UK strengths far outweigh weaknesses

Listening to the ex UK foreign secretary, David Miliband, on the BBC Today  programme as he banged his tiresome ‘remainer’ drum and the economic gloom in prospect, one was prompted to ask: “Did he not hear the result of the referendum? Most people (outside London) are fed up with being told what to do by arrogant, unelected , unimpressive and overpaid bureaucrats based in Brussels – they voted to take back control of our borders, laws and trade – and regain our national identity and independence. i.e. “It’s not the economy, David” – it’s more important than that! And his pessimism may well be ill-founded too – read on ____________________________________________________________________________________ Many economic experts believe the UK is poised for a quantum economic leap following Brexit, especially as the new mentalism era builds momentum to replace the materialism era of the 20th century when most people in developed nations chased after ‘loads-a-money-and-stuff’ Indeed, Brexit might lose us some global influence, as remainers claim, but why hanker after that? It may be nice for our politicians and diplomats to sit at international top tables – the UN, IMF, World Bank, Davos et alia which are just cosy, albeit expensive, talking-shops for a select few but, when real crises occur, their impotence is evident to all The UK has got used to being a second rate power ever since WW2 – we might hang on to some top table seats by our nuclear fingertips but our GDP has been steadily overtaken by the likes of China, India, Russia, Brazil and Indonesia No longer are we empire builders,  nor do we aspire to be another global policeman like the USA – quite the opposite – we can barely defend ourselves nowadays, never mind make war on others – indeed, only 100 years ago, we had the mightiest navy in the world with hundreds of major warships – now we have just 20, and find it difficult to man even them But does this diminution in national status matter to the UK population at large? The majority would surely say ‘NO’ Why so? In the 20th century, what mattered most to them was indeed the materialist dominated economy – both their current standard of living and quality of the lives rose throughout Now, well into the 21st century, most have reached a comfortable level for their standard of living and attach more importance to their quality of lives, whether at work or socially – most are not bothered by their politicians sabre-rattling on foreign issues such as North Korea, Iran, Syria, Israel or Palestine – and unless they have to defend their families and nation, most would be reluctant to take up arms against people they have no quarrel with to help resolve some foreign conflict concocted by their macho politicians alone So why is BREXIT good for the UK? Most of the 27 other EU member countries are either beggars or economic basket-cases – all are proud of their history and heritage, traditions, all speak different languages, all have different economies at different stages of development and focused on different strengths and weaknesses – the ‘BIg Two’ member nations are France and Germany, but even France is struggling – just imagine if Germany had to bail out the rest of them – yet the EU’s admitted aim is to create a USE (United States of Europe) In addition, the EU is, in effect, a rich men’s club protecting themselves from the gales of global competition with tariff and trade barriers and restrictive regulations – this prevents trade with many third world nations, thus stunting their economic growth and ensuring they never ‘catch-up’ Overall, there are too many differences between them, and too many in debt, for the EU to survive on its present course – some give it another decade at most, by which time the UK will have long left So why the optimism for the UK’s future? Britain and its Empire were once “in the vanguard of liberty, justice and human well-being the world over” according to Winston Spencer Churchill no less, conveniently overlooking the fact that we raped much of our Empire to fill our coffers, not to benefit them – railway lines were built to transport their riches to ports from where they could be shipped home or exported, as with the shameful slave trade to the sugar farmers in the West Indies and tea planters beyond This gave us a financial headstart on most other nations We then led the way with the Industrial Revolution, inventing all sorts of new ways to better meet human needs – since then, we have been overtaken by the likes of the USA and China in the production of tangible stuff joined by other so-called developed nations also offering an ever-increasing range of services for both individuals and organisations Now, however, there is a new opportunity to lead the way again, this time with intangibles – a new mentalism era has already started – indeed, stock market valuations already show intangible assets are worth far more than tangible assets And the UK is ideally placed to be a leading light if not superpower in this era of ideas, communications, ??? Current broad spectrum of UK strengths includes:
  • The Commonwealth – UK a founder and leading member viz:
    • 53 countries, all of equal status, each independent but together promoting common values and goals for free trade and democracy – including India, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Malaysia – (EU = 27 nations excluding UK)
    • A total population of 2.4 billion – about a third of the world – with 95% in Asia or Africa which have huge potential for growth – (EU27 = 450m)
    • A total GDP of USD 10.4 trillion in 2017, and forecast to be USD 13 trillion in 2020 – this puts the total GDP for the Commonwealth already about the same as the EU 27 and with growth at least double the sclerotic latter – and Brexit will release us to strike our own free trade deals with all other club members, as well as the rest of the world
  • UK alone:
    • Population of 65 million, over 30 million in labourforce
    • Mongrel race – mix of all sorts
    • English language/ speaking – adopted by all nations as their common language
    • Everyone lives relatively close – in effect the country forms one big cluster
    • Untapped ‘silver army’ i.e. many retired experienced and successful managers who would like to put something back, part-time
  • UK Intangibles re QoL (Quality of Life):
    • UK brand
    • Educated population – creative, problem solving
    • Entrepreneurial spirit – thousands of new start-ups each year in all sectors
    • Creativity track record in all sectors – Nobel prize winners per capita
    • Governance – Political stability, Rule of law, Regulatory framework, IP laws, Security
    • Climate – Four seasons variety is good for work ethic and creativity
    • Water abundance – shortages may well cause future wars
  • UK Tangibles – Standard of Living:
    • Many strong sectors
    • Many world class companies
    • Infrastructure – already have most infrastructure, buildings, institutions, regulations in place – but still need more plus better maintenance of existing e.g. pot-holes
  • Huge changes are afoot in the world at large – the more educated a population, the more they question the infatuation with making more money and acquiring more/ bigger/ better stuff
  • The days of materialism are numbered
  • People now seek a better quality of life rather than standard of living – a better balance between home life and work
  • This may well dent apparent economic (GDP) growth and cause all sorts of shivers down ministerial spines
  • But the UK is ideally placed to take advantage of these changes

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