EU

Don’t EU Like Us Anymore? – Cartoon Logic

I’m really worried about this EU referendum stuff. Now that Donald Tusk and David William Donald Cameron (see The Two Donalds, 7pm every Monday, ITV 2) have apparently agreed on something that might be the start of something that might become what we end up voting on potentially in June, the EU referendum suddenly feels more real. And now I’m worried about it.

I’m not sure whether it would be a good thing or a bad thing to leave the EU. I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly confused about it, much like the media at large, or politics at large, or the population at large. I envy people who have the certainty to know to stay or, even more so, to know to leave; we’ve been in the EU for a fair bit now and we have a pretty good idea of what staying in the EU would look like. My anxiety about the whole thing doesn’t come from my lack of certainty, however. It comes from the possibility that, if we leave, the other EU nations won’t like us as much.

Picture this. You and your neighbours have set up a special club. It’s only for your neighbours, and it’s one of the closest and most involved special clubs in town. You set it up in 1952, partly because you all had a dispute; it ended when the lot of you made Mr Allen Magne redevelop his house into a semi-detached.

At the moment, the special club has a few problems. Some are quite serious. And you’ve been thinking about leaving. A few years ago, you had a new party at your place, and this bloke called Nigel was quite certain that you should get out of the special club as soon as possible. He told you in a pretty arrogant, smarmy sort of way, and although a lot of people listened to him, he didn’t end up renting one of the spare rooms upstairs. Something about not being first to get past the four-poster bed up there. Anyway.

You’ve had a word with the head of the club. He’s told you not to worry, and that a lot of the problems can probably be sorted out. You’re particularly worried about people from the other houses moving into your spare rooms and filling them beyond capacity, then using all the milk and bread and cheese in the communal fridge without ever buying replacements. Some of the other houses, particularly near the end of the street, also seem a little bit… shabbier than yours. They’re not as rich. And that bothers you, or,  if not you, then some of the family members living in your house.

The head of the club has worked out some special considerations for you. He’s going to ask the other club members to make some changes that will hopefully appease the family members who don’t like the club anymore. They might even appease that Nigel bloke, though that seems unlikely. He just hates the club.

But hold on. Imagine what might happen if, after all this wrangling with the head of the club and the other neighbours in the club, your house ups-and-leaves anyway? I’m not certain, but I get the feeling the others might not like you as much anymore. You’ve messed them around for ages, then cleared off anyway. Maybe it was the right thing to do, but you’ve not done it in a particularly nice way.

Suddenly, you’re not invited to the really nice afternoon teas. Someone down the road had borrowed your lawnmower and now they’re avoiding your calls. Your next door neighbour doesn’t want to help you trim the hedge between your gardens anymore and no-one is around on games night. Everything’s gone sour.

Look, I’m gonna come out and say it. Instinctively, I like the special club. I like what it’s about, in a United-Federation-of-Planets-let’s-all-try-being-friends sort of way. I rather like the other members of the club. They’ve got cracking cultures, make excellent art and music and food, are largely aligned to us and our values in a vague liberal/Western/democracy sort of vein, and are generally nice guys. We tried being enemies for a while, but being friends just turned out better. And I’m honestly worried about upsetting our friends. Maybe that’s infantile, or naïve, and maybe politics doesn’t work like that. I don’t know. I just like the special club, is all. Give me a break.


Trump Clock 11 02 16

This week, the Trumpsday Clock is set forward to EIGHT MINUTES to Trumpsday. Iowa knocked Donald Trump back on the 1st of February. For a glorious brief moment, Trump’s campaign looked like it might have been in major trouble. Unfortunately, Trump stormed New Hampshire on Tuesday night. He got 35% of the vote and as many nomination-winning delegates as the next three candidates combined. Trump has reversed his momentum, so I’ve reversed the clock and moved it two minutes forward. Further wins (South Carolina on the 20th of this month could go Trump) will doubtless move the clock ever closer to Trumpsday, that terrible moment when Donald becomes Mr President. Perhaps we should stay in the EU, but leave NATO? It might be a liability to be in a Trump-led NATO, after all and maybe that will satiate the quitting-appetite of UKIP and friends?

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