Another reason for voting Leave: Big isn’t Better.

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In today’s world it is not size but flexibility that matters.

Big does not equal better. The greatest success stories in the animal kingdom are not huge elephants and rhinos, but ants. Billions and billions of them, in multiple self-sustaining colonies, underground, chattering away, getting on with the work of looking after each other and forming what is now believed to be a global network.

Today’s most successful wars are not won with nuclear bombs.  They are won with IEDs, Kalashnikovs, an empowering vision, and inspiring words. Small things. Lots and lots of them.

Big things are vulnerable and are easily crippled. “A bee can bite the bottom of the Pope in Rome” (Les Miserables”).  An easy target. Billions of small things are difficult to get rid of, as anyone who has had an infection knows only too well.

So how does this reflect on the Brexit campaign? 

The EU is focused on more and more centralisation and regulation, with fewer and fewer people making the crucial decisions. Common this, and common that. Fewer decision-makers mean slower decisions – and less time to make them so the quality becomes compromised. In today’s world that is bad news. The problem is not size in itself.  It is speed. Big things take a long time to get going, buy-in from all the parties takes close to eternity, and once they are on the move they are very difficult to stop – or even redirect.  And almost impossible to reverse.  Eventually they stop.  (See image above.)

In this world of exploding chaos and complexity, where centralised decision-making cripples progress, the world’s key decision-makers are those at the edge, ‘little people’ facing the immediate local situation who can switch twice in a day, adjusting to what they find.  And the best leaders are those who understand that principle, training those people, educating them, inspiring them … and then giving leadership-power away to them, empowering them to decide ‘there and then’ at the point of need, equipped with the knowledge they need. It is immediate connectivity and flexibility that are key in this context. The delivery driver on his mobile phone in his little white van phoning the customer, the school teacher in the classroom dealing immediately with the behaviour of a student, the bobby on the beat sorting an argument, the child deciding on what to have for breakfast.

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Think ant not articulated truck. When faced with a challenge, ants get into a little community group and sort out the problem, attacking, defending, and even dying when necessary. (They are typically called ‘worker’ ants.  I like that!) When the problem is solved, they go back to their work until needed again.  They will go to incredible lengths to support each other, sacrifice, and work.  The one in this pic is carrying a seed many times its weight and size.

And it all happens in seconds and minutes, not months and years. Quick, efficient, local decision-making by those affected by the decision sorting the problem out together. Collaboratively.  Without a formal structure.

So the predictions for the EU are speculated upon for the next 15 years. “It will be like this in 2030.”  One thing is sure.  Every prediction will be wrong, whoever makes it. Remember 15 years ago? It was the everyday people, filled with vision and purpose, who decided that for them there was no box to think out of. Like the bumble bee that is technically unable to fly because of it’s weight and wing area, they just get on and do it.

When I see the EU voting for the development of smaller government, disbanding important parts of itself (especially those that currently meddle uninvited in the detail of human community), distributing decision-making power to the edge, promoting freedom, encouraging diversity and speed by building connectivity (roads, airports, internet access), maybe it will get my vote.

I’m not holding my breath.  Today it seems to me to be more of a big overloaded truck stuck in a narrow lane, shouting at us about how we cannot do without it because it’s going places, yet blocking the way for the farmer, mother and deliveryman queued up behind, trying to get on with real life.

Meanwhile the flexible little ants quietly march past, over, under and round it, vote it off the job and get on with the work of living.

Those who want the EU are welcome to it. I’m voting ‘ant’.

 

I’m voting LEAVE. Here’s my reason in ONE WORD.

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The upcoming referendum on the EU is, I believe, the single most important political decision any of us is likely to make in our lifetime. I’m voting ‘Leave’. Here’s my reasoning in ONE word. Accountability.

Accountability keeps us behaving responsibly.

As individuals we are responsible for how we treat each other, responsible for our possessions, and responsible for what we do with what we have. We are responsible for what we ask of others, how our decisions affect them and how we adjust to the effect we have on other’s lives – our response-ABILITY. Responsibility and accountability are linked. We are responsible FOR things and people, and accountable TO those people, obliged to maintain a free flow of transparent communication so that we prove ourselves worthy of trust.

In Britain we have decided that those who are responsible for the direction and management of our country are ultimately accountable to us, the people they lead, whose lives their decisions affect.  Responsible for. Accountable to.

The reason I’m voting Leave is because such accountability is missing in the EU. We have no idea who makes the decisions that affect us. We do not know the person responsible for each of the myriad of choices imposed on the millions of people who must do as they are told. There is no cabinet minister’s name attached to an ‘EU Directive’. Parliament cannot overthrow it. As a result of that ongoing and unstoppable anonymity, power becomes absolute and absolute power corrupts absolutely, regardless of the intentions of those who wield it.

The counterbalance to the abuse of power is democracy, described by Churchill as “the worst form of government except for all the others that have been tried from time to time.” Or as it has been succinctly put, ‘the least worst form of government.’

Every few years in Britain the people have an opportunity to kick out those in power if they don’t lead well, or spend our taxes carelessly, and this makes they much more attentive to the people they, at least in theory, are committed to serve. We wisely wield that power every five years in Britain – about the right time-frame in my view.  But no one can kick out those who wield the power in the EU, so its bureaucrats can – and do – decide as they like.

Worse than that in some ways is that the inertia of this unwieldy autocracy is so great that the EU has proven to be UNABLE to reverse, even though catastrophe lies in such a path. It has become unABLE to respond. It has lost response-ABILITY.

We paid a high price for democracy – many many lives. Let’s not give it away in a single day of apathy.

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This issue of power is way more important than any financial implication (or even issues like immigration). Prosperity comes and goes and we’ll love to exercise our creative skills in developing our markets with the rest of the world.  We are certainly mature enough, creative enough and courageous enough as a nation and economy to do so. But democracy, once it has been surrendered, cries out for blood in order to be restored. Germany, Spain, Italy, and indeed ourselves, could well do with remembering the lessons of history.  So let’s not, due to negligence, weakness or ignorance, drift into blind obedience to the relentless autocracy the EU has determined to exercise since its inception.

By the way, I love being with people from other nations. I’ve visited every country in Western Europe (except Iceland and Macedonia).  And I’ve visited many other countries too – from China to Canada. Human beings are amazing.  I’m always impressed. But I’ve also noticed that where accountability and transparency flourish, corruption is minimal. Where it is diminished, abuse of the people, people like you and me, sooner or later becomes normal. Dark deeds are done in secret.

One final thought.
Reformation. Membership of a ‘reformed’ Europe (whatever that might mean) is an option, but to be committed to a vague undefined so-called reformation without knowing what it will be, and knowing that the very people choosing the reforms are the same autocrats committed to the original governmental system – well, that would be foolishness indeed, wouldn’t it?

I personally think that the removal of the U.K. from the EU could be a catalyst for reform. Brexit will be a major upheaval for Europe, perhaps even big enough to force such reformation, so us voting ‘leave’ will serve the EU well, as a child running away from home usually causes the child’s family to ask deep searching essential questions of themselves, their relationships and parenting. What freedom is that person seeking that they could not get here? “How is it that such freedom is SO important that they have left the apparent security of this ‘home’ to seek it?”  Although of course Britain isn’t a child. It is a mature thoughtful adult choosing to leave a business club that is no longer serving its members well.

The British people have given Europe’s leaders a chance to change. They haven’t. They don’t care about the members’ concerns, the sincere concerns of those they rule. Instead some have even threatened us with retaliation and financial ‘punishment’ for making a free legal choice. Some friends!  Do we want to be forced to live the rest of our lives with them, ‘return’ to their walled fold? Not exactly enticing, is it. Bullying tactics are in the DNA of the over-powerful. Do I want to continue living within the doors of such a ‘home’? Certainly not. A bully living next door is one thing. Living with them is something else – as millions of people know only too well.

Time for Britain to grow up, believe in itself again, move out, seek our fortune in a less confining environment and move on. These EU walls that are hailed as protecting us have become our prison. We don’t need them thanks. This is our chance to walk out from that prison. Our world is a big place to explore, to play and work in. I believe we are courageous enough to say goodbye to our fears, stand up tall as a nation again, trade with confidence … and show the world how good it is to live with an accountable government and a free press in a democratic society.

That’s the reason I’ll be voting ‘Leave’.