My Place in the Sun

A lot of people have taken me to task because I have suggested that the E.U. referendum in the UK was very xenophobic.  I do happen to think that in all areas both sides of the argument exaggerated and said things that were not true, but if you think sovereignty (whatever that is), economics, democracy  or any of the other things that swung it in favour of exit; I am not sure where you have been?  What swung it was we want to stop immigration!  As I said before, not all people who vote exit are racist, but all racists will vote exit.  Sure some will have thought about the other arguments, though how anyone could cut through the noise to any factual knowledge I don’t know.
I said from day one, people will make their decision on this campaign emotionally.  That’s how people make decisions; perhaps they shouldn’t but realistically thats what people do.  So what swung the vote?
  • nasty racist posters
  • we must control our bordersb62883aec5c988dc10b6cc107235f331
  • We need to stop people coming into the UK.
  • It’s putting pressure on schools and housing.
I wonder why no one ever asks how much pressure divorce puts on housing. How can we possible think or say that a lot of this rhetoric, posters and advertising were not xenophobic?  I wish someone could explain that it was not a xenophobic campaign to my non UK friends, who work hard pay taxes, and were not allowed to vote but are quite afraid now; maybe sharing the fear of the two million plus UK citizens who live in other EU countries.
 It seems perhaps surprising but perhaps it shouldn’t be that London (which has the highest number of immigrants, and my area) voted to stay in. Maybe we understand the benefit of immigration? What is also surprising, but probably should not surprise me is how many of my non birth UK citizens voted out. Kenyans, West Indians, Sri Lankans, Bulgarians (who have UK passports and are friends of mine) voted out.  It’s that yes I have my place in the Sun, I have the sun bed and my towel is on it, say don’t you come in and touch it.
Let me tell you some stories which explain why I should not be surprised.  Some years back I remember being in Switzerland; I was there with refugees who years before had come to the country escaping war and lived in really hard conditions.  But (as is often with hard working, innovative, and creative refugees) they have done well and had nice houses, nice cars and were very prosperous.  I was aware that there were new wars at the time and new refugees coming into the country so I asked my friends “how is the country coping with the new influx of refugees?”.  Their response; ‘Our country needs to do something to stop these people coming in’!
Story two, when we started helping refugees and asylum seekers in the UK we were advised to take some advice from an expert who was running a large half way house for people. These were not refugees but people with problems.  We met the said asian gentleman and his advice was most helpful but then he asked what are you doing.  My wife explained that we were setting up homes to help refugees and asylum seekers, his response to that was ‘we don’t want those people in our country’. My wife glanced up at his turban without saying anything, he obviously read her thoughts, and responded with ‘oh that, me I’m English’.
Story three, another friend of mine was running a youth club, arrived one day and asked the main worker where are all the young people today as they are not in the club. "don’t know" was the answer. Looking out of the window he noticed a whole load of young people kicking a football around, "Oh" he said "I see lots outside", "oh no" came the reply "they are not young people they are Polish".
I have all along during this campaign for in or out of the EU felt that the end decision was going to be made selfishly; we never once really asked will it hurt other Europeans, is it best for them if we leave, and what do the immigrants here in the UK feel about the anti foreigner rhetoric even the economic argument was always the selfish one.
Now, again not surprised, is to hear the Christians saying God's will has been done, really?  Why do brexit-bible-muralpeople always think God's will has been done. What a funny idea? Why does Jesus tell us to pray that God's will should be done, if it always is?  I am sure that often what happens is not God's will at all.  So we may say as the Muslims do Inshalla or as Christians say D.V Deo volente, "God willing". God may be willing but that does not mean His will has been done.
Well now going back to that Brexit! Was it what God wants?  I don’t know.  Personally to be non selfish with all the wrong of the EU I felt it was better to stay in for lots of other people's benefit, influence and the protection that the UK gave in negotiations to smaller countries.  I listened to others in Europe who worried that if the UK left it would hurt them and did not want that to happen.  Am I sorry that I have said it was so badly racist influenced? No and sadly the post exit decision seems to have raised a terrible dragon of permission to be racist with people shouting in the street to go home to various non UK people.   Sad!
So was God's will done, I don’t think so!  I am not sad about that because I know God well enough to know he takes all situations to make himself known and for those who love him He makes all things work together for Good.  So I am still happy.
Adrian Hawkes
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