The United Kingdom is no more. Who would have foreseen this a few short months ago ?How improbable was it ?
So what now for Norneverland in the nuclear fallout of the Brexit vote to leave the EU? It has exposed the “United Kingdom” as a completely disunited entity.The fault-lines are there for all to see.Schematic maps have been drawn to better understand how the voting went across the land .The sexes basically agree on exit or stay but not necessarily in the same family.Mum and dad might well be at it hammer -and- tongs over the issue. Scotland and Northern Ireland , except for a couple of hard-line right -wing unionist dominated counties in the north -east, very obviously voted to remain in the EU, while England and Wales for the most part decided to leave. It wasn’t even as simple as that though. When you look at the details, London voted in huge numbers to stay and the vote was fairly evenly divided across England and Wales to Leave or To Stay. The “Leave” vote shaded it by only a few percent. It amounted to a million people out of about 65 million tipping the balance. In something as important as this the population are literally at sixes and sevens howling across the divide.It is making a frighful noise.
The real surprise was that It’s also now apparent that the real fault lines in voting are between the young and the old . The young, obviously thinking of the stability of their future lives and their freedom to travel , live and work as “Europeans”, favoured staying , by all accounts.When you are young ,”freedom” is a very important concept . Various financial and social experts in the UK and across the world also expressed a view that to leave the EU would be madness and will bring social chaos and eventually a worse scenario than anything like the one we are now experiencing.They said you might think you’re hard done by in the EU but wait until you get a whiff of the modern world outside of it.The Empire is long gone after all ,and had it not been for the Beatlemania years of the 1960’s which made the UK appear much more colourful and exotic on the world’s stage , than it actually was, the UK would be long since forgotten as a major player.
There have been so many intricate relationships and laws built up over this past forty- odd years that it will take a well-paid department of Civil Servants another forty years to gradually sort out and unpick before we can actually crawl out from under this mess. Some are already making preparations as to how this huge , up to now , unnecessary price , might actually be paid now. I suppose it will provide some kind of future employment for the next generation of ministers and clerks, beavering away in well-cushioned offices, but it sounds to me like digging a hole in the road that will have to be re-dug and filled in over and over again for the next forty years.The money to pay for that will not come from anywhere else but the pockets of the British working- man.Where else will it come from?
Many see the generational divide in the vote as a clear demarcation line between the elderly and the young. This has undoubtadle destroyed friendships and put kith and kin at each other’s throats much as any civil war might . Many think the wounds will never heal, so deep do they go. Fathers and sons , mothers and daughters are completely divided in opinion. The one thing it has done is that it has politicised many who beforehand had no thought or notion of politics. It has finally made them think in a way that the current younger generation has never really done before. It is a curious reversal considering that many of their mothers and fathers were similarly politically active for various world causes such as apartheid, civil rights. and the anti-war movement ,when they were of similar age .Some of them were probably the ones who sided with their sons and daughters in the “Stay” vote though.
No matter…the few of these oldsters who sided with their children and voted “Stay” couldn’t stop the fracturing of the entire country. The United Kingdom will never be united again. It has ceased to exist in any real “united” sense. England and possibly ,Wales, sees itself driven by that same vaunting nationalism that one hundred years ago sent a generation of young men out of the trenches across the barbed -wire ,to be mown down in their millions needlessly by German guns.Most , barely knew why they did that either , except that it was somehow “For King and Country” (and because my mates are doing it), even though the reasons were really quite different.Some twenty or thirty years after that debacle which decimated a generation of young, America and Russia came to their aid and defeated Hitler and Germany for them , leaving Britain in poverty while Germany and Europe quickly re-built themselves in the 1950’s and Britain wallowed in “victory” and fairy-tales that they’d actually won something. The children of the 1950’s grew up playing in the bomb craters of London eating rations while Germany grew.
