Britain, European Union, Australia discussed on John Anderson: Conversations


You're listening to conversations with John Anderson, featuring Tim Montgomery. Tim, welcome to Australia terrific to have your own compensations, ura freelance writer in Britain. You've been the editor of the commentary pages in the times, and they're, of course, legendary, you're very Studebaker over what's happening in western societies in general. And in your country in particular ways Briggs going like goodness. I've come to a straight don't just gave him. Thank you, first of all, for the woman doctrine, and for having me on your commerce in this conversation, but. The vote for Brexit was a huge moment. I think in British history, the largest votes of its kind largest popular vote for more people voted for Brexit than, voted for Margaret Thatcher voted for Tony Blair hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of people who, don't normally vote came out to the polls to vote for this great opportunity to leave the European Union, a real, I think, restoration of the nation state as a sovereign nation, not overseen, by foreign courts able to control is borders master on dusty just rights and freedoms, Australia. Tate's for, for granted and the political class promise that whatever the result, this was a once in a generation decision, they would implement what the people decide it. Now, the, the victory for leaving the U was not huge fifty two to forty eight percent. But it was decisive, and there was a still their obligation there to honor the referendum result, but seventy five percent of the current members of the house of parliament voted for a main and large the large number of them still haven't come to terms with result, still trying to resist that historic decision. And not only I think, is the Brexit project. Therefore endanger, I think faith in democracy is in danger as well. We should worry everybody. Well, it is concerning. Isn't it because? Even the idea of having a second referendum would be treated by many, many Britons. I would've thought as a denial of the right to have this, I in the democratic process, and one wonders how they would then participate in British society, what attitudes. They would then take some people probably of those particular people, I mentioned you normally voting elections, but thought it was worth thirteen EU referendum probably what again, and I've been out on the on the doorstep in recent weeks before I came here and there's real anger people are very angry at parliament's failure to deliver this. Decision to leave the European Union. Now, I suspect a lot of the remains of the parliamentarians, who are denying the referendum, what mind, the idea Brexit is not voting again. But the other danger is that actually some of these people will keep voting but they went for the mainstream parties, they'll vote for increase in extreme parties, extreme parties that really are trying to throw the whole Westminster system democracy up in the air and replace it with something God knows what literally God knows what, and that possible ushering in Iraq. Extremism, should worry anyone, I think that you're absolutely right about the dangers of second referendum. And I think those people who are trying to resist the will of the British people expressed in that referendum should know that they're playing with fire. It does raise a lot of issues. But come to let me come to one, the idea you've really rise there. The rear assertion of the idea of nationalism versus transnationalism. It's a red hot debate, one not really understood in Australia. That'd be stopped. This, why is there a good form of nationalism and bad form of nationalism? I guess it's obvious. There's a bad fall. But what's good nationalism? Justifiable nationalism. Look like. Well. One way, we launched during this question is to look at European history. And I think it's why Britain fundamentally has a different view of the nation states in the European project the most nations on the continent for Britain, national independence and self-determination is incredibly connected with the wall Winston Churchill lead against Notts Britain standing alone for a year with Commonwealth empire allies against what was the greatest that human civilization of all time out of Hitler, and Nazism, our general view, I think the nation is, is a good idea. But of course, in Europe, they remember the constant conflicts caused by nationalistic leaders and it's understandable, perhaps that they therefore see moving away from national self-determination to what is a pooling of sovereignty in. In the European Union, as, as a good thing, and that really is the heart of the divide, I think between remains levers in the UK levers want Britain to be back on the world stage playing its full part. And I think a lot of levers. Lots of remains forgive me a lot of remains see Britain is a nation pastas, best. It's a nation in decline. It's a middle ranking power a nation all to linked with ideas of the superiority of western civilization ideas that they're uncomfortable with, and they want Britain submerged in this in this European project, and much more than economic issues. I think it's that view of the nation view of whether something special and better about Britain and western civilization. That's driving the levers and something more humble, you could say something more negative. About those historical features. That's driving remain raises as issue that some people now put it in the west, the west greatest enemies, the wish. Yeah. There's some many people who self love their culture. It's funny that it comes out in an age when most people are reluctant to own any of their own failings. The old idea that we ought to be modest because we're all mixture of good and bad. There's an enormous self righteousness and now amongst a lot of the people who

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