Cyprus Mail
Opinion Tales from the Coffeeshop

Tales from the Coffeeshop: Our hearts go out to those misled Brits

Nigel Farage

OUR ESTABLISHMENT will keep its analysis of the UK referendum brief and superficial because it feels sorry for millions of British people that were duped by the thinly veiled racist populism of Nigel Farage and slick opportunism of Boris Johnson and voted to leave the EU.

One of the main promises of the Leave camp was that Britain would save £350 million a day it was sending the EU as part of its membership agreement and spend this money on the NHS. This message was on the campaign bus Johnson was using and it was untrue. After rebates and money the EU sent back to the UK, the net amount was £190 million.

On Friday morning, just a few hours after the counting of the votes had been completed, Farage was asked on a television show if he would guarantee the £350 million would now go to the NHS and his reply was, “No I can’t, and I would never have made that claim. That was one of the mistakes the Leave campaign made.” The presenter insisted “but that was one of your adverts and people voted to leave because of that.” It was “a mistake” said Farage.

Calculated lies designed to fool voters are called “mistakes” by Farage who claimed he would save the UK from corrupt and dishonest European bureaucrats. He was not asked if the ‘Leave’ advert claiming Britain would be flooded by 1.5 million Turkish immigrants, if it stayed in the EU, was also a mistake.

KEEPING things superficial, we should also mention the supporters of Brexit outside Britain. They were Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s racist National Front. Add to these guys Farage and Boris and it becomes apparent that leaving the EU was not the smartest decision Brits have ever made.

Le Pen gave a Brexit victory speech on Friday, congratulated the “very brave” Boris and called for a Frexit referendum.

“The UK has begun a movement that can’t be stopped,” she said. The Boris-Farage triumph has given a boost to the extreme right (fascist?), anti-immigration (racist?) movements of Denmark, The Netherlands, Sweden (they said they are awaiting a Swexit, even if Sexit sounds better) and Greece all of which congratulated the brave Brexiteers and demanded referendums in their countries.

OUR VERY own fascists of ELAM felt obliged to follow the example of their neo-Nazi masters of Golden Dawn and congratulate the British people. It seemed weird reading an announcement by Greek ultra nationalists praising duplicitous Brits and waxing lyrical about “the brave decision of the British people”.

ELAM, paraphrasing the Golden Dawn announcement, also said: “Europe of the banks, as it has been built all these years, seems to be collapsing and is being replaced by the will of the people for a Europe of nations. So, the British people chose the road of its freedom rather than the intimidation of the loan sharks of Brussels.”

Call me a reactionary, but I would feel much safer in a Europe under the control of a super-state run by unaccountable, unelected, loan sharks and bureaucrats when the alternative would be a Europe of ultra-nationalist, anti-immigration fascist states.

KYPROULLA in the November 2015 Eurobarometer had the second lowest approval rating for the EU; the lowest was the Czech Republic. Only 37 per cent of Cypriots thought EU membership was a good thing, which would suggest ELAM could find fertile ground for agitating for an exit from the Europe of loan sharks. They would need a Farage figure to lead the campaign (Koulias perhaps?). The only difficulty would be deciding whether to call our departure from the EU a Cyxit or a Kyprexit.

EVERYONE has been giving their views about how Brexit will affect Kyproulla, but nobody touched on the question that has been troubling our establishment. What will Phil’s Brussels correspondent Pavlos Xanthoulis write in his despatches to the newspaper, which nine times out of 10 focused on some stitch-up, trap or conspiracy by the Brits against Kyproulla?

How will he sex up his reports from Brussels in the absence of UK’s nasty, scheming, back-stabbing representatives from the Commission which he feeds Phil’s readers every week? What will he write about when there are no plots by the Kyproulla-hating Brits of Brussels reported to him by our foreign ministry officials?

His Phil colleague, Venizelos did not consider Xanthoulis plight when he wrote yesterday that the Brits would not be missed and concluded: “As regards Cyprus, Britons inside the EU were the people behind every scheme: for direct trade, the upgrading of the Republic, for the promotion of the accession course of Turkey. They were the people that engaged in tripping us up.”

I WAS surprised nobody at Phil mentioned the great threat to halloumi posed by Brexit. Now, even if we get our act together, stop bickering with the Turkish Cypriots over our application to the Commission and have halloumi registered as a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) the Brits would not be obliged to comply. Being outside the EU they would be able to carry on producing halloumi in Yorkshire and calling it halloumi. For some unknown reason the freedom to carry on producing halloumi by British dairy farmers was never mentioned as an argument in favour of Brexit by leave campaigners.

ENOUGH is enough. The authorities should crackdown on smart-ass farmers who decide it is easier to burn the dry vegetation in their fields than clear it by other, more time-consuming, means. These guys will eventually turn the whole country into scorched earth if they are not stopped by the threat of jail sentences, instead of some paltry fine which is rarely imposed.

