Tuesday, 1 July 2014
Can you dare to imagine it? What if, on the 1st of July, 2020, Britain once again becomes a free nation? Free from the stifling socialist economic death grip of the European Union and free once again to fly an independent flag unaccompanied by the loathsome blue rag of the EU. Imagine if, one day, you will be able to say you are British and not be made to feel you should be ashamed of that privilege. Can you dare?
Imagine if, when we held elections, people were reliably informed of the facts and educated well enough to understand their implications and held their representatives to account for any shortfall in their mutual contract. Astonish yourself with the fanciful notion that when you elect a government on the basis that it supports free enterprise, that government will actually set about the business of dismantling barriers to trade and removing punitive market legislation. Or that if you vote for a party that believes in controlling our borders that National Insurance numbers will no longer be handed out like cheap sweets.
Try – it’s hard to do it, I know – to conjure up a vision of Britain where the vast majority are happy to rub along together, content in the knowledge that those who can are paying their way and those who are truly unable will be ungrudgingly cared for. Or a Britain where phrases like ‘benefit fraud’ and ‘on the sick’ are half-remembered, almost apocryphal terms from an anecdotal folklore belonging to a long-dead generation… and people once more say “mustn’t grumble” at the small misfortunes of everyday life, instead of instinctively seeking compensation.
How about a land where an average worker can support a small family without subsidy, where modest savings and pensions grow into comfortable retirement plans and police do not break down doors at dawn following a late night, unwise Twitter spat? Or where, in history your kids learn about the abolition of the slave trade and the ending of the grievance industry and in maths they become dextrous with numbers sufficient to understand the mechanisms of the economy. And in English they learn English. As a first language.
What if greater effort and application was invariably rewarded rather than exploited and loyalty shown to employers was matched by job security? What if this example created aspiration for individuals to become better at productive jobs while meddling non-jobs became merely despised occupations for the inadequate? What if – and here’s a thought – work actually paid and there was plenty of it? So much so that foreign faces raised expressions of welcome rather than xenophobic suspicions?
They managed it; when is it our turn?
Well, dream on because none of this can happen in a European political community wedded to ever greater union and ever greater state control of economic forces. But, hold on to that lovely thought and pray that when you become old and sick and senile it is this reality you inhabit in your shrunken, private thoughts and not the one that drove you to early dementia. Independence for Britain? It's all in the mind.