Monday, June 27, 2016

Very little to report.

I am knitting round 45 of the 50-round Hansel border – the last pattern round, as it happens. All is well. Watching Gudrun’s lesson about knitting the edging reminds me that I must look at my dp collection: do I have a sufficiently elegant needle in the right size for the edging? Most of my dp’s are much narrower-gauge, for socks. Do that today.

We watched Question Time yesterday evening – it’s really very good, and Dimbleby is brilliant. It was about the Subject of the Day, of course, and we heard a lot about the racism which several commenters have mentioned.

I think there is a real potential confusion here, although I may be underestimating the British Public. On the one hand, membership of the EU means free movement of all its citizens from one place to another as takes their fancy, much as citizens of any state can move anywhere else in the US. But not quite like that, since language is likely to be different and since EU migrants aren’t citizens of wherever they pitch up, and can’t vote.

Britain is worried, with perhaps some reason, about excessive migration from new-member Eastern European states, attracted by the contrast between our Welfare State and their poverty.

On the other hand, there are the wave upon wave of refugees moving from Syria westwards, and from North Africa northwards. These unfortunate people have no “rights” at all in the EU. 

 I think voters may have muddled these two groups together a bit – and thrown in the many legal Indian, Chinese, and Pakistani residents of this country (usually citizens, unlike me) who of course have nothing to do with the EU. This is from memory: I think citizens of India and Pakistan (and probably Hong Kong) used to have free entry into the UK, and I think I can remember the passing of the Act of Parliament, long, long ago, that locked the door against them. It would have been in the ‘50’s.

Racism is certainly an ugly current in Brexit. But it’s not the whole story, and I remain hopeful. I am sorry to see that KD is as sad as I know many of you are. Farmers are terrified – something like 40% of their income is paid directly from Brussels in the form of the Common Agricultural Policy, and they don’t trust Westminster or Holyrood to make it up to them.

A learned professor says in today’s Telegraph – “Parliament will be required to sustain a policy to which most MPs are opposed, an event without precedent in its long history.” You read it here first.

There is a tremendous sense of confusion and emptiness at the centre.

But today is the first day of Wimbledon!


  1. My father used to comment frequently "H.L. Mencken was right." referring to the quote “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” Lets hope this isn't true there or here. First day of Wimbledon and my strawberries are already done!

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  3. Oh Wimbledon to give us something finite and fine on which to focus. Praying for my fav Roger to go deep into week two. I will be watching with muted sound from work today.

    As for the other Big News. I have been fascinated and reading as much as I can to understand. Labor is in trouble with the last 24 leadership crisis.

    OTOH I have been wanting to travel to London as I have never been. Exchange being the big stopping point. So ......

  4. I believe Chinese residents of Hong Kong did not have the option of moving to the UK when Hong Kong was returned to China. Their status was different. My husband, who lived there his first ten years of life still remembers sign that said, "No Chinese or Dogs."