21st June, 2016
Why can’t we Brits’ be more positive?
I will not get into the Brexit debate in any depth, but is it only me who thinks that the electioneering campaigns of both sides have been based on bad news and fear? Neither side seems to be able to sell me a positive message of voting one way or the other – if we remain we will be strangled to death by this big beast that is Brussels, or if we leave we will become a worthless nation who no one will trade with – with both sides knocking each other for suggesting we are in some way a weak nation! Tell me something positive that might benefit me and my community whichever way I vote – Is that too much to ask?
Glancing around our county with your rose tinted glasses firmly wedged on your inquisitive nostrils will show you that Somerset is one of the most, if not the most, environmentally diverse counties in the country with the beautiful rolling hills of the Mendips, Quantocks, Exmoor and the Blackdowns each standing tall to protect the globally recognised unique landscape of the Somerset Levels. Somerset is a hidden haven of adventure, relaxation and warm hospitality in equal measure. Somerset residents should not bemoan the M5 or A303 as providing a corridor to drive through the county without stopping on the way to Cornwall, but we should celebrate that our county is so well connected through road, air and rail. Cynics mock that Somerset is stuck in the middle of nowhere – it might be, but I say we are halfway to everywhere!
Right across Somerset views on immigration rarely consider that economic migrants have kept our economy booming since the turn of the century with sectors such as elderly care, nursing, hospitality, food manufacturing, and even the county’s milking parlours, relying on economic migrants. Celebrate this diversity, don’t denigrate it. We all have a view on the issues of the day such as extremism and, while there is a threat to parts of our country, we are so lucky that in our small part of England we are safer than probably anywhere in the country if not the world.
Before you start swearing or jeering at me, I am not that naïve. I know that the A303 is the most ridiculous piece of unfinished highway business in the country and the sooner it is “finished” the better; furthermore I share some of the concerns of many about immigration and extremism, but this should not detract from the fact that we live in a fabulous county that is clean, safe and healthy and while some of our youngsters leave us, they return in their droves later in life to appreciate the positives of what we have, rather than what we don’t have.
My glass is always half full, I hope yours is too.