Brexit: The establishment that changed me from remain, to leave

When the referendum came up in 2016, I took a long deep think about it, and researched thoroughly the pro’s and con’s each side. Long story short, I voted to remain, as it gives us and the next generation much more options in the future.

Brexit01

When the result was announced that the decision was to leave, it sent shockwaves through not only the UK, but the whole of Europe and beyond. The whole world was talking about it. But the EU establishment itself was particularly shocked. Nigel Farage famously stood up in front of them all and said “When I came here 17 years ago, and said I was going to start a campaign to get Britain to leave the EU, you all laughed at me, well you’re not laughing now are you”.

I was still a remainer at this point, but as the months went along, the true colours of the EU were coming out and making me doubt if this establishment is worth doing business with.

If we first put it into context, the EU has 28 members, and wants it to become a united states of Europe, with one currency, one army, one flag and an anthem. It has a strong grip of the union and it’s members. This referendum result sent shockwaves through the EU, and they instantly became determined to either overturn the result, or make it as difficult as possible to at least make sure none of the other members think about leaving. These are the events that happened in the months after the result:

  • The EU plucked a “divorce bill” of £52bn, out of the air
  • This was later revised to £40bn
  • Then, it said Spain was allowed to Veto any Brexit proposal, if it was not happy with a “solution” on Gibraltar (but Google Melilla and Ceuta – Hypocrites of Spain)
  • Guy Verhofstadt claimed that the EU masterminded the Good Friday agreement (they had nothing to do with it)
  • Catalonia in Spain, voters tried to place their votes – the police, including riot police shut down 92 polling stations and injure 750 voters. The EU turns a blind eye
  • It states the UK is “not allowed” to discuss or negotiate any trade deals until there is a final conclusion on brexit
  • It is looking to punish Hungary and Poland for not accepting any migrants, yet is not doing anything about the migrant crisis itself – i.e. the ships such as the Aquarius sitting 12 miles off Libya and providing a taxi service for migrants to Europe
  • Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Commission President, said “English is losing it’s importance” and was choosing French instead

It’s funny how English only starts “losing it’s importance” when the country that hosts the founder of the language, England, wants to leave their club. And this coming from a guy from Luxembourg. A guy with Luxembourgish as his native language, has no place to criticise English, the international language of business, commerce and travel. Most airports in the entire world, have signs in their local language, and English. In fact, if you look at the map below, it shows you what languages each country believe is the most useful, after their own native tongue. Blue indicates English, Red indicates French. Now, the UK and Ireland put French because the native language is English. So, the whole continent believes English is the most useful language, apart from that little red Enclave there in the middle – yes – that’s LUXEMBOURG!

most-useful-languages

This week Theresa May went to Salzburg to meet with the EU about her Chequers plan. They basically said “it will not work” and did not offer up any counter proposals. In other words, “UK, go back and try again”. It reminded me of when the EU ignored French and Dutch voters who said no to the EU constitution, and when Ireland voted against the Lisbon treaty and the EU made Ireland vote again and again until they got it “right”

ireland lisbon

Or when it bullied Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and others with financial bailouts, much of which were their own doing. The Euro for example, has NOT seen prosperity across Europe, particularly the Mediterranean countries. I saw it myself in Portugal several years ago. Greece should never have joined the EU or Euro because of its financial position, it faked its books and the EU knew it, but this was ignored to help the EU build its empire.

There are a whole host of other things I have learnt about this EU establishment over the past two years, and I have to say, I don’t like them much. These un-elected, overpaid old men in Brussels, are making rules that affect our lives.

There are a lot of benefits to being in the EU, no doubt. We can travel and work all across Europe freely, which I have done. We have no phone roaming charges anymore, our business can trade freely with little documentation and no tariffs. Collectively we can work together against possible enemies such as Russia which is on our doorstep.

However, is this really the be all and end all for our country being a success? I think not. We are the 5 richest nation on earth, the EU is only 15% of the global GDP. There is a whole world out there, and we have neglected our friends and family in the commonwealth of which we have centuries of history.

Secondly, this EU “project” as I will call it, I do not believe will work long term. The countries of Europe are thousands of years old, they all have different languages, cultures, traditions, and until the Euro, different currencies. Trying to combine them into a US of Europe, will not work. All countries in Europe, are allied anyway, we are all friends now, so even when the UK leaves the EU, if Russia were to attack Poland for example, we would be right there to defend our neighbours and friends. We don’t need an EU for that.

Brexit03.jpg

Look at the above map, it’s a big club, but with us leaving is going to leave a big gap. I voted remain, but because of my bulletpoints up above, I am now quite happy to leave, and I don’t want this Theresa half in half out rubbish, a clean slate, leave, and start again. We managed Millennia on our own, let’s go and start again, but remain close friends and allies, to all of the countries across Europe.

Serena & the Caricature

So this week, Australian cartoonist, Mark Knight, created a caricature of Serena Williams after her defeat at the US open last weekend.

Serena Caricature2

The backlash on social media was instant. It was described as “Racist and sexist”. The reason being, because she has large lips, Osaka is portrayed as a white blonde, and has general references to cartoons made in the 1800’s, of “angry black women slaves”. So lets take that apart.

