More about the UK and the EU

Writing is taking a bit of a back seat at the moment. Being a passionate Europhile and form believer in the benefits we in the UK have reaped through membership in the EU I have been a little bit down and finding my mind a little torn in other directions than writing. Sorry for anyone who wanted to get updates on my writing but it's just not happening at the moment.

Well after nearly a week since Brexit the falls in the FTSE 100 have been reversed; in fact the FTSE has closed higher today than it was before the referendum. The FTSE 250 too is seeing a fairly impressive rebound although it is still considerably below where it was. But I fear this is not indicative of our future merely that the markets are playing a let's see. I'm sure we are in for more turbulent times in the future.

Now I'm not going to go on about how I consider this to be a wrong decision. I'm not going to bemoan my fate. After all whether or not I consider the decision right or wrong it is now the ONLY decision. This is the world we are now living in and we need to just get on with it. I just hope that all my fellow UK folk now get over it and remember we all have to live together in this country.

Of course I'm not sure that's going to happen any time soon. Since the vote I've seen reports of many, many racist incidents from around this country; a country I previously liked considering as being very tolerant to others. I'm hoping this is the usual effect of a 24 hour news media needing to find things to report and that these incidents really are as rare as I would hope. After all it is entirely possible that the seven or eight incidents I have seen (of men wearing T shirts telling foreigners to go home for instance) are all that there have been. I fear this is not the case but I can dream can't I?

Anyway we are moving towards a new age. We will have a new Prime Minister in weeks; maybe we will have a new leader of the Opposition if Jeremy Corbyn doesn't weather the current storm within the Labour Party. Hopefully this can all settle down so that our politicians can start giving us the kind of leadership we are going to need as Brexit becomes a reality rather than just a referendum result. After all it is what we elect them for.

Some years ago (about twenty if I am honest) I was involved a little in politics. I walked many pavements delivering leaflets through letterboxes and campaigning on the doorstep. I was part of campaigns that saw three councillors elected so we must have been doing something right. But when it came to it I didn't really feel I was cut out for a life in politics. I had the chance. One or two of the others I knew back than were sure I would make a decent candidate for a future election I just wasn't so sure. You see I have a habit of answering questions when they are asked of me and answering them honestly. I don't try to evade things. I don't try to spin things to my advantage and I own up to my mistakes (not something that has always helped my career).

Looking back on it from this position I am beginning to feel a little regret for not staying in the game - even if it had continued to be a backroom capacity. But I didn't. So my only outlet for my thoughts is this blog - one that I believe is read by ten or so people at most. I guess I should have considered doing a VLOG if I wanted more people to listen to me - reading seems to have become so passé. Not sure I want to put my face in front of the camera though. It's possibly why I like the idea of writing novels; that I can do without anyone seeing me and without the need to dress up or anything. (Although I would actually like to stress I am always fully dressed when at my PC; and never in scruffs. I am wearing a shirt, collar buttoned down, as I type. I don't earn tee shirts or shorts. I just like feeling well turned out.)

I'm meandering again. The point of this was to say we, all of us in the UK, are where we are and it's pointless bemoaning a single part of it. What is done is done and we should instead be concentrating all our energies on the future and making the best of it we can.

We are a incredibly diverse nation; we have along history of accepting incomers and absorbing them into our society; taking influence from them. If you doubt this try Googling how many chicken tikkas were sold in restaurants last year. Once you've done this go back to Google and type in Mo Farah and click on images. You'll see a mass of photos of Mo Farah draped in the Union Flag holding the medals he won for this country. Mo Farah was born in Mogadishu, Somalia but is British. Sir Bradley Wiggins was born in Belgium; his father was Australian. Three of the England cricket captains were born outside this country (Nasser Hussain in India, Andrew Strauss and Kevin Pietersen in South Africa). I could go through many other fields, other than sport, and find so many examples of people who have come the UK and enriched it with their presence. I hope we never pull up the drawbridge.

And even if we don't look at such high profile people the vast majority of incomers have been a benefit to this country. You see in purely economic terms we need them.  The native population of these islands is aging. The bargain the government made with them (a lifetime of tax paying for security in old age) needs to be kept which places a larger benefit on the younger members of society (of whom there are comparatively fewer due to decreasing birth rates since baby boomer times) and so incomers, most of whom are of working age, are needed to boost tax revenues.

And as for the NHS, one of the central footballs kicked around in the recent campaign by both sides, can you imagine how it would cope without the access to overseas skilled workforce.

Now I know it has been suggested that we adopt an Australian points based system to control immigration but I don't think this is the best way of handling things. For one thing we need a high number of unskilled manual workers, not just the highly skilled. Just talk to a farmer who needs a large workforce of fruit pickers for instance.

The case for the benefits of immigration needs to be made as we are almost certainly going to have a fair degree of freedom of movement for workers. I wish it had been made twenty years ago but it wasn't. Never mind; no point fretting on that now.

The future is uncertain. But one thing is certain. We need to become whole again. We need to mend the wounds that have been opened up in the last few weeks/months. And then we need to start building new bridges to our friends in Europe. We need to work with them whether we are in the EU or not. Hopefully we can all collectively grow up, calm down and get on with it.


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