Wednesday, 15 June 2016
The only positive choice is a vote to leave
Experience has taught me that one should never delay a decision. The longer you put it off the harder it is to to manage the consequences. In both matters of employment and relationships, procrastination often means circumstances will make the choice for you - and usually we find ourselves in circumstances we regret. That is why we are now where we are. Successive governments have connived to remove the possibility of making a choice.
And now we have a choice, this same dynamic is at the heart of the Brexit argument. The remain argument is that leaving the EU is complex, fraught with risk and full of pain. This may or may not be true. But that is a rationale we hear all too often for not making a positive choice. The process of transition is the deterrent, not the outcome. It is why wives stay with abusive husbands. It is why we stay in jobs we hate. So very often we commit to one course or another and find ways to live with our choices.
But there is no living with a remain vote. This issue is too bitter, too divisive and it has been reignited by this referendum. There can be no compromise on a thing like democracy - and so a choice to remain is a decision not to make a decision and to persist with our reluctant subordination.
Through cowardice we will have elected for the status quo, not because we believe in the EU but because we have allowed ourselves to be threatened and bullied into submission. Such is not a decision, it is avoiding a decision. On a personal level such a mentality leads to ruin. On a national level it leads to catastrophe.
When the stakes are this high the only positive choice is a vote to leave. We are never going to ratify Schengen or join the Euro. We will never be central to the EU agenda again. We can only stagnate on the fringes. And so we must take a brave step out into the world to discover if a better life awaits, trusting in our strengths and abilities. We can either have a managed, negotiated departure by mutual consent or we can leave what happens next entirely to chance.
While we remain a subordinate to the EU, coerced into taking actions we would not otherwise take, we are entirely at the mercy of people we did not elect and would not elect if we could. Those constraints placed upon us excludes the possibility of any kind of joined up policy making - and so long as we are forced to work within parameters imposed upon us we cannot possibly innovate.
And when I look at the industrial wreckage and spiritual decline in Britain I think it is time that we made that positive choice. The status quo simply will not suffice. There is no way we can get the best of any course of action unless we are fully committed to it.
The only course we can ever be fully committed to is that which we would chose for ourselves. Nobody ever hit the big time working in the service of another's dream. Every great success has taken risks and endured hardships and every great success starts with a single unambiguous decision.
Over the last few months this blog has identified many of the opportunities Brexit could present us with. An integrated trade and aid policy combined with a rural and fishing policy would allow us to use our resources according to our best instincts rather than statistical objectives, which are largely the product of political vanity. Though I am mindful of the limitations I am more excited by the prospects - and as you know this blog has not flinched from uncomfortable truths about what this journey entails.
For whatever the risks may be, I trust in the potential of British people. I believe we are an island of extraordinary talent when given the proper motivation. I believe our people are our best export. It is that which will ensure Britain stays a global leader. Consequently I will not be cowed or threatened by niggling technocrats nor will I surrender to the passive nihilism of our political class who believe we are too weak, too stupid and backwards to manage our own affairs.
If we vote to remain in the EU will will have turned our backs on democracy but also we will have caved into the corrosive idea that we cannot trust ourselves - and that we cannot prosper without supervision. If we cave in to that idea then there is only decline and stagnation because ultimately prosperity and success is entirely down to self-knowledge and self-confidence. It is our mindset that that dictates which way this goes.
The short of it is we have in front of us what might well be the last chance in a generation to change tack. We can either resign to the withering vision of a garden-walled fortress Europe peering at the world through the cracks in the concrete, or we can can show leadership and courage in parting ways with a decision that was never the right choice to begin with. Should we choose to duck the question once again, we will find that next time we get to choose the doubters are probably right. Our miserable mindset will have sucked the last of our vitality dry.