… on the day you refused me protection after Brexit.
Let’s share a cup of tea together before you kick me out…
Dear British Friends
I love you.
I’ve lived with you for a long time.
I know your culture. I’ve read your books and watched your shows.
I’ve worked in your companies, I’ve been squashed in the tube with you and I’ve walked in the British countryside with you.
We have so much in common. We are friends. We stand up for human rights and we certainly stand up for each other.
I know you can stand up for our rights. I know you can fight.
I remember your stories of protests against the poll tax.
I remember how we marched together against the Iraq war.
We didn’t win then. The British government went to war. But we continued to protest. We made the case against what we thought was immoral and a violation of human rights.
In the end, we were proved right. (Other EU countries refused to participate in that war, they were also proved right.)
You see, after the Brexit referendum, when 48% of you voted to remain, I expected a lot of protests and I of course expected a strong political opposition, both in and out of parliament.
After all, half of the population needed to be represented. After all, almost half of you knew what this meant and would therefore fight it to the last.
But nothing happened.
There were no big protests. There was no resistance in parliament. No opposition.
To someone who didn’t know what the percentages in the referendum were, it must have looked as if 95% of Britons voted to leave. If you looked at parliament.
So I was disappointed but I also couldn’t understand it.
So I talked to you, my British friends.
I’ve known you for a long long time. We share so much.
Thoughts, ideas, dreams. We don’t always agree. Of course not. But we do agree on basic human rights, on ethics, on how to treat others and how to create a fair society.
We still do have all this in common. We do.
With tears in my eyes, I say that.
But when I ask you, hand on heart, look into my eyes, with all that we have in common, and considering I came to the UK a long time ago, in good faith, considering that I worked here, and in fact I worked in the one industry that accounts for up to 70% of GDP in the UK, which most of you don’t, when I ask you: why didn’t you do anything to stop Brexit, what is your answer to me?
‘There’s nothing I can do’.
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