Friday, June 17, 2016

UK life / US life

By Penelope Griffiths

[Editor’s Note: We are grateful to Penelope Griffiths for speedily answering a correspondent’s request to hear more from her.]

At the same time the United States is choosing its Presidential candidates, the United Kingdom is getting ready for a referendum that could have the potential to make or break not just the United Kingdom but also Europe and, even possibly, the rest of the world.
    Over the pond from where I sit, you now have two individuals [not counting any third-party candidates] running for the highest position the United States has – the office of President. One of them is a spoilt successful/unsuccessful businessman who incites reaction whether it’s good or not, whilst the other is a woman who has spent a long time in the political arena, not just as the First Lady alongside her husband, President Bill Clinton, but also as a bona fide politician and government figure in her own right.
    The USA is one of the most powerful nations on this planet, yet this is the first time that a woman has even come close to being in the running for President. The outgoing president is the first African-American President, even though his lineage/race is not a rare sight in the USA – it took a very long time for an African-American, too, to rise to the Presidency.
    What a dilemma the people of the USA face: an egotistical businessman without a clue about world political affairs, or, heavens above, a woman!
    Which brings me back to the impending decision the UK is facing: to stay with the European Union, which we’ve known for the last 40-plus years, even though we don’t seem to be improving from it (due to bureaucrats in Brussels?), or leave the EU and face an uncertain time? I’m personally for leaving the EU, because I believe that the UK needs to stand up and try to build a better future and take the consequences.
    Let’s hope that the United States will be as brave as I hope the United Kington will be – to make progress and build a better future.

Copyright © 2016 by Penelope Griffiths


  1. Penelope, would you be willing to discuss the main reasons you think the UK should leave the EU? I watched BBC World News America last night and, even though they reported polling as showing that somewhat more people were going to vote to leave than were going to vote to stay, interviewees voiced serious concerns about probable negative consequences of leaving. For example: "IMF says Brexit would trigger UK recession."

  2. Penelope, congratulations, I guess, a 52-48 majority of UK voters have spoken and chosen Brexit. Do you think that a vote like this - against Prime Minister Cameron's and the US's "establishment" position - makes it more likely that a majority of US voters could go "anti-establishment" and elect Donald Trump in November?

  3. Maybe my question about Trump was more pertinent than I thought. The article "EU referendum full results – find out how your area voted" from The Guardian seems to show that Brexit supporters have backgrounds comparable to Trump supporters.

  4. Have you heard anything about the petition to redo the referendum. Huffington Post UK reports that it was, doubly ironically, started by a Leave supporter who thought Remain would win:

    The petition for a second EU referendum with 3 million signatures was started by a leave voter last month worried the remain camp would win.
        William Oliver Healey, an English Democrat activist, claims it has been “hijacked” and has tried to distance himself from what has become the largest petition of its kind in history.

    I say "doubly ironic" because apparently Prime Minister Cameron proposed the referendum in the first place because he didn't think it had a chance of passing (and he saw the proposal as placating a segment of his own party).
        I wonder how many voters would need to express buyer's remorse for a second vote to be mounted.