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Tuesday, June 18, 2024
Laterally SpeakingNo entry for some of you but not everyone, ok?

No entry for some of you but not everyone, ok?

There’s been much talk recently about party political rebellions and new EU migrants—this time starring the good people of Romania and Bulgaria. It’s not their fault: they’re simply the latest in the European Ebay Free Boundary Auction and as such are entitled to live in the UK if they want to. It’s a free country, innit? Well, actually it’s not, it’s a free Europe which is a teensy weensy bit different, but I digress! I’m certainly not letting any doom-laden xenophobic flag waving onto this page (or onto any other page come to that).

But you still have to ask yourself… why? Why do so many Europeans want to come here? Are we such a nice bunch of people in the UK that the rest of Europe simply wants to be near us to feel our bodily warmth as human beings? I don’t think so. Are they here then to watch Premiership Footie since we seem to have stolen all of their best players? Or are they coming for our glorious British food? Maybe to Dorset, Somerset and Devon where our local cuisine is now world renowned, but surely they’re not coming to places like Bangor, Birmingham or Blackpool where a considerable number of restaurants are rumoured to be still at the prawn cocktail and two veg stage.

Of course, there are some of us who still reckon Romanians and Bulgarians might flock to the UK to benefit (perhaps literally) from our generous social services and subsidised housing. I’m sure this is no longer so true as thousands of their European brothers and sisters (Poles, Hungarians, Italians, Germans etc) have already been here taking advantage of our system for many years. Therefore everyone knows there’s not much left in the benefit pot. Besides which, it’s a double sided argument. If—for whatever reason—my local Dorchester Hospital A&E department becomes too overcrowded or my TV License costs more than an annual house mortgage, there is nothing to stop me popping over to Bucharest General for a free plaster cast and watching Romanian TV which will still be playing repeats of BBC’s ‘Life On Earth’ but for free. And with Romanian subtitles (exciting stuff!).

As another example of reversed opportunities, my local hotel in Bridport could now employ a Bulgarian chef without a need for a work permit if they wanted to (and if you were wondering, which I’m sure you might have been… Banitsa is a fabulous cheesy Bulgarian pastry, but that’s about it for Bulgarian food). In exchange, I‘m free to open a dive in Sofia playing equally cheesy Bulgarian folk music plus a shop selling IPads out the back. On second thoughts, perhaps a travel agency to the UK might be safer.

Whatever the real reasons might be, I can say for sure nobody is coming over here to enjoy our so-called glorious weather, unless they are trained life guards or boatsmen and women who fancy going sailing around our new English inland waterways. The flooded fields of Weymouth and the very wet Somerset Levels need to be newly mapped with 2014 navigation charts. Perhaps there’s a Danube River volunteer? Personally I welcome all new arrivals and I have already provisionally booked several hundred Bulgarians to help build me an Ark in our garden owing to the imminent global deluge. I know I’m right about the ‘Great Flood’ because the forthcoming release of Hollywood’s latest blockbuster ‘Noah’ stars Russell Crowe, Emma Watson and Anthony Hopkins all in the same movie—a formidable trinity that surely represents some sort of Divine celluloid sign if you were looking for one?

And while we’re encouraging some people to come here and others to stay at home, we should ask who else needs to be investigated. What about Australians and their very rude cricketing shouts? I have always thought that ‘sledging’ was hardly ‘cricket’! And nearer to home, what about the Scots? They are due to vote on whether to stay in the UK. Well, nobody asked me and I’m a part of the UK too. Doesn’t my vote count? And if Scotland does decide to declare itself independent, does that mean they wouldn’t be allowed to come down south of the border if they are not in the EU? There’s a good one!

And how local do you want to be? Where do you erect the ‘No Entry’ barrier? Personally, I’ve always had a bit of a thing about Glastonbury. I once had an argument with a very rude traffic warden there, so I would vote to ban most Glastonburians (if that’s the word) from entry to Dorset. Particularly if they also were traffic minders.

And what about the village down the road that’s established entirely unreasonable ‘no fly zones’ directed at local hang-glider pilots? Plus the neighbour at number 47 who keeps having loud orgies on Saturday nights—and I’m not even invited! I mean, c’mon now… where do you stop?

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