Sunday 4 November 2012

England, my England

I'm confused. I live next door to people I don't know. I'm not that bothered about knowing them and given that no overtures have been made, I'm guessing they're quite happy with that arrangement. In the main we rub along okay. They occasionally have a party and make a noise, I occasionally tell everybody on Twitter how annoying it was and that's about the limit of our interaction.

I have no doubt that should our road get flooded, or an earthquake blight our little corner of England, we would help each other to safety if needs be. Then, being British, we'd maybe shake hands, or shrug, say something enigmatic and insincere about not grumbling and get on with our separate little lives. Thereafter maybe a wave of acknowledgement in passing or a hurried "hello" on the infrequent meeting.

But should they decide to have relatives over to stay I'd be mighty pissed off to arrive home and find them camping out in my living room. Similarly, a raid on my kitchen cupboards, the uninvited use of my car or the viewing of Eastenders on my telly, under my licence would earn them a look of my sternest disapproval. I would show them the door and lock it after them.

I wouldn't pay them to go somewhere else, nor would I be evenly remotely interested in chipping in to pay for something I don't want in a part of town I never visit, for the benefit of people I will never know, who haven't asked for that help and don't even need it in the first place. That would be utterly ridiculous. None of that has anything to do with me. I should be free to choose who I assist. Or not.

That's how I'd like it to be with Europe. The sometimes annoying neighbour, who we could occasionally help out in a crisis, but who would otherwise just keep the hell out of our affairs. And there's no reason in the world why that couldn't be the case. For all the bollocks spouted about how we can't do this and we can't do that, of course we can. We simply announce we're shutting the door and locking the larder. How hard can it really be?

Europe, you outstayed your welcome and it's time to go home. And if anybody still believes that the EU is a force for good, you should cast your eyes over this recent Telegraph article. And when, over the next two years, you start to see lots of YOUR money being spent on the campaign to persuade you that the EU is a good thing, please remember that this is exactly what happened in 1975. Don't get fooled again.

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