Monday, 26 May 2014
Foreigners using British trains shock.
It's a given of the human condition that two people can be in exactly the same situation and have a totally different experience. Take for example me and Nigel Farage and our view of foreigners on trains. I was on the train yesterday and next to me in the carriage was a Polish girl and a young guy who might have been from the Middle East or Mediterranean. They were chatting away (in English) about this and that. I got the impression that they were work colleagues or perhaps attending the same college. Back home they might never have met someone from such a different background but they interacted here in London. Will this not effect their view of the world and am I just being a naive old fool to think that in a small way this was a good thing? I am not a relativist and there are many aspects to some cultures, especially in the areas of religion and gender politics, that I find abhorrent. I also understand only too well that a population increase from abroad on the scale we in the UK have seen over the past few years puts a terrible strain on housing, schools and the NHS and that this impacts mainly on folk who don't make the decisions and have no way of buying their way out. All this was going through my mind as the results of the EU Elections were revealed this morning. Interestingly enough, the countries that have really felt the brunt of high unemployment and the crisis driven austerity policies, Spain and Greece, moved toward the left despite Greece's Golden Dawn getting some 10% of the vote. In Germany and Italy the voters opted for the status quo but in France the Front Nationale were clear winners and in Belgium a Flemish Nationalist party with a policy of dismembering the country secured a third of the votes in Flanders. Compared to some of the political parties lurking in the European undergrowth the Kippers seem quite benign but across the EU voters have shown that when the going gets tough people frequently turn inward, exclude the outsider and look for scapegoats. There may come a time when the likes of me and the two young people on the train will need to stand up and be counted.