You know that your foreign policy ideas probably were not as well thought out as you hoped when you find US presidential candidate Donald Trump agreeing with you.
“I think it is a great thing,” said Trump. “Basically, they took their country back.”
That’s one way to look at Britain’s decision, via a referendum, to quit the European Union. Another is that a nation whose empire once stretched across the globe is now so insular and deluded, it prefers to pull down the blinds, take the phone off the hook and pass the time reminiscing about Queen Victoria.
There was a hint of something else too, as northern England spoke about wanting to regain the “character” of their towns and UKIP leader Nigel Farage likened the decision to an Independence Day for Britain.
Faced with the challenge of learning to get along with its neighbours for the common good in a world that is shrinking by the minute, Britain chose a short-term, knee-jerk reaction.
Or, to quote South Park’s big-boned, race relation-challenged character, Eric Cartman: Screw you guys, I’m going home!
It was a very good day for bigotry. Although, to be fair, it is possible that Brexit voters just wanted to piss off Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley and his sweat-shop, sweatshirt empire based on cheap immigrant labour.
And speaking of un-endearing public figures, is it ironic that UK Prime Minister Dave Cameron never seemed so wonderful as that moment when he said “goodbye?”
Ahhh… Cameron… The Snoopy-lookalike who responded to Jamaica’s call for reparations by offering them one third of a prison instead.
The charming statesman who giggled at corrupt third world nations while his father hid his wealth—part accumulated from his great-great-grandpappy’s investment in slaves—in Panama.
And yet Cameron, just a year after being re-elected by British voters, knew which way the wind was blowing once 52 percent of the nation elected to ignore his pleas to stay in Europe.
Even though—you may need to sit down for this one—the referendum was not legally binding!
Trinidad and Tobago politicians would no doubt find that hilarious.
It isn’t that Cameron is of better stock, of course. Rather, it is that he operates in an environment which would make any attempt to continue his political career unworkable. Not to mention a culture in which politicians are allowed independent views without fear of being immediately “Bobbitt-ised” by a maximum leader.
Politicians falling on their swords is the perk of a mature and assertive electorate; one that understands MPs are elected to serve. Although, to be fair, it is easier to have a sensible view of leaders and their inherent vulnerabilities without the historical scars of colonialism.
And what does this do for sport?
British work permit laws for footballers are heavily weighted towards international appearances. So it could mean that, in years to come, the next Kevin Molino or Joevin Jones might have an easier time getting into an English club than the next Dimitri Payet or Juan Mata.
And what does Brexit mean for the current England national team?
At least coach Roy Hodgson has an excuse to leave the Euros now.