Friday, 7 October 2016

A Citizen Of Where?

I really am starting to think Theresa May has lost the plot entirely; she implies that if you voted remain you're part of an elite that is sneering at the working class. Forty eight percent of the population cannot by any stretch of the imagination be an elite and personally I'm sneering at no one. I am worried about the state of Britain and where it's going though.

Mrs May knows that the second most indebted country in the world, that's us, has an economic crisis on its hands; whilst it's easy to blame everything on Brexit it has to be a part of the reason she approved fracking. If you don't think there is an economic crisis the pound fell yet again exacerbating still further our debt which is more than half the size of the USA's debt, the only country to owe more than us, but with a population many times the size of ours and quite a lot more industry not just 'services'.

The NHS in Harrogate wants to cut back non urgent operations for patients who are over weight or who smoke. Does anyone think they'd be so high handed if they had a surplus in the budget? If Brexit causes the economy to slump, and we haven't even got started yet, then there are going to be many more very tough decisions to be made. Forget about our EU contributions, we could lose billions if we mishandle this and no plan is visible yet, not really any stated aims even, just rhetoric and the excuse of not giving a running commentary.

In order to prosper we need more airport capacity among other things, it's not just about going on holiday, it's business, cargo and inward tourism too. The decision has been put off for years. Infrastructure spending brings a number of benefits, such as employment and airport capacity sends a signal abroad too. However, what will happen next is interesting.

We once built our own power stations and dare I say it nuclear reactors, now we're getting France and China to do it because we don't have the money. In the long term who will pay? The British consumer will pay. Where will the profits end up? France and China. If we cannot pay for our power stations can we then afford pay for new airport capacity? Time will tell, but if we invite other countries to do that for us they'll want a return on investment and if the power generation deal is anything to go by a substantial one at that.

What really brings home the weakness of  Mrs May's thinking is her revealing statement that if you're a citizen of the world you're a citizen of nowhere. What utter tosh. Human beings have been fighting one another since before recorded history, tribalism and nationalism have played a big part in that, the concept of them and us.

I'm proud to be a citizen of the world. I'm proud to have travelled as far and as wide as I have. I'm glad I tried to get to know and understand people in other countries with different cultures, it's enriching and it's an aid to understanding. Isolationism is a mistake. Mrs May might well preach about Britain going out into the world and making its own way and making new trade deals here there and everywhere, but she'd better learn something about the world or she'll fall flat on her face.

Don't worry the taxpayer will foot the bill for her trips abroad even if the pound is only worth fifty cents. You can just be a citizen of Britain and stay home.

Malcolm Snook writer, blogger and campaigner

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