In my previous post I quite clearly stated that despite my immense disappointment at the EU Referendum result, I would not be writing anything further about it. My resolve remained steadfast in spite of the unravelling of the “Leave” campaign’s exaggerated claims about more money for the NHS and our ability to negotiate our own highly beneficial trade deals; claims which are now being exposed as fantasy at best, and outright lies at worst. The irony is that those behind "Brexit" didn’t even have a plan of what they should do if they won!
As I said, despite my increasing frustration about how the electorate has been misled I was still determined to remain silent. Something happened at work this morning to break my resolve and, as I am about to relate, it should strike a chord with all who care deeply about our country.
I was down in the warehouse, checking off an order for despatch. Standing next to me was a young Polish girl, who has been with our company for nearly three years. She is an intelligent and very pleasant girl, and is also a good worker who has picked things up well and made a valuable contribution to the business.
|The face says it all|
The radio was on and the news bulletin was dominated with items related to the fallout from the referendum. She turned to me and said, “If someone had spoken like that whilst claiming to represent my country, I would be deeply ashamed”. She was referring, of course, to Nigel Farage’s pantomime performance in the European Parliament yesterday. Grinning like a Cheshire cat, Farage berated his fellow MEP’s, taunting them that they had never done a proper day’s work in their lives, and topping that with the gibe that they weren’t laughing now.
Like much of the county I witnessed on TV his juvenile attempt at playing to the gallery; coming across like a naughty schoolboy looking around for the approval of his mates after thinking he had got one over on those in authority. Of course there were no “mates” present to slap him on the back for his idiotic remarks; instead he was greeted with the stony silence he thoroughly deserved.
There are unfortunately many people like the UKIP leader who believe the EU is some monstrous and sinister unelected dictatorship, determined to rule over us and crush us into submission beneath its jackboot. This is not how my Polish colleague sees things. She comes from a country which after being brutalised for six years by the Nazis, then endured 40 years of oppressive dictatorship under a Soviet backed regime. There were endless food shortages, foreign travel was either denied or severely restricted, but most of all people’s movements, actions and freedom to express themselves were strictly monitored.
How does my colleague feel when she hears the European Union being compared to what her nation had to endure under Hitler and Stalin? She is fortunately too young to have experienced any of this at first hand, but her parents remember only too well what life was like under the Communists.
The steady drip-drip of misinformation and black propaganda about the EU, spoon fed over the years, to a receptive audience, by newspapers such as the Sun and Daily Mail obviously poisoned many minds about an organisation which was set up to try and ensure Europe would never again tear itself apart in a disastrous continental war. It is therefore doubly ironic that on the eve of 100th Anniversary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme, Britain should be turning its back on the European Union and our friends in Europe. The slaughter which occurred on the first terrible day of that dreadful battle should serve as a poignant reminder, if one was needed, of the horror and futility of war.
I would like to end by addressing the many friends and acquaintances I have met during my visits to the Continent, and say to them there are many here in Britain who still care deeply about Europe. The “Leave” campaign won, if that’s the right word, by the narrowest of margins; meaning that just under 50% of the electorate voted in favour of the status quo, and to remain within the EU.
The damage has unfortunately now been done, and there is no going back, but I will still be making regular trips across the Channel to sample the beery and cultural delights, which Europe has to offer. I also extend a warm welcome to European beer lovers to reciprocate and come and visit us. As for my Polish colleague, she is intelligent enough and sufficiently worldly wise to know that self-serving politicians like Farage, Gove and Johnson do not speak for everyone in Britain, and I trust she will continue to work for our company and enjoy residing in the UK for many years to come.