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You have screwed up badly..become our Prime Minister,Theresa May!!

Theresa May, the current Prime Minister and head of the Conservative Party thought that she could turn a small majority in the parliament into a huge majority by going back on months long promises of NOT having an election and called a surprise election in the UK just two years after the previous one. The result was that she LOST a number of seats, lost the majority in the Parliament and now has to enter a coalition of forms with another party.

Most would agree that this is a SERIOUS screw up, so sizeable that most other self-respecting politicians would hand in their resignation. Not so Theresa May. To pretend that all is good after such a huge error of assessment is quite astonishing. Odd!!!

 

Waking up to a different world! Brexit and democracy!

“On Friday 24 June 2016 the world changed…” could be a line in history books of the future about what happened last night, After a very divisive and extremely negative campaign, the UK voted in a referendum against remaining in the EU and for leaving it. And this shook the world! I stayed up for a large part of the night because I was working on the “Dublin Event Guide” and I saw it happening. Tiny margins, swinging between Leave and Remain and Leave again and Remain again and then LEAVE.

I have to admit that I am shocked about the result! I am shocked about the narrowmindedness of the 17mio British people who voted “Leave”. I am shocked about the fact that the FEAR campaign and the campaign of intolerance, of arrogance, ignorance and superiority complex (“Make Great Britain great again”) won. I think – and there is no sitting on the fence for this one – it was a totally stupid and hugely damaging decision by the UK, but there is also another side.

First of all, democracy is good and democracy means that nonsensical decisions also have to be accepted. Like it or not, we have to live with it.

The other aspect is that Britain has always been a trouble maker in the EU. And now the unruly, obnoxious and difficult child on the play ground, just decided in a huff to walk away from the other kids that tried to find a way to play with each other on that play ground for a long time. Yes, the unruly kid took some toys away when he left, but on balance, I think the nice kids will still do better by getting rid of the trouble maker.

Scotland, and if in any way possible also Northern Ireland, might be back in the EU at some stage and if people in London could, they would also leave the UK,. Interesting scenario! The United Kingdom became the Divided Kingdom over night and the damage this referendum did to the British population will probably not be healed for decades.

What does it mean for Ireland? There could be a lot of good in that development for Ireland! American companies that want to open offices in the EU will NOT choose the UK anymore and companies that are already in the UK might relocate to Ireland.

The development is shocking, but let’s face it, we live in a time when we have relatively little upsets to deal with, so in that context it is HUGE. But if you compare it to the years when rebellions and wars happened, it is not the biggest problem. So we will deal with it and there is a good chance that we will look back in a few years and remember the great day when the obnoxious kid left and positive calmness and co-operation returned to the play ground.

Bye by, Divided Kingdom!

BREXIT and Who are these neighbours of ours?

It is less than a week until the British voters will decide if they will stay in the EU or if they will leave and while we in Ireland have no influence over the vote, it is still interesting to look at the what Britain was before the EU discussion began and what it is now.

I love the multicultural society in Ireland and if you compare it to an Ireland from the 80s, the society has changed SIGNIFICANTLY. Not for everyone, I know and you don’t have to change anyway if you don’t want to, but for the people that like variety, they can find events from all different countries and cultural backgrounds in Dublin.

But whenever I was in the UK in the past, I was always puzzled that the UK was soooo much more multicultural and that all seems to be working quite well in the society. There are Indians&Pakistani, Africans, Asians and Caucasians and a lot more in close proximity and nobody seemed to mind in the slightest.

The favourite national dish seems to be Indian, Italians are in charge of the previous national dish: Fish & Chips and they brought Coffee and Ice Cream, Jamaicans provide the music and had a sizeable influence on youth culture in the 60s and 70s were hugely important, Black people seemed better integrated than in most other countries. All in all, it just seemed as if Britain endorsed their colonial past by accepting all different cultures in and giving them the same opportunities. I know that Irish people had to deal with a lot of subliminal or even open racism at some point, but it seemed to me that this had improved a lot as well.

Please note: No formal research went into this, it was just an impression!!

But then the Brexit discussion happened! And the “new” Britain seems to be divisive, intolerant, selfish, excluding, “we are better than they”, confrontational , bullying and Anti-European or even Anti-International. What happened??

Imagine you had a nice, friendly and tolerant neighbour who over night became an intolerant, antisocial bully. You would probably not WANT to have anything to do with the bully anymore, right? So, if the majority of British people decides for leaving the EU, I think we should be glad that they are gone and we should treat them like you would treat the anti-social bully neighbour.

By the way: I don’t think the EU is perfect and we should be grateful for all it does, BUT I do think that Ireland and many other countries have and still do benefit hugely from the EU. I also am a strong believer in co-operation and “strength in numbers” instead of doing it on your own and I think that improving the EU from the inside is the right approach. So, Brexit supporters, I don’t understand you at all!

 

 
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