Large lips – now, this is a caricature, where every feature of a person or object is exaggerated. Her lips are much bigger than her opponent, and the umpire. This happens elsewhere, such as this caricature of Mick Jagger

Mick Jagger Caricature

Or this image of Spitting image. Do you remember this show? John Major was grey and dull, Paul Gascoigne was always drunk and crying, the Queen had an ape mouth, Tony Blair had a wide mouth, and Prince Charles had HUGE ears.

Spitting Image02

More recently we had Newzoids, where Boris Johnson had a mop for hair, Donald Trump had a cat for his hair, Alan Carr had HUGE teeth, and Benedict Cumberbatch had a 15 foot neck.

Newzoids2

So the next point is that Osaka is white and blonde. Now, it is true that Osaka looks very white in this caricature, but if you look at Serena, she is not as dark as she is in real life too. As for her being blonde, during the match, she had blonde hair:

US Open Tennis

And now for the references to slaves and cartoons made during that time. Now, we are not living in the 1800’s, and there is no slavery anymore (well there is but not on the scale back then).

There is no reference in this picture to racism. It is simply a caricature of a woman having a HUGE tantrum on court. The calls for sexism in this photo are absolutely baffling. After all, she lost to a WOMAN. So that is real sexist?

So lets now go to the match itself. Serena is one set down, and in the second game of the second set. The umpire gives a code violation warning of coaching. Serena approached the umpire and said, very politely “if he gives me a thumbs up, he’s telling me to come on, we don’t have any code and I know you don’t know that, I understand why you may have thought that was coaching, I don’t cheat I’d rather lose, just letting you know”. All very polite in the words, but she was clearly angry.

She then lost the game to become 1-1 in the second set, and when sat down, brought up the issue with the umpire again, saying she understood why he would think she was cheating but she doesn’t cheat. Again, she was angry but fairly polite to the umpire and just wanting to get her point across

Serena01

Then, at 3-1 up she lost the next game, and decided to smash her racquet on the ground. She receives a point penalty for racquet abuse. Meanwhile, Naomi Osaka is ignoring all of the escalating tension to just focus her mind on her own game

Serena03

Then as the next game starts, the umpire announces “15 love” (because of the penalty) and this causes Serena to approach the umpire and say “I have a daughter and I stand by what’s right for her, I have never cheated in my life, you owe me an apology” in a rage, before returning to the court. She lost that game and back in the break, she starts on the umpire again, stating he was attacking here character, and he owes her an apology, and that he will never ever be on her court again as long as he lives. In a very angry tone, stating “You are the liar” She then demands an apology from him: “Say it, say you are sorry… then don’t talk to me” and went on and on, whilst the umpire just didn’t really react. Until seconds later when she said “you stole a point from me, you are a thief too”. This caused the umpire to give a code violation of verbal abuse, and gave her a game penalty (which adds one game to Naomi Osaka)

Serena06

Serena04

This now makes it 5-3 to Naomi, and as the game is about to start, it means that instead of Naomi serving, Serena has to serve, because of the game penalty. None of the players really knew this, so the umpire calls them both over and explains it to them. Serena then rants again at the umpire asking for an apology and decides to call the referee out. She cries at the referees claiming sexism and that many other men have done a lot worse but because she is a woman, they are taking it away from her. She then wins the next game and then goes back to the referees to shout at them again. it’s now 5-4 in the second set to Naomi. Serena loses the next game which means Naomi is the Grand Slam Champion.

Serena was quote gracious to Naomi and hugs her. But at the trophy celebration, poor Naomi, even though she won, the crowd were booing (although not at her) and this Katrina Adams stated “Perhaps this is not the finish we were looking for today”. The poor girl was in tears. She pulled her cap over her eyes.

Serena05

So lets pull the game apart.

01. Cheating (ie coaching): She claims she was not cheating, yet she admitted that “if he gives me a thumbs up, it means to come on”. So firstly she is watching the coach. Secondly, the coach admitted after the event, that he was giving her signals but “everybody is doing it”. OK fair enough they are all doing it, but umpires cannot police everything all the time, I remember at school, everyone is being naughty but sometimes the teacher turns around and sees me making the faces and sends me against the wall. This time Serena, you just got caught out.

Serena07

Even if she didn’t see the coaching, the umpire doesn’t know that. He cannot deduct points from the coach. They are part of one team trying to achieve one goal, to win the game. The umpire has to assume cheating and deduct points from the player.

02. The fact she has a daughter. How is this relevant in an argument about tennis? Don’t most people go on to become parents? That’s like saying “I own a house”, or “I have two eyes”.

03. The fact she is a woman. It is true that there have been a lot more outbursts from players which have gone unpunished, but it is not because you are a woman. Last year the same umpire gave Rafael Nadal two warnings for slow play, and gave Andy Murray a warning when he said it was “stupid umpiring”.

The referee was issuing penalties because of the complete disrespect she showed to the umpire. She could not handle the fact that Naomi was far superior in play, and Serena was losing. She acted like a spoilt child, and tried to throw every card at them, the mum card, the sexism card, and if it wasn’t for the fact that her opponent was half Japanese half Haitian, I bet she would have played the race card too. It’s interesting she played the sexism card, considering it meant she lost to a woman. Surely he would have been giving them BOTH code violations.

Serena08

Serena stole, the most magical moment of Naomi’s life, and you can see that in the tears in the trophy ceremony. I cannot wait, to see her exit tennis, and exit the public arena. Congratulations Naomi, you are a true champion, and so humble. You will go on to be an ongoing champion. Here is the full video: