All historians tend to keep files for a long time. This morning when the leave vote became clear, I fished out my undergraduate thesis on the ‘Common Market’ as the EU was then called (gosh, I am old) shortly before the UK entered the Common Market. Unsurprisingly to me, in my conclusion I wrote: Any forced political pace of union between member states will result in the community’s eventual dissolution… Political union can only take place over several generations having soldiered on shoulder-to-shoulder through bad times as well as good, showing that a broad base of Europeans are well and truly united in mind and deed. Shoulder-to-shoulder. That is the key phrase. The EU has been a WIFIM organisation: WHAT’S-IN-IT-FOR-ME. Talk about being ‘European’ is purely that. It is rare that I am so right, but then again, I’ve always made my living from reading people’s motivations.
Of course, the outcome of my thesis was that my French university reader thought it was a load of tosh. My American university reader thought it made sense, maybe, but then again he wrote I don’t really go for European politics. My degree was withheld. Hey ho, as I’ve always said, I’m an idiot.
But the malaise in Britain is problematic of the West (meaning all Europe and North America) and our times. Look at the US elections… look at the political and economic chaos in other European countries. This malaise isn’t over yet — the Scots will whinge on again for another referendum — but that’s for another blog. French newspapers this morning will proclaim C’est le divorce! European politicians will posture that they have to protect their own interests. Without the UK’s voice, agreement and negotiation for weaker member states will become increasingly difficult. Danexit (Denmark) and Grexit (Greece) are said to be next on the cards.
And so the House of Cards will tumble… hey, just think, at least Kevin Spacey will have another series! Andrew Davies get writing!