Black Humour

This is where cynicism (modern meaning of the word) is taking us. The implication is that British people would be seeking political asylum in France like Syrian people fleeing the war.

Kyrie eleison! May God avert such a scourge because the ones whose fault it is would be rolling in money, laughing all the way to the bank, and the innocent civilians would suffer.

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Pan European Citizens Solidarity

This is an exciting new development: Pan European Citizens Solidarity (PECS). We the British diaspora are being supported by European lawyers, academics and politicians. It all seems embryonic at present, but it is most promising. The initiative seeks support Europe-wide to turn the British ship around. A tug boat will come in handy when the ship’s rudder is blocked, if you see the analogy.

It is interesting to note that according to a French legal expert, there are several irregularities with the UK’s present trajectory to catastrophe:

– Britons abroad for more than 15 years were deprived from taking part in the referendum, as were Britons resident in certain British overseas territories and prisoners

– Election campaign funding irregularities by the Leave campaign

– No reference in the referendum campaign to the UK leaving the Euratom treaty (which is now being imposed by the government)

–  PECS argues that the referendum was legally-speaking of an advisory nature and the UK Parliament never explicitly voted to leave on its own sovereign authority.

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British in France

I didn’t find my name on any of the t-shirt photos. It was perhaps written on this banner:

Whichever, my insignificant voice is unimportant. It is impressive to turn the real and virtual turnout of British people living in France – still uncertain about our future even when we get residence cards.

Strangely, I have a soft spot for Theresa May, who must have gone through incredible suffering due to the abuse she has received, including suggestions that she should be stabbed with a knife or that she should bring her own hanging rope! To what depths our political establishment has fallen! I believe she has done all she could for her country and for us the disenfranchised diaspora, by taking negotiations as far as they could go within the limits she felt binding on her. As the hounds rush in for the kill, maybe she could find a way to press the “kill” button and the whole nightmare would go away.

Not all my readers are British or English, but they could pray for us, for the future of our civilisation, and that darkness may not descend as it did in 1933.

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Death of a Country

I reproduce this poignant piece by Jamie Anderson on our Facebook group, having received his permission to do so. He has a nice plain but educated way to express himself. Maybe, this death of my native country can be averted. The more I watch videos of debates between leavers and remainers, the more I see that the arguments of the former are hollow and only based on the idea that the 2016 referendum was final and binding, and that we have to “get used to” the consequences to ourselves and others. There is no answer to the extremely serious concerns like the revival of troubles in Northern Ireland, the end of free movement and catastrophic disturbances for business and public services. Not a word to provoke thought and dialogue.

I am heartened by the turnout to the People’s Vote March and that there was no violence. We read that the numbers are half to three-quarters of a million. I hope and pray the demonstration will serve to turn the tide. Our political establishment is without credibility and many problems remain if we want to avoid what happens to failed states.

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The Death of a Country

Today is the day of the People’s Vote March in London. As I watch the live coverage on the ‘Independant’ site I can see the comments being made by the many other people watching the same footage. The comments range from ‘Thank you for being there for us – your friends in Spain’ to ‘You lost get over it – OUT OUT OUT’. Those of us who believe in a united Europe are as usual being called ‘Traitors’, ‘losers’ and of course ‘remoaners’. However, I happen to believe that we are British, Patriotic, and wish to see our country prosper in the modern world.

The 2016 referendum was not a football match. However, I realise that the England team normally lose, and that their supporters are therefore normally obliged to ‘get over it’ and so it may seem logical to the Brexit brigade that the losing side should just get on with it and get over it. However, we have a difference here. The England side are still a reality, and will still play because they are part of FIFA. Would the Brexiteers have been so happy to lose the match if losing the match disqualified their team from further World Cup competition ? Would they just ‘get over that’ ? In fact, how would most premier league sides in the UK look if your remove all foreign players ? A bit shorter on numbers I think. And so we start to see the double standards of the Brexiteers.

BREXIT is not a football match. It is the rejection of the United Kingdom’s place in modern Europe, and the rejection of our place in the world. Many years of history have brought modern Europe into being. From the earliest day the British have been explorers and settlers. Overseas trade, power and financial interest drove the rush to build an Empire as it did for most other European countries (even Belgium managed to ‘bag’ a bit of the Congo…) The power of Nationalism and greed over Diplomacy eventually plunged Europe into the two worst wars in history in the early part of the 20th century, and our foreign allies were called in to help us not only in ending the war, but in rebuilding Europe afterwards.

