Thursday, 31 January 2019

Being in denial!

The panic continues:-

Barclays are moving to Dublin just in case there is a no-deal brexit.

Asda, Lidl and Sainsbury’s warn of possible empty shelves and soaring prices.

Stories abound of EU citizens living here having problems applying for settled status.

A German friend is asking if she really needs to acquire an android phone to apply for settled status. She does not want an android phone. Can she not do it on the computer? And why does she have to do it anyway as she was granted indefinite leave to remain more than thirty years ago?

An Italian friend is determinedly refusing to register for settled status until the absolute last minute. This is partly her rather bolshy character but also the result of a tiny bit of hope that at the last minute someone will turn round and say that we are not leaving the EU after all.

Mind you, she wouldn’t be much better off in Italy, which seems to be going into economic meltdown.

In fact, the Eurozone appears to be in crisis.

Everything has been destabilised!

Here is a story from yesterday’s newspaper:-

“A 90-year-old man with crippling arthritis, diabetes, and who is frequently confused, could be forced to return to the US to apply for a visa to live with his British wife in the UK. Albert Dolbec has been married to his wife Dawn, 84, for 25 years, and they divided their time between the US and the UK for many years, but when their health declined three years ago they decided to locate permanently in the UK so Dawn’s family could help look after them.

Albert, however, mistakenly entered the UK on a visitor’s visa, thinking he could convert that to a spousal visa from inside the UK. For the past two and a half years, the family have been trying to persuade the Home Office that he should be allowed to rectify his mistake without returning to the US.

Albert has no home and nowhere to live in the US. His wife is too frail to travel with him and his family are convinced he would not survive the experience. It is, the family’s lawyer said, “a terrible failure of common sense”.”

This is the sort of thing that keeps happening at the moment. We have become an unkind country.

As regards being unkind and inconsiderate and just plain odd, I read that one in 20 British adults do not believe the Holocaust happened, and 8% say that the scale of the genocide has been exaggerated, according to a poll marking Holocaust Memorial Day. That poll found that one in three people knew little or nothing about the Holocaust, and an average of 5% said they had never heard of it.

It’s  not just in the Uk. In France, 20% of those aged 18-34 said they had never heard of the Holocaust; in Austria, the figure was 12%. A survey in the US last year found that 9% of millennials said they had not heard, or did not think they had heard, of the Holocaust.

When I was at school it wasn’t taught in History lessons but, perhaps because we were post-war babies, we mostly knew something about it anyway. And then there were all those films about the war, Colditz on the television and stories about the Resistance in France.

The Second World War is taught in secondary school History these days. Surely the Holocaust forms part of that. The sixth form colleges I worked at invited Holocaust survivors in to talk to students and I know that this has also happened in secondary schools and even primary schools.

So how do people not believe it happened? Do they think that Schindler’s List was just a work of complete fiction? Probably so!

Maybe it’s another aspect of the me-me-me-centred modern world. All of that happened long ago and in another country. Perhaps if we pretend hard enough that it never happened, then that will become the new reality.

In fifty to seventy-five years’ time, will there be Brexit-deniers or even EU deniers? I imagine groups of people stating that none of it ever happened!

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