Staying In Europe
An Australian said to me a few years ago, that I was lucky to be a European. When asked why, he explained: ‘Well, look at the number of Australians in jail in Thailand and look at the number of you lot, despite there being fifty times more Europeans in the world than Australians. Foreign governments are scared to touch you because twenty-seven countries will back you up in Europe. We’re virtually on our own except for a few Kiwis’.
I laughed it off at the time, but the wisdom of his words is more obvious now that there is shortly to be a referendum to leave the European Union. Thailand can lock up a hundred Aussies and wait for an angry letter from their Foreign Office, but do that to a hundred Europeans and twenty-seven countries could take retribution as one nation.
I am using Thailand as a random example, it could be any corrupt country or dictatorship, unless it has huge oil reserves.
Naturally, the course of action depends on the severity of the crime, but there was a spate of arresting travellers at the new airport on trumped up charges of theft, from which the accused could only be allowed to continue on their journey after confessing their guilt and paying massive fines.
I have always been a European as much as a Brit, but I had never been married until I was fifty. Then I realised that my Thai wife would not be allowed to join me for my retirement in the UK, unless I had an income of at least £18,000 Well, if I am retired, that is not going to happen, is it?
So, it seems that you are allowed to fall in love with a non-EU citizen, if you can afford it according to British laws made by wealthy politicians, many of whom do have foreign spouses.
However, European law, which overrides British law in certain circumstances, says that it is a breach of my human rights not to be able to travel freely in Europe with my wife of any nationality.
This seems a lot more sensible to me than our silly knee-jerk law introduced so that politicians could look tough on immigration and save their lovely, lucrative jobs at the expense of sacrificing people like me and my wife.
I have heard of people committing suicide because they could not face the prospect of having to go home alone.
No, for me, I trust the huge unwieldy, horribly expensive and corrupt European Parliament to look after my rights and welfare more than I do our home-grown, self-serving bunch, who have been caught out too often for me.
I honestly don’t believe that they give a toss about me, so I’m staying in Europe no matter what the rest of you decide.
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Podcast: Staying in Europe