History tells us what may happen next with Brexit & Trump
Tobias Stone
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It must be frustrating for Tobias Stone to see the approach of an apocalypse and not have the power to prevent it. I guess one useful thing you can do is publish your predictions so that, if events do unfold as you have described, there’s a chance you “can be remembered by history as one of the people who saw it coming”. If you can include an image of people dying from plague, in fourteenth century Florence, so much the better, it will just reinforce the point that European people have died in great numbers before and now it’s going to happen again.

Another thing Mr Stone does, is that he wraps the whole prediction in a sociological repeating cycle of inevitability that makes it unavoidable, “we humans have a habit of going into phases of mass destruction”. Unfortunately for us, Mr Stone is light on advice as to how the abyss can be avoided, after all “this is a cycle. It happens again and again” and the priceless “What can we do? Well, again, looking back, probably not much”.

However, it’s unfair to say Mr Stone offers no hope for us. His first piece of positive advice is “we need to beware not to become divided”, excellent! Another is “we need to avoid getting lost in arguing through facts and logic”, useful! Finally the laudable “try to cross the ever widening social divides”, a wonderful piece of advice but how? In terms of balance, Mr Stone devotes 143 lines to his dire predictions and 12 lines to how the abyss may be avoided.

Speaking as a reader, I find the intellectual effort expended by Tobias Stone on this piece to be largely wasted. There is literally nothing I can do as a result of reading it to reduce the very real risks that are described. I voted to leave the EU because I think the organisation is rotten to the core. Do I think the EU would be an effective deterrent to the territorial ambitions of Mr Putin? resoundingly no. Do I agree with Mr Stone that “The EU has prevented a war in Europe for longer than ever before”? No, I believe that is due to NATO. Am I aware of the risky period the world is now entering? Yes. Has that awareness been improved by Mr Stone’s piece? No. One thing is for sure, if the world is brought to the brink of war by the acquisitive Mr Putin, it will in no way have been helped there by the UK and it’s democratically expressed desire to leave the EU.

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