Just like me, they long to be close to you.
Why do stars fall down from the sky, ev’ry time you walk by?
Just like me, they long to be close to you.
Let the pantomime begin! Silly hats, activists dressed as ducks; those with the loudest voices being bussed from barricade to barricade; a media scrum round one of our most prominent politicians finally emerging from his house to say he has made his mind up – is this really, truly how we are going to decide the ‘EU’ question? In, Out, In, Out? Is it so simple it can be decided on carefully prepared sound bites?
I listened this morning to a Midlands MP (not closely enough to catch his name!) who was explaining his reasons for joining the ‘No’ camp. It was all to do with ‘the migrants’ he said.
‘Too many’, the country couldn’t ‘absorb any more’, hospital were bursting at the seams, there was no housing for them – oodles of sympathy for the brown faced hordes with the fierce expressions clustering at Calais – nothing to do with the colour of their skin, you understand, it was simply a matter of numbers….Cameron agreeing to take ‘another 20,000’ was just the last straw.
It was a sound bite that resonated with several people clustered round him; the butcher, the baker made appreciative murmurs – ‘another 20,000’ – and the country would topple over; the only answer was to get out of Europe.
Nobody mentioned another ‘swarm’ of migrants – not quite so brown skinned of course, but near enough. Some 250,000 of them. A quarter of a million if you didn’t quite take that number in.
The only thing stopping them marching towards Calais is that we are in the EU. Pull out and they will be on their way – and extremely angry. They aren”t even a young, vibrant, work force – you know, the one that is ‘stealing’ British jobs. Many are sick and ailing – they will fill the hospitals to overflowing; you ain’t seen nothing yet! They will demand every welfare benefit going – they know how the system works.
They know exactly what they are entitled to – and they will get it – all 250,000 of them. There is not a damn thing you can do about it; every last one of them holds a British passport, they are British citizens.
Do you seriously believe that when British citizens find that they can no longer get a meagre pension increase each year; that the winter fuel payment is withdrawn from them; the superb ‘Quantas 1st Class’ medical care that they enjoy – either free or with a contribution from a remarkably cheap insurance policy, is replaced by the ‘Ryanair NHS – envy of the world’; that the romantic pile of random limestone that they have lovingly refashioned into a freezing cold but authentic Finca is worthless – the French, the Italians, the Spanish didn’t want those properties, restored or not, and there will be no other English keen to experience life amongst the vineyards when it involves paying a small fortune for private health care, having your pension frozen, not even being able to take a part time job – for free movement of workers only applies to those within the EU….do you really imagine that they will just sit still and starve to death in their limestone tombs with a true stiff upper lip?
Perhaps you even imagine that they will take over the cleaning jobs in the care homes; the sandwich making in factories, the cauliflowers that must be hacked out of water sodden fields, the jobs that these migrants have ‘stolen’ from decent British people? Dream on.
Those that are not Pensioners are almost there; some are disabled having taken their DLA payments abroad to find cheaper housing; some have just eked out dwindling savings from better years in the UK – nowhere near enough to buy into the British housing market.
You fear the broke, angry, frightened, army of migrants at Calais? Just wait ’til you have to provide for the British contingent who will march straight through passport control and demand every concession available to them. They have every right to them.
The other bone of contention appears to be ‘we don’t want to be ruled by unelected bureaucrats from Brussels’? As opposed to unelected bureaucrats from Tyneside, or Glasgow or Cardiff? The EU might demand that your bananas are straight, but that doesn’t affect your life nearly as much as the unelected bureaucrats who decide when and how your hip joint is going to be replaced, nor the unelected bureaucrats who decide which care home you end up in and what standard it meets. What about the unelected bureaucrats who decide that it is Police policy to ‘believe the victims’, or the unelected Judges that interpret ‘what parliaments intention was’ when those you so proudly proclaim you voted for, made the law? The British Isles is awash with unelected Quangos and bureaucrats.
It is so easy to argue on the basis of soundbites – ‘we’re a proud nation’, we’ve given up our sovereignty’ versus ‘the security of being able to stop foreigners in Calais’, and ‘the strength of numbers’ – personally I think it’s half a dozen of one and six of the other. We would win some things, lose others – for what?
For the sake of change? There won’t be much change that you will feel individually. Our own unelected bureaucrats will still be counting their beans and deciding that you can’t have an extension on your house, or the latest cancer drug, or take your children on holiday in term-time.
Sing ‘Rule Britannia’ if you want.