Mudcat Café message #4013542 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165570   Message #4013542
Posted By: DMcG
14-Oct-19 - 03:10 AM
Thread Name: BS: Brexit #3: A futile gesture?
Subject: RE: BS: Brexit #3: A futile gesture?
Even If we see no benefits from the above (But I believe we will), we will have self determination


For my part, I think this is one of the few things that Leave can really claim as a benefit of leaving, so it bears some examination.


Let's begin with a quotation from 'Brave New World':

"All right then," said the savage defiantly, I'm claiming the right to be unhappy."

"Not to mention the right to grow old and ugly and impotent; the right to have syphilis and cancer; the right to have too little to eat, the right to be lousy; the right to live in constant apprehension of what may happen tomorrow; the right to catch typhoid; the right to be tortured by unspeakable pains of every kind."

There was a long silence.

"I claim them all," said the Savage at last.


There is an intellectually valid case to claim self determination, even if it means you are a great deal worse off. But having mentioned it, I think we can leave it on one side, because few Leave supporters claim that: the claim is that - in the long run anyway - we will be better off.


Then there is the question of whether we are concerned by being constrained to do things we were doing anyway, or not to do things we had no intention of doing. If the EU were to pass a rule that every EU country had to have a nominated capital city, is that something that concerns you, since it would have no effect whatsoever in the real world? Maybe yes, maybe no. For me, not in the slightest.


But now let's get away from such abstract discussions and look at the proposition itself: we will have self determination. Who is this 'we', I wonder?


In my post of 3 October 19 at 05:04PM, I mentioned that Martin Callanan (one of the people who is now on the committee for exiting the EU) thought we should scrap maternity leave because it was a cost to business that restricted employment. You may agree with him, but for the purposes of this post I will assume you do not. If you do, I am fairly confident you can find some worker's right that you are in favour of which could be substitued - sick pay, maybe.


Let me also assume that he able to persuade the cabinet to drop maternity leave as a right.


Now, who are the 'we' with self determination? Not the general population, presumably. They would not be consulted. It is certainly not something they voted for in the fabled referendum.


You may say - as I am sure the government would - you have the choice to vote them out at the next election and bring in someone who will restore maternity leave. In theory, yes. In practice, that is not likely to be the Conservative who would just have dropped it, and while Labour would certainly say they would restore it, you may feel they would want to do many other things you did not agree with. So a committed Tory who was opposed to dropping maternity benefit would in practice have no choice to support the party proposing it. Where is their 'sef determination' on this matter?