Archive | June 2016

Why not a second Brexit referendum?

By Jim Brown

So now there is a petition circulating in Great Britain calling for a second Brexit vote. It has garnered more than two million signatures already. Are they delusional? Maybe not. Consider there were 46 million plus eligible voters and only 72 per cent bothered to vote, and of that 72 per cent just 17.4 million voted to leave the EU, compared to 16.14 million who voted to stay. That works out to 51.9 per cent support for Leave among total voters. That’s not even half of all those eligible to cast ballots. In fact, by rough calculation that’s barely 37 per cent. Is that a mandate to wreck a country’s prosperity, not to mention threaten the health of the entire global economy? It shouldn’t be. Only hours after the vote many Leave voters cried foul – saying they weren’t told of the consequences of their vote. Granted, many simply swallowed the lies and the racist swill offered by the crackpots who filled Leave’s ranks. They failed to do their due diligence. So now jobs, banks, the housing market, health care, education and everything else they hold dear is threatened. The threshold should never been set at 50 per cent plus one of ballots cast. That was outrageously stupid on the part of the Cameron government. But that being said, Leave never had a legitimate mandate to break dozens of trade and economic deals. Their win was built on house of cards and a pack of lies. So that brings us to the petition. What if in the next couple of weeks the number of signatures reaches 10 million or even 20 million, which would be greater than the Leave vote in Thursday’s rerendum? Consider also that it will take two years to dissolve England’s ties to the EU and the process can’t begin until the British government activates Article 50, which it is showing no interest in doing anytime soon. Consider also that Scotland, which voted massively for Remain, has threatened to split from the UK to stay in the EU and so has Northern Ireland. Isn’t that enough to warrant a second referendum, say within a month or so, based on troubling developments since Thursday and dire warnings of a global catastrophe? I would think the EU’s masters would be thrilled at a second opportunity to set things right, considering they’ve had a glimpse of the devastation caused already. So if Cameron were a courageous leader,he would call that referendum within two weeks and let the chips fall where they may. It can’t possibly be any worse that what’s already transpired.


Petty infighting leads to Brexit

By Jim Brown

What a terribly sad way to diminish a country and a strong force for good throughout the world (the formerly 28 member EU). The Cameron government allowed an outrageous 50 per cent plus one threshold for leaving the EU, which doesn’t even represent a significant majority of eligible voters. It was all done to try to settle a pissing match in Cameron’s own party between those who basically hate immigrants and Europeans and others who just want to get along and build a more prosperous, outward looking, inclusive United Kingdom. David Cameron did not have to call the referendum. It was vain, arrogant, destructive pride that caused him to roll the dice. But if he was going to, why not raise the bar? For instance insist more than half of the 46 million plus eligible voters must vote Leave. Instead, with a 72 per cent turnout, the total was just 17,400,000, about 1.3 million votes more than Remain and far from half of eligible voters, many of whom couldn’t cast ballots because of fierce flooding and the closure of polling stations. Such a tiny margin to destroy one of humanity’s truly great accomplishments. In British Columbia a 60 per cent Yes vote was needed years ago to change the province’s electoral system for God’s sake. Now Scotland, which voted overwhelmingly for Remain, will likely support independence and the landmark Northern Ireland peace accord could also unravel. Was it all worth it?

Lobster boat art

By Jim Brown

Talk about a movable canvass. Beautiful art is

on display at the North Rustico wharf during the spring lobster fishery.

A town’s transformation

First the power lines had to be upgraded and then on May 31 a landmark building on Kensington’s main thoroughfare, Broadway Street, came tumbling down in a controlled demolition. A day later work crews were busy hauling away tons of debris from the site in front of a growing knot onlookers.  Part of Broadway was blocked to traffic for much of the day. Kensington is getting a major facelift with a new fish market and other businesses opening in the renovated area, including a restaurant, The Home Place, relocated from Victoria Street. It was a remarkable few days for Kensington residents who saw their town transformed before their eyes.