Gee, thanks mom and dad. Good job
I remember pre EU travel and doing business. My thirty year snapshot of Britains EU membership leading up to the Nigel Farage ‘he says what I think’ vote.
To clarify, I arrived in the UK in 1984 as a 23 yo citizen of Greece, who were at that time half members in the full EU membership program. My right of residence and work depended on my Greek passport.
For the next few decades as a working musician and music producer I met and worked in other member, half member and non member Countries. I worked my way through the 20 years of Britain’s EU membership from 1984.
I had hands-on experience of small business and the EU. Zipping off to Stuttgart for meetings. Setting up gigs in Hamburg. Selling my CD’s in Helsinki. I loved meeting and working with Finns, Germans, French, Greeks, Italians, Spanish and Scandinavians of all types. And I was grateful for the opportunity this open market provided me personally.
Without membership of the EU, my life, much as is the case for anyone similar to me, could not have happened in the UK. I am one of many adoptive Brits who fall in this category. People who chose England as home and contributed to the culture because it was apart of the EU.
Post Brexit, if it actually happens, people like me will not come to the UK. Whilst many (Brexiteers) might say “Excellent news”, the fact is, I had a positive effect on many peoples lives. I created jobs, paid taxes, looked after old people and literally saved lives through kindness and generosity and compassion. As is a common element of the Greek character. We are mostly a kind and generous people. As any educated classicist will confirm.
On the balance of things, I brought more to the culture than I took. Although I loved being a British Greek and learned a great deal from my wonderful UK friends who are simply the best cross section of humanity in the world, had the UK not been in the EU, I would have moved to the US when I chose my destination as a young man starting out in life. I think those like me, the same demographic, who would have chosen the UK as I did, will not be drawn to a post Brexit UK. Of course, I am sure there will be those Brexiteers who say “Excellent news”. But is it?
I am surprised that anyone who remembers pre EU days, as many a Brexiteer appears too, is excited about moving backwards to those days. When you couldn’t get a real coffee in England. really. They called it coffee, but it was simply disgusting until the coffee chains like Costa Coffee saw that market opportunity.
Or a decent meal that didn’t include deep fried anything and potatoes. Or even basic Italian pasta and Parmesan from the Provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna and Mantua. They sold stuff called ‘Parmesan’, but it wasn’t. Until Italy joined the EU and suddenly, I remember the year well, you could buy real parmesan in the UK.
Perhaps good espresso was available somewhere in the UK, but for my first few years as a Londoner I had to turn away from the stuff they called coffee, or wait until a visit to Rome or Paris to enjoy my caffeine fix.
The same with food. EU Immigrants brought with them food culture to a culinary desert, where spam was still a menu item. And the effect was positive. Italian Restaurants. Greek restaurants. Spanish, French, German. Even Belgium brought Moules-frite to a culture slow to recover from wartime deprivations. I left the UK after thirty years as an epicenter of fine dining. Three Michelin star restaurants abounding. Top chefs like Angel Zapata Martin and Pascal Aussignac taking bookings three months in advance for £200 dinners. It is accurate to say our sophisticated British palette has benefited enormously by membership in the EU.
I used to perform (music) around Europe. And sell musical CD’s, many produced with my studio business partner Charlie Morgan. Many co written with Scottish born maestro Hugh Burns. Friends who toured big venues around Europe, playing to hundreds of thousands. The EU changed everything in terms of opening doors for musicians and small businesses to interact with their audiences.
I sold a lot of CD’s in Germany. (Well, for me, a lot.) In those years we independent music producers attended trade shows in France, (Midem), got orders for product we made in Britain from numerous different EU states, with no problems attached to a small business like a self funded record label.
We shipped our orders around borderless Europe. With no tax. Vat exempt. So easy even a young ethicist like me could pay taxes and do business with Luxembourg.
Later, clients in our studio comprised probably 50% European artists, from Germany, France, Italy, Spain.
Many of my top-level session player friends would travel to EU studios to work, often on a weekly basis. The border-less opportunities for musicians and record-labels and studio business was only beneficial. For all parties.
No young Brit or artistically minded creative in Britain can look back to ‘The good ole days’ before the EU. For a very good reason.
Membership uplifted Britain in many more ways than just economically from its post war spam and eggs depression and its Rugby culture of ‘Swing low sweet chariot’ right after God save the Queen.
Living side by side with neighbors from different culture for whom English was a second language, like me, had many positive benefits for both. We EU immigrants learned from Brits, often becoming Brits, and Brits learned from us. Clearly a lot more than the Brexiteers care to admit and especially as any classics scholar will share with you, in terms of Greek heritage.