It takes a special kind of moron to set a fire to a field in the desert-dry conditions of Kyproulla, but unfortunately there are a lot of them about. Apparently, this year, there were some 2,000 fires in the countryside caused by the burning of dry vegetation, which is against the law, but it is highly unlikely more than five of the culprits were fined. Who is going to report them, the village cop who is a relative or a friend? So they just carry on doing it as the couple in Argaka did last weekend, and to hell with forests.

IT TOOK almost five days to bring the fire in Solea, which destroyed large expanses of forest and was supposedly started by a 12-year-old playing with his grandfather’s cigarette lighter, under control. Two firemen were killed during the fire-fighting and another one was critically injured.

Predictably, we did not have enough aircraft to cover our fire-fighting needs even with the four Israeli aircraft that had arrived to help with the Argaka fire and were used for the Solea blaze. In the end, apart from Israel, France, Greece, Italy and the British bases provided fire-fighting aircraft.

Even Turkey offered assistance through Mustafa Akinci. Prez Nik accepted it but Turkey refused to accept the conditions he had set. He wanted Turkey’s aircraft to be under the control of the Republic’s authorities co-ordinating the fire-fighting, to use fuel from the Republic and to be stationed in the Republic at night. Anything less would have been a downgrading of our state.

As one Phil columnist asked after lashing out at “settlement cry-babies” who claimed the government had “wasted an opportunity”: “What opportunity. It was a trap it avoided.” He was referring to the Turkish trap (the Brexit does not mean an end to traps) that leads to the downgrading of the Republic but we never fall into thanks to the vigilance of our foreign ministry officials, who would rather see all our forests reduced to ashes than give the Turks the satisfaction of downgrading the Republic.

MOTHER Russia also tried to get a positive mention with regard to the fire-fighting, even though it did nothing at all. Our very own Tass news agency lived up to its nickname, by quoting sources of the Russian embassy, which said that the “Republic had conveyed a request for help for the fire-fighting to Russia.” The request was made by Eurocock, agriculture minister Nicos Kouyialis.

“We confirm the receipt of the request for help which was forwarded immediately to Moscow,” an unnamed source of the Russian embassy told Tass. Moscow has still not responded, which makes you wonder why the embassy bothered publicising the request. Did it really want to remind us that when we face a crisis we appeal for help to Mother Russia, which can always be relied on to let us down?

SPEAKING of our adopted mother, Yiorkos Lillikas had yet another meeting with the constantly meddling ambassador Stanislav Osadchiy on Wednesday, in his new role as president of the House foreign affairs committee, reported Tass.

After conveying to our Russian overlord, his worries about the Cyprob, Lillikas proposed that among the first visits to be made by the committee “must be Russia”, in order “to establish and deepen further the relations between the parliaments of the two countries”. And of course, Lillikas, in his unrelenting effort to be declared Mother Russia’s most loyal and trusted servant in Kyproulla, repeated his opposition to the extension of EU sanctions.

“We want the government to defend Cyprus’ interests and Cyprus’ interests are not compatible with the extension of sanctions against Russia, a friend country that always backs the struggle of the Cypriot people and the Cyprus Republic,” Georgi Lillikovich said. The government should threaten to activate the Cyxit if the EU insists on extending sanctions.

TASS NEWS agency on Friday carried another interview with Osadchiy. Does the ambassador pick up the phone and order the agency’s boss to send someone to interview him, whenever he feels he is not getting enough publicity? There was certainly no justification for the interview in which the most newsworthy thing he said was that Turkey “must prove in practical terms its support a settlement”. His local organ Tass still filed a 2,000-word story.

THE FOLLOWING item appeared on The New Yorker website on Friday under the headline “British lose right to claim that Americans are dumber.” It was written by Andy Borowitz who writes The Borowitz Report and it had been filed from London, which voted overwhelmingly in favour of staying in the EU.

Across the United Kingdom on Friday, Britons mourned their long-cherished right to claim that Americans were significantly dumber than they are.

Luxuriating in the superiority of their intellect over Americans has long been a favourite pastime in Britain, surpassing in popularity such games as cricket, darts, and snooker.

But, according to Alistair Dorrinson, a pub owner in North London, British voters have done irreparable damage to the “most enjoyable sport this nation has ever known: namely, treating Americans like idiots.”

“When our countrymen cast their votes yesterday, they didn’t realise they were destroying the most precious leisure activity this nation has ever known,” he said. “Wankers.”

In the face of this startling display of national idiocy, Dorrinson still mustered some of the resilience for which the British people are known. “This is a dark day,” he said. “But I hold out hope that, come November, Americans could become dumber than us once more.”

 

 



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