We used to matter

So I was sitting in a café earlier thinking what a cool place it was. But I wasn’t really thinking about the café, chic though it was, in a chic store selling chic clothes to chic people, which of course is why we were there. 

I wasn’t even thinking about the town I’m in, the irrepressible and unique Amsterdam, with its gorgeous architecture, network of canals and impossible language, and where seemingly everyone speaks English better than most of the English... and where there are more bikes than people, clogging up the streets (see what I did there?)

No, what I was thinking about was the whole of the European continent, with its mélange of cultures, languages, laws and traditions. What a wonderful, fantastic, dynamic place it is! I’ve been so lucky to have visited almost all of the countries that make up this amazing place and I’ve loved all of them. I love being able to come here as freely as I can go to Edinburgh, Cardiff or Belfast, just buy a Eurostar ticket and go.

I simply fail to understand the point of view of people that say they don’t want to be a close and influential and respected and important part of this glorious geographic region, this fine and noble corner of the world, the place where the Renaisance sparked the modern creative and industrial era. That say they want to impose borders and visas and shut the door on our closest and vital neighbours, excluding us from supra-national scientific and technical research and other beneficial progressive programs and industries.

What a sad, small and dismal perspective they have.

I feel sorry for them and hope with every fibre of my being we’ll somehow find a way to overcome the unfounded xenophobic fears and smears of Farage, Johnson, Mogg and all the rest of that disgraceful mob, and that we’ll remain in the EU. 

But I fear we won’t, that this country will be betrayed by Brexit and we’ll all suffer as a result. Brexit will not make Britain great again, far from it.

And we’ll only be able to enjoy our beautiful European brothers and sisters as mere tourists, there by the grace of the ball and chain of a visa, a time-limited tag, forever looking in slightly embarrassed from the outside, regarded by our former partners as strange strangers that used to have something to say, that used to be a grown up at the table, that used to matter.