The Referendum: Mea Culpa sed Laus Deo
Mea Culpa sed Laus Deo
By Sean Gabb
(24th June 2016)
I was wrong about the European Referendum, and my colleague Keir Martland was right. I said it would be lost. I said it would be badly lost. Instead, England voted to leave, and many parts of England voted crushingly to leave.
I assumed many things. I assumed that Mr Cameron had a card up his sleeve – that he would come back near the date with real concessions from Brussels. I assumed that the awfulness of the official Leave campaign would keep people at home. Above all, I assumed that the English people were no longer up to wanting to live in an independent country. I was wrong. I am not complaining. I am not disappointed. But I was wrong.
This being said, we need to accept that virtually all the problems we face as a nation are only incidentally connected with membership of the European Union. During the past forty years, almost everything bad done to us has come from our domestic rulers. All the European Union has ever really wanted is our money.
But I have rehearsed all this at great length elsewhere. What matters at the moment is that we may find ourselves once again in a position where we have no doubt who is ruling us, and who is responsible when things go wrong. The next time they mess up a foot and mouth epidemic, or allow the rivers to silt up, or if they try to metricate the road signs, our own politicians will not be able to shift the blame to the European Union. There is a danger – and I repeat that I have written about this at length – that these people will run mad, now they no longer need to agree their oppressions with another 27 ruling classes. But leaving the European Union simplifies the dynamics of power. We know who our masters are, and they know that we are watching them, and that we may be inclined to sack them.
Winning the Referendum is not the end of the war. We need to make sure that we do indeed leave. Above all, we need to make sure that, once we have secured it, we can live up to the measure of our ancestors in deserving our independence.
But the Referendum is won, and those of us who feel inclined can give praise to God for that. It may be that He has not deserted us after all.