………..you do the hokey cokey and that’s what it’s all about……….Slightly off topic tonight for me……… Such a good children’s song, but when it is being likened to the most important vote of my generation it is worrying. For those readers with their eyes closed, heads buried, or overseas in 12 days the United Kingdom votes to decide whether to stay in or leave the European Union. I have read up many, many pieces tried countless surveys to see what my opinions mean on the issues and despite my gut telling me one thing I truly am still not 100% sure. Mainly because of the lies spread all around by both campaigns and because the truth is we do not know what will happen. The world has changed since Britannia Rules the Waves (and that is a good thing), the world has changed since we became a member of the common market as it once was. We survive on different exports and skills and we rely on trade, as an Island you have to, there is no other option.
What I do know though is that the vote for me isn’t about Britain being British again. We are an Island, I love my history and have read many books and articles over the years about the invasions we have had, some have been successful and for a while ruled the lands, overs have just done what arguably many large corporations do now – come over fleece and steal the natural reserves, rape and pillage the population and not pay taxes. The reality is that we are a nation with an identity made up of centuries of invasions followed by our own period of rule with the British Empire, this led to an influx of nationalities and there’s no amount of being in the EU that makes me any less British. More than being British I am English and I am 90% of the time proud to be both.
When I see and hear some of the xenophobic comments that have gone unpunished by a presidential candidate in the US I shudder at the thought that some in my nation share similar views. Then at a time when I should be really excited and proud to be flying the flag as yet again England start another football tournament, this time Euro 16 it is marred with hooliganism. As it comes along I sit here at nearly 40 hopeful that I will in my lifetime see us win a major trophy. I remember Euro 96 Football’s Coming Home and 3 Lions on my shirt, every match I was with mates packed out in various establishments full of excitement and buzzing as a teenager at what just could be. I have always been passionate about sports, whether it is England in Football, Rugby, Cricket of Team GB at the Olympics and I get excited every tournament. I have in my lifetime seen enough talent to lift a trophy at football if there was a complete overhaul in our system of bringing players through and our style of play and our tactics but that is out of my control.
Since my car accident excitement has waned, not least because I cannot jump up and down in celebration, drink copious amounts and party hard win, lose or draw but also because so many places are not friendly for me in my wheelchair, too many people crowded bumping into me and it’s a recipe for pain. Instead I sit at home living in hope as my LG waves her flappy frog party bag noise maker thingy (I’m sure that’s the technical term for it) shouting come on England. The match itself this evening was brilliant until we scored, then we created the same cardinal sin that we create time and time again, which is sit back, try to defend and get hit with a sucker punch!
So as I type this I am sat here deflated after the match, not the performance the young guns were awesome, but disgusted with the scenes that have been played out over the last 3 days in one of the most beautiful cities in France. The violence that has marred this match, which I am sure has had political wranglings and organised gangs behind it all is nothing about being English, Russian or French. It has nothing to do with football and it has nothing to do with the EU yet some clowns are making it a case for leaving. It is the very reason as a disabled person I will probably never get to take my LG to watch an England match, the fear of scenes like this by mindless inhumane thugs disgraces the sport I love, the country I love, the United Kingdom I love and the Europe that I love. It is a step back to the hooliganism that should have been stamped out before I reached adulthood. What in any right mind the point of some of the unbelievable violence is, is beyond comprehension. The only people that suffer are the true fans and the businesses that have been destroyed. The police will never catch everyone and I wonder why we still live in a world that can do this to a fellow human being.
When there is so much pain in the world already why do we inflict more, why, why, why