The big majority shows what I always knew that England is a land whose emotions are at odds with its economic reality. Epitomised by the English football fan, it is a land with a presumed sovereign right to be superior, but in fact a land with an insecurity problem tilting on this superiority/ inferiority complex. What England expects is actually the same as WWII, that somehow the special relationship with the USA will save it from the perceived woes of Europe.
And that is just what it is, the perception of negativity from Europe. Politicians since Ted Heath have not done a job in presenting the huge benefits of being in Europe, and indeed Thatcher's stance on gaining the special rebate on payments shows that you need to be IN the EU to get a better deal OUT of the EU.
UKIP want two things, withdrawal from the EU and then a new agreement, just as the Scottish Nationalists proposed for the relationship in the old union. Just as the SNP found, they are up against heavy pro unionist interests, money and media influence. However there is a twisted mirror image here, where the emotions lie on the other side of this union debate. There is no emotional attachment to the beurocratic looking ring of stars flag as there is for the Union Flag red white and blue. The established Rome/maastrich/Schengen style union of 1707 and the creation of the Union Flag, gave peace and some level of prosperity to both lands and northern Ireland for two hundred and fifty years before the old industries in Scotland which created so much wealth for the UK, Steel, Coal, Ships were swept away and new industries never managed to regain the employment levels of the 50s and 60s. Scottish Waters and Farmland became a cash cow for the London Exchequer, who managed for years to convince Scots that they were really getting spoiled with the Barnett Formula when in fact they were getting de-industrialised at a time when they should have been modernised.
Pro EU Scotland and Catalonia aside, the UKIP divorce proceedings are unlikely to go to any wild plan that Farage has, and he is up against the small "c" conservative establishment, who do not like uncertainty and are neophobic by nature. We are not talking about one politically motivated insurance company talking of leaving Scotland, and one ship yard being under question when it concerns the UK divorce from the EU. Already the Bank of America, no small beer, is making contingency plans to relocate outside the EU.
The EU has much to gain from the exit of the LSE from trade and freedom movements. Frankfurt and the regional stock exchanges will see this as a once in a lifetime chance to lure investors and there with company listings away from London, and to influence politicians to move legal framework towards something that competes with the LSE and City markets. This will begin even before the next UK general election if the UKIP wave rolls forward.
And roll forward towards crashing on the beach of chaos it will because having lived in England myself, I know it is a nation of many, many muttering xenophobes. Fertile ground for a tacit racist undertone and a flag waving royal wedding approach to going "indy".
Unlike Scotland YES campaign which started with only 25% of the early polls, UKIP and the referendum OUT campaign will start with perhaps 45%, where YES ended up, plus they will have some of the major traditional media on their side whereas YES was completely overpowered by the traditional media. Farage is on the same Soap Box as Salmond:
- We are in a union we feel no longer works for us
- We are big enough to Go it Alone
- We Can Renegotiate Our International Trade Agreements
- There will Be Only Job Gains, Not Losses
- We Are Under Threat By Continuing in the Union
You do have to take some mid term bi-elections as protest votes, but this is at a critical time in the momentum towards the next general election. It shows the Tory vote is in dissarray and the other parties can also suffer.
Labour's plans of clear water between them and the tories as the main pro EU party, against a referendum can also back fire on them, but equally the UKIP vote could split many marginal Tory seats and hand them to either Labour or Lib Dems thus leading to a more holy alliance of centre left politics in a parliament.
To secure this, both Labour and the Lib Dems should just sweep in and offer a referendum on the EU, thus clearing the way for the Election to be about policies for those who care, and for those who must wave the Union Jack from their little boat of England, can vote UKIP in 2015. Labour then buy the City pro EU lobby a year to put together a Pro EU anti separatist No Campaign. Allowing UKIP to sit in government and have the worlds biggest soap box to rant from and have in effect a two year long campaign for separation from the EU in the traditional media.
I would guess the media two days ago were split about 40% anti EU, 20% neutral and 40% pro. Today there will be the real rumblings from the major international banks, investors, unions, the EU, pro EU tories that editorial must be positive to the EU and I expect it to be in the end in terms of major titles "broad" and tabloid about 30% completely No, 10% a little no but both sides of the argument and then the rest presenting an EU editorial with a No style scare campaign on jobs, influence and desolation of independence.
An area then where Labour and the Lib Dems should be active in and that is limiting how many asylum seekers the UK takes and using vagrancy laws to restrict the eastern european beggar and petty crime wave. It is sinful that young male asylum seekers get treated better than wheel chair users and pensioners in the UK. Also they could offer troop policing for the borders in Bankrupt greece and the waters south and east of Gibralter.
The other side of immigration is of course the terrorists who misuse the Islamic religion, but that was a very empire, Great British thing, where the McMillan governments wanted to avoid the UK becoming a higher wage economy, which would force employers in the 1960s to modernise and vastly improve productivity and qaulity in order to compete against the post war tiger industrial economies. So in came the Afro-Caribbeans and the Asians from the empire for better and for worst. The white British worker then used the unions to maintain and better their standard of living, while their productivity and quality output was falling behind Germany, France, USA, Japan and then Korea while China was still struggling to grow enough rice in its paddy fields.
The British working class get one of the worst deals in the EU. The tories claim that their policies have lead to one of highest employment rate for any of EU countries bar Germany, but the minimum wage and the extensive use of revenues from the City finance industry and the North Sea industry are really behind this, in other words social democratic relatively high public spending. For the bad deal on working hours, pay rises and job security the lower third of the work force get, rather than blaming their own productivity and lack of fire-brand unionisation they are easily lead into the stories about the blacks and the paki's taking their jobs away and living of their taxes.
Enoch Powell predicted blood baths in the streets because of immigration, but instead it will be a blood bath in Parliament for David Cameron who other wise would have sailed into perhaps even a majority government in 2015 with no wee silly lib dems squeeking from his breast pocket. The xenophobic hand of card from the silent, and ignorant minority has now been pulled in what you could say is a perfect storm for the poor Tory party. United we stand, divided we fall should be their battle cry over the whole issue.