Thursday, June 23, 2016

REMAIN ON THIS PLANET

Am voting Remain today. Anything that unites us on this planet has to be a good thing, even if it involves difficulties to sort out. One thing we must all agree on is that we are, above all, citizens of the earth, this earth which covers this one planet. Imagine if everyone felt as patriotic about the whole planet as they do about their country: wouldn't that be a good thing?

 Perhaps because ever since childhood I've lived in and been 'at home' in quite a few countries I've never really understood flag-waving. Cheering for your sports team, your school, your friends - yes, of course. But the geographical location of that bit of the planet where you happen to be born, or where some of your ancestors were born, why is that such a big deal? Sometimes you want another country's team to win the football - why not? Does that make you a traitor? 

The fear of immigration is the fear that we'll all get mixed together and the lines of demarcation will gradually become fainter and fainter. Would that be such a bad thing? Eventually the mix would produce new ideas, new people, new solutions. New problems too, of course, but that's life innit?


30 comments:

Beth said...

Totally with you on this, Natalie. I hope openness prevails.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Thank you Beth, I knew you were but it's good to hear it confirmed.

Vincent said...
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Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Vincent, I don't identify as belonging to either Left or Right and see such divisions as artificial. But I wholly agree with you about radiating unity outwards, proceeding from within one's self and thence to the outside world, like the rings made by a pebble thrown into a lake. Unlike those pebble/water rings, however, I don't feel that the outer rings fade into insignificance. In my perception, the 'outside' world and the 'inside' world merge and constantly interact and the distances between me/my family/my neighbours/my street/my country/other countries/etc. are illusory. Indeed England has many fine qualities but every country has fine qualities, as well as traits that are not fine at all. History is about all the things that every country has done wrong at one time or another, as well as all the great things that different civilizations have achieved. I don't think a country can be judged by its politics anyway since politicsa are usually shaped by leaders whose agendas are very rarely focused on what is good for everyone. But I've wandered off the subject, as usual! Thanks for your comment.

Tom said...

I agree with your last comment in response to Vincent. Always been a centre ground voter myself. Pity the UK government took away our right to vote; we'd have been there voting Remain.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Tom, it really is incomprehensible that you and other English expats are not allowed to vote. So spiteful, petty and completely irrational - another example of so-called 'patriotism' losing the plot...and thereby losing patriots.

Rain Trueax said...

Being in the US, I don't vote on this but am following it with interest as the issue of immigration are a big deal here too. I don't think that just eliminating borders will bring people together as long as religions divide them. I don't honestly know what it will take as it seems we are more divided now than anytime I remember in my 72 years. I hope, whatever is decided regarding Brexit, that it will be good for the world and England

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Rain, staying in the EU isn't really about eliminating borders. The borders are there and some European countries are tightening them because of their panic about immigration. But that's another question. As I see it, staying in the EU is to recognise that the UK is part of Europe, geographically, culturally, and in every other way, and for all its flaws (of which there are many) the reasons for staying in have far more weight and make much more sense than reasons for leaving.

Catalyst said...

I am with you on this, Natalie. Over here in the UNITED States of America (:>) we can only watch and hope the Remain supporters are large enough. As has often been said, when one looks at the Earth from space, there are no borders.

B.W. said...

I've been trying to follow all this lately. I can't say I understand all the issues at stakes (I barely understand the politics in my own country), but I hope things work out for the best. I've heard very sensible arguments on both sides, so I won't presume to throw my hat into that ring. But I hope you all make the decision that is best for you, and best in general.

Good luck!

Lucy said...

PS to Tom's: and we want Iceland to win in the football!

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Bruce, my feeling is (wishful thinking?) that the Remain option will win this referendum. But we won't know the actual result of the voting until tomorrow.
Meanwhile, looking at the earth from space is undoubtedly the best point of view.

Bryan, either way, current problems won't be easily solved. Still, I hope to wake up tomorrow to the headline: WE REMAIN!

Lucy, Iceland, yay!

Vincent said...

