At once, sad … and embarrassed.
I can’t quite gauge the mood of the country following Brexit at 11pm on Friday. (By ‘country’ – of course – I refer to the United Kingdom.) I can still remember my shock at the outcome of the Referendum in 2016 when the vote to leave the European Union was higher than that to remain, albeit by a margin of only 3.78%. Anything but a unique reaction, my feelings were shared by many. Nobody seemed to really know what was at stake as the country was subjected to scaremongering and political spin at its most effective. Immigration seemed to be the key but much was driven by emotion rather than fact. Water under the bridge. What followed was three years of political mayhem, damaging to the country, parties and individuals alike. As though all around was stagnating, figuratively speaking, it was all one could do to block one’s ears. Stay calm and carry on. Throughout it all, however, there was one whinging voice which never faltered …
So, it’s over. Accept and move on. My feeling is one of sadness. Last Monday, 27th January, marked the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz and, once more, we were forced to contemplate the harrowing atrocities to which so many were subjected – at the hands of their fellow human beings. Am I alone in feeling shame? The depravity of man knows no bounds.
Forewarned is to be forearmed. Thus were sown the seeds of the European Union whose aim was one of peace between neighbours and, in 1957, the Treaty of Rome saw the formation of the European Economic Community (EEC) or ‘Common Market’. Britain joined on 1st January, 1973. As Maurice Chevalier sang, in Gigi, I remember it well …
History and a reminder of good intentions. Forty-seven years later, the age-old lust for power has, admittedly, cast its shadow over the original script but the ‘words’ may still be deciphered. Their echo is a stark warning and sovereignty does not come free of charge. Independence may, also, be a precursor to isolation. In 2020, the world is a scary place and, seemingly, hellbent on the path to self-destruction. Volatile in the extreme, I feel we have discarded allies with a smugness fit to wound and enrage. Strength in numbers? The logic is obvious. Divided we fall? Only the future will tell. For now, it feels like an acrimonious divorce and that oh, so green grass on the other side may, well, turn out to be astroturf!
‘At a time of uncertainty in world affairs, Europe gives us a far better chance of peace and security and, if we want our children to continue to enjoy the benefits of peace, our best course of action is to stay in Europe.’
Margaret Thatcher, North London, 19th May 1975.
Good grief! It may be forty-five years on but does Nicola realise that her prime bargaining tool in her ego’s quest for permanent recognition – on the face of it – aligns her with her historic nemesis, albeit with regard to Europe only? Put it this way, I question Ms Sturgeon’s integrity in her support of EU membership. While, in 2014, she was demanding Scotland’s independence, that meant nothing more to her than cutting ties with Westminster full-stop – and regardless! The United Kingdom, then – as a whole – democratically voted to leave the EU and suddenly independence, in the true sense, was irrelevant. Answerable to Brussels? Who cares! 62% of Scots voted to remain in the EU so … No! I voted to remain and, I can assure you, I would rather be staked to an anthill naked than put a cross in a box for Scottish independence!
Embarrassment and the ‘whinging voice which never faltered’ … Do not be fooled into thinking she has Scotland’s best interests at heart. She has, continually, proven that her ego dwarfs any responsibility to her country. Scotland’s First Minister for the last six years, she has squandered vast amounts of time and money on her quest for personal recognition; her place in history. As leader of the elected governing party, she has a responsibility to Scotland with regard to – first and foremost – education, policing and the health service, to name but a few. Has she read the job description? She has neglected them all, fixating, instead, on indyref2. The divisive referendum of 2014 was to be ‘once in a generation’ but she lost and the resulting tantrum is showing no signs of abating. Yes, she has her faction of support content to turn a blind eye to the blatant neglect of services but her ‘power’ lies in inciting bitterness and aggression with a total disregard for intellect. A caustic combination but, one must hope, limiting at best. Still, pulling in the ‘green’ vote, she managed to secure the right to superglue the EU flag to its post above the Scottish Parliament building railroading over the impartial status of Holyrood’s governing body and disregarding the fact that Scotland is part of the United Kingdom and the United Kingdom has ‘left the building’!
Once more with feeling. Slightly alarmed that, while Ms Sturgeon sees fit to squander a valuable afternoon debating the fate of a flag in office hours – as Scotland’s economy continues to crumble around her – a town in the Netherlands, Leeuwarden, is reported to have replaced the Union Jack with a Saltire in its line of EU flags. It beggars belief! What is going on? Ah, I see. I don’t agree so I’ll just ignore. Excellent. No boundaries. Every man for himself. Scotland is partof the United Kingdom and the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU. The Saltire has no place in a line of EU flags – as of Friday. Confused? We all are. It appears, however, that anything goes … Donald Tusk, former head of the European Council, is, meanwhile, continuing the playground mentality by suggesting that the EU would welcome an application for membership from an independent Scotland. Seriously? The word ‘retribution’ comes to mind. In layman’s terms, that’s payback!
So much to say about so much more but, never fear, I have run out of time! Permit me to leave you with a question: if all the nominees for last night’s (Monday, now, as I write) BAFTAs had been black, would there have been any complaint? Rhetorical. The tyranny of tolerance or merely a nod to merit? I would hope the latter.
‘Whoever gains the palm by merit, let him hold it.’
Lord Nelson, attributed, Day’s Collacon.
This is Trish, signing off.