IT’S THE ‘AGE THING’

Mus­ings are thoughts, the thought­ful kind. For the pur­pose of these ar­ti­cles, a-mus­ings are thoughts that might amuse, en­ter­tain and even en­lighten.

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Michael Walker

Like most peo­ple I have the odd early rec­ol­lec­tion of my child­hood. Of course, many a mem­ory is some­thing I have been told I should re­mem­ber, some­thing I might re­mem­ber, or just a fam­ily leg­end, some­thing to be passed on from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion. Mem­o­ries, although un­true, be­come re­al­i­ties.

Now then, if you hap­pen to be a reader aged fifty, how much of your life up to the age of, say, seven do you re­mem­ber? Was your fam­ily bet­ter off or worse off then than they are to­day? Was life eas­ier, or fairer be­fore when you were seven years old? Was the coun­try's econ­omy bet­ter be­fore you started school or be­fore you left kinder­garten – sup­pos­ing there had been a kinder­garten?

But per­haps you are a reader who has al­ready spent six decades on this earth; if so, tell me what you re­mem­ber of, not your life, but your coun­try's place in the world be­fore you reached school leav­ing age; not much, I bet. You see, Dear Reader, I am ask­ing you all this be­cause I am ut­terly and com­pletely be­mused, be­fud­dled and frankly em­bar­rassed by the re­cent id­i­otic be­hav­ior of my fel­low coun­try­men when they voted for Brexit, for the United King­dom to leave the Euro­pean Union. But be­fore we get into the lat­est and great­est Bri­tish Barmy, let me say that the de­ci­sion to hold a ref­er­en­dum was even more stupid, and the de­ci­sion to al­low a sim­ple ma­jor­ity to de­cide the out­come was in­con­ceiv­ably dumb. Surely such an im­por­tant change in sta­tus should have re­quired at least a two-thirds ma­jor­ity.

In­stead of sound ar­gu­ments, the elec­torate was bom­barded with pa­tri­otic sen­ti­ment about mak­ing Bri­tain great again and get­ting rid of the im­mi­grants. The truth is that Bri­tain was never great; even in its hey­day it was a bul­ly­ing, self-serv­ing naval power that fed its elite and starved its poor. The mid­dle class, if it in­deed ex­isted, wielded no au­thor­ity; they were merely ‘shop­keep­ers', as Napoleon put it.

I grew up be­ing spoon­fed leg­ends of Bri­tish brav­ery and myths of Bri­tish civ­i­liza­tion bring­ing re­li­gion, ed­u­ca­tion and good gov­ern­ment to the ig­no­rants of that world. It was all bull­shit. The Bri­tish sucked the blood out of Africa and left be­hind, as did all the colo­nial na­tions, coun­tries un­able to gov­ern them­selves and lead­ers who had been well-schooled in the art of suck­ing their coun­tries dry. Up to a day like to­day – lovely Cre­olism, just love it – there is no equal­ity in Africa.

Even West In­di­ans born on those most for­tu­nate of is­lands blessed by the Caribbean sun but lack­ing in nat­u­ral re­sources can barely scrape up an ex­is­tence from their farm­ing prod­ucts and have to em­bark on an al­most monthly beg­ging pil­grim­age to some fi­nan­cial mecca or benev­o­lent for­mer colo­nial power. The colo­nial­ists did not leave the world a bet­ter place. But let's get back to the be­gin­ning, shall we?

The re­sult of the ref­er­en­dum re­vealed that younger, ed­u­cated vot­ers voted over­whelm­ingly to stay in the Euro­pean Union, and much was made of this sup­pos­edly amaz­ing fact. The truth is that Bri­tain has been a mem­ber of the Euro­pean Union for forty-three years, so any­one un­der the age of fifty can scarcely imag­ine any other life out­side the Union. For them, the sta­tus quo rep­re­sents nor­mal­ity, life as it is sup­posed to be; they have no ex­pe­ri­ence of any­thing else, and the for­eign­ers they meet are of­ten of the same age ex­cept that they come from ex­cit­ingly dif­fer­ent places, places their Bri­tish coun­ter­parts are wel­come to ex­plore thanks to the free move­ment of peo­ples through­out the Union.

Older peo­ple, who would have been any­where be­tween twenty and thirty years old when Bri­tain joined the Euro­pean band­wagon in the seven­ties, are now over sev­enty years old and frankly have lit­tle time left to en­joy the may­hem their lu­nacy has cre­ated. And any­way, how much can a sev­enty-four-year-old like me re­mem­ber of life way back then?

And what has hap­pened since the Brexit ref­er­en­dum? Cameron plans to go, and per­haps he should for be­ing so damned stupid in the first place. Labour's Cor­byn clings on like a de­mented Bernie San­ders, the only dif­fer­ence be­ing that his sup­port­ers hate him while Bernie's love af­fair still lingers. Boris the Clown has bug­gered off, while Nigel Farage the for­mer UKIP leader re­signed and now ponces around Europe try­ing to drum up even more de­fec­tors. If any­one ever wanted to find a spot where supremists reign supreme they would not have to look fur­ther than the loony bin that is Bri­tain to­day. Oh, by the way, it is said, per­haps al­le­gor­i­cally, that im­mi­grant com­mu­ni­ties from Pak­istan voted over­whelm­ingly to keep out new im­mi­grants; they clearly know a good thing when they see it.

But you know what? I would put se­ri­ous money on Brexit never hap­pen­ing; it just doesn't make sense!

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