Like most people I have the odd early recollection of my childhood. Of course, many a memory is something I have been told I should remember, something I might remember, or just a family legend, something to be passed on from generation to generation. Memories, although untrue, become realities. Now then, if you happen to be a reader aged fifty, how much of your life up to the age of, say, seven do you remember? Was your family better off or worse off then than they are today? Was life easier, or fairer before when you were seven years old? Was the country’s economy better before you started school or before you left kindergarten – supposing there had been a kindergarten?
But perhaps you are a reader who has already spent six decades on this earth; if so, tell me what you remember of, not your life, but your country’s place in the world before you reached school leaving age; not much, I bet. You see, Dear Reader, I am asking you all this because I am utterly and completely bemused, befuddled and frankly embarrassed by the recent idiotic behavior of my fellow countrymen when they voted for Brexit, for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. But before we get into the latest and greatest British Barmy, let me say that the decision to hold a
referendum was even more stupid, and the decision to allow a simple majority to decide the outcome was inconceivably dumb. Surely such an important change in status should have required at least a two-thirds majority.
Instead of sound arguments, the electorate was bombarded with patriotic sentiment about making Britain great again and getting rid of the immigrants. The truth is that Britain was never great; even in its heyday it was a bullying, self-serving naval power that fed its elite and starved its poor. The middle class, if it indeed existed, wielded no authority; they were merely ‘shopkeepers’, as Napoleon put it.
I grew up being spoonfed legends of British bravery and myths of British civilization bringing religion, education and good government to the ignorants of that world. It was all bullshit. The British sucked the blood out of Africa and left behind, as did all the colonial nations, countries unable to govern themselves and leaders who had been well-schooled in the art of sucking their countries dry. Up to a day like today – lovely Creolism, just love it – there is no equality in Africa.
Even West Indians born on those most fortunate of islands blessed by the Caribbean sun but lacking in natural resources can barely scrape up an existence from their farming products and have to embark on an almost monthly begging pilgrimage to some financial mecca or benevolent former colonial power. The colonialists did not leave the world a better place. But let’s get back to the beginning, shall we?
The result of the referendum revealed that younger, educated voters voted overwhelmingly to stay in the European Union, and much was made of this supposedly amazing fact. The truth is that Britain has been a member of the European Union for forty-three years, so anyone under the age of fifty can scarcely imagine any other life outside the Union. For them, the status quo represents normality, life as it is supposed to be; they have no experience of anything else, and the foreigners they meet are often of the same age except that they come from excitingly different places, places their British counterparts are welcome to explore thanks to the free movement of peoples throughout the Union.
Older people, who would have been anywhere between twenty and thirty years old when Britain joined the European bandwagon in the seventies, are now over seventy years old and frankly have little time left to enjoy the mayhem their lunacy has created. And anyway, how much can a seventy-four-year-old like me remember of life way back then?
And what has happened since the Brexit referendum? Cameron plans to go, and perhaps he should for being so damned stupid in the first place. Labour’s Corbyn clings on like a demented Bernie Sanders, the only difference being that his supporters hate him while Bernie’s love affair still lingers. Boris the Clown has buggered off, while Nigel Farage the former UKIP leader resigned and now ponces around Europe trying to drum up even more defectors. If anyone ever wanted to find a spot where supremists reign supreme they would not have to look further than the loony bin that is Britain today. Oh, by the way, it is said, perhaps allegorically, that immigrant communities from Pakistan voted overwhelmingly to keep out new immigrants; they clearly know a good thing when they see it.
But you know what? I would put serious money on Brexit never happening; it just doesn’t make sense!