The B Word

Well, I’ve been putting it off. But it’s time – we have to talk about the B word.

I never wanted it. I voted to Remain, or for the party that I felt was most likely to deliver Remain, whenever I had the opportunity to vote. I even wrote to my MP (but as my MP happens to be Philip Davies, that was always going to be a long shot).

I’ve enjoyed being European. I lived in ‘Europe’ (the Republic of Ireland) for 4 years. I taught English as a Foreign Language to other Europeans. I loved being able to travel without borders. I drove over the border between Estonia and Latvia the day after the Schengen agreement came into force there. I’ve been to Drielandenpunt, where the borders of Belgium, Holland and Germany meet – there’s a photo of me with my feet in one country, my hands in another country, and my handbag in a third.

I will never understand why so many people saw Europe as something they needed to reject.

I think we have absolutely no idea yet what all the consequences will be of leaving. But let’s be honest, it’s always been an uneasy relationship. Europeans get fed up of our total inability to even attempt to communicate in any language other than our own. And now that we’re leaving – they don’t have to put up with it anymore. They don’t have to be polite. We needed them more than they needed us. That’s it. And who can blame them. It makes me very sad indeed.

In the short term, the pound has rallied – that’s got more to do with the market’s dislike of uncertainty than anything to do with Brexit per se.

I don’t feel any rancour towards the people who voted for Boris. A certain amount of disbelief – it seemed so obvious to me that he was a mistake – but no rancour. I don’t like him as a person, and I don’t like his policies, and I don’t like the atmosphere he’s created. And I don’t think that leaving Europe will do us any good at all, in fact I think it will go down in history as the stupidest unforced error a country has ever made. I really do hope to be proved wrong, because the alternative – being proved right when it’s too late – doesn’t bear thinking about. I hope it works out for them, I hope it works out for all of us – I hope life gets better and they feel justified.

But I worry about what will happen if it doesn’t. If all those promises that were made (and a hell of a lot of promises were made) end up being broken. If and when the people who voted for Brexit slowly but certainly realise, drip by drip, that they aren’t getting what they thought they were getting. Then what happens?

In other news, Kelvin won Strictly Come Dancing. I wanted Karim to win, and voted accordingly – but hey, I don’t mind that Kelvin won. He’s a superb dancer.

And that’s how democracy works. We vote, someone wins, the losers shrug their shoulders and think, ‘Well, it’s not quite what I wanted, but it’s OK. Maybe we’ll win next time‘. It works in the glittery world of Strictly, but not so much in the real world.

I do mind that Boris won.

I really do.

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14 Comments Add yours

  1. graham s. says:

    I so agree with everything you say about Brexit. It makes me very sad too. But we were never totally committed to Europe – we always wanted a special deal. So you’re right, in many ways they will be pleased to see us go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is just too sad. I look back on the situation what, 4 years ago? With Obama in the White House and the UK in Europe. How have things ended up like this?

      Like

  2. gosforthgirl says:

    Well, this is the first tine I’ve disagreed with your post…gotta to have a first!

    I voted Leave much to the annoyance of my son! As a staunch Liberal then Liberal Democrat I was appalled the Leavers were largely ignored.

    For the first time in my voting life, I voted Conservative and this was fuelled by ny dislike of Corbyn and his scary acolytes. Their policies were muddled and lacked cohesion. Their anti Semitic stance to their own members was woeful. As for Momentum. Aaaaggghhhh

    I think Boris will do a good job but only time will tell.

    Like

  3. anglosvizzera says:

    I think I’m inclined to agree with you – Boris has a poor track record of telling the truth, so he can make whatever promises he wants and it means nothing to him not to fulfil them, it seems. Maybe I’m wrong – I sincerely hope so. But the NHS got into such a poor state mostly due to cuts made in recent years by the Tories – and now they are promising to put it right again! Why couldn’t have done that before, once it became obvious what the outcome was of their measures?

