So Britain is about to decide on a divorce from that euro tramp it ran off with.
Back in the 1960’s, a massive 88% of New Zealand’s dairy produce went to the UK. We were a good and faithful provider. But back at the office, Britain had been carrying on a little dalliance with its European mistress and in 1973 good old faithful New Zealand, who could always be relied upon to put meat on the British table when they came home from pub, was unceremoniously dumped as they joined the European Union. Our lamb and butter were no longer wanted. They wanted croissants and olives. The great wars were years ago, it was time to abandon old faithful allies and sleep with the enemy. New Zealand could find our own way in the world. And to our credit, we did. By 2012, the UK was down to 0.3 percent of New Zealand’s dairy exports. A token alimony. And meantime, over the past 20 years the value of our dairy exports has grown fourfold. Would we have ever made such great steps on the global market had we stayed in our little world of dependence on Britain? I doubt it. We needed the incentive of a crisis to actually kick into gear. So do we really care whether or not Britain leaves the European Union? Hardly. To be frank my interest in Britain’s position with the EU is purely that of the betrayed spouse quietly and disingenuously sympathising that things did not work out so well when we are doing oh so exceptionally well, thank you for asking.
Which then leads to the question, will Britain now vote to leave the European Union on June 23rd? Again, who cares? I hear you. It is about the same as whether we really care who wins the Presidential vote in the USA. It’s just a bit of a TV reality show that is getting more stupid than ‘married at first sight’.
Or maybe just another opportunity to put on a bet. We all love a bit of a flutter. So is it worth putting a lazy hundie on the outcome with a British bookie. The latest polls are moving from a 50/50 call to an exit bias as the ‘don’t knows’ start to decide they do know and signal a teasing intent towards a Brexit vote. Latest polls are actually indicating a 52:48 vote in favour of the exit. The bookie odds have always been in strong favour of a conservative result to stay in the EU. Probably following a similar debate with Scotland’s referendum to leave the UK. But I see that the odds of leaving have been dropping from 9/2 down to 5/2 as more money is moving towards the Brexit option as the decision date gets closer. Nigel Farage, leader of the UK Independence Party, member of the European Parliament, promoter of the Brexit option and former well-known city trader in London decided to slap a quiet thousand quid at Ladbrokes, his local bookie, on the exit. Obviously nothing but a transparent publicity stunt to try to lower the odds and get people thinking, before they vote, that Brexit is odds on. If that was the case one might say a thousand quid was a pretty cheap stunt, but perhaps that was the showcase and behind the scenes some of his rich mates are manipulating the odds as an investment in publicity.
And that brings up the whole basis of our democracy. We know that all democratic votes are won by the middle ground swinging voter. The hard right and hard left generally cancel each other out, within a margin, and it is the swinging voter who tips the balance.
That might be all good and well if we, as a society, could be assured that the middle voter is the voice of reason who considers both sides on their merits and makes an informed, rational vote. Sounds like the start of another Tui billboard doesn’t it. But at the end of the day, the reality is that the swinging voters are not carefully considering their opinions, they don’t have any opinions that’s why they always answer ‘don’t know.’ They are fence sitters. What they are waiting for are the polls and the subsequent bookie odds to see who they think is going to win so that they can place their bet on the eventual winner.
That’s all they want, to be able to go out and say the day after election day that their vote won. They want to be winners, the politics are just another horse race. Think about it and tell me I am wrong. You know I am right and so democracy is just a total sham. It used to be just a two horse race but that got a bit boring so, like sports betting and Super Powerball, MMP was created to add more options into the great left vs right tri-annual betting game that is the general election. Politics, it’s all just a game, good for a bet.
But back to the Brits and the EU, what’s the bet they divorce? If you are putting on a bet, I think if the polls move more to a Brexit vote and you can get a good price on a ‘stay’ bet, I would take it. They complain about the bureaucracy of Brussels, but these poms are all piss and wind (English-born and resident readers of this blog excepted, of course). They thrive in a bureaucratic environment; they need politicians to blame for their misery and they like a luvlie ‘oliday at Benidorm; as long as there are no bombs raining out of the sky, they will stay in the EU and hope to make a few quid with the bookie.
Google it, look at all the News updates about the betting on the result, it’s hard to get much interest in whether or not it is a good decision.