Not My Circus

31 Oct

There is a Polish saying which I came across recently. It is used when someone is trying to persuade you of the truth of their perceived worries and obsessions. Roughly translated it comes out as, ‘That’s not my circus; those aren’t my monkeys.’

Just before the referendum vote on June 23rd I heard a radio interview with a man in Sunderland who intended to vote to leave. When asked why he replied, ‘It’s because of the immigrants, isn’t it?’

The interviewer continued, ‘Is there a problem with immigration here?’

The interviewee answered, ‘Well, not here, but down in London, like.’

So the gentleman in question was concerned with a problem in an area he did not know about, an area which voted clearly to Remain.

He would have been far better answering, ‘Not my circus, not my monkeys.’

But shouldn’t we be concerned about immigration, and why did this issue become an obsession with a large proportion of voters?

Even if you think it is an important issue, why do you make it the number one issue? This obsession of monomaniacs went unchallenged and allowed the misdirection of a national debate in a way that suited only Little Englanders and downright racists.

There are many issues which are important to me, but immigration is way down the list. When I have made this comment to several Leavers they respond with incomprehension. They seemed unable to comprehend that their obsession meant little or nothing to me. Some came back with a question, ‘Then are you in favour of unrestricted immigration?’

Let me answer that question. Not my circus, not my monkeys.

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