Friday, June 24, 2016

If I were English I would be ashamed today.

If I were English I would be ashamed to be English today. If I were British I would be ashamed of being British today.

Being of mixed European heritage, despite having been born in the East End of London I hve never
felt English as such, a Londoner certainly but not English.

The EU referendum result has confirmed my lack of affinity for the nationalist, xenophobia which appears to be inherent in many who claim to be "English".

As for the open-hearted working people who used to inhabit these islands when I was a kid, where are they? "Give you the shirt of his back" they used to say. Not any more it would seem. All too eager to believe a £350 million a week lie, no matter how many times it was proved a lie.

Where did they all go. Was it succumbing to Maggie's siren song of owning your own home, if you could buy it off the local council at a huge discount. Are they all too young to remember the days when there was protection from exploitation by belonging to a trade union? Is everyone so aspirational to be a millionaire that the devil can take the rest.

It is so difficult not to feel sad that over seventeen million people in this country were taken in when they were told to ignore the experts and yet were willing to listen to millionaire politicians with messages of nationalism paraded as patriotism and selfishness disguised as a desire for independence. What is worse of course was that this referendum campaign legitimised overt racism barely hidden by the mantra "we are being over run by immigrants" and "we don’t have the room" ignoring the fact that there is more green space used as golf courses in places like Surrey than there is farmland.

And perhaps the saddest part is that this trumpeted independence is almost certainly going to be a mirage for most of the ordinary people of this country. The same old tories are going to be in charge for the transition period and at the end of that it will be too late.


DrDarcy said...

I spent ages writing a comment then Google deleted it.

Three years ago I got a job near London and was excited to come back to the UK. I had a house and could provide for the three of us on my wage. However, my wife was denied a visa. Just because the coalition government was responding to the clamour calls to tighten immigration. My wife is an American with a PhD. Hardly a wastrel.

When we were married she was given a visa after just 30 minutes of chat with a smiling official in Chicago.

I'm not sure how the people in the poorer areas are going to think that the economy will improve for them once the UK leaves the EU. Perhaps they don't remember that the Tories don't really care about them.

Ed McKie said...

I'm sorry about the problem with posting a comment to this blog Phil. Its because when I set it up ages OK I was a bit paranoid about letting all and sundry make comments, so I wanted to moderate them. As it happened although lots of people look at them, not many make comments. Make of that what you will.