I guess its Nigel Farage’s fault I have a sore bottom right now.
If it hadn’t been for the successful Brexit campaign (spearheaded by Farage even if he wasn’t part of the official Vote Leave faction) Chris and I wouldn’t be riding back from our pilgrimage to Brussels and I wouldn’t have saddle-sore.
So for me Brexit was a bummer in more ways than one.
I guess the other culprit for landing me on this trip is the cyclist Mark Cavendish. It was while watching the Tour de France this summer that Chris told me about his expedition. Inspired by the daily highlights of each Tour stage as the peloton rolled across Europe I was keen to get out onto the roads of France and Belgium and relive Cavendish’s exploits which saw him claim four stages of this year’s race.
I’m aware the European Union is far from perfect, but the ethos behind it, of collaboration across cultures and language, is something I think we should strive for. As an island nation with cold seas hemming us in, being part of the EU was an enforced link to the rest of our continental neighbours. The people we’ve met on our journey, the open minded, multi-lingual, free moving Europeans, have a certain positivity and freedom which I think many Britons would benefit from.
Despite this, according to the polling, it was comfortable middle class people who voted to Remain and poorer, working class people who voted for Brexit. As the brilliant Guardian reporter John Harris has said, if you woke up on the morning of June 24th feeling scared and worried for your future, then that is how millions of Britons who voted for Brexit feel on a daily basis. The fact it is likely to be these very people who suffer the most from any Brexit-induced recession once we eventually leave, is a cruel irony.
But here’s one way we can make some good come out of the Brexit bad and also stick it to Nigel Farage. The former Ukip leader is known for his dislike of how the UK helps some of the poorest people in the world through our international aid commitments.
So in honour of Brexit and the European Union, why don’t you donate some money to Christian Aid’s Malawi Food Crisis Appeal? It’s not in the news over here, but the poorest people in Malawi are currently facing crippling food shortages and are in desperate need of help. So bad is the emergency that the Scottish Government has agreed to match every pound raised until October 31st.
These slow onset emergencies rarely get the media coverage they need to generate the vital funds required to alleviate the suffering. Only when the bodies are piling up and pictures of orphans covered in flies are beamed around the world does the money come in. This appeal is designed to try and avert such a catastrophe from happening.
So why not stick it to the aid bashers, ensure at least some good comes out of Brexit and help some starving Malawians. And remember, your money will be doubled.
For more details and to make a donation visit: http://www2.christianaid.org.uk/emergencies/malawi-food-crisis