Friday, 24 June 2016

Brexit Impulse Buy

Mermaids in Warsaw go nude.
I was planning to write "This morning I woke up, as usual, in the United States of Europe", so you can imagine my shock that Brexit won the referendum. I couldn't believe it. I knew it would be a squeaker, but I thought it would be a squeaker in which the UK just gave Johnny Foreigner a good scare and then all returned to the status quo. But no.

This almost inevitably means another Independence Referendum in Scotland--eye-roll--and the "I feel Scottish AND British" set might not be able to pull off another miracle on behalf of the United Kingdom. For one thing, a goodly percentage of it  is elderly (my husband's generation and his mother's generation not having had that many children), and young Britons are already all but broadcasting "Death to the Aged!" on Facebook. They point out that the elderly have only 20 years max to live with their Brexit vote; they do not consider that elderly have been paying taxes for 40 + years.

Sadly, many of the English-and-Welsh think they can go it alone without Scotland, and the annoying thing is that they probably can because we are only 5 million people and if there's anything last winter taught us, it is that North Sea oil wealth means zilch when the Saudis feel like punishing someone.

The Scottish Nationalist Party (which is not entirely Scottish and not nationalist like other people are nationalist) does not want to go it alone but be part of the European Union, which is why last night's result means another Referendum. Of course, if the European Union collapses, that's us alone--"an alcoholic madman clinging to a rock in the middle of the North Sea" as one of our parishioners once defined a crofter. And instead of encouraging Scots to have more children--for the SNP isn't into that kind of nationalism--Holyrood will import a new population of tax-payers who won't have the slightest idea who Robbie Burns is or give a damn either.

In related news, today I was in an Edinburgh hipster café owned by a Latin American trying to write a letter in Polish while behind me a black Londoner preached Islam to some white guy and assembled Americans, including a waiter, discussed how racist the Brexit-voting English are and how rich they (the English) were after World War 2.  (A Paddington Bear-style hard stare appeared from behind the English-Polish dictionary at that one.)

Meanwhile, the virtual screaming and yelling over Facebook is unbelievable. People with PhDs are actually posting charts to show how the elderly have shafted the young by voting according to their consciences: it's the most frighteningly ageist thing I have ever seen. I have seen only two posts of joy from Continental Europeans, both of them political science PhDs  from ex-communist countries who hate socialism with a hot white flame. The other Europeans are full of grief, horror and fear, and I do feel badly that they are frightened although I do not believe for a moment anyone will tell a European working or studying in Edinburgh that she or he has to go.

Ryan Air, which was firmly Remain in its EU Irish way, was so sure that the UK would remain that it sent me an email this morning saying "Celebrate remaining in Europe." Amused I clicked on it, and found the following:

"1 million seats from £9

"Celebrate Europe
As the UK's largest airline, we hope the UK will vote to Remain in the EU. To celebrate what we pray will be a big Remain majority, we're launching a 1 million seat sale with fares to Europe starting from just £9.99 – less than the UK's £13 travel tax – for travel in October and November, just after midnight tonight until midnight (GMT) Friday.
Just like the EU Referendum, these fares are once in a lifetime and will be snapped up quickly, so customers should log onto before they sell out. And if the Leave side do win, then these will be the last low fares the UK will enjoy for a very long time.

So in a massive attack of mingled panic and greed, I bought a round-trip ticket to Warsaw for £20. The catch is, of course, the two weeks between the departure and the return and, er, the fact that B.A. had stepped out to get the post so I couldn't get him to stop me consult him. In my defense, I tried calling his phone. 

Oh dear. What have I done? The tickets are non-refundable, so this probably means buying an extra, earlier ticket home. Dear, dear, dear.
No naked mermaids allowed in Krakow.

Update: Okay, so I have bought a ticket back to Edinburgh from Krakow a week earlier than my £10 flight from Warsaw-Modlin. At £47, it won't break the bank either. The moral of the story is never to impulse buy a ticket abroad without talking to someone about it first.


  1. I too was shocked when I realised it was 52% exit not remain this morning. But will they let it stand though? I wonder will they try to pull a Lisbon Treaty Irish-Style ye voted wrong trick on GB. In some form anyway.

    I'm so so proud of the British today. So thankful. I hope ye stay together though. I can hardly believe the vote wasn't rigged for Remain. Bittersweet, I only finished England, An Elegy last night. That Sturgeon is a Vulture. I will miss Mr. Cameron. If Nicky Morgan becomes PM I'll eat my beret. I will too.


  2. I've seen the ageist comments, but I'm also very concerned by fb friends and colleagues expressing sentiments that Brexit shows why plebiscites are wrong and basically question democracy. While I fully believe that democracy has problems, I'm a bit fearful to know what they would suggest as the alternative.

  3. Oligarchical socialism in which only the right-thinking get to vote. Closer to communism than to the 18th century when only landowners got to vote.

  4. Sometimes I think only landowners should be allowed to vote again in certain circumstances.

  5. In such a situation, I would hasten to buy land!

  6. Mrs. McLean-

    I've read all your posts with interest. Suddenly find myself with a lot less time on my hands than previously - you are in a great part to thank for that- but should you wish to diversify your FB contacts you know my name, I'm lounging in a cubist/orange dress.

    It's a horrible situation, I am politically grieving, and it would be nice to be in touch in a more face-to-face way should you wish.

    Of course I understand entirely if you don't

    With Very Best Wishes,


  7. Well, I am off Facebook for the moment. I think Facebook is part of the social and intellectual problems we are facing right now

  8. Well, I am off Facebook for the moment. I think Facebook is part of the social and intellectual problems we are facing right now