Personally, I have never experienced a divorce nor been involved vicariously in one, not even as an onlooker to close participants. Of course I have heard of them , I even play golf with new friends who in their previous existences have had that process engraved on their hearts.
There is one common bond however: the first words of advice of the majority of those who have gone through that process are “don`t do it”. If further questioned, you might elicit the answer “because the process is too awful”. Expressed with often a heavy sigh and much rolling of eyes, very little further detail is ever forthcoming. Those are left to the hearer’s imagination and to the recollection of cases aired in the “Red-Tops” and other carnivorous mass media outlets.
I am now involved along with the whole British population in what has become an international divorce case. That is, of course the Brexit campaign. Why do I label it as divorce?, Well, I seem to remember the President of the EU Jean Claude Juncker describing it as such. He is the present EU ringmaster, so he should know!
What has prompted me to write this article? I needed little excuse: I am now an active participant and I had the gut wrenching experience of watching an erstwhile “friend” of one of the parties interfering on behalf of one of the participants in this divorce case on a massive scale. That went far beyond the usual “don’t do it” or “do you really think it is wise, after all you`ve have the children to consider” etc.etc.etc.. ‘advice’. But this chap, the present President of the USA, has the gall to jump in with both feet, cannons blazing, to deliver a gut wrenching, embarrassingly weepy paean in the presence of a simpering fool of a friend, sitting mutely next to him and probably hoping the earth will open up and obliterate the whole event.
This self-styled ‘exceptional’ President, head of the most powerful ‘exceptional’ nation on the globe, was actually laying down rules and dictating opinions which primarily concerned his own country’s interests. The poor fools of the Remainians who he was supposed to be supporting did not realise, or were wilfully blind, to his postulation that the divorce would lead to a period of uncertainty and inevitable loss of coin, power and world position, a position which he was willing to ensure by putting negotiation of a vital trade treaty with us “to the back of the queue”.
Apart from fury, my first thoughts were “Who the hell does he think he is?” This was far more than a friendly “don’t do it”, this was plain involvement, and interference in a private dispute between two partners, (EU/GB), who for all their long 43 year marriage had discovered it was merely an experiment, early love had perished, long term plans were no longer mutually acceptable and it was better the two parties split and lived apart. In other terms the original marriage should have been declared null and void anyway, as the original contract had contained an illegality (Ref: Lord Kilmuir letter to Heath 1982).
So where was this “advice to friends” and the “hang on in there, fight this increasingly abusive relationship from within” coming from? None other than those erstwhile ex-colonials who had such a problem with the concept of “No Taxation Without Representation”. Now, they were actually advocating “Slavery forever without sovereignty”, without “representation”.
Perhaps readers will detect a certain amount of personal perception to the above events, and yes, they would be correct! Behind my fury was the realisation that in this single episode of the President`s ill conceived intervention the LEAVE campaign had reached a watershed moment, the forward initiative and legitimacy of their quest had been handed to them on a plate. The whole remain campaign had been exposed as to say the least “dodgy” – dodgy facts masquerading as propaganda; dodgy claims that if we remained IN, further and better terms could, never mind would, be negotiated, in fact, this is a whole dodgy campaign of fear and bluster orchestrated and conducted by the most dodgy leader we have ever had.
So personally, I am energised. I was out on the streets Saturday morning and do you know what happened? In answer to the question “have you made your mind up yet?” some passers -by, when chatted to about these remarks allowed their names to be added to the LEAVE box at the top of the poll sheet: I work a ladder system: if they say No I haven`t, they go in the box at the bottom of the sheet, when they come out of the shop again, I offer them promotion to the TOP of the sheet and so they go in the LEAVE box and get a sticker.
Thank you Mr.Obama, you have succeeded in energising the whole population to take this debate personally. Apathy is no longer a default position and the LEAVE campaign has been “weaponised”. What a wonderful tool you have handed us to soundly belabour the Remainians who so clearly do not have the positive interests of this once and soon to become again a GREAT nation at heart.
Photo: Public Domain courtesy Pete Souza