Out of Europe – twice in a week

England out
The St George Flag has been flown round Abingdon for the last few weeks as England competes in the Euros football tournament.

During the group stages England played well against Russia, Wales, and Slovakia.

In the knock-out stages England came up against Iceland (population 300,000). England were odds on favorite.
England out
But this has been a difficult week since the UK voted to exit the EU 4 days ago. Trading in Barclays and RBS shares were suspended this morning following heavy losses on the London Stock Exchange.
England out
England lost 2-1 against Iceland. Can you imagine how Iceland’s Supporters feel? It must be amazing!

But England are now out of the Euros and the EU.

Wales carry our last hopes in the football, and Scotland carry the only hope of remaining in the EU.

61 thoughts on “Out of Europe – twice in a week

  1. Julian Annells

    Backstreeter…i have always applauded you in your neutrality..but this post seems to be quite biased.”Scotland carry the only hope of remaining in the EU.”. Hope?? The majority chose to leave. It amazes me that suddenly, just under 50% of the populaton don’t actually believe in democracy?! We need positivity now…not negativity and what ifs. We ALL need to pull together to make this work!

  2. Daniel

    Well, frankly, i can’t believe it. It’s not what I wanted. It’s not a future that I expected so I don’t want it. I really don’t care about the rules. I’m not leaving! I’m going to sulk until I get what I want. I’m just not accepting it. I’m going to sign a petition, and I’m going to start another. It’s already taken over the news – that reflects how so many of us feel about it. I’m just not having it. Fine I went into this thinking “we’d win” and now I guess I’m more than anything shocked at my own complacency more than anything else. I’m throwing my toys out the pram until I get what I want and if that means we have to stick two fingers up at the result and bend the rules to suit ME, so be it. The rules are only of any use if they suit me. The result simply can’t stand as its not what I wanted and therefore it clearly simply must be wrong, as, frankly, I can’t be, so let’s try again and see if we get the result we all wanted….let’s replay Iceland….

  3. Reductio ad absurdum

    So I know there are some tongues in cheeks here and you are using a metaphor to highlight a point but just to continue that metaphor in what I hope is the same spirit.
    At no point did the Iceland manager publicly state “well if we lose 2:1 it’s not over we will keep up the fight”
    None of the Icelandic players are saying “you know, now I think about it this morning I didn’t realise that scoring goals against England would actually result in them being knocked out. I just wanted to show their manager I didn’t like him”
    And finally I’m pretty sure that anything the Icelandic manager promised his team would happen if they won will actually happen.

  4. Daniel

    …the recognised problem with metaphors is that they only work, up to a point. I think on this basis it is more convenient for me to decide that mine is better. And funnier.  🙂

  5. Peter Del

    Going back to football. Why is it that the United Kingdom is the only country in the world to have four football teams? If we took the best play from each, we might have a better chance of winning!!!

  6. Reductio ad absurdum

    It’s always more convenient to decide ones own ideas are better, but rarely more conducive to open debate.
    As to why the UK ‘has’ 4 football teams, I think it’s because it’s a sovereign state made up of 4 countries (Englend, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), much like the Kingdom of Denmark is a sovereign state made up of 3 countries (Greenland, The Faroe Islands and Denmark). Incidentally this is where the precedent for Scotland possibly remaining in the EU comes from as Greenland left the predecessor of the EU (The EEC) while Norway remained. It’s been referred to as Scotland doing a ‘reverse Greenland’.

  7. hester

    Reductio – just for clarification, before someone else jumps in, did you mean “Denmark remained”?

  8. Peter Del

    I never knew that England, Norther Ireland, Scotland and Wales were countries, I thought they were parts of the United Kingdom.

  9. Janet

    Germany’s foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault today presented a proposal for closer EU integration based on three key areas – internal and external security, the migrant crisis, and economic cooperation.But the plans have been described as an ‘ultimatum’ in Poland, with claims it would mean countries transfer their armies, economic systems and border controls to the EU.

    Well this is interesting. Will they be able to keep their football teams or have to disband them and play for the Federal State of Europe team?

  10. Reductio ad absurdum

    Don’t know what’s wrong with me today!
    I did mean Denmark stayed and I then meant “Thanks Hester” I’m so sorry.

  11. Pat

    Just as a matter of interest: 51.9% of 72.2% of eligible voters voted to leave the EU. That makes 37.5% of the whole which is NOT a resounding majority of the population.

