Monday, July 04, 2016

Quote of the day 4th July 2016

To citizens of the United States of America today is Independence Day - when they celebrate their independence from Great Britain.

This year's celebrations on the other side of the pond are particularly poignant to us here in Britain because about half our people (52% of those who voted) believe we have just obtained our own independence from the European Union) but about half (48% of those who voted) believe we have just made a terrible mistake.

Neither the fledgling United states, nor the Britain of the late 18th century from which they broke away, not the European Union which we have just voted to leave, nor the Britain of today, was or is either a force of pure evil or a model of perfection.

In each case, Independence is only worth celebrating if we can build something better.

I believe that both the people of the United States and the people of Great Britain built something far better than the Britain of 1776.

Inside or outside the European Union, Britain is far more democratic, far more safe, far more fair, and far more prosperous than we were 240 years ago, at a time when women and the poor had no vote, there was no effective system of health care or education, and justice was far harder for the less powerful to come by.

The challenge facing those who voted Leave and those who voted Remain alike is to work to build a better Britain than the one we had so that our own "Independence Day" on 23rd June will be one to celebrate and not one to bitterly regret.

In that context here is a quote from an American President who knew exactly what it was about Independence Day he wanted to be able to celebrate.

5 comments:

Jim said...

Demand 1 - The Harrogate Agenda (stage 6 of Flexcit too)

Recognition of our sovereignty:

The peoples of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland comprise the ultimate authority of their nations and are the source of all political power. That fact shall be recognised by the Crown and the Governments of our nations, and our Parliaments and Assemblies

Anonymous said...

"the Crown"?

Jim said...

Yes Mr/Mrs Anonymous "the Crown" - You see whilst Her Mag may well still be the symbolic head of state, the "sovereignty" in the history of the UK was passed from "the Crown" to Parliament.

of course this is the point, Harrogate is demanding recognition that neither the Crown or Parliament are sovereign, the people are.

Chris Whiteside said...

I think that is pretty much the point Ronald Reagan was making - if Independence is to mean anything we must have a system based on the principle that the people are sovereign.

Jim said...

Exactly