it all better. The French idea of better may not be the same for the rest of us…
- The English do not trust the French or Germans. Or the Italians, for that matter.
- The loss of the Empire and the colonies was traumatic. But there was still the Commonwealth. With the EEC and EU experiment, a lot of the Commonwealth interest drifted away. If they Brexit the European door shut, they might re-open the Commonwealth door.
There’s no new political insight in there, but it does go some cynical way to supplying reasons. If it proves a bad idea – like the First World War or convict transportation – you can always blame the Manchester Board Of trade and the Admiralty. Or Trump and the Americans. But don’t blame them too hard in case you need Lend-Lease and Spam again.
I am starting to organise a Useful Idiot Bureau. I intend to register people who are gullible enough to fall for anything and to lease them out as mobile crowds for whomever can pay.
I’ll be offering them to the political parties who cannot win a workable majority in parliament and to people who wish to make a name for themselves without actually doing anything useful. Futility is a lonely thing and the comfort of bus loads of school children and disgruntled pensioners can ease the pain. Neither group need receive any benefit past a day off school or a nice afternoon’s whinge out in the sun.
The fees to be paid for these crowds are still a matter for debate – professional actors cost a lot of money and amateur ones cost a lot of anxiety. A formula that draws the sheep in without having to feed them is what is required, and so far the Guild doesn’t have the right mix. But we are working on it. We’re going to field a Save-The-Cockroach mass day of action later in the year and by then we should have the money right. Not that you’ll see any of it, mind…
The chief worry for the Guild department responsible for these demonstrations will be to prevent actual Fellow Travellers from showing up and taking over. We have a limited budget and it doesn’t generally stretch to pitchforks and torches.
The Backstabbers Guild Of Australia is on a Crusade. Not a religious one, of course. That sort of thing is hardly our field of endeavour – we are on a quest to find a good use for schoolchildren.
Now, of course there are plenty of people who have already found a use for them -as students, household drudges, scapegoats, industrial slaves, objects of adoration, etc, etc. We are looking more for a way to use them as generators of money. Little pieces of bait, as it were, to attract a steady income.
Drawing upon the history of Children’s Crusades – Nicholas of Köln and Stephen of Cloyes in particular – we are conscious of the need to provide a plausible reason to lure the children way from their parents and homes. Then we need to have a place to send them, and a mechanism to reduce their numbers to a manageable and saleable few at the end of the process. Of course we will not be adverse to auctioning them off in batches along the way – as dewy-eyed innocents or useful idiots most likely. It will be a good thing if it can be done before they start to cost too much in food or transportation.
It’s been suggested by some that this is reprehensible – that using the young and foolish to mask political agendas of the old and cynical is just a vile practice. Possibly, but think of it in this way; if they are roaming the downtown streets looking for trouble, at least they are not at home causing it. And that’ll keep ’em off the lawn.
How many of us have a boot on our necks? I would say most of us – at least most of us within Western society. And in many cases we have paid the cobbler’s bill.
Consider – here, right now, as I type this in Perth, Western Australia – I have the following overlords:
- The Australian Federal Government – who will prevent me from selling my land to overseas buyers without scrutiny, from importing cigars without a tax, and divulging military and naval codes. They may also prevent me from tearing a tag off a mattress, for all I know…
- The Western Australian State Government – who will regulate my ability to make liquor from toenails and to sell it to prospective clients, and who will also want a tax for every piece of paper I touch. I am not sure if they tax toilet paper, but I wouldn’t be surprised.
- The Melville City Council who demand obeisance for every bit of building I wish to do on my lot and who send snoopers with cameras to make sure that what eventuates is to their taste. I look forward to my encounter with the next snooper – I have a camera too and a website that can mock him.
- Every trade and professional guild and self-interest group that have gotten a charter from the state government to fix prices and exclude foreigners from their specialty. They have immense and frightening powers – and I am free of them all…having retired.
- The Cat. There is no appeal against the judgement of Cat Meow. If he decides that you will sleep rigid for 8 hours to provide a convenient resting place you must resign yourself to it. So far there has been no demand for human sacrifice but it is early days…
- My hobby club. I don’t know yet the extent of the control it will exercise – but there is a constitution with numerous clauses on discipline. Only hobbies could engender such control…
Note that there are no secret societies, religious organisations, or ex-service clubs included in this list. I do not think I could bear the burden if there were. As it is I am doing research to see how I may free myself from passwords or other forms of electronic pavlovism.
Stay calm. I intend to keep my clothes on…
Note for Out-Of-Australia readers: Centrelink is the Australian federal government office that dispenses welfare payments to many people for many reasons. Much of what it does is possibly duplicated or overborne by the Repatriation Department and the Native Welfare Department, but it still has the bulk of the administrative tasks.
It has a spotted name amongst the people who access its services – some of them want more help than they get and more money than they receive. Some complain of long delays and administrative cock-ups. Others find that it is very helpful. The prospect of approaching it can be daunting – there are horror stories of what seems to be enmity between this office and the needy.
This year I experienced my first contact with it. Heretofore I have never interacted much with our federal government – I was not judged eligible for any student loans nor wanted for the navy. I paid taxes regularly but received no pension at all. But this time I was prompted to apply for a senior’s health card as an assistance to general living. It won’t mean too much – a few dollars off medicines – and I don’t take many medicines. A few dollars off a driver’s license. Perhaps a few more marginal perks. But I was terrified at the possible bureaucracy that might be entailed…Like I say, you hear stories.
The approach to the counter was normal – the ID procedure quite sensible with my Medicare card and a driver’s license – and the waiting room chairs in the big centre quite comfy. Lots of people and an hour’s wait, but no real hardship for a man with a book to read.
The one real hiccup was the procedure of calling my name – instead of using a tannoy or notice board, the staff member who was to deal with me came out the front and called it out. If they had a soft voice or my earwax was bad, I could have missed the chance.
As it was, the young woman dealt with the form work very efficiently and with good humour. We awaitd the outcome of the application for a few weeks, but the experience of the federal department interface was quite positive. Perhaps Centrelink does not deserve the bad rap.
Addendum: The health card came through on schedule and has been invoked to deal with some of the rates on the house and part of the car insurance. I may not need to pay for my next driver’s licence. I am as happy as I can be.