Off we go

The Blogger is leaving on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Far East (Japan), so there will be no posts on 12th, 19th or 26th April.

Just in case any of my readers is connected to the criminal underworld, I should point out that we are not leaving our home unoccupied.

Although the news today makes it slightly less likely, there is a real possibility that by the time we come home, this country will no longer be in the European Union. (I have a small bet on with a family member.)

As regular readers know, I regard leaving the EU, especially without a deal, as a disaster for the nation, and a bad thing also for the rest of the world. Of course I may be wrong.

However, countries have had to cope through history with national disasters of various types, natural, imposed from outside, and self-imposed. Perhaps it’s even our turn.

How should one respond to a national disaster?

Life goes on, at least for some, after the worst disasters – plague, war, invasion, tsunami. Brexit isn’t as bad as that. As a Christian, I have extra reasons not to panic, no matter how concerned I may be.

If/when we do leave, I think it will be distressing for many people. I’m wondering if there’s a place for churches to hold funerals/wakes for British membership of the EU, to enable Remainers to express feelings of anger, grief and fear (as well as celebrating what was good about our membership over the years); but of course the problem is how to do such a thing without implying that Remain is the Proper Christian View, which would be appalling and inappropriate. And maybe I’m exaggerating the pain. The world so far seems to be trundling on fairly normally – I don’t see hysteria in the streets.

I think, if we leave, all of us Remainers will have to:

  • Prepare to endure what we don’t like – well, as a longstanding Labour supporter, I’ve had plenty of practice;
  • Try to forgive, as I’ve mentioned before;
  • Not blame Brexit for absolutely everything;
  • Get a move on, now that Brexit is/will be finally done, with averting the even worse disaster that is climate change;
  • And… I think it can’t be denied that some of the reasons for some people voting for or promoting Brexit are unkind and unchristian. Therefore we need to maintain with determination the values of Europe and Remain at its best – reject all hatred of the alien and the other, stand up for those who are different, and promote international co operation and generosity. These are values that I think some of the Leave campaign has deliberately or accidentally undermined.

And what both sides will have to do, above all, and go on doing it, is to refuse to use the toxic word “Betray.”

Love and farewell for a bit, from the PPI Blogger

  • Judith Leader

    5th April 2019 at 10:10 pm Reply

    As I know you and therefore realise this is not what is meant, but I think when you mention a Christian attitude and Christians being unkind it seems the rest who are non Christian either of other faiths or non won’t have a moral code in the way they behave. There is always a simmering underworld with the real IRA in Ireland and the north is I am sure the same with some people (not the real IRA) to leave without a deal could and probably will be disastrous for them. I suppose if we cannot stop the government doing the worst deal possible, we have to live with it. But it doesn’t mean we have to accept and forgive and forget. The impact on prices will impact the poor as well as others, racism, already in the Labour Party wit its overt antisemitism (the reason amongst others that I a life long supporter and a member resigned my membership) and Islamophobia in the Conservative party, British people who are not white face more racial attacks. This isn’t scaremongering as it is already happening.
    Primo Levi was asked if he could forgive his guards in the death camp he was sent to, his answered that he could not forgive the guards on behalf of others. I think that is a challenging statement and after much thought I as a Christian agree with him. What are attitude should be I have no idea as I don’t know in line with the government, what is going to happen. I still feel angry at leaving the EU and the fact that after two years they still don’t know what they are doing is appalling. Jesus didn’t love the pharisees despite the fact he reached love and forgiveness nor did he express a view on slavery or any of the issues of the day. I am not sure what a Christian attitude should be nor do I know what my attitude should be, however acceptance and do nothing doesn’t seem that moral to me.
    Have a happy holiday and I am not a baddy and anyway you will let me borrow any books I want.

  • Stephen Sheridan

    6th April 2019 at 12:06 am Reply

    Enjoy Japan Penelope – a fascinating culture. I worked for a Japanese company early in my career and it was a real eye-opener. A very difficult language with three alphabets and yet it still wasn’t enough, as they needed English elements in Karaoke subtitles (despite having one of their alphabets for purely foreign words). I loved the allegedly true story that a British company ordered some engineering products from Japan in the early eighties and specified in the contract that they would accept a 5 % failure rate. The order duly arrived with a note stating they had divided the order into two parts, the 95% operating units and the 5% units that had been deliberately manufactured to fail.

    On Brexit, I wouldn’t worry too much if you are a Remain supporter: it looks very much like you will win after all. Two likely outcomes:-
    1) There will be a long extension granted subject to a referendum and the question asked will be May’s “Deal” or Remain. As most leavers will prefer `”No Deal” and they won’t be able to vote for it, they will boycott the referendum and Remain will certainly win. All the MPs I have seen interviewed who support a second referendum talk only of this particular choice.
    2) The EU is quite rightly so annoyed that they only grant a short extension and give the UK the option of leave without a deal, commit to the referendum in 1 above or revoke Article 50. All the political commentators I have read or watched say that faced with a choice of an exit with no deal or revoke, Parliament would revoke. They would probably then try and cover it with another referendum per 1 above to confirm that they acted correctly.

    The Tory Party will also be consigned to the dustbin of history, but Labour may suffer the same fate. We shall all need to pray about what emerges from the wreckage of our politics, but in a sense this was all inevitable and we shall just have to make the best of it.

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