Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Brexit: what happens in the UK stays in the UK

30 April 2019


Shortly after the outcome of the 2016 Brexit referendum, nationalistic movements in other European countries dreamt about the same ideal: taking back control from Brussels. The Brexit mess has crushed those nationalistic dreams. Expressing it comes close to political suicide.

Today’s blog title is a reference to a 2003 city slogan, a 2008 movie and a phrase called: What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. In the context of Brexit Britain, it means that the Brexit mess is to be contained to the UK and is not to be exported to the European continent.

Mid April 2019, Guy Verhofstadt and Donald Tusk had a collision related to the title of my blog (eg, Times). Mr. Verhofstadt supports the French President, who insisted early April, that the UK should leave the EU as soon as possible. Mr Macron lost and the UK was given again a further extension (eg, Guardian). The first thing the British MP’s did, was going on vacation.

Mr Verhofstadt wants to prevent the Brexit “poison” from spreading into the EU through the upcoming European Parliament election (eg, Times). However, Brexit is mostly poisonous to the UK itself. For the rest of Europe, Brexit is more of an antidote against Nationalism.

The Brexit failure isn’t just political. There is a much more fundamental British cause. According to several British articles, the Brits are terrible at long-term planning and great in one-off events, like the Olympics, royal crownings or royal weddings.

Some examples:

– Guardian-2011: If we can organise the Olympics, why can’t we get the basics right?

– Guardian-2014: UK planning expert: there is something wrong with Britain;

– Guardian-2014: Road safety: bad planning and reckless driving imperil pedestrians;

– Guardian-2016: Why is the UK’s mobile phone coverage so bad?

– Guardian-2019: Why is Britain so bad at planning cities?

– Guardian-2019: UK banks hit daily by IT failures halting payments []

The Brexit mess indeed reveals a fundamental flaw: the British lack of planning skills. This is also confirmed by British HR studies: “UK managers lack some of most desired leadership skills, research finds” (Personnel Today-2017).

Any sane country would have sent the Article 50 withdrawal letter after (secretly) planning most of their intended withdrawal. Not the UK. They started “planning” after sending that letter. Hence, the UK remains unable meeting EU departure deadlines and needs begging for continued extensions of its own withdrawal. For Brits, it’s quite humiliating. For others, it’s pathetic.

Humility (2018) by the British virtual band Gorillaz, featuring Jack Black

artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

Calling the world from isolation 

‘Cause right now, that’s the ball where we be chained 

And if you’re coming back to find me 

You’d better have good aim

I don’t want this isolation 

See the state I’m in now?

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise


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