Tag Archives: European Union

Slow-Motion Suicide Latest: European Union ‘Sets New #Brexit World Record’!

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#Brexit #Immigration Latest: UK Government Chasing EU #Teachers!

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Testing Times: UK Nationals ‘Queuing Up to Take Arcane Spanish #Exam’!

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Footnotes in Islington: A Conversation About Brexit

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Determined to get himself at least some semblance of sun, our Creative Director & CSO (‘CD&CSO’) recently found himself in Islington, which while not exactly rivaling Bodrum was nevertheless in the midst of a mini-heatwave. After a leisurely stroll around the neighbourhood (helped by not knowing his precise coordinates), he was gently accosted by a lady handing out leaflets by Angel’s fabled Tube station.

Because he was feeling particularly relaxed, our CD&CSO held out his hand for the literature. It turned out to be a flyer promoting the latest March for Europe (3rd September 2016).

‘We’ll be assembling here on Saturday at 10.30.’
‘Ah. I don’t actually live around here.’
‘Oh. If you did, then there’s an event being given by a leading journalist next week…’

And so the conversation developed. The female activist was unfailingly polite, and obviously deeply affected by the result of the European Union referendum (23rd June 2016). Our Creative Director & CSO mentioned a recent study he had come across detailing just how psychologically detrimental consumption of television news is; the activist concurred. He then noted the irony of how regions around the world – ASEAN, Mercosur, et al – are desperately trying to copy the EU model at the same time that we voted to reject it. In turn, she asked him if he had heard what a controversial US presidential candidate had same that morning; realising he probably didn’t watch the news very much, she referred to said candidate’s previous statements, of which he was indeed aware.

Realising that his first meeting of the day was about to kick-off across town, our CD&CSO shook the young lady’s hand and headed down into the Tube. But reflecting on their conversation in the subsequent days, he was unable to dispel a central sensation.

The activist was clearly upset about the state of the world today, and he too had serious misgivings about our planetary trajectory, particularly in the context of vacuous ideological posturing. Yet large parts of the general public may dismiss them as nothing more than a couple of sexy media types – her the multilingual Europhile, him the unlikely überflâneur – without any reference to the actual quality of their ideas.

In recent months, forests have been sacrificed towards the promulgation of a ‘new era’ of ‘post-factual’ and ‘post-truth’ politics. But what this actually means in practice remains ill-defined. As things stand, it may ultimately represent the cynical manipulation of large numbers of people by the toxic combination of insinuation, misleading labelling, and sheer intellectual laziness and mendacity; the net effect of this is to take real people – with their hopes, dreams and lives – and reduce them to mere footnotes in an onward march towards an anti-climatic implosion.

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Payback Time: European Commission ‘Forces Real Madrid and Barcelona Onto Level Playing Field’!

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Psycho Screaming: Euro 96 and the Origins of #Brexit

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With the United Kingdom having voted to leave the European Union by a simple majority of 51.89%, this point in time seems an apposite juncture at which to examine Brexit’s origins: to be precise, the genesis of the psychological framework which could make this unthinkable development possible. And after some contemplation, we at Mediolana believe we have ascertained the source of this mental state: the 1996 UEFA European Football Championship (‘Euro 96’).

Euro 96 was held in England, and those of us who were in London at that time can attest to the eerie nature of the atmosphere surrounding that tournament. England’s games – all of them, weirdly enough – were held at Wembley; in the stands, the Union Jack – the flag of the entire UK and up until that point synonymous with the local national team – had been firmly and suddenly supplanted by the Cross of Saint George in a curious act of cultural engineering. Kitsch and retro nationalism – exhibit A, the Three Lions anthem featuring none other than David Baddiel and Frank Skinner – was increasingly in vogue.

But it was the febrile tension in the near-deserted streets whenever England played which stays with the observer the most. This was particularly pronounced in areas of London with substantial international populations: the contrast between those adherents of the delusion that Alan Shearer was equal to if not better than Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima, and those who watched these same adherents with a mixture of bewilderment and pity, was about much more than football. It was a precursor of the non-dialogue between those who put their faith in empty fantasies and then seek to blame anyone but themselves when the inevitable meltdown ensues, and those who at least try and open their eyes to attempt to perceive what might actually be happening.

Fast forward two decades, and we have just witnessed a referendum of which the essence is that England has essentially voted not merely to leave the European Union, but to dissolve the United Kingdom and relegate itself into obscurity. This nation’s inability to compute the prestige and power that it gained from both the EU and the UK – a permanent and now probably untenable seat on the United Nations Security Council, soon-to-be-revoked tariff-free access to the world’s most valuable and equitable trading bloc – is at first glance incomprehensible. But it need not be so: a little knowledge of the tenth and most parochial edition of the European Nations Cup can tell us a lot about how a country – a purportedly civilised, open and tolerant entity – can come to define itself through relentless and baseless demonisation of a largely-fictional ‘other’.

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The Usual Suspects: #Brexit Referendum Opinions ‘Split Along Entirely Foreseeable Lines’!

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