It was a dirty contest but a respectable result: people 1, self-serving institutions 0. I hope Iceland v. England is good clean well-fought football, never mind who wins. In any event, Iceland has already won high honour, neither result can dim its glory.

I listened to Tim Farron (leader of Liberal Democrat Party) just now, upset & babbling, accusing the voters of base motives but mainly blaming other politicians for their mistakes, as if they failed in their duty to shepherd the flock & tell them how to think. He doesn't get it.The people have spoken, the politicians' job is not to fight one another or the people but serve the country and the world, to the benefit of all, including the remaining parts of the EU.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Vincent, not all of the people's voices. This is precisely why 48.1 percent of us today in the UK are sad and appalled: because of the path the majority chose. Let's not make a list of all the instances in history,and in ordinary life, when the voice of the majority has led to disasters of every variety. Socrates was put to death by a majority vote in the birthplace of democracy.

Vincent said...
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Lucy said...

Sad and appalled, yes, and some of us who have much to lose, who are where we are having taken advantage of the benefits of membership no longer have any say in the continuance of it, were not able to speak.

Watching the words and faces of many who voted to leave today, their professions of happiness looked less than convincing; many seemed slightly aghast and indeed confessed that though they'd voted for it they didn't actually expect it to happen... Buyer's guilt seemed to be setting in already, or the confusion and sinking feeling of the child who has thrown a strop and then been taken at their word.

Ah well.

Rain Trueax said...

I read an analysis of this that said the middle class wanted to remain and the economic lower class to leave as each was voting for what they felt most benefited them. The lower economic levels felt their jobs were being taken by lower wage earners from Poland, etc. Now with Scotland and Northern Ireland wanting to remain, there may be more votes on whether to remain in the UK. Also evidently France and a few other European nations want referendums on remaining in the EU. I don't know the right or wrong on this other than the media will stoke fear and people need to calm down, especially not panic on stocks going up or down as that's how some make fortunes. It sounds like England is as divided as the US and our presidential election in the fall may stir similar fears of disaster-- whichever way it goes.

At 72, the one constant I can say I've seen is change is inevitable. Some we like and some not so much. Trying to keep everything the same just doesn't work.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Vincent: " I would have felt that we should unite just the same, for everything that's worth while."

Unity for its own sake doesn't make sense to me. First we have to agree on "everything that's worthwhile" before we can be united about it. Too many issues that unite the Leave campaign and its spokespeople such as Farage, Johnson and Gove are, in my view, absolutely not worthwhile - in fact, the opposite. So I am more than sad about the majority vote to leave for the same reasons that I am sad and appalled when I see that so many Americans support electing Trump as their president. Voice of the people, yes, but does that mean I should join any chorus that is united?

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Rain, I can only repeat the same thing I've just written above. I'm not a political analyst and I certainly don't claim to understand all the complex issues that are involved. I'm for questioning mass judgements, and for whatever brings human beings closer together with mutual understanding and compassion, whatever economic 'class' or culture or country they come from.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Lucy, "...Watching the words and faces of many who voted to leave today, their professions of happiness looked less than convincing; many seemed slightly aghast.."

Yes, I thought exactly the same when watching the news/interviews.

Vincent said...

Sorry I deleted a foolish comment I made earlier. I agree with you that the outcome may have been a mistake, and I think most voters were left aghast, whichever place they put their "X", because something has been unleashed, some kind of Pandora's box may have been opened. We can analyse it any which way, but since it has become an historical fact, we all have the opportunity to work on its not being a disaster, regardless of blame, as one does in a famine or earthquake. Except that it hasn't caused such physical damage and need not.

Of course we cannot agree what is worthwhile, and may imagine all kinds of motivations that we don't approve on in those we see as opponents. But since the deed is past & done, the job now is to make the best of it, & leave divisiveness behind. Surely this is possible?

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Of course it's possible, Vincent. I'm not one who promotes or wants divisiveness. My comments on this referendum are just the expression of my own feelings but that's it, I'm not going to go on about it.

"...we all have the opportunity to work on its not being a disaster..."
I'm not sure that we actually have such an opportunity.

