17 July 2018

The English and BREXIT

This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by Nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England

I feel compelled to voice my views on the English and Brexit and in doing so know full well that there will be many who disagree with me, but I respect their right to free speech as I hope they will mine!

Some weeks ago I was asked by a German friend who is a student of foreign languages to say what the characteristics of an Englishman were. (In this context man also refers to woman)
At the time I would have done well to refer her to Shakespeare’s King Richard II (The quote above is from this play) or even Henry V and his Agincourt speech. Possibly even I should have referred her to the Magazine, “This England”!

I did none of these, but remarked that an Englishman does not like change, is stubborn and nostalgic for the past. He believes strongly in the myth that England stood alone in the Second World War and every English person over five years old, relates and identifies themselves with what their fathers and grandfathers did in that war. Furthermore he has come to believe in the lies and propaganda spread about the European Union by the likes of people like Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson and David Davis to name just a few.

That the European Union needs reform is not in dispute, but what has annoyed me about the leave campaign, is that from the moment the UK joined, the English Members of Parliament have blamed their inactivity and many other ills, that they should have had the gumption to correct, on the EU. Consequently over time this drip, drip, of vitriolic has had its affect, in bringing about the disastrous situation now facing the UK.

Nearly everyone I spoke to at the time, thought that the Referendum would come down in favour of remaining in the EU. That it did not was a shock to all and has divided the Nation. It shocked me to discover that my oldest and best friend even voted for BREXIT! The Nation will now remain divided regardless of what happens, whether or not the UK gets a hard BREXIT, a soft BREXIT or remains, for at least a generation. This is the great disservice which has been done to the UK by Cameron, the Tories and even the Labour Party.

The Right Wing Press, such as “This England”, The Daily Mail and others in the UK  have also done sterling work in fermenting fear of foreigners and immigration. So it was that I read about Polish workers being told to go home!! They quietly forget that there were 19 Polish Squadrons in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, because if they did remember their contribution, it would destroy the myth that England stood alone! I won’t even mention the tremendous contribution by the then Colonies, or even such small countries like Belgium which celebrates its Remembrance Day with a military parade, attended by their King, in the middle of London!!

As much as magazines, like “this England” would like to do so, we can’t turn the clock back. Most successful modern countries look and plan for the future, not wishing for the Past to return! Why or why can’t the English do the same?

Pandora’s Box has been opened and so the UK, as it has always done, will muddle through somehow, that is what I believe, because “hope” is all that remains in the Box of BREXIT. But that is all it will be, a muddle.

Jesus said it first, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” Mathew 12 v 25

“A house divided against itself, cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half Brexit and half Remain. I do not expect the UK to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other. Either the opponents of Brexit will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward……” With apologies to Abraham Lincoln. 

I think we all want freedom, this is after all what our fathers fought and died for in the War. Freedom to live as we choose, to travel as we wish and so to this end I have taken out German citizenship. This means that I will have the right to remain in Germany and can travel anywhere within the EU. This does not mean that I have ceased to be an Englishman just that I have the freedom and the right to live where I choose. I am not alone in making this move, for there are many other English men and women who live in Germany, that have done the same and who feel as I do, that they are not only English, but European as well.