Sunday, 11 August 2019

Brexit 'Britain' is a country which is, in the mind of its old Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, facing an existential crisis

The Collins English Dictionary defines 'Great Britain' as the island consisting of England, Scotland, and Wales, which together with Northern Ireland makes up the United Kingdom. Gordon Brown, who was born in Giffnock, Renfrewshire, Scotland and is 68 years old, has served the United Kingdom as its Chancellor of the Exchequer for 10 years from 1997 to 2007 and Prime Minister for 3 years from 2007 to 2010.

Gordon has experience and gravitas and although his Premiership was not a success, his finest moment came when he could, in effect, go back to being Chancellor during the Financial Crisis which convulsed the world in 2007 - 2008, when, in fact, he could be Chancellor of the World. Colleagues and civil servants who were otherwise in despair with him were dazzled by his response to the financial crisis which involved a £500 billion bail out to British banks and led to subsequently, broadly similar measures to be introduced by the United States and the European Union in response to the Financial Crisis.

If his actions in 2008 earned him the epithet : 'The Man who Saved the World' he now seems determined to do his best to earn the epithet : 'The Man who Saved the Union of the United Kingdom' which he thinks is threatened by the prospect of a No Deal Brexit from the European Union. He has said that he fears for the future of the Union and the growing nationalism which is pulling the United Kingdom apart, driving it towards an unprecedented  economic calamity and unleashing the most serious constitutional crisis since the 17th century when King was pitted against Parliament in the prelude to the English Civil War.

Writing in the Observer he accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson of deploying a 'destructive, populist, nationalist ideology' and said that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are 'devoid of a unifying purpose' capable of holding together amid the threat of crashing out of the EU.

His comments come amid mounting fears that a no-deal Brexit would hasten the end of Scotland’s membership of the United Kingdom and attendant retention of membership of the EU. Three-fifths of Scottish voters (60%), believe that support for Scottish independence would increase after a no-deal Brexit, according to new Focaldata polling for the anti-racist 'Hope Not Hate' campaign. Most, that is 57%, of  Conservative Party supporters said they regarded the end of the union as a price worth paying to achieve Brexit. 

Gordon accused Prime Minister Johnson of turning the Conservative and Unionist Party into the 'Conservative and Brexit party'. In his view 'Unionism appears to be sleepwalking into oblivion and the United Kingdom – once admired around the world for an understated but comfortably unifying Britishness that was inclusive, outward-looking, tolerant and ultimately pragmatic – now presents an ugly picture : of bitter division, intolerance and introversion so extreme that it has sacrificed common sense in favour of a dogmatic abandonment of its own best interests.'

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