National Embarrassments

82138539_2949435168423679_1034702001503469568_o.jpgIt’s now just under 36 hours before we cease to be part of the EU (apart from all those pesky loose ends to tie up).  I’ll be marking it tomorrow night, together with 60+ other British exiles and their Swedish sambos, here in Stockholm in the Tudor Arms pub. (I’ll try to remember to post pictures.) I’ll be interested to see and read in the British media how the event passes off in Brexitland. I do hope there are some counter-demonstrations.

I watched Farage’s departing speech in Brussels yesterday: the one where his little cadre waved plastic Union flags and had to be cut off by the chairwoman. Cringe-worthy; and yet he’s the personification of Britain just now for millions of Europeans. We already in England have a category of ‘National Treasures’: Her Maj, Alan Bennett, Dame Judy Dench, and so on. It’s about time we had a new category for ‘National Embarrassments’. Nigel Farage would have to come top of that list; followed by Boris, Rees-Mogg, and most of the remainder of the Brexit ‘chiefs’. How come we’re now represented by such a bunch of dangerous comedians? Can it be all the fault of Monty Python? Or the Public schools?

It was good however – indeed quite moving – to see the main body of the European Parliament standing up and singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ as the Brits departed:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?

Some even had tears in their eyes, Kajsa noticed. The Swedes have been particularly upset by Brexit; firstly because they rather like us (and Monty Python), but also because they regarded Britain as an ally with them in many of the EU’s disputes over, for example, closer unity. Now they feel relatively friendless. Generously, none of my Swedish friends blames me personally. As a demi-Swede now myself, however, I can’t help blaming the majority of my old countrymen (and women?) for not seeing through the comedy, and electing these clowns.

I’ve just finished my chapter on ‘The Battle for Brexit’. It’s main theme is that it wasn’t about Brexit at all. I’ve written it as the final contribution to a collection of essays on the broad theme of ‘Britain and Europe’ that I’ve published obscurely over the years. Because the book hasn’t been finally accepted for publication yet – I don’t think collections of essays sell well, unless they’re by national treasures – it may never appear in print. I may post it here sometime; though it’s rather long for that. It’s 15,000 words. Perhaps I could post it in chunks? But I’ll wait to see what my publisher has to say first.

Happy Independence Day to all! I’ll be getting pissed.

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2 Responses to National Embarrassments

  1. Hold on!

    “I can’t help blaming the majority of my old countrymen (and women?) for not seeing through the comedy, and electing these clowns.”

    A bit of mathematical pedantry reveals that the majority of us DIDN’T vote either for brexit or Conservative. 52% of 70% of registered voters is not a majority of UK citizens, and more of those who voted last month voted against the Tories than for them! (43.6% of votes cast were for Conservatives – and turnout was less than 70%). So don’t blame the majority for the mess – blame the system!

    Liked by 1 person

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