With an annual inflation of 7.4% over the past twenty years, English did endure an enormous financial strain. However, that is not EU’s fault.
Britain’s momentous decision to leave the European Union astonished many, who will immerse themselves into bitter disappointment. Sadly, Brexit does not only profoundly affect the Great Britain and its future existence as a whole territorial entity. It also threatens the future of the European Union, encouraging further departures from Brussels by other EU member states. To preserve unity within the EU, it seems that the Europeans will have to set an example, by using the Great Britain as a scapegoat to exhibit to other EU member states what will happen to them if they decide to turn their backs on Brussels. Apart from discouraging tourists, and destroying one of our strongest economic pillars, recent racist vicious attacks on Europeans in England will do us no favours when Brussels decides our fate. Furthermore, to demonstrate that nationalism is not the way forward, Brussels will probably have to subdue our global influence, economy and currency. Europeans will not take such drastic measures because they despise us, but because they love united Europe more. Nevertheless, the new British government should urgently adopt a Zen philosophy, whereby instead of mourning its bleak future; it needs to reflect, learn and act.
Apart from discouraging tourists, and destroying one of our strongest economic pillars, recent racist vicious attacks on Europeans in England will do us no favours when Brussels decides our fate. Furthermore, to demonstrate that nationalism is not the way forward, Brussels will probably have to subdue our global influence, economy and currency. Europeans will not take such drastic measures because they despise us, but because they love united Europe more. Nevertheless, the new British government should urgently adopt a Zen philosophy, whereby instead of mourning its bleak future; it needs to reflect, learn and act.
Judging from the delighted Britons, who appeared in post-referendum televised news editions, expressing their joy for leaving the EU, it is almost certain that most of them read tabloid newspapers. The referendum’s outcome illustrates that it is not the politicians who shape our future. It is the tabloid newspapers. Thanks to them, BREXIT will ultimately mean what it says and shall be used by secessionist campaigners in Scotland and Northern Ireland to exit Britain.
For many centuries, Great Britain exemplified to the world that, regardless of religious differences, we can coexist in peace and prosperity. Besides Albania, Senegal and Sierra Leone, Great Britain is the only remaining country on earth, which is populated by large entities belonging to different religions that did end up in a religious conflict. That is our cultural identity, which distinguishes us from others. Cultural identity is not about preserving your way of life. It is about, how many other non-British individuals are consuming your way of life. Beatles, Mini Morris, Mr Bean and Scotch Whiskey are the colours of our cultural identity that enlightens the world.
Congratulations to Mr Nigel Farage, for leading a successful Brexit campaign, by convincing most of the English and Welsh to leave the EU. I find it a bit ironic that Mr Farage, a member of the European Parliament himself, campaigns against the institution that employs him. Then again, it is very noble of him, to give up his job for his cause. However, before long his party will soon have to change its name from the UK Independence Party into English Independence Party. Considering, that only England and Wales voted to exit the EU, Northern Ireland and Scotland will subsequently leave the United Kingdom to rejoin the EU. Scotland will soon exit the Great Britain, not because they hate the English, but because they wish to continue to sell their Scotch in Europe without the high EU import taxes.
I can’t imagine the Irish of Northern Ireland, settling down with passport controls whenever they are entering the Republic of Ireland. The EU might not have accomplished anything for the Great Britain, but at least it managed to remove the border controls between the Irish, which in turn eased the civil unrest in this part of the UK. It looks likely that Mr Farage and his party will be remembered by future generations as the UK Dissolving Party, the party that managed to divide our great country and bring an end to the United Kingdom. Our past has taught us that the rise of nationalism leads to fragmentation of states. Hitler came to power and Germany ended up divided. Milosevic came to power and ended up dividing Yugoslavia.
Brexit presents the sentiment of a significant proportion of English population, who are frustrated. No one has the right to blame people for being frustrated because they are struggling financially to get through the end of the month and for being excessively dependent on credit cards. And again, no one can blame the EU for our previous governments’ failure to comprehend what is national economic prosperity. Economic prosperity is not only about creating new jobs. It is about the ability of the British public to spend more. Since, the year 1999, our past governments held the key to our economic prosperity but chose to ignore it.
In the year 1998, the British government set up an Urban Task Force, chaired by Lord Richard Rodgers. They produced a white paper, Towards an Urban Renaissance, outlining recommendations for spatial planning authorities in the United Kingdom. One of the critical recommendations of this publication was to follow Barcelona’s example by increasing the dwelling density of existing 100 dwellings per hectare to 400 dwellings per hectare.
Sadly, this advice was never enacted, resulting in an enormous increase in house prices. Due to the increasing monthly payments for mortgage or rent, the English became poorer, directly impacting on their well-being. Previous British governments were content that over the last twenty-five years, they managed to keep the inflation down with only an average 2.5% annual increase.
However, this was not the case in England whereby over the last twenty years, the accommodation cost increased by almost 400%. Hence, over the past two decades, the living cost in England, the real inflation rate, grew by 404 % or 7.4% per year. Twenty years ago, you could have bought a house for £80,000. The same house now costs £320,000. Twenty years ago, you could have rented a house for £800 a month. The same house is now available to rent for £3,200 a month, imposing a financial strain on English families, who in turn blamed new residents settling in the UK.
The EU did not cause the ongoing economic despair of England’s residents, but from housing shortages from which only the mortgage lenders have benefited. Higher housing prices result in higher interest repayments for the banks. Efforts by the Bank of England to cut down interest rates achieved nothing to British struggling first-time buyers or renters. Whereas annual interest rates decreased by 1%, the housing prices increased by 20%, with average salaries increasing by only 2%.
The EU can’t be held accountable for this collective financial aggravation. The European Union is not responsible for planning our settlements. Mr Farage and English majority should blame their past governments for failing to deliver new residential developments at an optimal 400 dwellings per hectare. Current residential occupancy in England is around 170 dwellings per hectare.
Of course, one might disagree with this discourse, but if you were to trace over the referendum’s results per region with the house prices over the last twenty years, I believe that the answer is self-evident why the English voted out. Compared to British residents in Northern Ireland and Scotland, their accommodation costs soared at levels, no longer attainable to them.
Could you imagine London hosting the Olympic Games in 2012, without securing sufficient accommodation for athletes and journalists? This is precisely what our previous governments have done concerning the EU citizens settling in the UK, welcoming them without provision of additional housing, resulting in a price hike of our accommodation, which impoverished the English, who in turn blamed incoming migrants.
Because of inconsiderate spatial planning policies, nowadays an average earning Englishman has to pay out at least 60% of their monthly income towards their mortgage or rent. The elderly remember the good times when they use to place 30% of their monthly income for sheltering their families, and the remaining 70% back into the British economy, which is most likely the reason why they voted to leave the EU.
I sincerely hope that the new government will respond to the evident financial struggle, elevated by excruciating house prices. If 10 Downing Street aims economic prosperity, they should urgently deliver high-density residential developments, because England’s residents deserve to live in dignity, free from financial coercion imposed upon us by the concurrent ridiculously high cost of our accommodation.