Brexit Gives A Long Time Comin’ Boot In The Backside To Britain’s One Per Cent!

Take It As A Warning To One Percenters Everywhere

A Commentary by Doug Draper

Posted June 25th, 2016 on Niagara At Large

They’re “reeling.” They’re “stunned.” They’re “shocked.”


These were but a few of the words media outlets around the world used all day Friday, June 24th to describe the reaction of world leaders, along with that of bankers, traders and their like to news that a majority of British citizens had voted in a referendum to end their country’s membership in the European Union.

And my questions to these autocrats and plutocrats who are the one per cent is this. Why are you so shocked?

leave campaign

After three or four decades of feathering your gilded nests as you rip the flesh from working families  with your self-serving trade deals, billion-dollar tax loopholes, and with all the cuts you have made to services and benefits for the rest of us, you should have seen all of the feelings of betrayal and rage that led to something like this coming.

You created the conditions for it, after all!

On the home page of a website for the “Leave” movement – that faction of people in the United Kingdom who favour “Brexit” or leaving the EU – Leave’s CEO Liz Bilney makes the following introductory remarks – “In 1975, the British public voted ‘yes’ to a free trade deal with Europe,” Bilney says. “What they didn’t vote for was a ‘United States of Europe’; one that would go on to crush our democracy, and in the process create a class of politicians clearly in it for themselves. …”brexit logo

“We will always be a part of Europe,” she continues, “but the EU is run for big business, big banks and big politics – not for ordinary people. … Let’s take a stand. Together, we can win back our country!”

If this rhetoric sounds familiar, you’ve probably been paying some attention to the U.S. presidential campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, two anti-establishment candidates who have tapped into the same frustration and anger many Americans have for politicians they feel have sold out to big money interests and turned their backs on them.

Sanders and Trump have both hit a chord with their opposition to trade agreements they argue – quite rightfully in my view – have enriched a few and have been unfair to millions who have fallen further and further behind, and in many cases have seen their jobs disappear completely as corporations move their operations to sweatshops overseas. The difference is that Trump has chosen to fire up people in ways, some argue, that bear an eerie resemblance to those employed by a little man wearing a in a brown shirt  and moustache in post-First World War Germany.

A mass revolt can turn into quite an ugly and dangerous affair if led by the wrong kind of person, and I’m not denying for a moment that there haven’t been individuals out there, stirring up false fears and ill feelings toward immigrants and others to win support for the campaign to leave the EU.

But you can’t get millions of  people, as they did in Britain this June 23rd, voting in favour of making such a momentous and potentially dangerous move if they believed that there was still any hope of getting a fair shake in the system they find themselves in now.

You can’t just can’t take tens of millions of people who have had rising expectations for their lot in life going back for at least three or four generations to the end of the Second World War and systematically deconstruct their livelihoods for your own gain and not expect the proverbial pitchforks to eventually come out.

The elites in the United States still don’t get it. The higher ups in the Republican Park still cling to some fantasy that if they can only “stop Trump,” they can go back to the way things were in their party 10 or 20 years ago. The Democrats say if only Bernie Sanders would unplug his “political revolution” and endorse Hillary Clinton, they can go back to singing ‘happy days are hear again’.

Bernie Sanders has drawn thousands to his campaign rallies

Bernie Sanders has drawn thousands to his campaign rallies

It isn’t going to happen. You’ve got too many people who no longer buy what the elites have been selling them about ‘trickle down economics’ and ‘job creators’, and the benefits of negotiating trade deals that make it all the easier for corporations to shut down their operations in America and move to some country where they pay their workers 80 cents an hour.

In Canada, we still are not yet seeing the level of discontent with the status quo there now is in the United States. But let’s see what happens if Justin Trudeau and his Liberals sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal negotiated by  the former Harper government, and even more decent paying jobs are lost across the country because of it.

I’ve already heard a good many Canadians say we need someone like Bernie Sanders here too.

NOW IT IS YOUR TURN. Niagara At Large encourages you to share your views on this post. A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who share their first and last name with them.

Visit Niagara At Large at for more news and commentary for and from the greater bi-national Niagara region.

“A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders



4 responses to “Brexit Gives A Long Time Comin’ Boot In The Backside To Britain’s One Per Cent!

  1. Linda McKellar

    Very well said! A few other points I believe are valid.
    The reason the markets plummeted, in addition to the shock that few investors thought the vote would turn out as it did, is that the overconfident bankers and politicians had speculated on the result and lost their financial shirts and probably their lunches as well. Good on them.
    I agree with Bilney on two points. The EU might have started out as a noble idea but has been destroyed, as many things are, by greed and power, run by international banking interests for one reason, accruing massive wealth for the ruling class at the expense of the average Joe. Capitalism has not only run amok but is increasingly internationally organized, including major input from the US. Europe HAS become the United States of Europe and Merkel accomplished what Hitler never could. Decisions were being made in Brussels, not Westminster. Much of the UK’s independence and control over their own affairs was stymied. They had to consult the EU for all of their trade deals and decisions. That is not independence and England has always been fiercely independent, proud and distrusted Europe and their squabbles. At least the older generation and past generations refused to consider themselves European. Their wisest decision when they joined was to keep the pound. If they had gone to the Euro, reverting would have been a major mess.
    FREE trade is not FAIR trade but rather attaining cheap labour to increase profits which subsequently are not spread equally but only to the rich.
    With open borders, many illegals were sneaking into the UK from Europe. The UK is a very accepting and diverse society, except for the idiot fringes found everywhere, but they want to know who is coming in. Now they can get back control of that.
    Trump stupidly saying that they “have taken back their country” (although he said it in Scotland which overwhelmingly voted to stay – he wasn’t even aware of the Brexit vote until last week!) as a comparison to what he wants for the US is a patently false comparison but it will probably work for him nevertheless. Nobody controls US laws, immigration and trade deals but themselves. In the UK, that had become untrue so they did want their independence back. People are finally realizing everywhere, as has allowed Trump to get a following in the US, that traditional politicians are filthy and the “leave” movement made use of that. The true problem really is, as Sanders said yesterday, dissatisfaction with the widening gap of wealth and privilege. People want a good living and some control.
    Globalization is not all honey and roses. It has gone too far to the detriment of many. I never could comprehend how European nations with such disparate mentalities, cultures and financial circumstances could be lumped together. The only assumption that could be made was the powerful taking control of the weaker for their own benefit. I doubt the UK will be the last to leave.


  2. pat scholfield

    I firmly believe we need to elect Hillary and if Bernie is not to be her running mate, set up a department with him in charge to implement many of the policies he believes in……campaign finance reform, universal health care, free (or affordable) secondary, public education, increased minimum wage, reformed trade deals, and environmentally friendly policies. It is my belief Hillary agrees with Bernie on many of his goals, but she will be more practical in the implementation.


    • Linda McKellar

      I think that is precisely why Sanders is keeping his hat in the ring. He has millions of supporters and his best method of getting a few of his policies initiated is by sticking it out all the way to the convention and hopefully forcing the hand of the party more to the left.


  3. Sheridan Alder

    The tragic thing is that this sort of “mass revolt” is actually against the interests of the masses and damages the young people of the UK.

    For the last 30 years people continue to vote for the elites that are screwing them over – they love their lies and their racism. Those are the people voting for Trump and voting for Cameron.


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