As most of you probably know, the (not very) United Kingdom officially left the European Union on Friday. As many of you also probably know, this was not my preferred option. I have plenty of thoughts about it, but perhaps the strongest is irony: those of the Leave camp who are not indulging in triumphalism are calling on everyone to treat separation as a call to unity.
An article in yesterday’s Telegraph seeks to set Brexit in a wider context: it wasn’t just about the benefits-and-burdens of European Union, it was about liberals “forgetting” that most of us value home and people. Which amuses me greatly in a bleak way.
I can’t speak for every “liberal” (I assume the Telegraph includes me amongst that arbitrary set), but I never forgot about the value of home and people. While I am not German, Muslim, or poverty stricken, I have more in common with them than I do with merchant bankers, career politicians, and those who have never lived on a budget who happen to have been born in the same division of land as I do.
Perhaps it’s because I proudly enjoy non-mainstream hobbies, but my home, my people, my traditions have always been more than an accident of geography. So, perhaps it is not I who has forgotten that a house (or in this case, a country) is not automatically a home.
I hope our departure from the European Union does produce a better nation. In that spirit of sharing joys rather than divisions, I shall end with a song I am currently re-enjoying: