Saturday, 16 April 2016

Cheap wine and poetry…

Do I really want to be part of a union that locks up a comedian just for saying something in a silly poem that pokes fun at another country's leader? Do I really think it’s okay that freedom of speech is burnt on the altar simply to placate the ego of some pompous Turkish politician who has found a little power and is screwing us all for all it’s worth? Am I prepared to increasingly keep my mouth shut simply because some faceless Eurocrat decides to make it illegal for me to speak my mind in 'tongue in cheek' jest?

Well, what do you think?

I’ve been pondering hard about Europe recently. Well I think I owe it to Britain because I didn’t think too much about it back in 1975 when I voted in the last EU referendum. It was the first time I’d been eligible to vote and the young and optimistic me voted to stay in the EEC, as it was called then, along with 67% of voters. After all what had we to lose? It was only a trading agreement and cheap wine was a great idea.

So here I am over forty years later making my choice again. I’m not so young or optimistic now and what was sold to us as a trading agreement has turned out to be something else altogether. Yes, there’s plenty of cheap wine in Britain these days, much more than in the seventies, the supermarkets are awash with it, but I find myself disturbed by what Europe has become and what it means for the Britain of the future.

Listen I’m no patriot. I’m a cynical bloke who doesn't believe much of what I'm fed and leaves the jingo and Churchillian claptrap for those that like to wear a Union Jack or flag of St George draped around their shoulders. But to be honest we were a very successful island nation for a very long time before we 'joined' Europe, a lot longer than we have been members of the EU. So why all of a sudden do we feel threatened by not being part of the same Europe we have spent most of our history defending ourselves against? The Romans, French, Vikings, Spanish and Germans have all had a go at us at one time or another, but we survived – incorporated them sometimes. Why should we be concerned by being outside of their gang? And they are a gang believe me, a gang who will do what gangs always do and gang up to push their view.

At the moment I’m thinking very carefully, doing my research and looking at the bigger picture in order to make an informed decision. But there’s one thing I’m already sure of, you can keep your cheap wine and I’ll keep my right to rhyme Hunt with cunt and call Cameron a pig shagger because the second we start locking up people for what they say or think we are just a few small steps away from the Gulags of Russia and the political prisons of China and I’m not signing up for that even if it does mean more expensive wine.

What have we to lose? Think about it, I am.

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