    I suppose you’ve seen the various news items showing how the seats would’ve been allocated had we had Proportional Representation – quite a different story from the sham democracy we live in now. The Tory party only needed 38, 000 votes to get a seat, whereas Labour needed 50,000 per seat and Greens needed 857,513 for their ONE seat:

    “Under PR, the Conservatives would have had 75 fewer seats (288), Labour would have had 10 more seats (213), the SNP 22 less (26), the Liberal Democrats 65 more (76) and the Green Party, 17 more (18). The Brexit Party (which won no seats under first-past-the-post) would have got 13 seats.”

    https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/politics/proportional-representation-general-election-votes-17414366?fbclid=IwAR1mYHkP_-b2Id6KTJnMSSAiZp6Eq99fSb1tDoqUIsOzlMFWN2ossdXwpi4

    Jeremy really didn’t do his party any favours at all – both as a person and by his approach to Brexit, so it’s hardly surprising they did so badly. Lots of lessons for them to learn (and their ex-voters too, I expect, as time goes on.)

    Jo Swinson might have done better if she hadn’t only tried to attract the ‘remainers’ – that approach was bound to lose her votes.

    I could never vote for the Conservatives – other than the fact that my mum’s father was a coalminer in county Durham, having been to an independent school (didn’t pay the fees as I got one of the 5 free places they offered each year – was meant to be a privilege…) I realised that most of those girls came from staunch Tory families with staunch Tory values…and I didn’t want to be part of that, thank you very much. They were mostly oblivious to how ‘normal’ people lived, which is how I view the Tory party generally. I can’t imagine that Boris and his cabinet will be any different (I mean, can Jacob R-M really empathise with the ‘average person’, after the sorts of comments he’s made recently?)

    As an AngloSwiss, although born in England, I feel an affinity for mainland Europe and have many friends from there, most of whom live here; I also did a TEFL course when I lived in Florence, and worked at a language school when I returned to the UK.

    The thought of having a stronger relationship with the USA and Trump sends shivers down my spine. We thought the EU gave us problems – I think the US will be far worse, especially if they get involved in our health care. Here’s an article that paints a possible scenario:

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/boris-johnson-general-election-result-victory-british-us-future-a9246266.html?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR220OJz9fK56hG4VjrXVir_AhZholHcOXwLg6tlq21jZ1nDQEZhcDT1OBM#Echobox=1576261066

    One last comment – I became aware on Thursday that there were many people around the country who had received their voting cards yet were turned away from the booths as the weren’t ‘on the list’. This was in the news around the UK, and people where I live were commenting on the fact that they weren’t able to vote either. I wonder how many people ended up being turned away in the end???

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  4. Indeed – and I really, truly hope that you got it right and I got it wrong. I just don’t see how someone with Boris’s track record and general demeanor can be trusted to do anything. And yes, the choice of opposition to the Tories was not without difficulty. Sad time.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. LittleDreams says:

    I agree with this post.
    It concerns me that those (quite rightly)opposed to the anti Jewish sentiment of some in the Labour Party don’t have the same feelings towards the anti Muslim sentiment of the Prime Minister and some in his party.
    Well done you for being brave enough to discuss the B word! Xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks LittleDreams!! I think it’s important for us now to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. xx

      Like

  6. oldhowie says:

    Ditto

    Liked by 1 person

  7. anglosvizzera says:

    Did anyone watch this documentary last night? About what’s been slowly happening and is currently happening with the NHS? Quite Shocking!

    https://www.itv.com/hub/the-dirty-war-on-the-nhs/2a5959a0001

    Like

    1. I didn’t see it – but even four years ago, when I was working as a Receptionist at our local GP surgery, you could see the cracks appearing.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. anglosvizzera says:

    Indeed, when I was an NHS radiographer back in the early 80s, the consultant radiologists who also did private work were obviously after the money: one of them, on realising that the patient wasn’t in fact a private patient, cancelled all the expensive diagnostic tests that he’d previously said were absolutely necessary!

    Liked by 1 person

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