By Bev Haigh-Jones

This month we have another great, topical cartoon from Chris Bruce, plus another submission from regular contributor, John Holloway.

Chris’ cartoon needs little introduction. We are all familiar with the catalogue of misdemeanours carried out by Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak, which should result in resignation in both cases, but …

Cartoon courtesy of Chris Bruce – bruce_works15 on Instagram

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John lives in France with his French wife, Francoise, and has had a great deal of experience of spending long periods living in Europe. This time he writes of a couple in the process of relocating to France and, as he says at the end of his story; “You couldn’t make it up.” Unfortunately, we don’t have to – it’s a story that we have heard in various guises a great many times. As with all the ex-pats living in Spain, France, etc., who voted leave and then couldn’t believe the problems that they suddenly found themselves experiencing. Or those with holiday homes overseas who can no longer stay in their European property for six months at a time.

How sad that people do not enlighten themselves fully before placing their “X” in the box on polling day, or during a referendum.

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John’s Encounter

I had an interesting chat with a couple this week who wanted to pick my brains for tips on living in France. They have just emigrated from the UK and bought a house over here and came over with their dog.

They had quite a few issues which were irritating them. Despite intending to move permanently to France, they had only been given six-month visas. I couldn’t advise them on that one because I have permanent residency rights over here, but I could empathise with them over the uncertainty. Very annoyingly – and expensively! – they had not been allowed to bring their supplies of cheddar cheese and ham into France, so it all had to go in the bin at Dieppe, which was infuriating.

Then there was the matter of the dog. In addition to its pet passport and vaccinations, he had to have a health certificate, which cost them £200 and was only valid for ten days. Unfortunately, they were let down by their removal company which postponed the collection of goods from their old home in England at a few hours’ notice. That meant re-booking the ferry, and then they realised that the dog’s health had expired and was no longer valid, so they had to get another one – another £200. They were not amused!  

I hadn’t said anything about Brexit (or how I had voted) – I had assumed that like me, they were in favour of remaining part of Europe. (Why else would they be moving to France?) Imagine my astonishment when I heard the husband describe Boris Johnson as “a really good chap” saying in very positive terms that he was “doing a really good job”. He even agreed with Putin that the UK leaving the EU was very beneficial! Obviously, he was a staunch Brexiter, who, he said, had voted leave in order to be “free of the highly corrupt EU Parliament which was extinguishing democracy in European countries”. The UK, he said, had now regained its position of influence in the world and “wrenched back control of its democracy from the unelected and undemocratic government in Brussels who spend all our money on lavish meals out in smart restaurants”.  He further declared that he could not possibly be friends with anyone who was a “remoaner”.

I didn’t enlighten him over how I had voted, and it was obvious that it was a waste of time for me to remind him that prior to Brexit, there had been freedom of movement, with no requirement for visas, that pets could travel freely if vaccinated, that food could be carried without restriction, and that the UK elected members of the European Parliament. I didn’t tell him that all the problems they had encountered during their move had come about as a result of the Brexit that he had voted for, and I didn’t ask why, having “regained his power” (what power, over what?) and escaped from the “tyranny of that unelected and corrupt government in Brussels”, he had chosen to move to a country where he would once again be subject to that exact same government, but this time would not be able to participate in elections to influence that government.  

You couldn’t make it up, could you?

1 Reply to “Readers’ contributions

  1. Breathtaking! Impressive forbearance shown here! I’m afraid I’d have had to come out as a ‘remainiac’!

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