Aren’t We Glad to Have Subdued the South So the U.S. Can Avoid This?

Crawford Gribben, who does a pretty good impersonation of a political commentator even though he knows far more about Puritanism than most Protestant academics, explains the dilemmas that union — both British and European — pose to European English speakers:

So, while no one knows what will happen next, here is one possible scenario. The High Court decision will be upheld, and Parliament will have the final say on Brexit. But this reversion to representative democracy will make no real difference to the process: Labour MPs, recognizing that seven in ten of their constituencies voted in support of the government’s action, will be unable to mount any effective resistance. The British government will then invoke Article 50 and begin the process of exiting the European Union before the Scottish government can table a second independence referendum or make sufficient advances in negotiations with EU member states and institutions to have them recognize its legal capacity to “inherit” UK membership. Against the wishes of its devolved government, Scotland is pulled out of the European Union along with the rest of the UK. Its independence referendum comes as too little, too late. . . .

The federal solution could prove successful. Towards the end of her second government, and with a constitutional dexterity that has not been characteristic of many 20th-century Westminster governments, Theresa May could propose a federal relationship between England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, facilitate the return of the Scots, who would retain a nominal independence, and cement a special relationship with the Republic. With the Irish and Scottish land borders becoming effectively meaningless, there could re-emerge a polity that embraces the geography of the old United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland without its problematic centralization. Or, in a more likely scenario, economic realities will prevail. English elections continue to signal a rightward drift, and the economy continues its gradual improvement. Welsh voters don’t like it, but combine their sentimental nationalism with a hard-headed recognition of the uncertain prospects of small nations in a sometimes unfriendly European Union, and prefer the devil they know. The pragmatism is familiar: After all, the Brexit results in both countries cut across party political lines. In Northern Ireland, an ambiguous settlement continues to link the province to England and Wales for as long as Stormont politicians can turn crises into dividends, even as north-south economic and cultural connections make the border increasingly irrelevant.

If only the United States were so constitutionally dexterous. But thanks to two world wars fighting on the United Kingdom’s side (not to mention a certain imbroglio with a Republican as commander-in chief), Americans remain stuck perpetually seeking a more perfect union.

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3 thoughts on “Aren’t We Glad to Have Subdued the South So the U.S. Can Avoid This?

  1. For a candid and astute report on the High Court proceedings, read the Daily Mail online’s Quentin Letts who has attended the sessions. His cheeky humour is unique and he and he can spot a rogue quickly, having being a political commentator for some years. He is always worth reading and often very accurate in his take on politicians. Rod Liddle of the Spectator also cuts through the waffle of the establishement with a keen sense of satire.
    Gribben is dead wrong saying Britain is drifting right in politics. We are a nation of snowflakes who are stupified by 70 years of fabian socialism which started in earnest with Clement Atlee in 1945. Buttressed by the cultural guardians like the BBC, SKY News and media like the Times, social liberalism and politics has led to many once proud working class towns like Wigan for example becoming welfare dependent with few proper jobs.This zombie culture is unlikely to change, it is so entrenched. We need more genuine insurgents like Arron Banks who help to expose the garbage of our system with a wonderful pithiness – see his book ‘Bad boys from Brexit’ and his Twitter exchanges with idiots like Alistair Campbell, Tony Blairs’ henchman.

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