    We shouldn’t have been making such a momentous decision with a simple majority vote like that. The rules for this referendum were very much mistaken.

    As a democracy we elect our parliament to represent us and the vast majority of MPs are against Brexit.

    On a related matter, the opinion polls were wrong in the last election and they were wrong this time. I believe this was nothing to do with their accuracy, or otherwise. They actually influenced voters on both occasions and that is not right.


  12. Iain

    Whilst thoroughly depressed by yesterday’s abject display by England, at least our rugby and cricket teams are doing really well.

    We also have Wimbledon, the Olympics, the Tour de France and another test series vs Pakistan to look forward to over the summer, which will hopefully take our minds off our economic and political woes.

  13. Janet

    Sorry Pat. There was plenty of opportunity for people to vote if they wished. Opinion polls did not influence voters. It was the effect on our NHS and housing of mass immigration. People do not think that MP’s were interested in what they thought. Well they got the message. Everyone I have talked to who voted to leave said that they would vote the same again and are sticking to their decision.

  14. Captainkaos2

    On a more lighter note the pair of swans who raised 8 signets last year have just glided by with this years clutch of 5 ! Birdwatchers a.k.a. Twitchers were out in force around Andersay island and Culham on sightings of a white stork, word on the street is cafe aroma and Rosies are for sale ( so is throwing buns) and several informed people are saying M & S is opening an express store in the old precinct coop? The restaurant chain hoping to open in the gaol have pulled out, all three units are advertised on the net, Age Concern are moving out of their west Saint Helens site which has a planning application to be converted to flats !

  15. Mr Smith

    Should Sturgeon lead her tartan army back to freedom/paradise, and Scotland be officially abroad, does this mean we could twin with Abington?
    Any councillors fancy a trip?

  16. Captainkaos2

    Ha ha Mr Smith, apparently that poison dwarf Jimmy cranky look a like has been told today by the EU that her wish begin dialogue with EU would be in appropriate, moreover they have refused to meet with her,
    It’s good to know that sometimes our direction does not exclusively fall to government ? The “establishment” has a momentum of its own and this was apparent when I was in Plymouth a couple of years ago and was shown a massive new complex being built there at the naval docks there.enquiring as to what it was for I was told it was to house our nuclear submarine fleet should Scotland vote for independence.

  17. Hester

    Capt K – that post is utterly offensive not just to Nicola Sturgeon, but also to the substantial majority of Scottish voters who voted for her party in the General Election and for Remain in the referendum.

    Resorting to name-calling rather than rational argument (as used by other contributors of all persuasions on this blog) does nothing for your own credibility.

  18. Mr Smith

    Thanks Captain that is a great relief, we might need those boats soon?
    I note that to tighten the grip (oops, “stabilize the Union”) the Euro will soon be mandatory for all “members”.
    Der Euro will be shortened to “DEU” and the full new title for the former Common Market, will then change from DEU Land to Deutschland as it sounds so much better.

  19. Mr Smith

    It appears to me that Nicola cares not a jot for her kinsmen, she just wants to be Head of State and pretend to be on equal terms with Angela.
    The Scottish had mixed feelings for the English, but felt very remote from Westminster as the rest of the UK used the funds from “their” oil. Then, using Scotland as a test bed for the Poll Tax lit the fuse and Mel Gibson set the bomb off.
    The worst poverty I have seen myself in the UK was in parts of Edinburgh in the mid 90’s. Scotland was mostly Labour but the Blair years let all Labour supporters down and the SNP appeared a good alternative for many.

  20. Captainkaos2

    Lighten up Hester Ian, “sometimes your ashamed to be English” that doesn’t surprise me one bit, with your usual flair of arrogance and assumed position of you know best is mot representative of the majority of voters as has just been proved to the detriment of government and the Labour Party , you’re out of touch mate !

  21. Reductio ad absurdum

    It’s interesting (and ultimately a little sad) how accurately our own little microcosm reflects the wider population. Racist jibes and insults, embellished facts and blatant half truths from one camp and a frantic and in the end almost certainly (although I personally still hope not) doomed to failure attempt to keep the debate going long enough for something positive to happen in the other.

  22. Iain

    I’m not your ‘mate’ Steve – I find your views offensive and retrograde.Sometimes it’s better to be in a minority.