The etymology of many English words is Greek.
Your King James Bible is adapted from Greek.
Hard to imagine the English language if Greece pulled a language-Grexit. Half of Churchill’s speeches would have to be redacted. Every British intellectual would be lost for words.
It is hard to think of our former allies, Greece, France, Belgium, as a divorce worthy 2016 mistake? Not enough history there to outweigh the Nigel Farage supporters? Not worth remembering why we partnered up after Russia won the race to win the second world war.
How many Europeans died in WW2 to save British lives?
In Greece alone, family of mine died in the resistance which eventually ended the Nazi occupation. But after the war, as Churchill knew all too well, a new war would begin. Communism versus Capitalism. The Reds vs the Red White and Blues. The Soviet Union versus the United States. The spread of communism had to be stopped in this new fight for global supremacy. To protect the Free world from Reds under the bed, politicians who could read books and indeed, did read books and understand the events before and after WW2, came up with NATO.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. The alliance is based on the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949. The EU and USA are the major players in NATO – their enemy is Russia. Simply put, in case a Trumpeter is reading this, NATO exists to protect the rest of the world from Russian aggression.
Consider Russia’s great history with chess and merciless killing. They are Chess-masters. And their record in merciless killing for political gain is second to none. Their KGB trained the most remarkable people to commit the most astonishing acts. From this amazing organization, responsible for some of the greatest tactical killing sprees in history, the most remarkable KGB trainee is Putin. The richest man in the history of wealth. What if Putin wanted to see an end to NATO? What if the master chess player and the richest most powerful, most corrupt man in history thought to himself.
“I Vant to destroy NATO. Ve hef some expansion to do on our borders. Ve may heff to break some legs. No Vey Ken ve let ze NATO and ze United Neshions intefir viz my masterplan for world domination. Vot is ze cheapest vay to Do Ziss? I em zinking as the Amerikan Socialist singer said; Poor man Vant to be Rich. Rich Man vant to be King. King is not Satisfy until he own everything.
I vill be vanting to own everyzing. And I vant NATO out of ze vey. OK? Understood? Ve are not Kommusist anymore, vink, vink, ve are democrats, elected to represent our people in fair and free elections. Vink Vink.”
Here’s a fun game. Name 5 things you love about Brexit.
Next name 5 things you love about being in the EU.
The equivalent of saying ‘Stop giving all our money to Brussels, lets control our own destiny‘ is ‘He says what we think, lets make America great again.’ Bot designed political bias.
It is a sad picture for me, as the parent of two half Greek British boys, seeing tired old fools; and the majority who voted to leave are old, tired, and foolish, duped by Nigel Farage into voting themselves into the same cultural oblivion as their American semi literate equivalents. Waiting for their Q to return. (#QAnon. Seriously. Have you seen this level of retardation on any political platform before?)
So easily swayed by inherently racist beliefs, translated into fear of immigrants by reality TV race-mongering hateful divisive politicians, like Trump and his pernicious wannabe poodle Boris. The mischievously overbearing spiky haired philanderer destined by his own account, to be PM in the Post EU years. Minister in charge of building walls despite knowing, be it former East German walls or swinging elections in the US to build Mexican walls, walls are not bridges.
Building a new wall, the Brexit wall, dividing us from our allies, which is what leave means, leaves one clear winner.
Russia. Vlad the worlds richest impaler. If power corrupts absolutely then Vlad is the most corrupt man in history. And he has impaled the Orange wordsmith.
Is there any doubt that Vlad people and their bots colluded with the Trump campaign to install his choice of candidate into the 2016 winners chair. Vlad owns honest Don. Didn’t he remind Don in Helsinki. In the full glare of world media. As if forced too against his will, but doing it none the less.
“Hey Don, how you liking being one of my favorite oligarchs. I pay your debts, I invest billions in your family. Give you ze life you deserve. I even make you President of one of my businesses.” Because of Vlad’s will, honest Don now owns America. For the moment he has TREMENDOUS approval numbers by clan members who are also mostly; 1.) Christians. 2.) NRA members. 3.) White supremacists. 4.) Unaware of a multi trillion dollar deficit. 5.) Aware everything but a Don’s tweet is fake news.
I feel certain, having read more than one book on the famous drunken British leader and former Boer POW, that I know how Churchill would have voted in the referendum.
Against Russia. Not for them.
He called it after WW2. Its why we had a cold war. Its why we have NATO. Historically, Russia is our enemy. Who benefits more than Russia from a Brexit?
