I’ve walked through Heathrow Airport in London a few times lately, and it’s getting more embarrassing by the day. As Brexit looms, the airport’s advertising campaign welcoming the world to Great Britain feels increasingly desperate.
The life-size posters of Beefeaters, bus drivers and nurses – suitably multi-ethnic, naturally – with their arms open wide, wanting to give the outside world a big hug, have a comfort-factor akin to forcing an acerbic relative to welcome the ‘foreign chap’ to tea.
I’m not from round here, honest
I have skulked down the moving travelators – feigning to some nationality I might conceivably get away with… Dutch? German? Damn it, even Scottish will do – anything to divert from the idea that I might be a pumped up, delusional Englishman.
Brexit is surely the most humbling moment since they launched the London 2012 Olympics with a logo like a dad trying to breakdance at a party. At least that was the low point. For the rest of the show, Britain came off as quite a nice place to be.
Who knew that a mere four years away was a cast from some sitcom version of the English past? Jacob Rees-Mogg, Michael Gove and Boris Johnson being led by Theresa May. I don’t even need to spin these guys with adjectives.
Let’s look forward, not back
But let’s see Brexit as an opportunity to put Great Britain back on the map as a truly Global Britain. Let’s use it as an opportunity for genuinely innovative ideas…
Here’s one: instead of the tired old ‘EU/non-EU’ binary at border passport control, let’s go for something more outward looking? Let’s have a fast track lane for Xenophobes?
Anyone from anywhere in the world is welcome to use the lane, but they absolutely must be a xenophobe. All others must use the standard ‘Multiculturalists’ queue, sorry (losers).
Has my idea got legs? Simply vote in the readers’ poll with a ‘Yes’ or a ‘No’ and I’ll implement the results.