British newspapers

Sound bites: my 15 minutes of fame?

I was interviewed this week about Brexit. Now I just hope I won’t be vilified in the media like the British Conservative MPs who voted on Wednesday to give Parliament a say on Britain’s EU divorce deal.

I was contacted by journalism students at the University of Strasbourg. They’re producing a documentary on the impact of Brexit on British people in the EU and EU nationals in Britain.

As part of their research, they’re interviewing Brits on Spain’s Costa del Sol and EU nationals in London.

They also picked to come to interview people here in Lille because the city has promoted itself as a destination for British businesses looking to move to mainland Europe. (Check out the Welcom-eu.com website, if you’re interested.)

I arranged for the two journalists to come to our home – I figured it would be easier to talk here than, say, in a café or bar. They duly arrived, complete with recording equipment and notebooks.

Unsurprisingly, I wasn’t very positive. Brexit has divided the UK, broken families and friendships, cost people their jobs and lost the country billions in investment already.

The only good thing I have to say about Brexit is that it gave us the push we needed to move to France. I remember the day that Damon spotted an advert for a job here in Lille that was very similar to his role in the UK.

“What do you think? Should I go for it?” he asked.

“If you don’t,” I said, “we’ll always wonder ‘what if?’”

They asked what I’d thought of the Remain campaign. I explained that we had volunteered as part of it, handing out leaflets on the streets of our former hometown.

Nevertheless, I had thought it a challenge to overturn 40 years of bad press with a 3-month campaign. Especially when the Prime Minister – who had already put party politics above the national interest by calling the referendum – wouldn’t go head to head with the leader of the Leave campaign because it was one of his own ministers.

“Brexit has divided the UK, broken families and friendships, cost people their jobs and lost the country billions in investment”

I have a feeling the I’ll be treated more sympathetically when the interview is published than the 11 Conservative MPS who backed an amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill this week.

The Daily Mail was even more bilious than usual in reporting the government defeat.

“Just as the newly confident Tories inch ahead in the polls, 11 self-consumed malcontents pull the rug from under our EU negotiators, betray their leader, party and 17.4m Brexit voters and – most damning of all – increase the possibility of a Marxist in No. 10,” its front page screamed. “Proud of yourselves?”

I thought one of the Daily Mail’s chief arguments for Brexit was about the British Parliament deciding British laws? That is, of course, except when it doesn’t suit the paper’s politics.

Worryingly, when I went into a couple of shops to take a photo of the newspaper for this post, the Daily Mail was nowhere to be found. Either that means the staff had removed it for being so offensive or it had sold out.

I fear I know which… Which confirms that I made the right decision to move to France.

This entry was published on Saturday, 16 December 2017 at 08:32. It’s filed under News and politics and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

9 thoughts on “Sound bites: my 15 minutes of fame?

  1. …. now as a ‘minor celeb’….. will you be signing autographs? well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m delighted you were interviewed by these students. Your grasp of the issues, very real involvement in the remain campaign and intelligent approach to the chaos and carnage that was unleashed last summer, not forgetting your targeting of that odious rag ‘the Daily Hail (Hitler)’ or ‘Fail’ as we routinely called it when I worked on Fleet Street aeons ago in my first job, make you the ideal person to speak up and speak rationally and clearly. I would love to see the finished article if it is possible. Speaking for myself, I moved here over four years ago and always with the intention of settling permanently. I will as soon as I am able apply for Citizenship and I would have done that anyway. But the sad thing is that I never intended to let go of my British passport and yet now I feel increasingly bewildered with what I thought my country of birth stands for. Bewildered and pained. And speaking as an expatriated Brit (albeit of my own asking) I have to wonder what, if any, rights we will have to the crippled and ever more neglected health service, the diminished to fruitless pension pot and indeed how welcome I will be in the land that sporned me several years from now. I gave up giving voice to my opinions last Autumn after being mauled several times on FaceBook – seriously mauled. Having just finished reading ‘The Boys in The Boat’ (which I would recommend to everyone as a must-read) I might suggest that those doing the mauling have far too much in common with the Nazi propagandist machine of the 1930s and that is scary indeed. Well done sir – chapeau from Grenoble. And do please let me know if the article becomes available to read.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. You are so right about “what if”. Bravo for making the decision!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bravo all round, you know my views on Brexit chime with yours.
    This will bring Britain to it’s knees economically (it’s already happening- see latest inflation figures) Businesses small and large that have any choice are moving abroad or south of the yettobedecided border in Ireland. I notice the proposed tax hikes in Scotland, so all the little hotel and restaturant businesses that were thriving up there will now have to think yet again; delivering the kiss of death to a United Kingdom which is fracturing visibly. I don’t know if any significant number of people in the UK realise just what has been unleashed.
    Cameron is now racked with guilt. Too bloody late. I wish I could persuade my family to leave now.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I so agree with you, what a mess. The United Kingdom is facing a very bleak future.

    Liked by 1 person

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