Today, London continues to be an important Financial hub, the Monarchy remains at the head of the Commonwealth, European investment in our industries (Renault/Nissan) provide us jobs, and the very construction of the Modern EU reflects the British parliamentary system with an upper and a lower house. The UK has been an important part of the EU, using it’s influence to form EU legislation that helps us and using it’s right of veto when necessary to exclude us from reforms that we felt were not to our advantage ( for example, the adoption of the EURO). The UK has never been ‘dictated to’ by Europe as the UK is Europe. This modern Europe has become a powerful and stable force in world politics and world trade and it has enabled small countries rather like the UK to compete with and trade with and be protected from large countries whose interests may be predatory. This modern Europe has enabled UK citizens to move freely throughout Europe, to live and work where they like, and to enjoy health cover and safety wherever they like. This modern Europe was fought for and built by our Fathers and our Grandfathers and is something to be proud of, not something to be thrown away by Cheap Jack politicians hell bent on remaining in power by rabble rousing.

The 2016 referendum was flawed from the beginning. Was it advisory or was it a definitive vote? Regardless, why were the 5 million UK citizens who live overseas not able to vote in it ? Many were ‘not eligible’ as they had lived overseas for too long. Other like myself were unable to vote because our papers simply didn’t arrive in time. How can you have any form of referendum if those who are most affected by it are unable to have a say ? How many people were unable to vote ? Estimates range from 1.3 million to 8 million. The more important fact is that no one should have been excluded – but we were.

The claims made by the leave campaign have now all been exposed as lies. Why are these people not now being fined and arrested under electoral law ? Their funding was illegal, yet we are treated to these bigoted imbeciles daily as they are still allowed to broadcast. Why ? We have had over two years to investigate but the authorities seem to have walked away while chanting ‘Brexit means Brexit you loser…’ These of course are the same authorities that failed to implement EU immigration law in place since 1994, and then claimed that the EU was the cause if the immigration problem. These are the same people that failed to claim back the costs of Healthcare from member states under reciprocal agreements, then claimed that the EU is bankrupting the NHS ; the list goes on and would fill pages.

Today a huge number of people have made the journey from France and Spain to London in order to make their position known. The flights back to the UK have been full as UK citizens return to the UK to do what they can to stop this arrogant band of second rate politicians from sacrificing our precious freedom to live our lives as we want, where we want. If being British is about freedom, then it has to be said the the EU and what it stands for is entirely British. I thank all those who have made the effort to go to London – you are not losers, you are not ‘remoaners’ you are not traitors. You are British people fighting for our rights to freedom of movement, and a place in the modern Europe that so many fought so hard to create.

BREXIT is a cheap con trick brought about by the self interest of those who have no interest in the well being of the UK or its citizens. The fact that they succeeded in 2016 is already a failure, but also a symptom of a greater problem in the same way that the election of Donald Trump is a symptom of a greater problem in the USA rather than the cause. This is where rabble rousing and sound bytes replace common sense, where racial hatred and division replace harmony and integration. This is where mob mentality replaces reality, and where destructive politicians bolster their careers. This is where our country ceases to lead the world in our struggle for a cleaner, peaceful and prosperous multi cultural place to live, and descends into the deepest recess of its own arrogance.

BREXIT is very simply the Death of a Country.

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Name on a T-Shirt

Here’s a group of British expatriates living in France who are on the People’s Vote demonstration in London today. My name is written on one of those t-shirts, as are many others who could not be present.

My prayers go with those people who want to get the message over with no violence. There will be hundreds of others living in other countries, and the overall figure mentioned by the BBC is about a hundred thousand. Former Conservative Prime Minister John Major is committed to this cause.

If that doesn’t get the message over, then God help help us and our country!

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Use of Sarum in Oxford

David Llewellyn Dodds posted a comment about an upcoming event in Oxford. I have deleted the comment because it was off-topic in the thread in question, but of sufficient interest to turn it into a new posting.

Fr. John Hunwicke has posted

I gather that, this coming Saturday, October 20, there is a free Conference in the Queen’s College about the Sarum rite, and particularly the Lady Mass. Coffee 10.15; Opening 10.50.

“3-4.30: a performance of the Lady Mass (including Nicholas Ludford’s Saturday Lady Mass). The publicity does not make clear whether this is an actual Eucharistic celebration; nor, if it is, what the status of the ‘celebrant’ is!

“Those planning to attend should have emailed owen.rees@queens.ox.ac.uk by last Saturday, but I expect…

Commenters there have more information and links, e.g., “Their website says

“Please note that the Mass is open to all and you don’t have to register for the full study day in order to attend.”

