Please don’t go is last week Der Spiegel’s cover dedicated to the the thorny issue of the EU referendum, that will probably put UK outside Europe.
Far from me to make an economic and political analysis, my analysis will be naïve, based on emotions and feelings as Italian who could possibly live this historic change on her skin.
London is the capital Europe, not only the capital of England. As well as ‘the fifth city’ of Italy, for number of Italian residents.
The editorial of Klaus Brinkbaeumer on Der Spiegel explained, with generous and touching word the reasons for British to stay ” to convince the British to love the EU, perhaps we should use this opportunity to mention how much the rest of Europe admires them.
“It’s unbelievable that they don’t seem to see how much they’ve shaped the continent, how much we value them here, how close we Germans feel to them.”
It continues: “Germany has always looked across the Channel with some degree of envy.“On our emotional map of Europe, the Italians were responsible for love and good food, the French for beauty and elegance and the Brits for nonchalance and progress.
“They have an inner independence that we Germans lack, in addition to myriad anti-authoritarian, defiant tendencies. A lot of what happened in Britain spilled over to us sooner or later, reinforcing our cultural ties.”
The magazine, one of the most influential in Germany, paid homage to British cultural exports ranging from James Bond to Twiggy haircut. A poll conducted for the same magazine found that 79% of Germans wanted Britain to remain in the EU.
Thursday 23rd June, British will express their opinion and decide whether the country will remain or leave the European Union.
As Italian in London the situation is quite serious!
And of course it is the subject of many conversation almost everywhere.
Last Friday as usual I went to my local pub, Adam & Eve here in Lower Clapton, in Hackney the heart of one of the most labour area in London, perhaps the wrong place for a field analysis. I had a discussion on the subject. In the beer garder we were five people, from three different European countries, Italy, England and Sweden, shocked and saddened by the current situation.
Shocked, cause if the Brexit win, no one knows exactly what will happen. Sad because we all grown as European and we consider ourselves europeans. John said “no it will never going to happen, I am European before being English and many others are like me.”
Robyn said, “I am half English and half Italian and I cannot understand what is going on, everyone here in England is mixed, we are all Europeans, part of our families live overseas, would be a break even within our own families “.
Although the data of the exit polls give a different image, the country is divided nearly in a half, with a slight majority (7%) of those that want to Leave. Although this majority is composed predominantly by older people.
YouGov Times – the generational schism
10:46 PM – 13 Jun 2016
Obviously some British press is giving the “best” of themselves. From the Sun titles, that invite to Leave.
To the Remain Labour’ s campaign.
Joel Golby in his controversial and funny article on Vice UK, equally controversial magazine, describes this generation of old British people too old to take right decisions for the future of the country.
He talks about – Old people, in their Volvos. Old people, with their really loud TVs. Old people, who bought a house for £60 somehow and don’t understand why you and the boyfriend-who-you’re-not-married-to-but-we’ll-not-get-into-that-now can’t buy something for your own. Take an old person to a restaurant and they will read the menu for anything between 20 minutes and an hour and a half, ask what a prawn cocktail is as if anyone doesn’t know what a prawn cocktail is, then eat two bites of steak and kidney pie then say they are done. You will have to go home early from the restaurant because the old person needs an insane amount of special medical bannisters around them before they can shit, and now they need to shit, so you need to drive them home because they don’t trust taxi drivers. Old people, who want to vote out of Europe for no particular reason but who fucking cares anyway because by the time the changes come into effect they will all be gone to the void. Old people, who took all the cream and now want to put a cap on the thin milk that they left behind. (Here the original article).
The picture is worrying and my feelings related to this historical moment are mixed. From European I choose London to study and here it’s where I learnt to work. I have always considered England a progressive country. Although it was not completely and fully part of Europe, I still felt at home. I came here with my ID, the same one that I used to buy alcohol in any supermarket in Italy. I did not need any special Visa at the airport.
I choose London because was open to differences. Albeit with many problems, England has managed to create a multicultural society. Where everyone, after a few years or even after few months can feel part of the community. Where linguistic, religious and cultural backgrounds, are considered interesting and not bad marks
I choose London and England because the close racist mentality, who wants foreigners out of their country, did not belong to this country.
It’ s not the referendum on itself that really worry me. I don’t think that suddenly I will be put away. I’ve lived here for years, for me probably will not change much, I hope! Although the requirements to stay will change, we will be divided between those that are useful for the country and those economically less “useful” that maybe have to leave. I do not think that I will have to sew a yellow star on my coat.
But it will change the way I will perceive this country and most of its citizens. Call a referendum to make a decision about stay or not in Europe, that I cannot vote, make me already in the position to ask myself a lot of questions:
Do I want to continue to live in a country that although I pay a lot of taxes, consider me a burden?
Do I want to continue to live and invest my future family in a country that considers Europe a cancer for its economy?
Do I want to continue to live in a country that has forgotten to be European?
Do I want to continue to live in a country where I have to ask a permission to stay ?