What continues to surprise me is the number of times we're told that Boris Johnson's greatest achievement was making Brexit happen. The truth is that many millions of us continue to regard Brexit as far and away the UK's most disastrous decision since 1945.
So the question is, what was it, despite the opposition of Scotland and Northern Ireland, that made Brexit prevail? Certainly not any irresistible economic argument. It's worth remembering that hard-line Brexiteers were willing to be worse off if they could 'take back control'. But that phrase gives the game away. They had never accepted Britain's place in Europe, despite the fact that being in the EU gave us a significant place at the table of one of the world's major power blocs.
Rejecting the power that Brussels wielded through the EU, the Brexiteers were fundamentally rejecting those they had always regarded as 'foreigners'. In other words, they were reacting as you would expect true-blue little Englanders to do. Now it is true that no-one today is describing Brexit as an unqualified success. Some say it is too soon to tell but the indicators – particularly in the context of the loss of the EU as a trading partner – are far from reassuring. On the other hand, choosing to become a small island isolated from the rest of a united Europe, our place in the world is clearly a diminished one. In the long run, Brexit will be seen as just another of Boris Johnson's many blunders.
Anthony Seaton's latest piece (22 June
) reminded me that, throughout history, countless people have predicted the end of the world. So far, every single last one of them has been wrong.
I'm into my eighth decade but I don't (yet) share the view that everything is going wrong with the world. However, I do share Professor Seaton's suspicion that the prevalence of such a view is correlated with the age of the individual holding it.
I suspect that much of what he writes about, even climate change, is cyclical, albeit with very varying timescales, but I see no reason why the trend lines of overall human health, wealth and even happiness shouldn't continue inexorably upwards.
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