(or Fear and Loathing near Lowestoft) – A YES SCOTLAND’s FUTURE BLOG POST.
So just back from a road trip to visit family and friends in deepest Suffolk. Had not planned it as such but it happened to fall a few days after the Brexit vote. Like many of you I woke up on that Friday with a feeling of dread at what people in England and parts of Wales had voted for. By the time me and my family were in the car travelling down on the Monday it was already obvious there was no plan by the Brexiteers and money was falling out of the UK like snow off a dyke. International Credit ratings company Standards and Poor downgraded the UK to AA from AAA, a fact that will impact on anyone with a mortgage.Previously in 2014, Better Together stated that being AAA rated benefited Scottish ‘No’ voters.
Cameron had already resigned and handed the poison chalice of the office of PM to his political enemies saying a new leader would be elected by October. Boris Johnson had gone very quiet and Osbourne had also gone missing in action so to speak, but we know there are certain clubs in London where he could be found if you looked hard enough.(cough,sniff)
Boris Leading people up the garden path
Later on that day I learned with amazement that plucky Iceland defeated the English Football team 2-1 at the Euro Championships. Roy Hodgson , England Manager promptly resigned. Petrol stations were fully stocked with EU footie memorabilia that was not moving from the shelves very fast.The same day I also learned that Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn was facing an uphill task to fill posts in his shadow cabinet after over 46 of his ‘comrades’ resigned in an attempt to oust him from the leadership of the Labour Party despite having widespread support from the party membership. I had clearly picked an important week to go on holiday, resignation wise.
On arrival at our destination we had a few days of visiting local villages and beaches, all very pleasant, but all the time I was hearing reports on social media about the surge in hate crime against EU citizens working in England.There was a spate of ‘ We voted you out, so why are you still here’ stories, many targeted at health care staff. This indicates some of the hardline right actually believed they were voting for some kind of repatriation! The Pandora’s Box of vile hatred had been well and truly opened.
Reassuringly Police Scotland reported no increase in hate crimes for the same period, reinforcing something very tangibly different between our two societies (No Margaret Thatcher’s ghost we do have such a thing as a society in Scotland.)
The part of the world we were visiting is quite rural and agricultural with vast areas of land under cultivation. Large sways of it are owned by single landlords who rent out accommodation to people who live and work in the area. Fuedalism is alive and well. I learned that the area where we were staying was as far as the eye could see owned by one man. He was as they say ‘super rich’, paying other people to run his farming operation and most of the year spending time enjoying his wealth either on the yacht on the Mediterranean or the one in the Caribbean. Brexit does not matter to people at his level, he is above the fall out, just like the rest of the elite at Westminster that caused it to happen. Like the Gods of Ancient Greece they like to think they can sit on Mount Olympus and play with peoples lives.
Later in the week we journeyed into Kent. A mixed economy of agriculture and shipping and distribution linked to the local ports. Margate was also the Ayr, Largs, or Girvan of the working class of London before the boom in Spanish holidays. Margate has been very run down for a very long time until recently and as well as Lottery and other external funds, EU funding has helped to turn the the place around.Irony overload as most of the people who kept this place alive in the past now have holiday homes in Spain.
Dreamland in Margate.
After another leg of the road trip we returned to Suffolk where I met someone I had met 2 years before. Let’s call him Carlos as I do not want to get him into trouble. He is a talented young man from Iberia/Spain/Portugal. Having lived and worked in the area for many years he has two children and is now a manager in Health and Social Care looking after the areas most vulnerable people. We had spoken at Indyref time two years ago so he was eager to hear my views. We chatted and it was clear we were of the same view.With me apologising for the Scottish weather I still promised him a welcome in Scotland. He was genuinely concerned about his future and the lack of reassurances coming from a leaderless UK government.
Not so in Scotland where we can be proud of the leadership of our government.Nicola Sturgeon was very quick to act in making reassuring statements. Not only that she jump started Scotland’s future in Europe by getting off the blocks faster than Usain Bolt by getting talks started with EU leaders and today EU Consul staff. Well done Nicola. So all in all a momentous week. The last of the resignations was of Head Brexit Rat ,Nigel Farage, or we like to call him, Nigel Fake Rage. Like the rich Suffolk farmer he can go off and spend his M.E.P. salary and offshore funds without a care. Leaving the mess he helped to create behind him.Its only Carlos and you and me who will struggle with this. These career politicians playing with peoples lives to ratify their own egos has to stop. The ultimate result of Brexit and the battle for leadership of the conservative party will be to unleash a new and even more sinister politics in the UK where all we have taken for granted will be rolled back. I was right to feel fear and loathing but I can never say I dislike English people. They are my friends and as one of our best actors Peter Mullen said during the Independence Referendum, ‘We want neighbours , not masters’.If any E.U. workers do not like the way they are being treated in English I repeat my invitation I gave to Carlos. You are welcome hear. Come in, Come in,It’s nice to see you, How’s yourself you are looking grand! Obgrigada; Gracias.Help us to build a bigger better more prosperous Scotland for all our people. G