Saturday, June 25, 2016

"Taking Britain Back"

"A lot of people perceive that immigration has produced a huge cultural threat to the English traditions, way of life, Judeo-Christian religious traditions, and all those things. It's not politically correct to talk about it, but they are really concerned. Immigration was huge in this referendum."
"Negative attitudes towards immigration were a huge driver of Leave voting. That's something that's been building for years."
Harold Clarke, professor political economy, University of Texas, Dallas

"They mean back from Johnny Foreigner, back from the brink, back from the future."
"It's snorting a line of the most pernicious and debilitating Little English drug, nostalgia."
A.A. Gill, The Times of London
Slightly more immigrants coming to Britain are from outside the EU, net figures show.

There is London, the exemplary cosmopolitan European city of sophisticates, crowded with pluralism that has overturned tradition and culture, values and the sense of history that permeates the mindset of most Brits. The workforce in the city is heavily represented by youthful residents who know nothing of life outside the European Union, so boringly long ago when visas were required to visit Germany, Spain, Belgium, Slovakia. These are the smart young people who can pick up and travel at will, see their wider world, revel in cultural differences, show off their smarts.

Their world has just been turned inside-out and upside-down, and they desperately want the opportunity to rework the referendum, give it another go. Have the vote on a day when London isn't beset by tornado-like winds and rain and flooding, and the inclination to remain indoors, not forge their way outside to make an effort to go to the polls, some of which were forced to close down in any event, due to the inclemency. It was as though nature herself conspired against their futures. And as youth is prone to remark "it just isn't fair!"

London certainly appreciated the service industry represented by the movable feast of skilled and unskilled workers flooding the city and its environs. Of course those foreign workers also gravitated to places outside the urbanity that is London, leaving local service providers and skilled blue-collar professionals without the jobs that went to those who expected lower pay which was in any event, higher than they'd get in say, Poland.

Map of photos, london mosques

The young Brits simply don't think along the same lines of the older generation who recall most fondly an earlier Britain that regaled in its storied tales of heritage exploits as rulers of the sea and gentle autocratic imperialism exercising British generosity and systems of law and cultural underpinnings in exotic places abroad, known quaintly as the British "Empire". An empire that has shrunk, but for the memories to a crowded island sniffing about the ungentle demands of a European Union fixated on rules and regulations of their very own.

It's a safe bet that really elderly Brits made more of an effort to get out there and vote, and many of them live in the hinterlands of that sceptred isle, well away from the beating, bleeding heart of London. Recalling the blitz-bombing days of German bombers and blackened windows, fighting to keep a fascist regime from its goal of dominating Europe. Considering now grimly the influence of a different Germany wealthy as the previous one was not, and fixated now on its political and economic influence on a united Europe; achieving now what it could not then.

A not entirely unreasonable line of thought if one were particularly given to finding hidden meaning where none is meant to exist. London wanted to Remain, and the rest of England had no wish to do other than Leave, to regain and retain what had been lost; full sovereign autonomy, pride in self, the freedom to embark on changes from within, the ability to address issues pertaining to England with no interference from outside sources geographically and culturally removed.

Of course there are consequences, there are always consequences, and no one likes the squeamish thought of paying dearly for choices made that promise to complicate trade and income. Sometimes, they reason, those who never hesitated when they voted Leave, there must be sacrifices, and honour and tradition demand sacrifices on occasion. The working-class of the country, essentially, has had its say.



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