  23. Janet

    Oh Gawd gentlemen you are at it again. On another note. On comparing notes with my friends we found out that the average waiting time at our Abingdon G P surgery for non urgent appointment was three weeks. How are the surgeries going to cope with the extra 1500 houses in North Abingdon?. In Cornwall the Health Services have been told it has to make massive cuts and close hospitals. Can you really justify mass immigration with our services shrinking in such a way? We are making cuts in Oxfordshire with chlidrens centers closing and other cuts to services. There is no social housing being build in the UK How can we sustain the high levels of immigration that the UK has experienced?

  24. Reductio ad absurdum

    Oh Gawd Janet you are at it again. Given the theme of this thread can I take it that you still believe leaving the EU will reduce immigration and increase spending on the NHS? Despite the leaders of the leave campaign now denying they ever even thought it, never mind said it out loud?
    As to social housing, it’s clear to me that the rot set in with right to buy in the 80’s. It should never have happened in the first place but the worse thing was that councils were expressly forbidden from using any revenue from it to build more housing! It has so far taken over 1.5million houses out of social housing stock. Interestingly when he introduced this legislation in the 80’s Michael Heseltine said it had 2 objectives – to give the people what they wanted and to reverse the trend of ever increasing dominance of the state over the lives of individuals.
    In the words of Steve Turner, poet (and/or others I’m sure) History repeats itself, has to nobody listens.

  25. Peter Del

    Janet, at the Abingdon Surgery, waiting times to see a particular doctor are just a few days, while a nurse can be seen almost immediately.
    I’ve never had to wait anywhere near three weeks.

  26. Caroline

    Malthouse is abysmal. I switched to Abingdon Surgery and now get seen same/next day for urgent and within 5 working days for routine appointments.

  27. Daniel

    …I acknowledge that there is a large amount of dissatisfaction, still , about the referendum but I do think it is wrong to continue to perpetuate – consciously, or more subtly, that the people who voted Leave did so because of headlines relating to monies sent to Brussels, or bigoted and naive views on immigration. I am quite certain that some people voted ‘out’ for a number of stupid reasons. And…I am willing to concede that if we removed their vote it would have reduced the “52%”. However I think that we would need to remove a correspondingly uninformed, bigoted number of ‘stay’ votes…and so we would be left with the same result. I am being gracious enough to not consider all ‘remainers’ as screaming banshees, pessimistic, “I’m all right Jack”, forget the risks of staying, cowards. So perhaps we should stop considering all ‘leavers’ as…stupid racists. It might help move things forwards, as…I am sure we can all agree…the World only moves in that direction.

  28. Reductio ad absurdum

    I for one don’t believe everyone who voted leave was/is a stupid racist but if people make stupid and racist comments I reserve the right to call them on it (regardless of how they voted).

  29. davidofLuton

    Should Boris and the crypt kickers substantially reduce net immigration to this country (which at the moment looks unlikely, even if it were desirable), I wonder who will become the next group to blame?

    With apologies to Martin Niemöller.

    First they blamed the Labour Party, and I did not speak our because I am not a Labour supporter.

    Then they blamed the “undeserving” underclass, and I did not speak out because I am Middle Class.

    Then they blamed the E.U. regulations, and I did not speak out because I am British.

    Then they blamed the migrants, and I did not speak out because I was born here.

    Then they blamed me. And there was nobody left to speak for me.

  30. newcomer

    The FTSE 100 (which is supposed be a predictor of the future) is back above the pre-Brexit level. Yes, it’s all doom and gloom ;0)

  31. Captainkaos2

    Ian “mate” I’m trying to get my head around why you and Hester are joined at the hip as far as opinions and views are concerned on this wonderful blog considering that politically you are polar opposites ! While H is a staunch labour supporter and gives out fliers on the market place to that effect, you on the other hand have been a tory town councilor ( all be it you were deselected from the guild hall project after wasting £100k of public funds) and I to would have a chip on my shoulder if my nomination paper mysteriously disappeared!

  32. Daniel

    DavidO, l have always liked this analogy; it is often used well by James O’Brien on LBC radio. It is used in a similar context, mainly being that whilst we are all arguing the toss amongst ourselves – usually over immigration, the real culprits continue to get away with it as we are so blindsided…the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. More so now than in the past 200 years. And this is progress….

    The analogy goes through, in his instance, the people on benefits, people on disability allowance etc…until it is finally we on middle class suburbia who suddenly feel the effect.

