ESL – Brexit Part 5

4 February

Brexit Part 5

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The questions that we face

34 questions from our students at the LYCEE PRIVE POLYVALENT ROC FLEURI have been prompted by our recent BREXIT articles.  Here is a sample of their incisive thinking. Not only does it reveal their acute curiosity, but it certainly demonstrates their excellent command of English.

Holly What will it cost the UK to leave the EU?

Flavie Why did the English vote for the exit from the European Union?

Leony What are the consequences?

Lou What is the financial future of England without the help of Europe?

I admit to not being able to offer a good answer to any one of these crucial questions.  The current exit date for the UK is the 29 March 2019, so can we depend on our leaders in Parliament, to provide the Brexit solution which will properly answer these questions?  We will see.   I therefore propose we revisit these questions on the 1 April 2019.

In the meantime I am asking the fine students of the Roc Fleuri for their thoughts on the 4 questions raised.  

Not an easy task, I grant you.  History leads me to the realisation that with political leadership comes the conflict between personal ambition and social duty.  And the dynamics of society forever breeds the confrontation between the individual’s ego and their civic duty.

I propose that we go back nearly 300 years ago to the wise words of Swift and Rousseau to try to gain a better insight.

  1. A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift in 1729 

His essay suggests that the impoverished Irish might ease their economic troubles by selling their children as food for rich gentlemen and ladies. This satirical essay mocked heartless attitudes towards the poor, as well as British policy toward the Irish in general.  Swift’s satire was attacking political projects that try to fix population and labour issues with a simple cure-all solution.  Remind you of anything?  Brexit perhaps?

      2. Discourse on Inequality by JeanJacques Rousseau in 1755

According to Rousseau, the majority rule should be used to define the general will, the common good of the society, because it gives the best approximation of the general will. Would Rousseau therefore have supported Brexit, because it was decided by the British Referendum?    

He did hold the view that people should make the laws directly, which would effectively prevent the ideal state from becoming a monstrous society (such as the EU?) , being governed by a remote central parliament (such as Brussels?).

My conclusion for now is that quandaries of this nature have been around some time. And their best solution may be more-so found in our shared goodwill instead of the decisions of our politicians.  Alternative opinions will abound.

In our coming blogs, we look forward to returning to the focus of our blog: which is to discuss the English language.  Plus talking in English about lots of other topical people and events.

Thank you for reading my blog.

Gordon

 

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