Bitch on the Blog

June 24, 2016

Shakespearean

You have to hand it to Britain: DIVIDED they stand.

This is personal, I make little claim on rhyme, reason or rationale. For that I am too upset. A snapshot in my time.

Having stocked up on an hour’s sleep before British voting closing at ten o’clock BST I turned on the TV (BBC1) at five minutes to ten. ┬áBig Ben makes me quite emotional at the best of times. So when it chimed as voting booths closed I welled up a bit. Now? Now, my tears are rolling. Involuntarily. They just keep coming. They say there are five stages to grieving. Denial (in this case) was relatively short. Shock features majestically. Acceptance (the last stage)? I guess that will be a long time waiting.

After the future father of son proposed to me 26 March 1982 in Paris, I arrived in England 4 April 1982 for good. I have always been a foreigner – albeit a “well integrated” one. FOS saw to that. I couldn’t so much as open my mouth before he corrected any mistake my early shaky English made. And that includes apostrophes. Might sound harsh to some of you. It wasn’t. I am hugely grateful to him for his relentless pursuit of perfecting my English. Don’t laugh, and as an aside, it’s probably why I miss him most when – to this day – I have a question on where to insert a comma or what the plural of bonus is.

Where was I? Yes, a foreigner. Now? Now I am a true foreigner. An alien. For those of you musically inclined listen to Sting’s “An Englishman in New York”. A legal alien.┬áThe melody alone conveys all there is to know. And before any of you point this out to me: Yes, I am perfectly aware that here, in this post and in my heart, there is a soupcon of self pity. Not least because someone recommended to me (in a national newspaper), and as I don’t hold a British passport, to return to “whence you come from”. Sweet. Thirty four yours on.

Never mind. I will regain composure.

The result of this vote has opened a massive a can of worms too cramped to not spill. Whilst – to some extent – I do feel sorry for Cameron having to resign in such an undignified way, what he needs to ask himself why the hell he did authorize this referendum. So terribly terribly shortsighted.

Yes, I promised you a snapshot. And that why I’ll stop now. Otherwise this post will become an oversized oil painting. No, make that a bewildered Jackson Pollock. Not that I deaden any pain with whiskey.

U

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June 22, 2016

My heart is aflutter

What a perverse world we live in.

Sweethearts, I do have butterflies in my stomach. I won’t think about it till the morning after the day before (make that Friday) but holy cow. Normally I don’t raise political issues in blogland and I am not doing so this minute but …

The sequence of events being that until a few weeks ago I paid sod all attention to the EU referendum. Sure, since I read the world’s press for both professional reasons and my private amusement I’d skim the headlines on the subject. Didn’t take any of it seriously. Of course, Britain would stay in. Why was this referendum called in the first place?

Till, one day, not so long ago I spoke to an Englishman. Him of the velvet, oh so soothing voice. Yes, Magpie, you. Oh my god. To understand – Magpie is measured. And told me in no uncertain terms that whatever the merits of staying in Europe that cat was by no means in the bag. Though I did vaguely poo poo his notion our conversation was enough to unsettle me slightly. Since when I bloody read anything coming my way on this whole disaster. It’s like scratching a scab on your knee after your ten year old self has fallen off the bike. Fascinating, yet totally self defeating. My gall bladder’s bile rising, my stomach feeling vaguely and permanently nauseous, my colon trying its best not to anchor me to the toilet, my brain calling for reason and calm.

Let’s leave aside that I don’t hold a British passport. So even after over thirty years living in this country I have no say. Doesn’t matter. What matters is the future. And that is – and here we are getting back to my first statement, namely, “perverse” – that the very group this will affect most, namely the under twenty five year olds are so dastardly lazy. They don’t give a shit about their own future and – guess what – a lot of them (though not all) will NOT vote. How did one of them say to me the other day: “I don’t give a toss one way or the other.” Pardon? One might, of course and at a push, argue NOT voting is part and parcel of democracy. However, my father instilled in me that NOT voting usually plays into the hands of those you want the least at the helm of your country.

And, if I believe everything I read – despite my best efforts not to, the loudest voting for EXIT are those who have had it all. Those past their sixties with mortgages paid off, sitting on a pile, pensions in place. What the hell do those of you in that position think you are doing for the future of your kids and their children, your grandchildren? To make a point? A cheap point at that, one which will cost future generations?

Why am I writing this now? The day before the day? Because I have just come across a “youngster” who at least will vote – if out. His brother (honestly the things people will freely tell me without much prompting) who is also voting OUT has put an obscene amount of money betting that Britain will stain IN. Perverse, or what?

Anyway, when he – not so tactfully – asked me how EXIT would affect me, foreigner after thirty years in this country, I told him truthfully: Ask me on Friday. I tend to cross bridges when I come to them. No point wasting energy on something that hasn’t happened yet. Try and tell that to my stomach.

At least the whole caboodle won’t affect the Angel. Whatever the outcome he holds the key (dual nationality) to what both Britain and Europe have to offer post referendum. And, yes, he will vote. And, to his credit, he sees both sides of the argument. However, in chime with the Libran he is you throw a pound on one side of the scales and a Euro on the other. And then see how it balances out.

You know what the biggest shame in all this is? Elements of Britain (obviously not all of the British but sometimes you do take a nation as a whole) have shown themselves from a truly ugly side. Namely immigration, immigration, immigration. It’s always the same. Look through history. You latch onto a minority group and blame them for the shortcomings of your own government’s policies. Yes, I know I am simplifying but that is precisely what the lowest common denominator of this country is doing: Throwing a whole populace to the dogs over some Angst over Polish people wiping old British bottoms in British care homes.

I do believe in damage limitation. However, Britain in the eyes of some of the world have done themselves huge damage. Regardless of how the referendum pans out. Empire – my foot!

So disappointed,

U

 

 

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