If you own your house, based on my Swiss life, you tend to fence it in. Perhaps you want to keep unwanted elements out and prevent invasions from people wanting to steal something. I live on an estate, ground floor appartment and we have no fences. It is open territoriy, any cat, dog, or other unwanted elements can invade my territory, dig in my garden and create havoc by depositing its recycled material.
Is this perhaps the reason why Brexit happened? I mean you cannot really blame the british for leaving this EU club. They were independent for years, having fun changing their money into DM, Lira or French francs when visiting the others. It was part of going on holiday and then one day it was all reduced to something called a Euro, we even got a special letter on our computer keyboards, €, to emphasise it.
One day there was a guy called Edward Heath, prime minister of England. He might have been bored, or perhaps he was taking geography lessons at evening classes. He discovered there was another world across the english channel and so he decided it would be a good idea to join in. This was the first referendum that England had, they could vote to join this paradise across the english channel. Now I am not going political on my blog, there are lots of reasons for the European common market, as it was then called, but being from a working class family, in the East End of London, where anything you got cheap was a bargain, no-one really thought about the political or economic consequences at this time. I was already married and living in Switzerland and so watched the developments from Europe with interest.
England voted and the majority said “Yes” meaning they became fully fledged members of the European community. At this time no-one spoke about Euros, liters or Kilos and road distances and tachometers on cars were all mileage, so what could possibly go wrong. The main plus in my british community seemed to be cheap booze. Let us jump on a ferry to Calais on the french coast: the newly opened supermarkets selling inferior quality wine and other alcoholic drinks were waiting for the ship loads of brits. The Brits had grown up with beer, mild and bitter, guiness and whatever it was called. Now they got an appetite for beaujolais, chardonnay, macon, etc. etc. but as we know one swallow does not mean that summer has arrived. My friends in England now had bottles of wine on the sideboard instead of beer in the fridge. Of course, they kept the white wine in the fridge as they knew it should be served cold. This was probably the main reason why most of them only bought white wine, because it came from the fridge.
Then one day, later, the European common market decided to become the EU, bigger larger and everyone was to get closer together. Gone was the cheap booze opportunities. The French had been selling their lower class wine sorts to the British and this was finished. The english had become experts. The british then discovered their £ was in danger, the currency. They had already adapted to a decimal system, there were no longer 20 shillings in the pound but something decimal like, called a “p”. And then this EU began to make laws on the strength of a vacuum cleaner motor, the amount of watts allowed in an electric light bulb. The prime minister of Great Britain wanted exceptions for his country within this new Europe, he got a few, but not enough and so it came to pass there was a second referendum. In Switzerland referendums are almost our daily bread. We have a direct democracy and they turn up about 6 times a year approximately. Great Britian have them perhaps twice a centuary. They had had their referendum and almost half said keep Europe and the rest said let’s go: London wanted to stay and so did Scotland.
It is not that the english do not like the Europeans, but let’s face it, they are different. I remember when my dad would visit in Switzerland and we would have a meal in a restaurant. Of course there was no meat pie or fish and chips, but perhaps pasta with an italian sauce, or rice combined with veal in a cream sauce (the english do not eat veal). He would eat it with the remark to his lady friend that “They like that sort of thing”, they being us, the others and Switerland never even entered the EU, but we were still the others. We spoke differently, served the beer in deciliters – not in pints, and weighed everything in grammes and kilos.
The british prime minister has now also decided to go. I think they will keep the queen, who is refusing to talk to President Obama when he visits Great Britain because he found they should have stayed. In the meanwhile there will be new elections and rumour has it that the descendent of Oliver Cromwell is being searched for as perhaps the last rescue for the honour of britain.
This happens to be my own way of looking at things. Many will disagree, but please this is not a serious work of politics. It is my way of looking at things, after all I have a Swiss passport and I will definitely no longer renew my british passport.