Wednesday 6 November 2019

“Will Great Britain Become Little England?” Nicholas Kristof doubles down...

My article earlier today on this.
690 comments in the New York Times on Nicholas Kristof’s “Will Great Britain Become Little England? Kristof doubles down in response to this comment:
The union of England with Scotland, Ireland, and even Wales were forced weddings at best, with the English army holding the shotgun. Would it be that horrible if these people were in their own countries after all these centuries?
Northern Ireland shares much more, culturally, with the rest of the Irish people than it does with the English. Scotland existed as a distinct kingdom without the help of the English for a good long time. Yes, the dissolution would be harmfully in terms of the economy. As those opposed to Mr. Trump often say, there is more to life than a GDP.
Being neither a citizen of Great Britain or the EU, nor being English, I do not feel competent to venture a valid opinion of Brexit. I understand the economic arguments against it, and the arguments in favor in terms of self-determination. I think it is up to the British citizens to determine which has more weight, and up the the Scots, Irish, and Welsh to decide if the decisions of the English bear sufficient weight to convince them to stay united. If they do not, it would be hypocritical for the English to object to the dissolution of Great Britain after removing themselves from the EU.
Kristof response and my comments on Kristof:

Nicholas Kristof 
(my highlighting)
@michaelscody Thanks for your comment on my column. And I grudgingly agree that in a democracy, voters have the right to make terrible choices for their country. 
But I would argue that the referendum to leave was decided by a thin margin after a campaign of deception by Russia and by Brits like Boris who claimed that Britain would come out ahead by leaving. 
 Their economic arguments were simply lies, and most polls show that today a majority of Brits want to stay in the European Union. So, yes, democracy matters and the people's will should prevail -- so hold a second referendum, without Russian interference, and with the remain camp confronting the lies, and see who wins.
My comments on Krisfof’s comment: 
  • “... terrible choices”. Who says? 52% of British people don’t think it was a terrible choice to vote for Brexit and neither do I. Was it a “terrible choice” for the 13 American states to declare war on Britain in 1775? (and why does his agreement have to be “grudging”?)
  • “...thin margin”: 52/48 is not a thin margin in today’s politics. Most politicians would be delighted to win by such a margin. More: it was a referendum with a high turnout and the most number of voters ever.
  • “...deception by Russia”: I don’t recall that that was a thing at the time. This must be the US/Mueller Russia Hoax British version.
  • claimed that Britain would come out ahead by leaving”: the results are not in yet. And won’t be for some years. No-one, not even Kristof, knows. My bet is Britain is going to be fine. Or England, if N Ireland and Scotland do their own Exits.
  • ...simply lies”: I don’t buy this. Boris’ claim about savings per week (£350m) are broadly correct. Other claims about signing Trade deals are also broadly correct. While claims of holdups at Dover and Calais are at best misrepresentations, at worst scaremongering lies.
  • “...second referendum”: shades of the EU: keep having referendums until you get the right answer.