Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Immigration is the Key

From Professor Michael Curtis, at the New English Review:
The Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin once said, “There are decades when nothing happens, and there are weeks when decades happen.” He might have been talking of the UK in June 2016 with the events connected with the referendum on June 23, 2016 on British membership of or Brexit, exit, from the European Union.

Britain has innumerable problems concerning its membership of the EU and the issues of freedom of movement of goods, capital, services, and people, and about the right of EU citizens to live and work in any EU state.  Yet, whether voiced openly or not, at the heart of the events is the widespread public concern about the increasing immigration into the country.

Those events resemble a film noir or a Shakespearean play, say Julius Caesar, with its political turmoil, its incorrect assumptions and unexpected outcome of the referendum, its undisguised ambitions not made of sterner stuff, its intrigues and betrayals of leading political figures supposed to be friends and allies.

Among the star events in this continuing serio-comical drama are the resignation of David Cameron as Prime Minister, the turmoil for leadership of the Conservative Party, the resignation of Nigel Farage, from his position as leader of the anti-immigrant party UKIP (UK Independence Party), and the stubbornness of Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party in refusing to heed the sizable vote of his parliamentary colleagues calling on him to resign.

Yet, all interested in the present U.S. presidential election should take account of the British events and possible parallel between the two counties. There is a distinct resemblance regarding pertinent issues and popular anxieties. Similar factors are said to trouble citizens: the impact of globalization; the free trade economy; the decline in jobs and wages; the weakening of national dignity and esteem.

In both countries a considerable part of the electorate appears disgruntled, antagonistic to established power institutions, and concerned with what they regard as a decline in the status and popularity of their country. If the disgruntled in the UK want to throw off the shackles of the supposed tyranny of the European Union and the detached bureaucracy in Brussels, supporters of Donald Trump want to end the tyranny of established authorities in Washington, D.C.
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