Truly Awful People

I don’t know any other way of judging the tiresome arguments taking place in the UK presently other than by looking at the people most vocal in support or opposition in the debate.

I’m talking Europe, I can’t use the vile # as it’s just such an ugly term I refuse to give it airtime.

The people who want us to leave, I’m talking members of the public, average Joe and Joanne I have no real argument with. They are generally on the extreme right or left, they have their reasons and that’s fine.

The public figures who want us to leave are to a man (and it does seem to be mostly men) such a disreputable bunch I can’t help but want them to experience a humiliating and hopefully career crushing defeat.

“We’ve been at peace because of NATO.”
“We can’t make our own laws, we are ruled by unelected bureaucrats from Brussels.”
“Britain is best, nationalism for the win, love Europe, hate the EU.”

I’ve received all these Tweets after I mentioned that Europe had been at peace for 70 years, the longest time in recorded history there hadn’t been a war in somewhere in Europe and the fact that this might have something to do with the European Union.

Yes, there were the vile outrages in the former Yugoslavia in the early 1990’s, but in what we now recognise as the EU, there hasn’t been anything that can be described as a war since 1945.

As Stephen Pinker explains in his seminal work, ‘The Better Angels of our Nature’ there have been so many wars in Europe it’s impossible to remember more than a handful.

Everyone in Europe was busy hacking each other to pieces for centuries, usually under the guise of some sort of national pride or daft allegiance to some inbred Prince.

Then in the first half of the 20th century we had two massive bloodbath conflicts which literally tore the place apart.

Last August I visited the home (now a museum) of Robert Schuman, one of the founding fathers of the European Union. He’d been born and raised in the thick of two world wars, right on the border between France and Germany and he had the outrageous idea that dialogue, negotiation and empathy might be a better way of solving differences than shooting someone in the face.

Silly hippie.

So I’m not sure about leaving the EU, I’m confused as I’m sure many people are. When we had a referendum to join back in the 1970’s many of my hard leftie activist mates were totally opposed to it.

‘It’s a banker’s charter’ ‘It’s all about money.’

At that time the conservative party were all for it, Tony Benn was against it. I was, as usual, all wishy washy and not sure.

Anyway, we joined and after a few decades it struck me as a much better idea than having a load of disparate countries who all think they are the best and sod the rest of you.

Then it turned out that many of the ideas coming out of Brussels were a little more benign. Maybe we shouldn’t pollute the skies and rivers and should hold corporations who do so to account.

Silly greenie hippy nonsense, pour to toxic waste into the river and make more money.

Some of the legislation was to try and encourage equality and combat the ugly face of racism and nationalism among EU states.

Stupid namby pamby attitude, if you disagree with someone, start a war and make money!

So I genuinely do think of myself as a European, I know this drives some nationalist flag wavers batty but if you stray beyond the confines of Europe, to say the far east, south America, Africa, it doesn’t matter what you claim, you are seen as a European. I’m an old white bloke, no one in Africa is going to wonder where I’m from, I’m a European.

The only joy we can get from this nonsense is that the likes of Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and George Galloway are walking arm in arm toward an independent Great Britain.

Jolly good show chaps, hand me a flag, Ra Ra Britannia.

I can’t help the feeling that the nasty bully boys on either side of politics, the extreme left and right are the ones who want to leave the EU.
The majority don’t give a toss and a few middle of the roaders and people who can see beyond a Daily Mail headline think we should remain within Europe. I’m probably among them…

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