It’s been a while since my last post. Brexit really has put a spanner in the works. Nothing will ever be the same again. That’s true regardless of how it ends.
Before that black day in 2016, this blog had developed not only into a twin blog (one Norwegian, the other English). The Norwegian blog was the nynorsk variant, and I was actually quite proud of it. The twin blogs were both designed in the
But then came Brexit. They’re now realising that it’s more than a political question they straight off not thinking might support Brits in, and my fellow Norwegians are beginning to see the momentousness of what this dreadful Brexit means. I knew on the 24th June, as I made my way back home from holiday in Berlin that nothing would ever be the same again.
Firstly I couldn’t continue blogging in my old school colours when Brexit self evidently had driven a wedge between me and my home community. The views of some of its people – people I had grown up with – disgust me as much as mine apparently irritate them. So at least it is mutual.
The Norwegian blog has therefore been archived under an earlier WordPress theme (since it was only later that I had coupled it together as a “twin” of the English blog, and employed the same design), and the English blog prior to that black day in 2016 likewise archived together with its “school” theme. This post-Brexit version was launched in 2017, and now we are entering the final straight as it were, I shall start it up for one last slog.
That is what it is. I find it incredibly sad, and hard. This isn’t about politics so much as it is about values that I thought my life had been built upon. I find Brexit retrospectively destroys my formative years. I’m convinced my repulsive Brexit voting peer group will (albeit too late) realize that it has destroyed its own childhood and identity.
That is what I shall attempt to write about in these final weeks. I don’t find it easy, either to voice such existential questions, or indeed to define and explain them. Yet now, we are at the moment of truth.
During the God awful referendum campaign in the United Kingdom, I was often corresponding with my erstwhile friends and compatriots, people among whom I had grown and should now be living had fate not brought me here to Norway nearly three decades ago, and I despaired over their prejudices. They had decided the issue. Facts didn’t matter. Forty years (or so they thought; actually it is at least sixty) of what it meant to be a country were going to be ripped up in an angry protest. Strangely enough, it was not the successive governments that had done the diverse things with which they were dissatisfied, but the European Union that was from day one singled out to be the scapegoat for everything. OK, I’m going over old areas again.
Well now hard information – I shall not say “facts” because it seems my generation cannot understand “facts”, or else the word clearly means something very different to how I have always understood it – has finally started to come out. My former school pals assure me they always knew that the hype about £350 million for their health service was just that, but that they (as pointed out above) had predetermined how they were going to vote beforehand, and as we have already seen regardless of any “facts” or other information that “experts” might tell them. Who indeed can forget that you were all so “tired of experts”…
So information – facts – is now starting to be available at hand. Not, I’m sure, that the people I once grew up with are yet interested in it. Yet they ought to be: within a few more months, it will be their own reality. It won’t be something that they need to read here or anywhere else. Brexit is going to be extremely damaging just as I told you it would be.
Readers of my blog will already know what I think about the British referendum.
This isn’t going to be a long post. It’s about deceit, and a special type of deceit my late father used to call “false pretences”.
There are people who say that, however small the victory, the British voters had their “democratic” contest – I think I’d rather characterise it as some grand “tug of war” – and that is it. Those who protested from the start that the referendum was expressly legislated as not binding are simply not playing “fair”, or so the argument goes.
Yet all I am going to do here is juxtapose two videos. In the first we see that many of those who now complain actually did try to put a reasonable safeguard into the process (that is to say a “supermajority” or a threshold). In most countries you cannot bring about a huge constitutional change on a slim majority. Their amendment was rejected, but these same people were assured then that this was no big deal: the referendum was not binding. That one could argue, was an assurance crucial to the passing of the bill in the first place. Some of the MPs probably would not have voted for the referendum if they had not got this assurance.
So without further ado, the two videos. Firstly, there is THIS from BEFORE the referendum:
Our Country Gone in Sixty Seconds – David Lidington’s infamous confirmation that the EU referendum was ADVISORY only, thereby dismissing the acceptance of Amendment 16 – the need for a supermajority which would have prevented the many being dictated by the few. pic.twitter.com/4PkqBUUiA3
— Brexitshambles #FBPE (@brexit_sham) March 9, 2018
and then there is THIS now that Article 50 has been served:
A flavour of what’s going on in the Lords atm pic.twitter.com/tFy6BazjwK
— Esther Webber (@estwebber) March 14, 2018
See the problem? My late father would have undoubtedly have said that the referendum bill passed on false pretences.
Both of the above videoes are embedded from Twitter. You can find them here https://twitter.com/brexit_sham/status/972239717281554432?s=19 and here https://twitter.com/estwebber/status/973967483823706113
This blog will no longer be available in the UK after 29th March 2019
Whatever your opinion of Brexit, if you are a reader of this blog you will know that I see it as a cataclysmic change. That is true even though I now live in Norway, and indeed have spent half my life here. The catastrophic vote of June 23rd 2016 was a very black day. Through this blog I had cultivated that identity I used to think that I shared with the community I grew up in, through common values taught in my formative years. The very colour scheme of Yorkshire Viking was a living memorial to a bye gone age, and the defunct school uniform of the former (now demolished) Adwick School. Yet, as I have written previously, Brexit marked the permanent break; it was a “before and after” like none I had ever experienced. Brexit has broken up the last bonds that bind.
Of course, I follow developments in the UK every day. Today I read this blog post by John Fitzgerald. With his permission, I am reposting it here. You can find the original at https://johngfitzgerald.blogspot.no/2018/03/brexit-has-ground-to-halt.html
Brexit has ground to a halt!
Amid all the sound and fury of conflicting opinions about Britain’s future relationship with Europe, one startling fact stands out: Brexit is going nowhere. Secretary of State for Exiting the EU Davis has not attended a single meeting in Brussels this year. There are no negotiations going on about the transition period or the future trade relationship because the exit agreement, which must come first, has stalled on the difficult issue of the Irish border. Draft heads of agreement were exchanged between London and Brussels in December 2017 but Sec Davis disowned these terms within 24 hours of the agreement in principle. He subsequently backtracked his backtracking and the issue was generally assumed to have been resolved. In fact it was parked by HMG, in the hope some magical solution would be found and nothing was resolved, as is now obvious.