Friday, 24 June 2016
God knows I am not a financial genius, shit I don't even look at bank statements, so I could imagine there are people lined up around the block to question how it is that I even get to have a say in the UK referendum about the EU. I can see how lots of folk would question my right as an out and proud Aussie of financial idiot status but as it happens I did have the right and I used it.
For 7 years I worked in London schools and because I was there long enough and because I stumped up the cash and because I passed the entry exam, I was granted British citizenship. I had studied for the test cos I am a high achiever and didn't want to get any questions wrong and cos I didn't want to have to pay to sit it again. On the day, I admit to being a bit nervous. But pass it I did. 100% - what a smart arse huh? I was surprised that on the day there were all sorts of folk sitting the test, but not the same test, cos it came in as many different languages as there were participants, and I just thought that was a bit rich. Surely some basic language skills wasn't asking too much in exchange for a passport?
But I had become aware that being familiar with the language was not a requirement for anything much. In the school system, anyone from any country in the EU who had regional qualifications, whether or not they spoke English, were automatically able to apply for and get a job in the state school system. Aussies and Canadians and Kiwis and South Africans had to gain further qualifications in basic literacy, numeracy and IT shit before they could be employed for longer than a year. Their qualifications were also tested up the wazoo and I remember having to go back to my Uni from 1979 and beg for a transcript of my results and then again for my second turn at uni '92. The certificates were not sufficient. And fair enough too, cos it pays to be careful with the futures of your young people. But the EU did not encourage a level playing field, and I can say hand on heart that some of the language barriers and quite possibly the less rigorous qualifications did the British kids no favours. Oh sure there were shit teachers from OZ who were there for a jolly time but most did a pretty good job.
So this isn't a financial argument. It is a questioning of how long should a country continue to just do as it's told? The rules and regulations as far as I can tell, which as we have already established is not far, are just not in Britain's favour. The rules and regulations are designed to bring a 'sameness' to the whole of Europe, and if that means robbing Peter to pay Paul, well that's more than OK it's morally just and fair. Except that I don't think it is.
I don't think it's wrong for British people to wave their own flag. I reckon when the English fans are singing at Twickenham and waving the St George flag, and the same goes for the Welsh and the Scots and the Irish and as a union they can all proudly sing 'God Save the Queen', well that sense of national pride is something worth bottling. There should be absolutely zero shame involved in being proud of your country.
I don't want to see a homogeneous Europe. Countries aught to proudly wear their differences.
If poorer countries need help then they aught to ask for help, the EU should not mandate that those that have stuff need to give it to those that don't.
The very mantra of 'FROM according to ability and TO according to need' is just tiresome and ineffective.
If the kid who brings a big hearty lunch to school every day, has it ripped from their grasp and it's handed over to some skinny hungry kid, then I can understand why the 'lucky' kid might instead go home for lunch, or hide away until they've finished it. They might well be all too happy to share, but the sharing by force or dictate or mandate understandably will wear thin. And I reckon this is why the vote has come down in favour of leaving the EU. British people are just sick and tired of being told how to be and what to be and how much to give away and to whom.
No this is not a lefty position. No apologies for that.
I am sure that there will be great disagreement with this post. And that's OK, cos that's the beauty of a democracy, we all have a voice and a vote and today that comes out loudly in support of leaving the EU.