Brexit will prove a costly mistake

It is my belief that the EU is in good shape, united, and making good progress, economically, socially, and financially

British Prime Minister Theresa May
British Prime Minister Theresa May

It was kind of Alex Bennett to read my article ‘Democracy and Brexit’ (MaltaToday, 29 January, 2017), and to bother to comment. He may not have read it carefully, however, as I did not suggest that Britain was heading for the Fascism of the 1930s, only that the wave of populism which won the Brexit vote bore many similarities to the rise of Fascism in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s.

Over the last decade I have built up an extensive library of books about the Second World War and the rise of Fascism. In fact my intense interest in the subject led me to write a historical novel, Lost Generations, which is about the consequences of European politics between the two World Wars: Over 100 million casualties, and the Holocaust. It reflects the senselessness of such carnage and devastation.

This research has led me to conclude that the only legitimate definition of democracy is as a system of government which takes care of the interests of ALL the people. The 52% of voters who carried the Brexit Referendum voted for various reasons. There is no doubt that many were misled by false statistics, and fired up with xenophobia and the great lie, which no reasonable person now denies, regarding the €350 million a week for the NHS. Most Brexiteers did not know what they were voting for. The slogan “Brexit means Brexit” is meaningless nonsense. Thanks to the courts, parliament is now back in charge to ensure that the people are given the opportunity to know where Brexit may, in reality, lead.

I feel I should mention that any number of trade deals with distant countries cannot come anywhere near the total amount of trade generated by the neighbouring free market that is the EU. Brexit will prove to have been a terrible mistake. It is my belief that the EU is in good shape, united, and making good progress, economically, socially, and financially. Our Maltese economy, like the British economy, has never been stronger thanks to our membership in the EU.

Peter Apap Bologna, Sliema

Jesus and Paul

Oscar Wilde quipped that the chief argument against Christianity was the style of St Paul. He should have also added Paul’s teachings.

Jesus thought of himself purely as a Jew, sharing the ideas of the prophets, continuing their work, preaching like them only to the Jews and instructing his disciples to spread his gospel only to Jewish cities. Jesus told them “go not into the way of the gentiles”. He pointed out to the Samaritan woman that “Salvation is of the Jews.” Paul ignored Jesus’s injunction and went “into the way of the gentiles”.

Will Durant wrote in Caesar and Christ: “Paul created a theology of which none but the vaguest warrants can be found in the words of Jesus. Egypt, Asia Minor, and Hellas had long since believed in gods – Osiris, Attis, Dionysus – who had died to redeem mankind. Paul added to this popular and consoling theology certain mystic concepts already made current by the Book of Wisdom and the philosophy of Philo. “Christ,” said Paul, is “the wisdom of God, the first-born Son of God”. 

“Through these interpretations, Paul could neglect the actual life and sayings of Jesus, whom he had not directly known.” 

Jesus said: ”It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the Law to fail”. Paul repudiated the same Law, and called it a curse.

Wilde narrated a “parable” about Jesus and Paul to the poet W.H. Yeats: “It seemed that Jesus recovered after his crucifixion, and, escaping from the tomb, lived on for many years, the one man on earth who knew the falsehood of Christianity. On one occasion, Paul visited the town where Jesus lived. Jesus was the only one in the carpenters’ quarters who did not go to hear Paul preach. Henceforth, the other carpenters noticed that, for some unknown reason, Jesus kept his hands covered.”

John Guillaumier, St Julian’s