I am an Englishman. I define myself as “English”, not british and definitely not european. Many people think that I must be a foreigner hating lunatic, ( one of those words may be correct but that is a judgement call). I have visited europe on many occasions and enjoyed myself every time. I Found the Spanish pleasant people and the French anything but rude. I have eaten pasta and camembert, I even have the ability to speak a few words of french. VERY LOUDLY OF COURSE SO THAT THEY CAN UNDERSTAND YOU. That does not mean that I like the idea of the european union. I understand the logic of harmonising rules and regulations, it makes a lot of sense to standardise things. I do, of course, want to keep my pints and miles. I also want to keep the pound.
A country that relinguishes the control of its currency becomes a victim of somebody else. When Greece joined the Euro I read many columnists who said that this was not a particularly good idea. The politicians and the bankers naturally knew better than the great unwashed and went ahead anyway. Greece was showered with money and even held an olympic games. What could possibly go wrong? The plebs like me who were naturally suspicious of a european plan were decried as luddite nay sayers, the sort of people who thought that England still ruled the waves and anything after Dover should be marked on a map as “Here be dragons.” I was told repeatedly that high finance was not a concern of mine and it would be fine. A few months later and the chickens came home to roost and brought a few friends with them to ram the point home.
Europe had tried to tie the powerhouse of Germany to a rural and tourist industry based Greece. Suddenly the brown stuff hit the air circulating device. Amazingly, the Greek government had borrowed more money than it could afford and now needed bailing out. In reality the French and German banks that had lent money to Greece needed bailing out rapidly so the EU and the IMF and many other capital letters joined together to make money out of nothing and throw it about. The Greek citizens lost their jobs and their livelihoods but the bankers got their money so that was alright then.
I am a natural sceptic. When I hear of people being conned out of money my first instinct is to blame the person who lost out. It may seem harsh, but if you are a mug who buys an item from a paper for twenty quid that promises to cut all your bills in half, when you open the package and find a pair of scissors I am afraid sympathy is not going to come from this direction.
Every time I hear of anything from Europe my first instinct is to say “NO!” perhaps our wonderful leaders should learn to say “Non” rather than “Ja!”