No More Nations
For many, the idea of a globalized society, one in which the very concept of borders and controlled immigration become problems to be surmounted, is a step too far. While international cooperation has become not only beneficial but also desirable, there is an ever-present distrust that supra-national organizations are, in fact, working toward the very destruction of the concept of nation-states.
In the case of the European Union, after many years of insistence that it was nothing more than a trading bloc aimed at promoting peace and prosperity, the mask has slipped. Now that Britain is leaving the institution on Jan. 31, any need to hide the ramifications of “ever closer integration” appears to have been dismissed.
On Jan. 13, Mr. Brexit himself, Nigel Farage, while attending his day job as a Member of the European Parliament, tweeted, “We have just had our Union Jack flags removed from our desks in the European Parliament, by order of the President. National symbols are now banned. Thank god we are leaving.”
The new Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, in power merely two months, appears to be committed to creating one unified nation under the banner of the E.U. It has a flag, an anthem that MEPs are strongly encouraged to stand up for, a currency, and an army. With the removal of national flags, the process continues apace.
The Labour Conundrum
In what is beginning to feel like the most protracted leadership election in history, the British Labour Party has whittled its crew of potential Jeremy Corbyn replacements down to a field of five. As all the candidates attempt to portray the most flattering version of themselves to the Labour Party membership, none have yet to address the rather large elephant presently knocking their recycled multi-use coffee containers on the rug.
After suffering the greatest electoral defeat in a generation, the Labour Party should be examining why so many of its traditional northern working-class voting base abandoned it. But perhaps the answer is too obvious: Brexit.
By refusing to commit to Brexit, instead opting for a renegotiation followed by a second referendum in which the party would campaign to remain, Labour turned its back on more than 4 million leave voters who usually support them. Surely the lesson is that the country – or at least those within the country who choose to cast a ballot – are pro-Brexit. Why then are all the candidates for the party leadership committed to rejoining the European Union?
It may well be that these few politicians are doing what they believe is right, and they deserve respect for being true to their beliefs. However, in a representative democracy, it is not the wishes and whims of the elected that should hold sway but rather the wants of the electorate who loan their power to a Member of Parliament to act in their interests.
The Labour Party faces a crisis moment. It can rebuild by understanding that it is the will of the people that is paramount and try to operate within that parameter, or it can fade into obscurity, secure in the belief that its leaders have stuck to their guns and truly know far better than the British public.
Read more from Mark Angelides.