After a pleasant winter and some very mild days at the end of February it seemed that spring hat arrived on the Rock and it was here to stay. In Lowlands Country language we have an expression that literally translates as: March wags its tail. It means as much as: although‘officially’ the weather should improve towards more spring-like weather, March can still have some wintry tricks up it sleeve. The expression doesn’t only seem valid in Lowlands Country, but very much on the Rock as well, where currently days are fairly sunny, yet after the sun has set, you can feel pretty cold, especially indoors.
Are you ready for Brexit scare tactics?
While the whole of Europe is longing for spring, the UK is making itself ready for the referendum of the year. Are ‘we’ staying in Europe or are ‘we’ going at it alone? Just like with the referendum on Scottish independence the deceiving mainstream media has already made up its mind: the sky is going to fall on our heads and the end will be nigh when the Brits decide to vote for a Brexit. Spineless puppet David Cameron doesn’t really seem to get the deal he wants from Europe and even if he did, everyone has forgotten what exactly he tried to bargain. So all what is left now are scare tactics.
Once upon a time in pro-Europe Netherlands
I am of a generation of kids from Lowlands Country to which the European dream had been spoon-fed from an early age. The Netherlands was one of the founding member states of an organisation that a few decades later would become the European Union. We were told that a unified Europe was great for prosperity, peace and stability on the continent, which were much needed after two devastating wars within the first half of the century. The indoctrination worked like a charm because we all believed it. Until 11 years ago when they tried to force-feed us the European Constitution, which seemed a bridge too far and the majority of us staunchly pro-European Dutchies voted against it in a referendum. What seemed like a cute and great deal in the 80s and 90s has become a monster ruled by a small, power-hungry, unelected elite, that is too far removed from the people to actually give a shit. If the people in charge really cared they would let the European Parliament rule the show rather than the European Commission. They wouldn’t get involved in conflicts in foreign lands, where they have no business, yet destabilise those lands forming a threat to Europe’s borders. They wouldn’t have opened the floodgates for refugees to enter Europe without putting the infrastructure in place to adequately deal with this, so refugees are really helped in their dire situation and locals don’t have to feel threatened. If those in charge really cared they would stop being in the pockets of corporations, who want to sell us products we don’t need and which are more often than not, not good for us.
The Special Case of the Brits
The Brits are islanders and to Continentals or citizens from countries which are not fully surrounded by water, islanders can be a bit funny. (Some of) the Brits, with their massive former Empire- over which the UK still wields tremendous influence- see themselves as some sort of mini continent of their own with a ‘special relationship’ with the US. Why that relationship is so special, besides shared language and the US wanting to get rid off the English monarch as their ruler back in the 18th century, is not entirely clear. But they mention that special relation that often, one starts to believe it’s true. (Some of) the Brits want to enforce their independence as a mini continent and wish to exit the European Union and, as promised Cameron, is giving the people their referendum on whether they want to stay in or get out. You might think it’s true democracy at work, but let me ask you; if all is done to keep bankrupt Greece within the Union while it would be so much better for Greece and the rest of Europe to get out, do you think they would let the UK go? There is way too much at stake and just like with Scottish Independence the people will not have their say if they are of a different opinion than the powers that be. I wish the Brits their free and fair referendum and if the majority of people choose to leave, that the voice of the people will be heard. But the games have already started with a fearsome fear-mongering campaign and if that is not going to do the trick, I am sure some irregularities are to take place. There was clear evidence in the form of video footage of irregularities during the Scottish referendum on independence. If it were Russia all the western media would’ve been up in arms. When it happened in one’s own back garden the silence on the issue in the UK media was ear deafening.
Considering UK apathy towards politics in general and European politics in particular, I don’t think the turnout for the ‘in-or-out’ referendum will be high. And whatever you are going to vote, if you eligible, Europe fucking owns you and Europe is not going to letting go. Sad but true.