2021-06-18 Free Writing

A 1000 words of free writing, edited for errors.

Politics is at the forefront today with some surprising, even shattering news.

In England, the Liberal Democrats have achieved a dramatic result by overturning the tory majority in the Chesham and Amersham constituency. This has been a safe, blue seat for a s long as I can remember. It is of interest to me because this is the constituency I used to live in and was last registered in. I had a postal vote here until I tore it up just a couple of weeks ago. Why? I'll come back to that in a minute.

To the result... The Lib Dems have been on a dramatic slide towards oblivion for a few years now. This has been ever since the the coalition with the tories under David Cameron and Nick Clegg. Cleggmania was the ruin of the party. Maybe it is on the rise again, I certainly hope so.

I have been voting for them in Chesham and Amersham for a long time and, like many people in many constiturncies, I felt that this was a wasted vote. Well this result just shows what can happen if people have faith that entrenched views can be overturned. I don't care about the result any more but I do care that it could start to knock back the awful Boris Johnson and restore some decent governemnt to the UK.

How this might be achieved is a different matter. The Lib Dem debacle showed that coalitiions are not popular in the UK and that, even if they were, the necessary compromises can sink them. In the case of the lib dem/tory coalition the ld's even got an agreement for a referendum on proportional representation and lost that vote. It was pretty hamstrung by Cameron, but it was still a lost opportunity.

So why don't I care any more about this amazing result. Well, quite simply, I am over the UK and British politics. I live in Spain and am becoming more interested in Spanish politics. I finally came to realise this when I came to the decision not to renew my UK postal vote. This has long been held as important by Brit ex-pats (or immigrants as I prefer to call them). They recently won the right to vote for ever! As if that makes any difference. It seems they like to keep this notional connection the their "home"... I decided I didn't want to keep that connection.

My residency in Spain is permanent and for the rest of my life. In fact very soon I become eligible for Spanish citizenship... that is going to be an interesting decision? Is it something I am willing to go for, the language, the tests... That is something to discuss another day, what do I want to be? Do I want to change? Do I need to change?

On to the other fascinating piece of news from Northern Ireland. The leader of the DUP, Poots, has resigned after only 21 days in the post. The non-entity makes his last gasp attempt to touch fame. He may be remembered but only for a supreme act of folly. With any luck this affair will have destroyed the evil party that is the DUP. Hopefully that might be swept into the dustbin of politics, never to rise again.

What is fascination is that this is happening right at the time that catholics are overtaking protestants in population terms in NI. The stage is being set for a unification vote that will change to course of UK/Irish politics for ever. And not before time.

I am intrigued by my attitude to this when you consider my family history. The Phoenix family came from NI via Scotland. They are solidly protestant but have no affliation left in or to NI. In fact the only Phoenixes left are catholic, a bizarre turn round caused by a black sheep a few generations ago. It's amazing what love can create down the generations.

I do not support the dinosaurs of the DUP and Unionism even though that would seem to be what I should do. Like many people I have moved to integrate within the area I live in and now call home. While we were from Northern Ireland, and possibly Scotland before that, when many of the family moved to Scotland, they became Scottish. The spectacle of English members of the family wearing kilts at weddings and funerals is frankly laughable. They have no connection to them other an obsession of their parents.

For me the problem is that I definitely do not feel comfortable being English. British is a term I prefer to use, as it better describes my generational background.

So the family moved on from being Irish to being Scottish. We soon moved on from being Scottish to being English. In turn I find myself moving on from being English to being Spanish. Wow! That is quite a shift and quite a realisation. Is that really my future? Or can I remain in a sort of limbo seeing as I am at a late stage in life and have no reason to make the change.

I am comfortable here and feel secure in the safety of the Withdrawal Agreement. The greatest problem I have is in coming to grips with the language. Yes, I am getting good at reading it and will improve my ability to write it. But hearing talking in Spanish, that is a more difficult issue. Partly to blame is my failing hearing. Perhaps the simple answer to do something about that. Certainly if I go for citizenship I will have to do that.

So back to politics. I am more interested in the Catlonia problem than the Scotland problem. I am more interested in the future of Spain than the future of the UK. Even if Scotland achieved independence and EU membership would I really want to become a Scottish citizen in order to return to the European fold?

Interesting question...