I’ll admit it. There are some things towards which I have a bad attitude. Brexit is a big one. As is lots of high stakes testing. And anyone telling me how I must teach. I reserve the right to say that these things are wrong. I have to, or I would go mad. If I understand the ‘Why?’ behind the thing that people tell me to do, I am generally very compliant. I drive at pretty much the right speed because I know that people get hurt by cars; I pay my taxes because I know we need a system that supports everyone; I put out my recycling on the correct day because it’s the right thing to do. But if I don’t think the thing I’m being asked to do is right, both for me, and for everyone else as well, I need to be able to stand up and say that I think it is bad idea without getting shouted down all the time. The thought that I have had to listen to people telling me how bad the EU is for 40 years, and then I should shut up and get over it in 6 months is incomprehensible to me. I’m not a ‘remoaner’; I am the person on your shoulder who points out that you made a bad decision. Don’t you dare blame me if I’m right.
Europe has insinuated itself into my life in a surprising way. Not via my ancestors, but through the connections I have made during my lifetime. Once you get to know people with European heritage, you can’t really help it. I have friends with Polish heritage, family with a Portuguese background, and a sister living in France. To tear the UK away from the continent is like tearing away a part of my life. Europe is a beautiful place. It ranges from snow capped mountains to sun baked olive groves. It has islands, and volcanoes; strange traditions, and beautiful languages. It has rivers, and lakes, and all kinds of amazing foods. And fantastic people, too. (All the other continents have similar wonders, it’s just that they are not a short ferry ride, plane ride or car drive away.) I think it is a really bad idea to leave the European Union. I think it will do damage to our country in the exact same way that SATs are doing damage to the curriculum. And I don’t plan to stop saying that, even if people think I’ve got a bad attitude when I do.