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The wisdom of the “ordinary man”

Credit Hannah McKay/European Pressphoto Agency

How often do you hear the expression “it’s not rocket science”?

A hundred years ago such an expression would have been assigned to the world of H.G.Wells and his War of the Worlds. Literally a war of this world was just coming to an end. Americans were not long from gunfights in saloon bars or from a Civil War that tore their country apart in the name of racial equality that in many ways didn’t become US law until 1964.

Throughout the development of the human being it has had a thread of an eternal power struggle with background attempts at developing the human mind. In many ways that development has been successful with the advances in medicine, education, nutrition, automation and, yes, rocket science.

All of that, though, has been limited by man’s instinct to grab power by threat and by intimidation, never learning from science that development needs to be based on experiment, research, analysis and proof testing. Had man’s development been based on science we would have learnt that the accrual of power by threat, intimidation, warfare and economic strangulation would never work as has been evidenced by the countless failures of warlike nations such as Germany,  Russia, and even Great Britain and America although it should be said that our participation in the two World Wars of the 20th century were defensive rather than acquisitive.

It is in that vein of thinking about our departure from the European Union that I look at it as what is becoming a titanic power struggle. Not based on any scientific evidence nor provable research and analysis but based, as in all power struggles we have seen over the years of man’s time on this planet, on threats and the promotion of fear.

In the past the so called ordinary man never thought he had a voice or an opinion in a power struggle whilst those with the power and seeking more of it would dismiss the ordinary man as not having sufficient intellect to input into the power struggles in any meaningful way. Such elitists would also turn to lies and obfuscation to deny the ordinary man understandable evidence of positions taken. These positions are so far adrift from scientific values in that such values can be seen to be workable by careful accumulation of evidence, theoretical and practical experimentation and the application of working models into the human society.

In 2016 on two occasions, the ordinary man said to the elitists, enough is enough and said on both of these examples that they would no longer put up with being cowed by threats and intimidation by the so called “powers that be” and unless those power brokers came up with believable evidential facts to support the elite view, the ordinary man would vote it down and demand a voice. In modern development, this position was unheard of.

I refer, of course, to the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States and to Brexit, or, more accurately, the majority decision by the voting electorate of the United Kingdom to Leave the European Union.

As I am writing a British piece, this article is about Brexit. Despite the nonsense seen on US university campuses since Trump’s election, I think there remains enough scholarship in the US to dissect and comment on Trump’s election and so I think it is not for me.

Brexit is for me.

You will recall the acrimony of the Referendum campaign of 2016 where sides and positions were immediately assumed for both Leave and Remain. The question on the ballot paper would be that simple – Leave or Remain.

What developed though was far from simple. Warlike stances were taken throughout British society, throughout families, throughout companies and throughout institutions. As I have discussed before, the evidence of human development underlines that very little, if anything is proven by war. The lack of science applied to the Brexit campaign demonstrated how little we have learnt from our past. Threats were made by the Remain side in particular as to the collapse of British life as we know it should we leave the EU. It was even coined by its own name, Project Fear. Institutions like the Bank of England, the Treasury (which should have remained neutral), the BBC and most of our media outlets sprang to the defence of Remain and came up with arguments to stay based on little or no evidential fact, scientific analysis or basic common sense. Nothing had been learnt from our past. When the Leave campaign tried to provide evidence that the fear mongering of Remain was flawed, this was discredited by all and sundry.

The ordinary man observed this power struggle and didn’t like what he saw. He also didn’t like the fact that his view was considered racist, xenophobic, without education or scholarship and not worthy of consideration. He also did not like the arrogance of the Remain leaders in the way they talked down to the voter and thought it was only a matter of time before the little man would be put in his place and the status quo would prevail.

How wrong they were as we now know.

Having said all of that, though, those that have power don’t give it up easily as the events since June 2016 have shown us. We have had court cases, debate upon debate by the Parliamentary intelligentsia (and some lesser lights in the House), splits in the Cabinet, a General Election that was supposed to put the Government firmly in the driving seat but didn’t, Tory Party elected MPs standing up in Parliament trying to rubbish the vote and has-been politicians doing the same at every opportunity afforded them by a very partisan media. We have been threatened by an unelected cabal in Brussels and assumed a somewhat supine position when talking to representatives of the very continent that we saved from obliteration just 70 years ago. We have had forecasts of economic doom ladled on us by Treasury officials who forget who their paymasters are, none of which have been based on supportable science with the kind of forward forecasting of a Wellsian nature of the early 20th century and most certainly not, rocket science.

All of this has been observed by the ordinary man who has tried to cut a reasonable figure but who is now consolidating the thinking that led to June 23rd 2016. He will not be cowed, he will not be talked down to, he will not be dismissed as irrelevant.

As Lord Acton said in the 19th century, “Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely”. It is time that the Remain branch of our society woke up to the evolution of the role of the ordinary man. The fact based evidence that we see on a daily basis scientifically shows us that the thinking of the Remain people was wrong in 2016 as it has been throughout our time in both the  EEC and EU and that now it is time to move on and understand that the ordinary man is right and has always been right. Give him the comfort of a job, a reasonable wage, a decent family, an adequate education, an affordable home and security from those that seek us harm and he will be content.

Fly in the face of those basic, simple principles of life and you do so at your peril. Pursue power to the detriment of those principles and you will never be forgiven and the ordinary man can be very unforgiving.

About Ian Pye

Profile photo of Ian Pye
Ian is grammar school educated although he briefly flirted with the idea of becoming Britain's answer to Breaking Bad's Walter White with a short sojourn at university. The constant smell of hydrogen sulphide caused the break up of that partnership and thereafter he pursued a career in sales culminating in partnering with his second wife for many years in their own recruitment business. When the second marriage came to an amicable end, so did Ian's allotted time in the world of commerce and he became a retired person of no means but a still active brain. He lives on the outskirts of the great metropolis of Manchester and has close affinity with the red side of the football city being a United fan of over 50 years. He has deep interest in British politics, is conservative by nature and persuasion as well as reading much on aspects of religious theology particularly the works out of Albuquerque, New Mexico of Richard Rohr and hitherto Richard's mentor, Thomas Merton. Ian has three children, two of whom live in London and the third in Toronto as well as four adorable grandchildren

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