A Englishman’s thoughts on Brexit as told to Simon Bolivar.
The following story was relayed to me one sunny afternoon when the park where I stand was quiet and only myself and a strange looking man. He wore a navy blue t-shirt with a pair of khaki shorts with lots of pockets on either side.
His hair was white, eyes blue, complexion red and legs white with signs of terracotta on both knees and socks. His boots were black and definitely did not look brand new.
He was sat on the bench looking up at me smiling away. He gave me the impression I was his friend. But I have no recollection until recently when he started to appear with his notebook and pen poised.
He spoke in a language that I had not heard for many years. It took me a while to understand him. I never talked, because I cannot. Well, not during the daytime. Why? Because I am a statue of a very famous man called Simón José Antonio de la Santísima Trinidad Bolívar Palacios Ponte y Blanco.
Portrait of Simon Bolivar.
I can only speak at night like all the statues and figurines placed around the city. We have to wait until all the Barbarians are sleeping. That used to be easy, in the olden days before electricity and street lighting, everyone was in their homes by six. The city was asleep by nine.
Not now, taxis, cars and barbarians can be seen nearly all night. Some, especially the young find it hard to walk, and their singing does leave a lot to be desired.
Sorry, I digress, you want to know what the stranger said to me about something he calls Brexit. Please remember I represent a famous Liberator of six South American countries from the invading Spanish Conquistadors between 1783 to 1830.
From the outset, it would be prudent to listen and make notes on all that I heard.
Simón Bolívar’s account of two significant life changing decisions of an Englishman’s Life.
I will declare from the outset, I am one of the 17,410,742 voters who made the decision to leave Europe back in June 2016. So you may well say he is a Brexiter, but deep down I still like being a European too. I suspect there are many who are in a quandary like me.
For the record, 16,141,241 voted to remain in the EU. and believe me, I sympathize with each of them. I may never know if the two most important decisions in my life were the correct ones. Only time will tell us.
I wish to explain my personal journey, on how and why I came to make such difficult decisions.
Part One. The Decision to Join.
Poster with the heading Yes Britain where she belongs…. In Europe jpg.
My European journey began in the 1970s. Only thing, I was only seventeen turning eighteen and had no knowledge of the European Union or EU.
In 1973. At the age of eighteen, I left home to enlist as a Junior Executive in a very large aircraft corporation or as you may know it The Royal Air Force. I joined to avoid boredom.
Simon’s Notes: I have no idea what the Royal Air Force was or the thing he mentions Aircraft. I will have to investigate and ask my friends later.
I wanted to enrich my life with endless experiences. At the same time, Denmark, Ireland, and Britain joined the European Union to avoid economic decline.
Apparently, this caused a bit of a controversy at the time, and the British Labour Party sought a referendum on whether we should continue being a part of the European Community.
Simon’s note: What unity, news to me. Napoleon must be turning in his grave.
I remember in June 1975, without warning, finding myself and around 30 other cadets marching into a hangar in West Germany and given a piece of paper and a pen. The officer on parade duly instructed us to add our vote immediately without any advice from anyone on whether to leave or stay in the EU.
I recall looking down at this paper with the pen paused in mid-air. I didn’t have any notion what to vote. Either, to remain, or leave the common market. All I knew, I had to think fast as there was a growing queue behind me of bewildered twenty-year-olds.
I did reason to myself that the England I knew growing up was full of unrest and in decline. The unemployment claim benefits had risen beyond one million for the first time since the 1930s. My late father had recently lost his job at British Steel with another 1,300 others.
British workers were marching against rising unemployment in 1972.
In comparison, I was spending my free time from military duties travelling around West Germany* with my friends and enjoying the cleanliness and beauty of the country and towns such as Monchengladbach. On the buses, I noticed all the old people looked healthy and well dressed.
Simon’s Notes: I can only conclude West Germany to be the old Prussia/German Confederation of my day.
In Birmingham, no one looked clean or healthy. Everyone seemed tired and poor.
Unbeknownst to me at that time, all the major industrial nations such as Canada, The USA, France, Australia, Japan, and West Germany were also suffering record level of redundancies. I just did not see it.
Simon’s Notes: Well I did, when Wellington’s army arrived back in England from defeating Napoleon there was mass unemployment even then. A returning army of 500,000 veteran soldiers in a population of over 25 million. This pending dangerous situation was relieved somewhat by over 5500 of them volunteering for us to defeat the Spanish.
I need to point out, we did not have mobile devices or the internet, we did not have television. If we did it was all in German, and none of us knew any of the local languages except to say “20 Grosse Biere Bitte” meaning 20 large beers, please.
Simon’s Notes: Totally lost here. I haven’t a clue what he is rambling on about.
We did not even have British Newspapers or radio. Looking back, we were in a “Cocoon of ignorance.”
Also, I reasoned to myself that within a few short years I would be out of uniform and looking for a JOB. Maybe trading with over 500 million Europeans might be a good option for Britain and for me. So I voted to remain based purely on trade, nothing else entered my mind.
No one on the street talked about Open Borders, Immigration, Terrorism, they did not exist in our minds.
Getting through life working for a living was the priority for us mere mortals.
Simon’s Notes: I know how he feels, I had a few worries of my own.
Those of you that are reading this blog pause for the moment and think back to what life was like for you during this period. And what was it you were trying to avoid?
Click at the end of the blog and tell us, what your journey was like. What final decision did you make?
For the next fourteen years, I lived and worked in West Germany, Belgium, Holland, and France. For the most part still in the Royal Air Force and later as an Independent Insurance Salesman for British and Germany companies.
Even then, I felt the benefits of working in Europe. I loved the whole experience of working alongside different nations and getting to know their different cultures and ways. Never once did I suffer any concerns or drawbacks working outside of the UK.
Later I made the decision to return back to my Mother country, and I can honestly say I never found it hard to gain full employment. In fact, I am proud that I can boast from the age of 10 to now I never had to worry about earning a wage.
I was the first in my family to own his home. Not solely down to the Europeans I know, a certain lady called Margaret Thatcher indirectly put the economy in a position where I could afford to do so.
Simon’s Notes: Not sure who this lady was, I will have to investigate further.