Bruce “THE VOICE OF YAHWEH” Dickinson, also known as the singer of THE GREATEST BAND OF ALL TIME (that is to say, IRON MAIDEN), has some rather sensible and intelligent things to say about the value of Brexit:
Reading through the comments that other people have left on the video is an interesting exercise. Most of those leaving comments are, or should be, IRON MAIDEN fans – and I happen to know quite well just how utterly and uncompromisingly loyal most of those fans are. I “are” one, after all.
So you would think that they would realise pretty quickly that a certain Paul Bruce Dickinson is rather more than just a multimillionaire singer.
But they don’t. Most of the negative comments are along the lines of, “Well he’s a millionaire so he can afford to be relaxed about Brexit – it doesn’t affect him at all”.
This is a colossally ignorant statement.
As I noted before, when I reviewed Bruce’s autobiography, Bruce Dickinson is one of the very few true polymaths that we have to look up to these days. Among his huge list of accomplishments and activities, he is an entrepreneur – he is the Chairman for Cardiff Aviation, a company that specialises in airliner maintenance/repair/overhaul, pilot training, and ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance, and insurance) solutions.
That business isn’t just a light-bulb moment from a pampered rock star with more money than brains, either. Bruce put up his own money to help start up the company, and then went on a number of fundraising tours to publicise it. The business itself has definitely been through some rough patches, which isn’t that surprising given that it is in an extremely cyclical, capital-intensive market.
That isn’t even the only business that he is personally invested in. He also has interests in Robinsons Brewery, where he takes a very active role in developing and marketing Trooper Ale. (I’ve tried it, and I quite like the stuff.)
So when Bruce Dickinson talks about how leaving the EU’s single market and customs union will be of net benefit to the British economy, he isn’t bullshitting based on talking points that he got from someone else. He is speaking from the point of view of someone with skin in the game.
That is exactly the kind of person we should be paying attention to.
The reality is that a sovereign and free Britain, with complete control over its own borders, fisheries, farms, export and import markets, laws, and so on and so forth, is a much better place for the British people to live and work in than as a vassal of some European super-state.
The reason why so many Brits are terrified of leaving the EU is because there are many benefits to living in that gilded cage.
Right now, Brits can come into and go out of Europe as and when they please, without visas of any kind. They can do business in Europe without much by way of barriers. They can employ Finnish au pairs and French nannies, and so on and so forth.
Here’s the thing, though: the reality is that most of these privileges extend only to perhaps the top 10% or so of British society. And of those, the top 2-3% constitute most of the really hardcore Europhiles.
Take a look at the map of Britain’s electoral outcome on the night of the Brexit vote, and you will understand immediately exactly why it was that 17 million people voted to leave – over a million more than voted to remain:
The Scots and the Northern Irish want to stay in the UK – as do the Shetland Islands and Gibraltar. Well, bully for them, as the Brits say – except that to allow them to remain in the UK would effectively nullify and destroy the entire point of the UNITED Kingdom in the first place. Seriously, letting those territories go would be tantamount to breaking apart the UK into separate sovereign nations – which is probably where the UK is headed anyway at some point, but that’s another discussion.
Look now at the map above at a county level, and you will immediately see what happened. The major metropolitan areas almost all voted “Remain” – but the countryside almost universally voted to GET THE PHUCK OUT.
Why is that? It’s very simple: the farmers, truck drivers, fishermen, sheep herders, and industrial workers who make up the very heart and soul of England (and, for that matter, everywhere else – just take a look at the voting breakdowns for Wales and Northern Ireland) could see quite clearly that their living standards had stayed flat or gone down since the great European experiment in a borderless superstate started up.
And that is not surprising.
In a common market with very diverse populations, inevitably the lower-priced and more competitive states will always win out over the more expensive and less competitive ones.
In a common market with completely shared resources, inevitably there will at some point occur a major case of the classic “Tragedy of the Commons”, in which shared usage of a resource is not matched by shared responsibility for maintaining that resource. Such is the situation with the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy, which has resulted in severe depletion of the UK’s fisheries – without the consent or desire of British fishermen, who did not ever really have much say in whether or not they could have a livelihood.
In a common market with free movement of both goods and people, inevitably there will be huge inflows of immigrants from less prosperous nations, to more prosperous ones. Now, while this has been a relatively limited problem from within the EU, it has been a huge problem in terms of immigrants from outside of the EU. And that too is for a simple reason: a country that refuses to keep even those who are ethnically and culturally similar to themselves, but still from a distinctly different nation, cannot and will not keep out those who are utterly alien to them.
The elites of Britain largely voted to Remain in the EU because they benefit immensely from its founding principles of free trade, free movement of peoples, and ever tighter integration of their markets. But the rest of the people of Britain have never seen these benefits – because those very same wonderful things that the elites get and largely take for granted, come at the expense of the common man.
Is it any surprise, then, that grassroots entrepreneurs who grew up in working households – like, say, Bruce Dickinson – are only interested in getting the hell out of the EU? They understand, as their more well-heeled elite neighbours do not, the roots and strength of Britain.
Britain without the EU is not weaker. It is stronger, by far, because now the British people get to set their own rules and have their own say in how they were governed. This was how they used to do things for roughly a thousand years, ever since the Norman invasion in 1066 (and all that…).
It is only in the last fifty or so that a strange inversion of the natural order of things has taken place, and they have substituted self-government for governance from Brussels and Strasbourg.
And to think, this was the nation that forged the greatest empire the world has ever seen, and whose offspring carried her legacy of free and self-governing peoples to every corner of the world.
Perhaps Britain can be that nation again. But in order for that to happen, first Britain needs to get OUT of the EU.