Tuesday, 28 June 2016

The EU is a threat to our culture

We all know the arguments about how the EU is a threat to our culture - certain commercial products have to be named in a specific way for trade, blah blah, red tape, cultural diversification through immigration, etc.

What you probably weren't told was about how much the EU funds things like minority languages at schools. If you were a Scottish Gaelic teacher, say, you'd probably have noticed a lot of the resources you get are funded by the EU. You'd come to notice your textbooks have the EU flag stamped onto them, indicating it's been funded or sponsored by an EU scheme. Your job's salary might come from a body that implements regional language teaching by giving grants to schools so that they can hire someone to teach Scottish Gaelic. But barely a HM Government stamp on the bank account can be found. The Scottish know who invest in their future and their culture, and it's not Westminster.

Liverpool was the Capital of Culture for the EU in 2008. In the years before it, I saw Liverpool transformed. When I moved here in 1998, a decade before we were Capital of Culture, Liverpool was a mess. Honestly, it was a bit of a shithole and a throwback to the 70s. Starting in the early 2000s I started seeing EU plaques going up all around the place and the city looked to be on the up. And then we were announced Capital of Culture for 2008 and I saw our city really get transformed into a 21st century city.

We were back on the map, and they invested in businesses that would attract tourists to our own cultural heritage. When I first moved to Liverpool, the idea of visiting Liverpool as a tourist, to me, seemed a bit crazy. "I can understand it for The Beatles" I said. "But you'd go on holiday *here*?" The EU invested in everything from The Beatles to a slavery museum and made our city centre look a lot more appealing and modern.

Now, I can see why you would come here for a holiday, and I'm actually proud to be from here.

Liverpool voted to remain in the EU.

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