December 01, 2017

Martin Wolf, a country needs its elites to inspire much more the “possible” than to preach the “impossible”.

Sir, in “Way back Home”, about his World War II days, we hear Rod Stewart singing: “we always kept the laughter and the smile upon our face. In that good-old-fashion British way with pride and faultless grace”.

And then we read Martin Wolf, reciting six impossible, not one possible, and ending with: “The EU holds the cards and it knows it holds the cards…The UK is no longer its 19th-century self, but a second-rank power in decline”, “Six impossible notions about ‘global Britain’’ November 31.

How utterly depressing!

We saw when Holland got smacked with the Dutch disease, and instead of just taking it laying down, they forgot about manufacturing, and decided to become the distributors of Europe… (at least that is the version I have been told)

Just days ago, November 29, in “Challenges of a disembodied economy” Martin Wolf discussing Jonathan Haskel’s and Stian Westlake “Capitalism without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy” was illustrating the huge changes the world was going through, when for instance “Apple, the world’s most valuable company, owns virtually no physical assets. It is its intangible assets — integration of design and software into a brand — that create value.” In such a new world, is really the UK dependence on EU the same as previously seen? Does anyone really know what cards one holds nowadays? 

The day after Brexit, Britain will not be very different from EU, it will mostly be sharing the same old and new problems as EU and, unless Britain decides that is not to happen, there is nothing that eliminates the possibility of Britain’s relations with EU being more intensive and better than ever. A divorce, though it might be traumatic, does not mean the divorcees cannot get along splendidly.

Does that mean the Brexit road is easy rosy? Of course not, but there is a vital need for Britain, and for Wolf, to stop lamenting so much, and get down to work at doing the best, not out a bad situation, but out of an for everyone unknown situation.

Like when Rod Stewart’s song ends with hearing Churchill reciting: "We shall fight on the beaches. We shall fight on the landing grounds. We shall fight in the fields, and in the streets. We shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender." 

PS. To begin with you should reverse having surrendered your banks to dangerous risk aversion, and eliminate the loony risk weighted capital requirements for banks