What is our view about change? Do we regard it as an exciting opportunity, or an unfortunate necessity? Do we embrace it or shrink from it? Do we think that the future is a blank sheet under our collective and individual control which we can mould to the greater good, or do we believe that “things were always better in my day”?
How do we treat visitors (temporary or permanent)?
Do we welcome them, treat them with respect and assume the best? Or do we regard them as a threat – they’re after our jobs; here for the benefits; on the scrounge?
How do we describe our identity? Am I a “Londoner”, a Sussex man, English, British, European ….. or Sapiens? How would I rank these, if asked to?
I am proud to be British (not specifically English) …… but also proud to be European. Of my four grandparents, one hails from Ireland and one from Switzerland. I am thankful that these two were welcomed into the late 19th/early 20th century “English” community. I hope that we and our children will have an equally welcoming attitude into the future.
Above all, of course, I consider myself a member of the human family Sapiens; I’m pleased to consider all fellow members my brothers and sisters.
Brexit? No thanks
Let’s acknowledge from the start that competition is generally a good thing. However, surely this is even more true in the context of an overall co-operative framework.
- When seeking access to increasingly limited resources (whether in trade, natural resources, services or whatever), is not working together in partnership better than aggressively fighting for “our little bit”.
- Are we really still wedded to the notion of Might is Right? Do we care about those with whom we compete? Or about the weak, who will inevitably lose out?
- Many would acknowledge that working together in science, medicine and technological research is self-evidently a good thing; why not in education, trade, industry, defence and security?
- Our lives are increasingly dominated by networking (social and professional); why do we shy away from the national equivalent?
- We increasingly live in a world in which all the important issues are global; if the issues are global, should we not move towards co-ordinated, global responses?
- In any event, does it make sense to fragment back to a national (or indeed, sub-national) mindset?
Has the concept of the nation state, fundamentally a 19th century construct, had its day?
To be continued