Copyright: Public Domain / Used With Permission

It’s always possible that petty vindictiveness on the part of the EU will lead to hiccups in air travel around the time of Brexit. But it isn’t going to be true that O’Leary will voluntarily ground Ryanair planes to make us all see the errors of our ways:

Ryanair is threatening to ground its planes after the UK withdraws from the European Union to persuade voters to “rethink” Brexit.

The Dublin-based carrier’s chief executive Michael O’Leary said he wants to “create an opportunity” by making people realise they are “no longer going to have cheap holidays”.

He told an audience of airline leaders in Brussels: “I think it’s in our interests – not for a long period of time – that the aircraft are grounded.

“It’s only when you get to that stage where you’re going to persuade the average British voter that you were lied to in the entire Brexit debate.

“You were promised you could leave the EU and everything would stay the same. The reality is you can leave the EU, yes that’s your choice, but everything will fundamentally change.”

The reason why he won’t is because of this glorious mixture of capitalism and free markets that we live under. Or above if you prefer.

The free markets part means that he’s entirely free to lose money, if he so wishes, for politial reasons. Just as we are equally free to not patronise businesses we don’t like for political, moral or any other damn reason that enters our tiny little minds. You think Starbucks should be paying more tax and you’re going to boycott until they do? You go gal – you should do that in fact. For your £ is a vote, each and every one that escapes your purse.

You decide that your airline won’t sell seats to meat eaters then that’s your right and getting close to your duty dependent upon how strongly you think on the issue.

Freedom’s important stuff.

Capitalism, that lust for lucre, produces the opposite result. Pecunia non olet and all that, we end up divorcing ourselves from such moral or political considerations. We might worry about the organicness of the veg from the greengrocer but we don’t concern ourselves over the manner in which they worship the sky fairy. Do note that that’s not always been true of every society, not even of all in the UK. Northern Ireland used to make that distinction, often enough a town having a Catholic set of shops and a Protestant (g grand father advised his kids to leave in 1921 for as a Papist he wouldn’t be allowed to keep the Post Office licence, something that there would be only one of, while he could keep the greengrocer).

That is, our blended system provides the freedom to discriminate as we wish but also the incentive not to discriminate at all. And the blend of those two is that Ryanair isn’t going to ground the planes to make a political point, just not going to happen.