Rain Trueax said...

What I have read since is that the EU has been arrogant with a lot of money flowing into countries in trouble from countries with more money but not necessarily solving their own problems in the process. I don't know if it's true but one article said the UK has put 20 billion pounds into the EU and receives at the most 10 billion in benefits back. This money has flowed to countries like Greece in economic trouble but hasn't solved their problems with benefits out of whack.

Articles also claim the UK health service is in trouble and people are having to wait long weeks for help on even basic things like a shot for pain. Also, that the EU has been setting up laws that all countries have to follow except people don't elect the EU leaders or even know who they are. Some say the EU should have been allowed to solve their problems of unfairness but some in England got tired of waiting or didn't believe it'd happen. Some also say this is about the resentment of corporate globalization.

I've also read that 1 million in England have signed a petition to vote again. What i think after all the reading is the media will milk this, make it seem it is all about racial bigotry but it's not that simple.

In the end, if it stays on its own, England will be all right, because it and Germany have been propping up many in Europe. There will be much fear talk and hysteria but the media profits from that.

I think the same will be true in the US if it elects someone the media doesn't like, who many despise, the world will go on.
The question of fixing unfairness, of a one world government that is fair to all, is a Utopian dream. We could wish but it doesn't work that way in reality. And I know, what I've said is not popular especially with the left. It's the price I pay for being a moderate-- irritating right and left. I though believe these things work out and in the end, after some ups and downs, those who work hard and do right come out fine-- and if that's being a Pollyanna, I can live with that. I've seen times without and times with-- it's more fun with-- but what kills us is letting what is outside tear us down.

The big thing, in the media I watched yesterday (from the left mostly) is that some want hysteria and they stoke it with their anger. It doesn't help. The best thing to do when the vote doesn't go our way is turn off media and get into something creative, something that lets a person go internal until such time as there is something realistic that can be done to change it again.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Rain, thanks for the report of what you've read in the media about our situation over here. Those of us who care about what happens in this country, as well as in the rest of the world, are familiar with the issues involved. The essential thing is to think for one's self and to take the trouble to be well informed about actual facts, rather than interpretations of facts. Of course most of the media is biased - that's a given. They always have their own agendas to promote, whether 'right,'left' or anything else.

I wasn't talking about 'fixing' unfairness or about a utopian world government -
good lord, no! Only about questioning, always questioning.

Rain Trueax said...

I listened to both the news programs that take one side and the ones that take the other last night. Whatever happens, I just think that getting upset about it is only going to benefit doctors and hedge funds. The stock market will go down for a bit and then back up and same with the pound. Our media over here has been instilling panic on one side and on the other saying it'll be fine. Nobody really knows but from the sounds of England and Germany being the power behind the EU for money, I think England will do okay. Europe may be more divided and maybe Scotland will now again vote to separate.

Rain Trueax said...
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Rain Trueax said...

I deleted that comment because i had left out an important word lol. It should have said: I also didn't think the media coverage here was fair that implied or said that anyone who voted to separate was a bigot. The same thing is being said about those who will vote for Trump. It's not true either. The reasons for both votes are diverse and not simple. Sure some might be fear of the 'other' but there is more than that involved.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Rain, don't give too much credence to what the media says (especially not if it's Fox news!) Anyway I think I've said all I wanted to say about this subject.

Vincent said...

Sorry for littering with my comments earlier, it was laziness using your brave declarations as a graffiti wall instead of scribbling on my own, now completed at“England’s Green and Pleasant Land”

Rain Trueax said...

I had an amazing conversation yesterday with a friend of mine from the Netherlands (she's French) and another friend from Norway (I've known him for years) as they got into a heated disagreement on the EU. One was very pro EU-- as without it, there would be another WWII in his mind. The other had no use for it at all and gave a lot of reasons. It got so bad (insulting even) that I almost deleted the thread but then it ended up recognizing that they were both nice people but saw it totally differently based on personal experiences and what they'd read. The heat won't leave soon no matter what the UK ends up doing.