Thursday, 30 June 2016

Ode to Joy?

In my previous post I quite clearly stated that despite my immense disappointment at the EU Referendum result, I would not be writing anything further about it. My resolve remained steadfast in spite of the unravelling of the “Leave” campaign’s exaggerated claims about more money for the NHS and our ability to negotiate our own highly beneficial trade deals; claims which are now being exposed as fantasy at best, and outright lies at worst. The irony is that those behind "Brexit" didn’t even have a plan of what they should do if they won!

As I said, despite my increasing frustration about how the electorate has been misled I was still determined to remain silent. Something happened at work this morning to break my resolve and, as I am about to relate, it should strike a chord with all who care deeply about our country.

I was down in the warehouse, checking off an order for despatch. Standing next to me was a young Polish girl, who has been with our company for nearly three years. She is an intelligent and very pleasant girl, and is also a good worker who has picked things up well and made a valuable contribution to the business.

The face says it all
The radio was on and the news bulletin was dominated with items related to the fallout from the referendum. She turned to me and said, “If someone had spoken like that whilst claiming to represent my country, I would be deeply ashamed”. She was referring, of course, to Nigel Farage’s pantomime performance in the European Parliament yesterday. Grinning like a Cheshire cat, Farage berated his fellow MEP’s, taunting them that they had never done a proper day’s work in their lives, and topping that with the gibe that they weren’t laughing now.

Like much of the county I witnessed on TV his juvenile attempt at playing to the gallery; coming across like a naughty schoolboy looking around for the approval of his mates after thinking he had got one over on those in authority. Of course there were no “mates” present to slap him on the back for his idiotic remarks; instead he was greeted with the stony silence he thoroughly deserved.

There are unfortunately many people like the UKIP leader who believe the EU is some monstrous and sinister unelected dictatorship, determined to rule over us and crush us into submission beneath its jackboot. This is not how my Polish colleague sees things. She comes from a country which after being brutalised for six years by the Nazis, then endured 40 years of oppressive dictatorship under a Soviet backed regime. There were endless food shortages, foreign travel was either denied or severely restricted, but most of all people’s movements, actions and freedom to express themselves were strictly monitored.

How does my colleague feel when she hears the European Union being compared to what her nation had to endure under Hitler and Stalin? She is fortunately too young to have experienced any of this at first hand, but her parents remember only too well what life was like under the Communists.

The steady drip-drip of misinformation and black propaganda about the EU, spoon fed over the years, to a receptive audience, by newspapers such as the Sun and Daily Mail obviously poisoned many minds about an organisation which was set up to try and ensure Europe would never again tear itself apart in a disastrous continental war. It is therefore doubly ironic that on the eve of 100th Anniversary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme, Britain should be turning its back on the European Union and our friends in Europe. The slaughter which occurred on the first terrible day of that dreadful battle should serve as a poignant reminder, if one was needed, of the horror and futility of war.

I would like to end by addressing the many friends and acquaintances I have met during my visits to the Continent, and say to them there are many here in Britain who still care deeply about Europe. The “Leave” campaign won, if that’s the right word, by the narrowest of margins; meaning that just under 50% of the electorate voted in favour of the status quo, and to remain within the EU.

The damage has unfortunately now been done, and there is no going back, but I will still be making regular trips across the Channel to sample the beery and cultural delights, which Europe has to offer. I also extend a warm welcome to European beer lovers to reciprocate and come and visit us. As for my Polish colleague, she is intelligent enough and sufficiently worldly wise to know that self-serving politicians like Farage, Gove and Johnson do not speak for everyone in Britain, and I trust she will continue to work for our company and enjoy residing in the UK for many years to come.


BryanB said...

Hear hear. And how ironic that the appalling Farage should spout on about "real work" in the European parliament, where it was a blatant lie.

Had he said the same in the Westminster parliament he claims to idolise, it would have been far closer to the truth, stuffed as that place is with professional politicians, failed PR men and the like.

RedNev said...

I agree Farage's behaviour was loutish, bad mannered and proof if it were needed that the man is unfit to hold public office. During the general election, he went to a beer festival somewhere down south and the moronic BBC reported said to camera that here, "even among his own natural supporters", there were people who didn't like him. I was (genuinely) offended that, because he poses for the cameras with a pint, all beer drinkers must be natural UKIP supporters. The only reason I didn't complain to the BBC was because my computer was broken at the time.

As for someone whose job was trading in commodities slagging off other MEPs for never having had a proper job ... that sentence really doesn't need finishing, does it?

Matt said...

I suspect the most likely outcome, especially if Theresa May becomes Prime Minister, will be a "soft Brexit" in which Britain is outside the EU but pays into it and accepts free movement as the price of free trade with it, like Norway, and accepts its rules without having had any say in shaping them, a result which will satisfy neither those of us who voted Remain nor the majority of Leave voters whose primary concern was ending immigration from Europe.

Paul Bailey said...

Farage acting like a spoilt brat, gloating because he had ruined the party for everyone else, was a particularly un-edifying sight. He will no doubt have the gall to continue drawing his MEP’s salary, until such time as the UK ceases to be represented in the European Parliament; such is the hypocrisy of the man.

The unfortunate thing is he got his way and has managed, by foul means rather than fair, to take Britain out of the European Union. Some might say that Cameron even fell into his trap, by promising a referendum on our EU membership; something he didn’t have to do, although I suspect the vote had as much to do with Tory party internal politics, as it did with concerns about UKIP.

I suspect your prediction will be proved right, Matt, and we end up with the sort of compromise we British seem to love. It would be good if free movement of people could be maintained between us and the rest of Europe, as this has been one of the cornerstones of EU policy, and one of its major successes.

Despite what the anti-immigration lobby would have us believe, free movement has helped break down barriers and has allowed people from across Europe to share in each others customs and traditions. On a personal level I have really enjoyed working with people drawn from across Europe, and sincerely trust these fellow co-workers will be allowed to stay.

Syd Differential said...

You must have worked up quite a thirst after all that ranting.
Welcome to democracy baby.
And Nige had every right to enjoy his day jn the sun after 17 years of abuse from the rest of those Druncker lapdogs.He has saved this countryfrom a dire fate.Arise Sir Nige sureky.

Syd Differential said...

Apologies for the typos.
Bastard tablet.

Paul Bailey said...

I did work up quite a thirst Syd, but I’m putting that to right this very moment! Not exactly certain what dire fate your man has supposedly saved us from, but it’s all a bit immaterial now, seeing as the damage has been done.

Paul Bailey said...

Have a read of this Daily Telegraph article below, which shows the depths some politicians will sink to, in order to achieve power. It seems that neither Gove nor Johnson were ardent Brexit supporters, but instead saw supporting the “Leave” campaign as their way of un-seating Cameron and making a move for his job.

Voters on both side of the argument have been betrayed by a couple of totally shameless opportunists, who would have sold their own grandmothers if it meant furthering their cause!

This is a real betrayal of the people of this country, and an absolute disgrace.

Brett said...

you mention farage, gove and boris as self-serving. I would also add the majority of the 'opposition'. Although the racist parts of the population have now become more vocal (I suspect believing the result has given more credence to their nasty point of view), the majority of the 'outers' I would imagine would of voted that way due to the discontent and feeling of disconnect with he political classes. i.e. the vote was, in all essence, a 'protest vote' against the main political parties who they feel do not serve them anymore - you just have to look across both benches to see a huge swathe of career politicians who seem to be ever feeding on the political gravy train...
I would expect some leavers believed the £350m for the nhs lies given in the run up to the vote but there were just as many lies peddled out from the stay side - have we had the emergency budget yet?
I think the result has been as a product of the cumulative effect of successive governments under investing over a number of decades at the time when immigration has been on the rise. This resulted in an incorrect connection between the two hence why immigration was at the height of the arguments rather than the bloated waste of the EU parliament and the fact that it is so plain to see the Euro project is causing misery across the southern european states with it's one economic model fits all argument. Anyway, vote was cast and result given so up to whoever will actually stand up now to invoke article 50 and start building for a better future. The narrowness of the victory would always cause issues but I just hope that the populace pull together rather than fight and moan about the result. Neither campaign can come out with much credit - lies were told on both sides...

Paul Bailey said...

You will be relieved to hear Brett that I will finally shut up now. Whilst obviously disappointed at the result; mainly because of a possible negative impact on my job, plus the fact I was fantasising about living somewhere else in Europe in a few years time.

Yes, time to accept the situation and get on with building a better and workable future for everyone. The whole thing has definitely been a wake up call for both the nation, and politicians though!

Brett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brett said...

:-) no problem Paul - going to be an interesting few month/years ahead... On a brighter note though, SIBA beer festival at T'Js this coming
weekend... (deleted original post - spelling atrocious and no edit function)