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Central Devon Liberal Democrats

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July 30, 2013 12:43 PM

Bovey Tracey Town Councillor Tony Allen reflects on the County Council Elections.

The latest County Council elections show there are a lot of people around that don't want anything in the UK to change, but are keen to put the world to rights despite the fact that most of our resources to do so have been lost or sold off (to foreigners!) decades ago, and our international influence has diminished accordingly.

All around the globe, New World nations and their growing economies are changing the shape of trade, with new power bases emerging that are close to overtaking the West much faster than we care to imagine. Political power blocs are forming that will soon be (and already are) matching those of Europe and the USA. Yet there is still a mind-set that believes Britain is capable of standing on its own.

At one time, with a dominant navy and military might, we were able to get rich by, as many in those lands now say, plundering the countries of the old British Empire. But that is long over, and today nobody owes us a living anymore. Even the Commonwealth is no longer "British"! I can't but help think it's time for our "Little Englanders" to get real.


One of the striking things about recent events has been the visible demonstration of lack of faith and trust in our politicians. While this has always been the case to some degree, it is now quite worrying. The latest lobbying accusations make the expenses scandal look quite small fry in comparison. So, when I see Conservative MPs, who profess to be totally focussed on saving our faltering economy, majoring on having a referendum now for staying in or leaving the European Union, purely so that they can look like Eurosceptics to fend off UKIP threats to their seats at the next election, then I know some of them are putting self-interest above that of the nation.

It is quite clear that the institutions of the European Union need to be modernised and made more democratic, and it is to be hoped that the countries of the EU will work to make that happen. This cannot be before the next UK election, so once again, it's time to get real. We should be valuing our allies and partners in Europe, as together we can face the intense competition and threats the world presents, as against believing we can do it all alone. Separately, well, we can just curl up in the corner and let the rest of the world pass us by - and a lot of good that will do us!

(This is an abridged version of an article that first appeared in The Cottage Magazine)