Frankly, I welcome Britain becoming more cosmopolitan. I got used to living in a cosmopolitan city for nearly ten years before I moved to Ashbourne, and when I arrived here and found that everybody was white and spoke with a Derbyshire accent, I felt uncomfortable. It all seemed so one-dimensional, so weak and pale and pasty. It was then that I realised how much more colourful and vibrant cosmopolitan cultures are. And the fact isn’t lost upon me that, for all its faults, America became the most powerful country on earth on the back of a cosmopolitan culture. And it’s still recognisably American.
One of the local farmers has a sign by his gate saying Vote Leave. He’s a nice man and I like him, but he’s an elderly white man who I’m sure remembers the days when Britain had an empire, and is still convinced that Britain is a major force in the world. This is another leading component of the Leave mentality: Britain used to be great, and can be again if only we throw off the yoke of European bureaucracy.
Let’s face it, Britain stopped being a major force after WWII. We are still a significant player in world affairs, but no more than that. And the world has changed immeasurably in that time, becoming ever more internationalised. Much of Britain’s economy is based on foreign investment, but it isn’t Britain foreigners want to invest in because Britain isn’t big enough; it’s the European market they want.
And so tomorrow, we – a little island off the north-west coast of Europe – might be set adrift and forced to go it alone in a world run by the big power players of America, Europe and China, and all because of small minded xenophobia and hopelessly outdated delusions of greatness. And by the way, Noam Chomsky – one of the foremost minds on the planet and an American to boot – says that if Britain leaves the EU, it will come more under the influence of America. He went on to say that this is probably not a good thing.
OK, so let’s add something to the farmer’s notice:
Become America’s Poodle
But maybe I shouldn’t care. I’m an internationalist at heart and I expect I always shall be, so maybe I won’t.
And do you know what? I had a reply to one of my comments on YouTube last night. It said: You make me ashamed to be English. Oh well, that’s my good deed for the week.
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And on yet another unrelated note (see last post), I came to the aid of a damsel in distress today. As I walked across the car park I saw her trying unsuccessfully and with mounting frustration to get a bike out of the back of her car.
‘Would you like a second pair of hands?’ I asked her.
And so I got the bike out of the car. It was actually quite easy, and I do so like helping damsels in distress when it’s actually quite easy.