The elephant in the taxi

Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 09.33.54Dalrymple jumps into a taxi to take him across town, and after thinking about it for some time as he is driven along, plucks up the courage to ask the Polish cabbie what he thinks of Brexit.

He did not think that Brexit would affect him much. He certainly did not expect to be rounded up and deported. He was a little concerned that the pound had fallen 10% against the zloty, which meant that he had to work harder to send the same amount back to his family; but he thought the pound would recover. A devaluation might even be a good thing.

As to Brexit’s long-term effect,

he thought it would be good. ‘We,’ he said, ‘should go more with the old Commonwealth. It will be good for us.’

Dalrymple likes

his use of ‘we’ and ‘us.’ It was not forced, it came to him naturally. It meant that he had some attachment to Britain other than as a cash cow. He was loyal to it and wanted to see it prosper. Moreover, his replies showed he had thought about it. This did not mean that he had ceased to be Polish. Speaking of the European Union, he said that ‘we don’t want to be told what to do’ – quite understandably, I should have thought. The Poles have had enough of that in their history, some of it quite recent.

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