Voting in a referendum is not like electing a government whom you’ll be able to change and dump every few years when you get fed up with their antics .This is something entirely different which ,when changed, is as near immutable as might be possible .There’ll be no changing minds after the event. Of course this is as yet, still only a vote taken to leave the EU. Apparently the ministers in government have to vote it through parliament and maybe that will garner a different result entirely.As things stands, no one seems to be in any great hurry to leave as yet. They are, after, all jumping out into the darkness without a parachute. Most ministers are in favour of staying , no matter what the Great Public might want.
There are many things to sort out , not least what Britain will do when Scotland decides to stay with the EU and break away from the UK.They might just do that by all intents as there is talk of a second referendum.In Ireland we are in a much more complex position. We have Joint First Ministers who are on opposite sides of the result .The right- wing DUP having voted to leave without ever giving a specific reason , economic or otherwise , evident in the voting patterns of somewhere like Antrim, whereas most nationalists and many less hard-right unionists, have voted to stay.That leaves us with a DUP minister being out of step with the wishes of the majority of the people of Norneverland. That circle can never be squared but what it has really exposed is that the DUP never accepted the spirit of the EU and never accepted the idea of “soft” European borders either . They were much happier when they had control of border security intheir personal hands and it provided jobs for their menfolk and women who raised their families on the back of it. As someone recently pointed out …there were no Nationalist B-Men. That will never return, of course. What they don’t really realise is that England now sees itself as an even more separate entity and will be even more alienated from the entire islands of Britain and Ireland when the Republic of Ireland remains in the EU and many Irish Nationalists and even unionists in the north and across England will apply to hold Irish EU passports in increasing numbers, if they do not already hold them anyway.Many will claim Irish citizenship for the very pragmatic reason that it will allow easier access to Europe and still provide all the travel , tax , health and citizenship benefits which they’ve grown accustomed to. You can see the sense in that.
The real egg to be cracked is whether or not the English will want to support the Northern Irish “Out There” across the Irish Sea anymore.This vote has shown up how insular and Little Englander many of them have become. They haven’t really that much interest in us other than to send their young men over here to play at being soldiers and when they stop and think now that while they are leaving the EU for ostentiably financial reasons ,that they have also got a money drain flowing into the north of Ireland to keep the paddies in the style to which they have become accustomed. They might just have second thoughts on that just when my old age pension kicks in next year.If they can so easily vote to leave the EU, it is no stretch to imagine them voting to dump us too. Many didn’t think too deeply about that one .They might not think too deeply about another referendum ,should that choice come up , either.
When the UK leaves the EU the Good Friday Agreement will come into scrutiny too because it intimately involves a EU member in the shape of the Republic of Ireland and how the EU by extension ,helps and operates the peace process here. You might say that without the EU we would still be killing each other hand- over- fist.Hard unionism have a fantasy that somehow they would have “won” that unwinnable conflict but that is simple macho-posturing, for without the combined UK behind the project they would and will have a much weaker hand. All that would be left would be gang-warfare on a large scale. The british people, newly – released from the EU are not about to again begin spending billions supporting another conflict here without the aid of the EU. Even less so if their husbands and sons are being sent over here to die for nothing, while they pay for the ticket.
The instability of our position will be very evident when it is realised just how broken down and completely un-united the United Kingdom actually is now . The only thing that would possibly re-unite it would be if they could cobble together another neat little war somewhere and convince their working-class youngsters that it would be a great and grand thing to lay down their young lives for their country.
I think that many in unionism and even Irish nationalism, might be very shocked to discover just how fragile and utterly dis-illusioned it all is.It is not feasible for a new Norneverland of possibly only two counties ,to exist as it does as a separate entity outside of the UK or the EU and on the other hand the Republic of Ireland are by no means ready yet to re-assimilate us into their bosom even if we wanted them to under the present circumstances.


