Two days ago I posted the text of a speech given by former Prime Minister John Major. He was speaking about the folly that BREXIT. It is sad, and a little ironic, that we live in a world where many current politicians are so terrified of offending the electorate that they refrain from speaking their mind*. The irony bit comes in when it is left to unelected politicians or former politicians such as Sir John to speak sense. (* The exception to this rule is the far right of course; the likes of Farage and Trump who have identified their bigoted group of supporters and seem fearless when it comes to all the others…)
Someone called “Stick to cycling content” (curious name but there you go…) posted the following comment:
I’m guessing this person is pro-BREXIT and doesn’t like reading things that might challenge their opinion, but I may be wrong. However that’s not my issue with what they have written. No, my issue is that this person thinks that ‘politics’ can be in some way seen in isolation to everything else in life. ‘Politics’ is life and as ‘life’ includes ‘cycling’, I see no reason why I shouldn’t post articles on this site which are ‘politics’. It’s not the first time I have done so. Indeed in June 2016 there was plenty of ‘politics’ on CyclingEurope.org.
For all my adult life (and most of the 18 years that came before that) I have had the right to travel without restriction – often on my bike – and work throughout the European Union and have done so on many occasions with the minimum of formalities. My passport has become almost redundant and I celebrate that fact. Should I have ever fallen off my bicycle in an EU country and required emergency treatment, it would have been given. My bicycles may have been manufactured in Taiwan but much of my cycling-related purchases in the last ten years or so (tyres, panniers, saddles, replacement parts…) have been imported tariff-free from countries in the EU. My books have sold across the EU and there have been no hurdles over and above those required to sell books in the UK. While travelling I have posted to CyclingEurope.org from every one of the 20 plus countries without running up large mobile data bills. I like being an EU citizen. It helps me feel closer to my fellow Europeans – I share their values to a much greater extent than I share the values of the rest of the English-speaking words – within an organisation that has helped to keep the previously fractious countries of the continent live in peace for the last 70 years. Europe was the birth place of cycling and remains its spiritual home. I want to remain as closely tied to my friends on the continent – cyclists or not – as possible, and would like future generations to also have the opportunity to do so. That’s probably not going to happen after the horror that is BREXIT as the UK slowly drifts into self-inflicted isolation simply because the British Tory party can’t agree about ‘Europe’.
Don’t tell me that ‘politics’ has nothing to do with ‘cycling’.