Some of the comments on Fr Hunwicke’s posting give links to the study day and the Mass, which will certainly be celebrated by a Church of England priest.

I’m afraid I will not be in England this weekend. Had I been, I would have had to give higher priority to the People’s Vote demonstration in London. All the same, there it is, and it is good to see interest in the Use of Sarum continuing in Oxford.

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People’s Vote March

I encourage British readers to consult the site People’s Vote and The Independent March for the Future scheduled for 20th October in London. All details about locations and logistics will be found on the page. It is an opportunity for large numbers of people to demand a second referendum on Brexit to undo the present deadlock in negotiations and the real threat of a no-deal Brexit. I would go myself, but I don’t have the money, given that I need to travel next month for a Diocesan Council of Advice meeting.

When the referendum occurred in 2016 I was disenfranchised from voting by the British law that says that anyone living outside the UK for more than fifteen years no longer has the right to vote. A revision of this law is presently going through Parliament, but it will take a long time. I don’t know how I would have voted at the time, given that the EU was being blamed for everything. It is only now that people are becoming informed that the promises at the time over Brexit were deliberate lies and that the present process towards a no-deal Brexit will be catastrophic both for the UK and Europe.

Anyone who reads the news, not only from the mass media but also in blogs, will see how complicated it is all becoming. The Tory Government and its far-right extremists are behaving like a blinkered horse. A no-deal Brexit seems only to be of interest to obscenely rich and powerful people. See this sober analysis.

As I have mentioned before, Brexit is a black cloud over us British who live in European countries. Just as EU citizens living and working in the UK, we are living in paralysing incertitude. My parents and grandparents lived through World War II, and we know that the European Union was about stopping wars for good and working together for the common good of all the countries. Now, with this gamble by the bungling David Cameron who ran from it like Blofeld knowing that James Bond was going to give him his dues, families are divided.

I write as one whose situation in France is assured by French law on account of my uninterrupted living here for years and my being in the French social security system. I am applying for French nationality, something I should have done years ago, because I fulfil the criteria for citizenship by declaration and not by decree. The situation of many other British people here is much more delicate. Will retired people get their pensions? Will British banks still be allowed to send money to the Continent? Will our driving licences still be valid beyond next April? Will people still have health coverage on British schemes before going into the French system (which is not that easy)? Dreams will be shattered and newly renovated houses will have to be sold at cut-down prices. Some people might have to go back to England with nowhere to go and a long wait to get benefits.

Those of us here in Europe can only prepare for the worst by applying for the residence permits provided for presently under French law for EU citizens (we still are until 31st March 2019). Those who have been here for long enough and have the right papers can apply for citizenship and recover the right to free movement we presently have.

I am aware that many British people who read this blog probably voted “Leave” two years ago. I might have done so too at the time, given the propaganda about there being so much more money for the ailing National Health Service. It must have seemed the patriotic thing to do, in the spirit of the old days of the Empire and national pride. I am convinced that leaving the EU without a deal will cause a catastrophic recession in the UK, worse than the 1970’s, poverty and inaccessible health care for poor people. We will be poorer culturally and closed to the input of people from other cultures. Unless the country becomes a full-blown totalitarian dictatorship, there will still be people from India and Pakistan, from the West Indies, many fanatical Muslims – but Europeans would be penalised and stopped at the borders.

I believe our patriotic duty is to do everything possible to stop the madness of something that is a human invention. It is not inevitable or predestined from the foundation of the world. It can be stopped, preferably by the same people who put it in place, and our country given time to re-evaluate our relationship with other countries speaking different languages and with other cultural references, time to challenge aspects of the EU that need reform and more accountability. I once believed the old cant about the EU being a blind bureaucracy, an Orwellian monster – until I saw the old totalitarian demons in some of our own British MP’s and Cabinet Ministers. I give my voice to the “Remain” campaign, without any hatred in regard to those who voted “Leave”, but so that sanity and reason may prevail.

Nothing is graven in stone, and every human institution and law needs to be adapted to the historical context and the needs. Certainly, with the UK in the EU, greater progress can be made in realising the aim of the EU which is the fostering of peace and human rights. I would prefer this work to be done in the context of the present status quo rather than having to return to the EU in ten years’ time with a begging bowl.

For the sake of many people who may find themselves out of a home and livelihood, in the name of God and human decency, I ask you to protest against this black cloud and ask for an end to this nightmare. If you can go to London next weekend, give your heart and voice for our Queen and Nation.

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