  1. jessica July 4, 2016 at 12:15 pm #

    “Apparently the ministers in government have to vote it through parliament and maybe that will garner a different result entirely.”

    There isn’t a chance in hell of that happening Harry.

    The last time democracy was thwarted in such a way on these islands was the partition of Ireland and that led to civil war.

    Now, England may not be as militarised as Ireland was then, but the sentiments will be the same.

    Brexit is the best thing to have happened in relation to the EU and while you wont see it yet, I am in no doubt even Ireland will benefit from it in time.

    As for the hurry to leave, we aren’t going anywhere, you are talking about rewriting thousands of laws, new trade deals not only with individual nations within the EU who might soon decide to also opt out in favour of improved trade deals with England and perhaps including over commonwealth nations also.

    You do realise we aren’t actually leaving Europe, we are just escaping the evil union.

    • paddykool July 4, 2016 at 1:29 pm #

      Well , Jessica you might yet be right about your projections but that’s not what it looks like on somewhere like the streets of Liverpool or London where people are so divided on this that they are livid with the mess the Tories have made …never mind the savagery and the back-stabbings and opportunistic power -plays they are seeing from the likes of Gove, Boris and the rest.Then there’s Farage walking away after he’s set the blaze going.Yes …he might re-appear as an ultra right -wing supporter of the Tory Party further down the line but for the moment he’s gone and all the lies he left behind which got him the result , are unanswered.The young are maybe more livid than the miners were with Maggie Thatcher….and it really is a generational thing there ,which will eventually bring young people to the streets as they haven’t done since the days of the anti-war protests and Civil Rights movements of the 1960’s ..Many are so fed up with the way this government has acted that no-one really knows how it will pan out.None of the politicians have covered themselves in glory in any of this.

      • jessica July 4, 2016 at 2:58 pm #

        Have most of the mainstream etablisment political parties on either of these islands ever been any different Harry?

        You are right about how it was poorly handled by the Tories but Nigel Farage did not get the result, it was dislike of the EU and nothing more.
        You would get the same result or a clearer majority against the EU if it was rerun again today.

        I dont agree that one side was better than the other though and dont talk about lies when we still dont know the whole truth behind the EU change in direction and the new secret deals driving it with the US and Israel.

        You also seem to think the EU will control movement in Europe and deny our children from being able to travel and work their in the future.
        There is no evidence whatsoever that this will be the case since many non EU citizens live and work in Europe and will continue to do so long after the EU collapses.

        It is not lies that the EU is in financial turmoil and has just had a 20 year long economic decline, they are playing a high stakes game of poker at the moment and there are hundreds of billions of pounds in EU nations bonds at stake and I hope they lose every penny.

        It pains me to say it, but Fine Gael are actually playing their cards right and promising only to do what is best for Ireland and not jumping to anyone’s tune as yet.

        Perhaps we should all follow their example and lets see where things lead before deciding we are unfit to govern ourselves without Brussels.

        • paddykool July 4, 2016 at 3:40 pm #

          Well Jessica, it actually is my understanding that a EU passport gives you, not only a free run throughout the EU ,as many from Poland and so on experience at present in our own hospitals and services here ,and so on ….but it works in the opposite direction too in that we from Ireland and the UK have similar benefits of health service, housing and travel throughout countries in the EU when we care to go abroad and live and work there…as many have chosen to do. If we haven’t got that membership , surely that will not be the case in future? Why would there be such a scramble (as there appears to be ) for Irish(EU) passports? Why would anyone bother at all otherwise? Just asking …because we all need some clarity here.

          • jessica July 4, 2016 at 8:38 pm #

            So if Ireland left the EU, are you saying I wont be able to travel around Europe?
            I wonder how all those non EU citizens, yanks, Chinese, Japanese, Australians and so on manage it?

            I also like to spend time in Portugal, and I assure you the Irish living here do not get free health care, free school books, or free travel like we do at home or in the UK.

            It seems the things important to you about membership of the EU aren’t even available with an Irish passport now never mind in the future,

            Perhaps the scramble for Irish passports is more to do with misconception than anything else?

            I think you got one thing right, we do need some clarity here.

      • jessica July 4, 2016 at 4:43 pm #

        The only lies I am hearing are how our children will not be able to travel or work in Europe because we aren’t in the EU.

        Or how we are going to be living in mud huts in 20 years or our economy will be set back to the 50s.

        How are these lies worse than anything the Tories on either side of the argument have expressed or farage for that matter?

        Perhaps it is because we know very well the EU discriminates against non EU citizens and once we leave the EU many fear that discrimination will make us worse off financially, hence we turn a blind eye to it for selfish reasons and use terms such as racist to attack those who see through it all and oppose it and will fight against it.

        But is that a good enough reason to support such a monstrosity of a state?

        In terms of peace, do you think a single EU wide army and borders expanding ever eastward can possibly or will deliver long term peace?

        This is happening Harry, and security reports outlining the reasons for them have been made public and what do you think of the TTIP revelations Mark posted?

        I would love dearly for you to read up on these and let us know your thoughts are on the truth that is available and leave the lies and scaremongering to the media and politicians whom we expect no better from.

