I’ve been asked again and again in the last weeks ‘Why do you do all this? Why do you invest countless hours in campaigning, writing emails, meetings and not least sleepless nights?’ ‘Why do you let people insult you?’ ‘Why do you listen to uninformed jabbering?’ and again and again ‘Why don’t you just put it all behind you and leave the country?’
Well, the fact is, I love this country
After an interview I gave to German TV some months ago I was often quoted saying “It feels a little bit like being told by the man you’ve been with for 15 years, ‘sorry, but I never loved you'”
Of course this metaphor falls short, but what is right about it, is how it all started. With me falling in love with this country, and perhaps naively allowing myself to think that this country appreciated and valued me, and my contribution in return.
Even now, in the situation we Europeans find ourselves in, this doesn’t fundamentally change.
The Brits still have a wonderful humour (and some start to believe that I can appreciate it, despite being German), London still fascinates me every day, the British countryside is not only unbelievably diverse but also one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen, I love the language, I love the food (ok, maybe not baked beans or black pudding), I don’t like Ale but I like English Wines (yes really!), I like how culturally and ethnically diverse London is, that Birmingham has such amazing culture, the Scottish accent which makes me fall in love with every Scot I meet, that the lady in my local cafe calls me darling, that a businessman in yellow trousers and green-red flowery shirt is a ‘character’ rather than a nutter.. I could go on and on.
And that is precisely the reason why I don’t want to give it all up without a fight. I don’t want to leave this wonderful country to the Daily Mail and Theresa May, I don’t want to leave my friends, and I don’t want to leave the ranks of those who fight tirelessly with me to preserve this country as I was able to experience it: open, warm and welcoming.