Reading Thomas Paine’s Pamphlet (1776) About American Independence

For a ‘pamphlet’, it is quite long – 36 pages. It took me a couple of hours to read it earlier this evening. I understand that Tom Paine was born in the UK but went to America. I was quite fascinated and amused by it because it was so un-politically-correct.

Clearly, I cannot research the facts of the time, but, as I understand it, after the Yanks had given the English army a bloody nose, lots of people in America were lobbying for ‘an understanding’ with ‘the home country’ – England. As I understand it from the pamphlet, the ‘understanding’ would have been that the Americans would have ‘home rule’, but that the King of England would be able to reject proposed laws. It seems pretty certain that the reason that lots of people were lobbying for this ‘solution’ was fear of other major powers of the time – Spain and France – invading certain parts of America. The idea of accepting the King of England as overlord was for protection.

What was wonderful about reading that pamphlet was that there was no mincing of words. Paine called the King of England the descendent of tribal war lords, principally William the Conqueror. He castigated the idea of heredity mercilessly, and especially the idea of ‘God-given’ rights. But he was religious. He said that the idea that the King of England was ‘God’s representative’ was ridiculous, since King after King had been cruel and nasty. ‘No’, he said, ‘Only God himself can be King’. The People have to elect a ruler.

He made a big thing about America having an independent navy, which the King of England would never allow. He advocated that America should get started right away on building such a navy. It had the skills; it had the materials aplenty.

Read it, and marvel at the clear language, and remember that what you are reading was written in 1776.

A lot of his vituperative could easily be transferred to the EU. People like Junker act like The King of England, but who are they? Where did they get any power at all from? How DARE they propose to punish the people of the UK? They have no more rights over the people of the UK than did the King of England have over America.

It makes no sense to talk about ‘a deal’. The matters involved in the divorce are far, far, far too messy. When the UK departs the EU, the simple matter is that all the treaties lapse. There are no ‘deals’ involved. That does not mean that most things cannot continue as they are at present. The simple thing would be for the UK not to impose tariffs on EU goods, and vice versa. UK passport holders can holiday in Spain as they have always done, long before the EU existed. People from all over Europe have worked in the UK long before the EU, and vice-versa. The only critical thing was that they were capable and known. What has never been countenanced has been an invasion.

Goods can move effortlessly, but that does not mean acquiescence to EU rules other than agreed quality. But it works both ways. EU countries must abide by OUR rules on quality.

What is absolutely crazy is that the UK pays billions in a ‘divorce settlement’. The split is not ‘a divorce’ at all. The UK never committed to be husband or wife.

And what is the value of the UK’s assets in the EU, such as the ALL the EU buildings which we contributed to? Should not EU countries pay us some rent?

Trade is not the problem. Things like the rent on our partial ownership of buildings are. But no one talks about it.

The similarity between the so-called ‘negotiations’ with the EU and ‘negotiations’ with TobCON are similar. They only go one way. TobCON ALWAYS wins.

But why should that be so?

More tomorrow, perhaps.


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