Thanet keeps making headlines, doesn’t it? Dredging, Seaborne Freight, alternative lorry routes. It seems when or if Brexit arrives my adoptive home will suffer a disproportionate amount of the resultant fallout.
Now, I didn’t vote for Brexit. I know very few people that did. I like blue flag standard beaches, European grants that run to millions, skipping merrily in and out of foreign climes when I please. I appreciate my German doctor: I worship my handsome Portuguese dentist. Bringing music therapy to twenty different care homes in and around Thanet, I’m aware that many of them are staffed almost exclusively by people born elsewhere, without whose services a lot of disabled and elderly folk would be stuffed. I have a fair few relatives living in Europe, and Lord knows I fervently hope they remain there, far far away from me.
Nonetheless, Thanet as a whole certainly did want out of the EU, voting 63.8% to leave. That’s a fair way below some other areas of the country, like Thurrock or Great Yarmouth, say. whose support for Brexit topped 70%. So why are we suffering all the queues and inconvenience? Why is Thanet alone being placed on the naughty step? Heavens, didn’t we do our bit by working hard to embarrass Nigel Farage, twice, when he tried to take our precious isle?
Why did 63.8% vote for Brexit? It’s simply baffling to me. I can’t think of a single good reason to go, and I’ve been listening to all the arguments for several centuries now. Was it the immigrants? Thanet has below average levels of immigration, in fact, in common with most of the places that voted to leave. Regions peopled plentifully with immigrants tend to find those Johnny foreign sorts aren’t all bad, actually.
For sovereignty? Odd, nebulous concept, sovereignty, particularly when deep down we all know we’re governed by about three international conglomerates, rather than the poor tired saps in Westminster, or Brussels. Whatever sovereignty means, is it really worth all this bother and expense and sheer soporific tedium? And if you voted Brexit in the hope it would mean more money for the NHS, it must be particularly galling that post-vote the QEQM appears to be losing its stroke unit and quite possibly its A&E too.
I don’t want Thanet to be the butt of Brexit’s great joke. It isn’t fair. It particularly isn’t fair to me. But hey, what can we do but laugh, right? Maybe this is Thanet’s legacy and duty. In those dark, hungry days ahead, as our economy stagnates, property prices plunge, the NHS unravels, we fight for the last rat to roast on a tattered Union Flag spit, perhaps the rest of Britain can look at our little corner and think yes, OK, it’s bad. But hey, at least we’re not living in Ramsgate. Geography and poverty have combined to flagellate that lot most amusingly.
Not sure anyone in Thanet will be laughing, mind.
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