    It is powerful.

    Meanwhile, slavery continues, zero hr contracts, depressed people, manipulated employment figures…it’s all linked.

    The EU situation will neither directly address the issue, or not. Just another distraction.

    On a different matter….if there’s a general election shortly, can the red team have “remain” as part of their manifesto, does anyone know? Or is Exit a given….and we’ll just be deciding between blue and red as usual, with the Exit simply part of both options?

  33. Reductio ad absurdum

    Assuming the article 50 button has not been pressed then, yes I believe if there’s a general election and a party wins on a ‘remain’ manifesto then that would reverse the democratic imperative of the referendum.

  34. Iain

    King – given most of what you’ve written is your normal fallacious garbage, I wouldn’t trouble your closed little mind trying to understand it

  35. ppjs

    I like this blog; I don’t, however, enjoy comments that appear to be posted with the intention of winding other contributors up. Whatever happened to courtesy?

    Would we really be as rude to each other if we were sitting face-to-face? I do hope not.

    I want people to disagree – and to do so strongly; I just wish that it could happen without deliberate insult.

  36. Hester

    Capt K – as Jo Cox said “we are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.”

  37. Sarah

    DavidofLuton: I think Boris and the Crypt Kickers is an excellent name for a pop group. You get a gold star!

    Everyone else: the joy of this blog is that it replaces smoky, alcohol fuelled pub sessions where everyone put the world to rights with slurry-voiced finger pointing. Everyone’s fury and outrage is a joy. It is a harmless and cathartic pressure release, and mostly an absolute hoot to read. Unless it’s directed at me, in which case it it outrageous, offensive and indefensible!

  38. Dave

    We are out, now get a team together and sort things out. There must be someone somewhere who is up to the job, good luck in search. Football or the country, you decide.

  39. Reductio ad absurdum

    Referencing and paraphrasing the Martin Niemoller statement brings to mind another poem that I think resonates with the current situation, this time from Michael Rosen.
    “I sometimes fear that
    people think that fascism arrives in fancy dress
    worn by grotesques and monsters
    as played out in endless re-runs of the Nazis.

    Fascism arrives as your friend.
    It will restore your honour,
    make you feel proud,
    protect your house,
    give you a job,
    clean up the neighbourhood,
    remind you of how great you once were,
    clear out the venal and the corrupt,
    remove anything you feel is unlike you…

    It doesn’t walk in saying,
    “Our programme means militias, mass imprisonments, transportations, war and persecution.”

  40. Daniel

    That is a powerful poem too reductio. I am no English Literature graduate; I merely have an HND in Engineering (Electrical/Mechanical) and a BSc in Archeology….but it does make me wonder, on a very shallow level, as that is all I can immediately discern it to…

    The poem suggests that if you are “proud” then you are fascist/racist. Should you wish to want a clean neighbour hood….you are fascist/racist, etc.

    Im not saying I disagree with the poem… i get the sentiment and the warning…but isn’t it such words that can make you sound like a racist, when you aren’t?

    Perhaps I am missing something?

  41. Reductio ad absurdum

    Daniel, I’ve always taken it to mean that fascism subverts those reasonable feelings in people to its own ends. Populations as a whole are never fascist, but extreme right wing governments take advantage of the concerns most of us have and target them at vulnerable sections of the community. There will always be those who welcome the racism and xenophobia with open arms and see the right wing rhetoric as legitimising their own poisonous feelings (sadly it seems we are starting to see some of this here) but the vast majority just go along with it because it’s not directly affecting them and it will all be worth it in the end. By the time it does start to affect them it’s too late. Hence the tie in with Niemoller’s words about the cowardice of the German Protestant church in the 30s (his words, not mine).

  42. davidofLuton

    (46) Sarah, Boris and the crypt-kickers was indeed a pop group. 1962 hit was “the Monster Mash.”

  43. Reductio ad absurdum

    Sadly the original Bobby ‘Boris’ Picket has passed away but I hear there’s another Boris who is looking for a job.

  44. Reductio ad absurdum

    Well it would appear you’re the only one who does Sarah! I should keep quiet or you’ll end up leading the Tory party, Labour party and the England team.

  45. Reductio ad absurdum

    I’m a bit worried that “can’t be any worse than the last few” is a dangerous job description for the other 2 roles. It opens up the field to pretty much anyone ( apart from Theresa May and Michael Gove of course).


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