  2. billy July 4, 2016 at 3:59 pm #

    then theres farrage walking away after hes set the blaze going……….
    no farrage has just pulled the rug from under the looney lefties feet and left ukip in a position to mop up the last of labours votes in the north of england.for 20yrs now they have been branding him(racist)but that whole argument is sunk now the people have voted they cant all be racist.maybe boris has spotted an opportunity and will join ukip as leader stranger things have happened.

    • paddykool July 4, 2016 at 6:58 pm #

      I wouldn’t say that the particular argument is proven at at all ,billy.I would say that the UKIP party is a a party supported by many, many racists , homophobes , Little Englanders and the most virulent from the far-right..which is as near as we are getting to the nazis or the fascists as this generation has come .
      What would make you think that they can’t all be racists? Why couldn’t they? Were “nazis” in Germany, not all nazis , or were some only pretending to be be nazis for the hell of it ? I think you’ll discover that there is a huge split in Britain now and there are many people who think Farage and his ilk are still depicable .Like i said somewhere else there are an awful lot of people who view Farage and UKIP with disgust in much the same way Mosley ‘s fascist blackshirts were viewed in the 1930’s and Hitler’s followers . They all loved him too because he promised them all kinds of everything and blamed all their ills on the Jews.These fascists found their support in working-class areas in England too. That doesn’t make any of them right.

      • jessica July 4, 2016 at 9:40 pm #

        Are you saying you don’t think UKIP will attract Labour votes or are you saying they will because working class England is full of racists?

        I have never seen so many accusations of racism before, now for simply voting for a particular party.

        The devil himself could not have devised a more divisive conception than the EU.

      • billy July 4, 2016 at 10:06 pm #

        sure its only a name,werent the remain camp described as fascists this morning on the radio.theres people who view corbyn and his ilk as despicable for ruining their countryway of life so it takes all sorts of views,only on this occasion the views of the voters went to the brexit side how would you describe the people who cant accept that.on the racist business is it only white people the oul racist card can get played on i never hear it the other way about.

        • jessica July 5, 2016 at 9:08 am #

          it wasn’t only whites voted for brexit

    • jessica July 4, 2016 at 8:40 pm #

      I would concur with that billy, Labour are finished in Scotland, in Ireland and now also in England

  3. paddykool July 5, 2016 at 1:18 pm #

    Whether UKIP attract Labour votes or not is immaterial. If they hold those kinds of views they would not be welcome in any left-wing party anyway. It would not be their natural home…ever as far as I’d be concerned . The reason why they are attracted to UKIP ,in the first place, is because it is even more right-wing than the worst Tory excesses.
    To clap your hands and think that a Labour loss was some sort of good -thing and Tory or UKIP gains were something to cheer about strikes me as very odd. I simply could never ever conceive of voting for conservative policies as avowed by these right-wing parties.

    The Tories are for the most part , for historical reasons, a party of career -politicians. They are a party of , for and from ,the Establishment …for the Establishment. They always have been although they sometimes attempt to hide that .Their idea is that they are bred for power and it is their lot in life to control the affairs of the hoi-polloi below them…as they have mostly always done. Many are complaint in this facade of democracy because they never think too much about it and rely on others to do their thinking for them . As demonstrated by the “week of the long-knives “recently , their only loyalty is to their own grasping, personal political ambitions…no matter how they attempt to disguise it.
    Boris was just the same as the rest , but he parlayed a “common-touch” , a joker who was a bit cuddly round the edges …a safe nice guy….even though his life-experience was far from the people he wished to ingratiate himself with…playing cricket with his buddy Lady Di’s brother on weekends …how could he be further from the man living on a sink -estate in Newcastle or Manchester?. He was simply out-maoeuvered by a more sly “comrade”, in Gove . They used to be called “fair-weather friends” but in the end they are a simple bag of rattlesnakes who have lied through their teeth.If anything , Boris was a bit of a hypocrite because he didn’t actually fully support Brexit .He pretended to in order to advance his status among the ultra -right voters for a future stab at the leadership but he never expected the vote to go the way it did. He was lost when that happened , with the prospect of all that responsibility for sorting out what he had in part, wrought.Gove was just that little bit more ruthless again….a matter of degrees of venom.They’re not the kind of people i’d care to give a vote to.
    Corbyn did ‘t put any of us into this mess…he simply has n’t had the time to do that, in any case…. and as far as the media is concerned, they are more worried about the sleek suit he doesn’t fancy wearing , rather than what the man is actually saying.That’s about the level of criticism so far . He’s unelectable apparently because he doesn’t look like the rest of the stiffs. Well that gives him a sort of protection in my book.That’s a plus in many people’s eyes. Labour under Tony Blair thought that by acting and dressing like Eton-bred Tories they could ape and mimic them to the point of stealing their thunder. Blair was really a natural Eton- Tory in any case ,but he was the kind of guy who’d have dressed in a clown suit if it had got him what he wanted . Labour were all so-unlike a party for the working-man that they became unrecognisable to the voting public who basically saw them as “Tory-lite”. That’s what really screwed up the Labour Party.
    As for racism . Anyone can be a racist .It doesn’t depend on colour.It depends on how you might view humanity and your fellow -man . This Brexit vote has only exarcerbated what was already there for many …even from the time of Enoch Powell and before. One example was that the Irish were the same colour as their English neighbours and of very similar cukture ,but were treated in a racist way aor as pariahs a couple of generations ago ,when it came to housing them in the cities of England. There were signs in windows .. “No dogs. No blacks. No Irish.” .They were stereotyped .The same thing has happened in immigrant communities the world over and you can be sure there’s a touch of racism in ISIS ‘s anti-kafir stance too.

