|I didn't want That Man Trump to adorn this blog again,|
so, here's a picture of a white, middle-class, privileged
woman, who's starting to feel quite strongly about some stuff
I was chatting with a friend today about her plans to leave the country. She has a ten year plan to take up residence in Spain.
Well… Good for her.
I just wonder what her chances are of fulfilling that plan.
Of course, plans are made for changing, and they change all the time, but what if she doesn’t want this plan to change? Will she still have a say in where she lives in a decade’s time?
We voted for Brexit… At least, I didn’t, but enough people did to make our break with the EU and our European cousins a very real possibility; some would call it a foregone conclusion.
We’re right at the very beginning of the exiting process, and, so far, I’m tempted to think that we’re making a pig’s ear of it. I have a feeling that a great many Europeans feel that way too. Of course, many of them are seeking their own moves to the right of politics, and, perhaps, even their own ways of leaving the Union.
America has moved dramatically to the right of the political spectrum, too, with the election of That Man Trump.
So, could it be that globalisation is on the way out? And if that’s the case, what could it mean for all of us?
Will the Liberal Elite in the United States seek to abandon what they might consider to be the sinking ship of their homeland… And, if they don’t abandon it now, for just how long will they be prepared to grit their teeth and hang on for grim death? Will one Trump term be enough to motivate them to leave? Will two?
The thing is, if Trump goes through with his xenophobic plans and closes America’s borders, and if the EU breaks up and more stringent border controls are implemented, will anybody be able to move freely around the globe, or choose where in the World they live?
We saw this in the second half of the century with China and Russia. Movement in or out was difficult and often impossible for dissidents.
It’s a strong word, isn’t it? Dissident! But these are strange times, and our language is bound to react to the changes that are taking place in the World.
If movement is possible, if the Liberal Elite in America, who now have a colossal fight on their hands to live out their principles, decide to quit their country, where will they go?
Well, I guess they’ll come here. They’ll come to the UK and to Europe, and it will be the kind of Brain Drain that the UK talked about in the second half of the last century, when so many young, educated people emigrated to America, Canada and Australia for a better standard of living. We call it the Talent Drain, now, because some still believe the UK is losing too many of its best and brightest.
It used to be about money. Perhaps, in the not too distant future the Brain Drain will become about ideologies.
Here’s the thing, though, with Brexit and a move to the right, the UK is also talking about clamping down on immigration. Will we allow American migrants into the UK? Well, we just might, because it appears to me that the stance against immigration is actually a reaction against particular kinds of immigrants: those who fall into the categories of having a native foreign language or a different religion or complexion from the majority of Britons.
We seemed to have a great many more problems with immigrants from our Indian and West Indian commonwealth countries in the second half of the last century than we ever did with the Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans, who also chose to make the UK their home.
So, if we all become less tolerant of foreigners, it won’t only be the needy who miss the boat (as it were). My native English speaking friend might find that she’s not very welcome in Spain.
Conversely, a friend of mine in America, whose politics are Liberal and whose calling is academic, has children who can claim dual nationality. What will their situation be in a couple of decades time? That Man Trump is claiming America for the Americans right now. He plans to close America’s borders. He was cheered long and loudly for proposing That Wall.
What concerns me is what happens after he closes America’s borders. If life doesn’t improve for white middle America, who will they turn on next? It won’t be undocumented aliens, because they will have been banished already. Will they turn on Hispanic Americans or the black population? And when they’ve done their worst with them, will it be the Jews? Will religious intolerance take over? And when that phase is complete, will America turn on its citizens of dual nationality.
OK… I’ve taken this thought a long way down a very rough path, but you get my drift.
Martin Niemoller made a good point well, and he made it more than sixty years ago. I think it might be time to take another look at what he said. And, not for nothing, this is quoted by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.