And you won’t like it – no repeater ever does
In my infinite wisdom – which luckily even we bull-headed trouble-seekers acquire over time – I managed to NOT be in Britain at the moment it started unravelling. Good for me! Not so good for the UK.
I lived in the bloody Balkans, war-torn Sri Lanka and in Canada during its hanging in the balance, as Quebec voted on Quexit (see, the X-exit quip won’t rank among the Top Ten freedom calls of all times – it’s just too clunky). I’ve watched more than my fair share of “Will they? They can’t!” all-night election broadcasts, after which one just can’t cram the ghost back in the bottle, because some idiot has broken the bottle.
The fact that Quebec voted to stay in Canada by a margin of mere 10.000 last-minute votes in down-town Montreal during the winter of 1994/1995 indicated an upward trend in my hands-on political market research that I willy-nilly conducted, during this last quarter of a century.
There was method, a trend in my big data (wrong term? three continents not big enough for ya?) The more advanced your economy is, the more prudently you vote. End of story. Well, until now. Enter Brexit.
Scratch the surface we walk on, to look just a nanometer deep, and you’ll see cadavers of all the victims of World Wars One and Two. We’ve all been there, done that, at least twice. There was famine somewhere, with a measure of what could feel like degradation (or could easily be interpreted that way by all kinds of myopic schemers) and sooner than you know it, you’re at war. Broken glass everywhere. Blood, destruction, more famine than you could ever imagine before, social upheaval, unbearable suffering, secret new technologies, heroism, lives cut short. Great many lives cut short. And for what?
So you can teach your élite a lesson? Take back the control of your destiny? Feel proud to belong to some historical-religious-gastronomic construct we call a nation? English? French? Tamil? Serbian? Those are unfortunate emotional attachments, easily shattered by the simplest DNA scrutiny, which instantly gets you in touch with your inner Timur Lenk and your lost great-great-grandma Sheba from Yemen. Stick to soccer and vent it all there, suckers! That’s why there’s rarely a roof over the stadiums. So you can shout it to your heart’s delight: “Ich been ein Berliner!” (oops, sorry, wrong example!)
Sorry, but you won’t be teaching your elites a lesson any time soon. If anything, you’ll now need to find employment for a small army of overly educated multilingual pundits, whose sole labour market was in EU bureaucracy, international development and diplomacy. Good luck with that! What, every jobless proletarian will now be attending university, and all those PhDs will be put to use teaching them? Sounds awfully familiar for some reason, I can’t shake off the feeling we’ve tried that before… Ah, it comes to me now! That’s how you ended up building the EU scaffolding in the first place – to underscore stability and progress and infinite possibilities for all.
The well-educated are not your elites. Real elites – those that need a lesson – don’t have these silly scruples you and I may have. Work for a living? Honestly? In your dreams. They don’t share your national pride – they think they are above it. They share one religion, one obsession, one goal. Money. Our money. Our rights. Our freedoms. These pitiful expectations we all have simply inconvenience them in their accumulation of privilege and prerogatives. Britain didn’t need to exit anything. The money-grabbers needed to be escorted out from it. And that’s the clean-up we all need to undertake, everywhere. And pronto.
It’s all about the haves and the have-nots. That imbalance exists in the UK. And we have it here in Serbia. And everyone has it, the world over. That’s whom you need to fight. Together with the French and the Germans and the dispossessed in Russia (they’re not all Putin fans over there, you know). The nearly wiped-out middle class everywhere is your ally; it isn’t a jealous, job-stealing foreign enemy. Your problem is at home. Congratulations, UK, now you can start cleaning it up. And you’d better do so while you’re still held together.
I wish Brexit could become an example of the passionate mobilization of all resources and the know-how that the Brits are so good at in war times. I wish this was a result of the will to take responsibility internally and not a call to reassign it elsewhere. Finding culprits somewhere else and assigning blame across the fence feels great in the short term. Too bad nobody ever prints the rubric for the total costs of that option on the voting ballots. In this day and age of the succinct and the visual, it suffices to print a grinning devil emoji and the hashtag #demolition. Alas they don’t. So the virus can now spread.
Britain just had to insist on incarnating a catchy promotional hook and materialize “Brexit”. Talk about self-fulfilling prophesies! I hope the Brits noted the last name of the person who first came up with the term. Because, a half-century from now, that name will be a symbol of short-sighted, self-destructive creativity. It will be taught in schools – a well-deserved exception to the old saying “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”. Hell, yeah, there is. Just you wait and see.
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