The Brexit and all that: A strange feeling for someone as opinionated as I am: I didn’t have a view on the Brexit referendum. My brother and sister, who both live in England, one rich, the other on a modest pension, voted to leave.
They belong to the maligned oldies who have variously been described by the losers as emotional, beer-sodden racists. And that’s nothing compared to what many petulant young people think of them.
Why? Because they wanted out of the European Union. My brother is right wing, my sister left wing, so they have much to argue about, but they also have much in common. They resent being patronised, not listened to, and they believe the European Union has become even more faceless, less accountable, more expensive, and even more out of touch with people than the British government, which has, in their view become a club for well off, lazy, swindlers.
Well, when you push them they admit that some politicians are decent people who work hard for their electorate but they are like honest cops in a corrupt police force, powerless to effect change.
They want their country back. They want to be English, not Scottish, Irish or Welsh and certainly not Europeans. They care about economic matters but they are bitter about the continuous shrinkage of public services in the name of a capitalist God that even my right wing capitalist brother finds unnerving.
It’s strange how people remain calm at the constant whittling away of essential services until their local library closes. They do not understand why, not when a massively expensive European bureaucracy is affordable. And they also blame the scale of immigration, which appears to have no constraints.
Racist? They cannot understand why England tolerates whole communities that cover up honour killings, and men who act more like slave-masters than husbands and fathers. It angers them that a wilful official blindness hiding behind phrases like cultural relativity has allowed this despicable behaviour to take root in England. They have had enough. They want their England back.
They could be wrong, of course, lashing out blindly cutting off their noses to spite their faces. But they don’t think so. They think England can manage alone, when once again the people’s representatives do not have the fog of European rules to hide behind.