    • jessica July 5, 2016 at 10:28 pm #

      For me it is really up to the English who they want to vote for.
      Neither Labour or the Tories give a damn about Ireland anyway and I would say they all have their own rattlesnakes.

      I would agree with a lot of what Corbyn says including his economic policies which are not that left wing never mind the far left which some seem to think.
      It is a shame he will never be prime minister as he seems sensible about all of these issues and fair but for some reason his own party seem to be determined to undermine him, probably because they are losing votes which the party are not likely to recover with his ideals anyway.

      Plus as far as I am aware, Corbyns views on the EU are also similar to my own. He is not pro EU and supported the reforms the UK wanted but failed to get and is known to be a Euro sceptic. We should not forget that the brexit was not something planned by the conservatives or UKIP but because the majority of English people demanded reform and the EU refused to give it to Cameron. Now, whether that was because they wanted the UK out to reset the clock to zero (which they have done already) and will now implement the reforms the UK wanted anyway just to keep them in for the money they put into the kitty or because Cameron was not up to the job and underestimated the strength of feeling on the issue and no one actually expected it to happen, plus they couldn’t have handled it any worse; I don’t know. But I would say that it was democratic and it was real and I don’t believe a rerun would produce a different result so they will have to deal with the situation they are in.

      From our point of view, we need to look after our own interests.

      There is a lot of assumption about the feelings on Ireland within the EU. I honestly don’t think we know for sure what the feeling is throughout Ireland, and personally I would be confident a referendum would have the same result in Ireland as brexit did in England.

      Even in the north, members of my own family who are not pro EU only voted remain because they did not want a return of the old border and therefore to say that there was a 56% vote in support of the EU I still find disingenuous.

      Without knowing what the opinion is south of the border, we could also be driving unification further apart and adding more divisions.

      Brexit has indeed caused a whole mess of confusion and muddle and to be honest, Enda Kenny is coming out of this the brightest.

      • jessica July 5, 2016 at 10:30 pm #

        Sorry should read There is a lot of assumption about the feelings on the EU within Ireland.

  4. Wolfe tone July 5, 2016 at 2:41 pm #

    In case anyone hasn’t been paying attention, the French government has forced through new labour laws, even bypassing what remains of their ‘democracy’ to further disempower the workforce. Be in no doubt the EU has played its part in that. Be careful what you wish for.

    • jessica July 5, 2016 at 6:32 pm #

      If we want to remain in the EU, they would be the price we would pay.

      It is unrealistic to expect businesses to suffer over freedom of movement, and give maximum employment rights. I guess simply calling employers racist doesn’t work in France.

      Fair play to them

  5. Wolfe tone July 6, 2016 at 3:13 pm #

    Is it racist of the EU not to light up its iconic landmarks in solidarity with the people of Iraq who have suffered an attack by ISIS recently? Or perhaps we Europeans want to segregate our concerns about ISIS? Some are more equal than others.

    • jessica July 6, 2016 at 5:13 pm #

      Iraq would be on the EUs ok to discriminate against list WT.

      Plus ISIS have links to their new potential transatlantic trade partners in the US so they wouldn’t want to cause offense to the new master race.