‘Frontiers: Inside the Outsiders’ is Pi Comment’s very own column tackling social issues and trends from the perspective of students. Rather than suffer through the turmoil of Brexit and be forced from the EU, Kezia Niman offers our generation an appealing solution – leave Britain altogether.
The votes in Parliament were counted, and Theresa May’s Brexit deal: rejected. The landslide result will be consigned to a paragraph in the Brexit Chronicles. Amid the political blur there are truths which, though intertwined with fiction, cannot be ignored. Our truth is the globalism of our generation. Many of us have at least one parent who is an immigrant, many more of us are immigrants studying in the UK, others of us travel with the ease and frequency of a migrating bird. Our advocates: Caroline Lucas, Anna Soubry and Gina Miller, argue that Brexit in any shape or form will complicate our futures. No doubt it will. What is a globalist to do?
The word globalist no longer means a neo-liberal transnational tycoon, or an over-ambitious communist. We are not advocates for cross-country expansion. No, we are the products of that expansion. That is what it truly means to be a globalist in today’s day and age. And so, as the fragmentation of the UK’s exit from the EU looms: how are we globalists to prepare? To resist? To overcome?
For answers, where should I turn first but to my own family history? My mother left South Africa in the 1980s, as the political situation began to destabilise. Some people chose to leave, feeling the future was bleak. And – rewind 60 years – what about my father’s family? They fled Russia and Poland for the North East in the early 20th century, running from poverty and persecution to England’s green and pleasant lands. Or what about my maternal great-grandfather who fled Lithuania, hidden under a hay-bale on the eve of World War One to escape the death sentence of conscription? Or what about my ancestors who left Germany in the 1890s for Johannesburg?
My family tree spans Eastern and Western Europe, South Africa, Australia and the UK – and that’s just in the last 150 years. I know for many UCL students this is a common story. We are the concoction of an ever-closer world, where nationalities intermingle like atoms in a compound. Swapping, sharing, changing. Who are we but globalists? As for today’s political climate in Britain, it’s clear what our histories say about unstable countries with terrible leaders and feeble opposition. Countries where xenophobia is the norm and the police have to sponsor adverts reminding people to refrain from inciting racial hatred. You know what our histories say. They say: Leave. Leave before it gets too hot, before you get burnt.
Instead of leaving the EU, it is we globalists who should leave this failing county. It has been ravaged by insane power-hungry politicians selling the delusion of nostalgia. A delusion which hardly needs pedalling in a country built upon the bones of Empire. Globalists are not necessarily refugees. We do not always share their trauma, their loss or the resilience. But some of our threads are connected. There’s not much difference between us, really. We are both the products of movement. Just eighty years ago it was we Europeans who were the refugees. Have you forgotten that, Brexiteer-General?
If it seems like I’m asking a lot of questions in this article, it’s because I am. I’m testing the waters, flipping the conversation. I’m thinking; you know what would really show the Tommy Robinsons, the Nigel Farages, the Boris Johnsons? Imagine if we, the younger generation (the bright shining future), upped and left. If we woke up on the 29th March, looked out the window, didn’t like the weather and said – “Looks like you’ve made a big mistake Mr Brexit… Oh and you’re not going to fix it… Well what’s in it for me then?” “Thanks for everything but I’ll be off” “Maybe I’ve got some European ancestry back there and I can apply for citizenship?” “Maybe I’ll move somewhere totally new?”
I know many countries are tightening their borders, and moving might not be as it seems in print. But why should we invest in a stock that’s declining? The Tories see the world in terms of checks and balances, don’t they? Well let’s show them how we’ve absorbed their old Etonian wisdom. Why should I be loyal to an Island that’s betrayed me? They sold off my future for a few billion in Somerset Capital Management (owned by the Right Honourable Jacob Rees-Mogg). Those pound signs don’t care about little old me, with my moral values. In fact, if we left, I doubt the belligerent backbenchers and self-aggrandising fascists would even bat an eye. I mean, Boris Johnson’s already having another torrid romance according to the Daily Mail, he hasn’t got time for us. They’d only release how much their Brexit has lost us years down the line, and even then, they’d just blame it on migrants, Muslims and Jews. “Oh no it’s never our fault”, they shriek, waving their hands.
In fact – yes, yes that’s it! Why should we invest in any nation? It only takes a couple of years before the wheel of fortune falls and they all turn bad. No countries, no states, just pure, crystal clear, unfettered globalism. What joy! Who needs this tiny Island if it’s bent on self-destruction? Rather let’s do the kind thing and help Lady Britannia stub her own toe.