Historically Russia is our enemy. Putin the trained KGB man and the wealthiest man in history is able to execute enemies in the UK without so much as a ‘stop it or else’. He scores when he want’s. But Brexiteers know better. So what if Vlad kills Brits in Britain in chemical weapons attacks. We don’t need to worry that he has manipulated our love of Country. What could be more important than controlling our own destiny – because Nige Farage said it best. No way were Brexiteers duped the way Trump fans were. No way a Russian bot could calculate the commonalities between right wing conservative thinkers with a respect for God. And turn them to believe it makes good sense to shoot themselves in the foot. And rage against those disagreeing with their foolishness.
I for one offer no apology for calling everyone who voted for a racist buffoons promises, misguided. On both sides of the Atlantic in 2016. It seems pointless to stay friendly with people who do not support and endorse values that our fathers (and mothers) fought and died to protect. What do you think ‘the greatest generation’ like my dad, fought fascism for? is it not a clue when you see swastika’s and blackshirts appearing at these nationalist rallies for ‘Britain First’
That is the freedom to think. And form original thoughts. Free thoughts. Based on ideals. Educated ideals. When you dismiss that great advance as ‘false news’ because some English racist twat called Nigel tells you Johnny Foreigners coming after your NHS, you cannot be a friend of mine. It comes down to that one key point. Are you that stupid a bot can manipulate the words in your head because you are so predictably stupid. You voted against your best interest because a bot made you do it? That’s the ineluctable conclusion you may not accept until enough time has passed to review with hindsight. It goes hand in hand with right wing conservative thinking.
My children and yours will not look back with gratitude at what you chose to do here and now. And they will know with hindsight who did what in your Putin supporting Brexit. And by extension of that same wave of political non-thought, your endorsement for locking young immigrant children in cages on the Mexican border, stealing them from distraught parents and selling hundreds of them to Christian adoptive parents paying $50,000 per child, then, having been found out by liberal press, blaming press as ‘enemy of the people‘ whilst failing to return those stolen children because you ‘lost them.’ Vlad’s designer bot chant is ‘Build that wall.’ That’s all it takes to create a compliant willing clan. Three word chants. Lock her up.
Trump turning a profit on trading children in this way they call ‘Great business’. They do not express outrage that child trafficking goes on in their name. Instead its “He says what we think.” It is great business. Making a profit from desperate refugees turning up at the border. The same way desperate refugees have been turning up at America’s borders since day one.
And I must admit a grudging respect for the right-wing-conservative-christian mindset that calls reports of human trafficking false news, delivered by the ‘enemy of the people’ and sends the weeping mothers home to almost certain death without their children. All of which I have written knowing there are many children still in cages at the Mexican border right now. As I write. While others still chant at Trump rally’s “Lock her up” and “build that wall.” Like young baboons in training.
I wonder if those caged kids are hot. I wonder if they have enough water. I wonder if they are making new friends? I wonder why the Mueller in the middle of the storm has not said one single word. But I take it as a good sign that he may be one hope in undoing both Trumpism and its Putin cousin, Brexit.
I have not had one conversation with a Brexiteer which didn’t sound like a carbon copy of a Trumpeter. Fear of non whites and immigrants demonized by these reality TV leaders who tune into their entrenched racist fears like a hillbilly banjo.
Feeding them lines, composed by algorithms, that they recite like slow witted chimpanzees. Unable to assemble two lines of critical thought without repeating the words from their last line, which they cant remember, but would if only the in between onset Alzheimer’s wasn’t so; overwhelmingly confusing.
Only the certainly of what He said will keep them safe from new ideas. Blind belief. The bliss of ignorance. The good old days before all this foreign food. Raw fish? Raw cow by any other fancy French name is still raw cow? So un British. Not like a good ole Tikka Marsala.
Its funny how the same sponsoring names appear between Putin and both Brexit and Trumpeting financing – Mercer – with the same end beneficiary in both. The same element of surprise in the thinking of both losing sides. The Cambridge Analytica invoices. Its almost like a fix for the stupids. A coup for the super rich. What happened to that story about their hidden tax dodge bank accounts? Like Bono and his U2 publishing money?
Flag saluting patriots paying their taxes and waiting for their white privilege to kick in. While Putin must wonder at how at how easy it was to remove NATO with mostly Christian conservative funding.
25 years from now people will look back on both the Trumpeters and the Brexiteers as two sides of the same coin. Played by the same fiddlers conducted by Vlad and his impaled Orange.
Your either a right wing conservative christian, or you are a human being. That’s the boolian conclusion of the age. “Them that know know that they know. Them that don’t know, don’t know they don’t know.”
I will wager not one of your Brexit/Trump children will look back in 25 years and say.
Gee thanks for that Mom and Dad.
Good job. You really thought that one through.