Wednesday 29th January 2020, 10.55am (day 3,079)
I know that on my ‘About’ page I claim that this blog is intended to be apolitical. But now and again I make exceptions, and this is one of those days.
Today I have travelled to Romania (which you will see photos of over the next few days) for a conference that ironically is on cross-EU collaboration in higher education (a.k.a. the Bologna Process). I say ‘ironically’ because while I have entered Romania as an EU citizen, with rights here and indeed in 26 other countries across the continent, I will leave it on Sunday without these things, thanks to the piece of childish idiocy that has become known as ‘Brexit’, a shorthand term for the spasm of ideological, racist stupidity which a minority — and it is, be most assured, a minority of the UK population (do the maths) — decided in 2016 that they wanted. This then being reinforced by basically the same people who last month elected a lying, lawbreaking, over-privileged, credential-free buffoon to lead the country at this critical time.
On my way this morning from Heathrow I got the chance to take this shot: apologies for the alarming tilt on it but it was the only way to do it. Just below is Dover, its harbour walls clearly visible. And over there, under the plane’s wing, can be seen Cap Gris-Nez, near Calais. This is how close we are to Europe. I have flown over Lake Michigan and you can’t see one side from the other even from 30,000 feet. Here it took less than a few minutes to cross the Strait of Dover — or Pas de Calais, if you prefer.
And what do the Brexiteer morons and lunatics and bigots think will happen now? Do they think that the island of Great Britain is just going to float merrily off into the Atlantic, to engage in some blissful rendezvous with the Trumpiters somewhere near Bermuda? Are we supposed now to think that this narrow strait, this tiny defile that could still be walked across 6,000 years ago, is going to become a gulf and we will all get on with our Little Englander lives as if Europe, and all its economic and intellectual strength, its culture and history, wasn’t still there? Especially now that we have consciously revoked all ability to directly influence its politics, to vote in its elections, to oblige its ministers to hear us, as a member of a union, with all the deep legalistic meaning of that term?
I am ashamed.