I’m not one of those people who closes all the doors on anyone who holds different views from me. I like people who have opposing views… when they’re intelligently thought out and backed by facts not sensationalist, destructive tabloid headlines. I learn a lot from people who think differently.
People who throw easily destroyed tabloid fiction at me might lose all credibility as soon as soon as they open their mouths, but even then I don’t automatically hit the unfriend button, either in real life or on some social media platform.
But there are some circumstances when lines are crossed.
Friend one lived on the same island as us. She paid no taxes but was happy to use the country’s health service on a number of occasions, even complaining when doctors and nurses couldn’t speak her language.
Despite her being the guest in another country, they were the ones who were in the wrong for not being able to communicate fluently in English.
That was enough to have us raising eyebrows but the crunch came when she moved back to Britain and proceeded to complain about foreigners – meaning people who weren’t the same colour as she was – taking up space in doctors’ waiting rooms.
Racist and hypocritical.
That was enough for us.
The upcoming referendum in June about whether Britain should stay in or leave the EU is bringing similar sorts of people out of the woodwork in their dense droves. It’s frightening. The depths of their stupidity is scary.
One casual friend shared a post on facebook about how the NHS should be for the British alone. This friend lives on a Spanish island. Not only that, he has been receiving quite specialist treatment from the Spanish health service for years. He’s a pensioner, so not actually contributing to the Spanish system, at least not in the same way as many Europeans who move to the UK to work are contributing to Britain’s economy.
And yet this man, who has benefited from another country’s health service feels strongly the NHS in Britain shouldn’t treat foreigners in the same way. His post quite clearly states ‘The NHS is for British’.
That means people who aren’t British but are working and paying taxes in the UK shouldn’t be able to use the NHS in his book.
The Spanish health authorities here pay for transport from other islands, living expenses and even accommodation if required. It’s a generous system and I have British friends who have had their lives saved thanks to it.
I cringe when I think locals might see how this man, and others like him, would like to see them treated (or not treated in this case) if they visited Britain and needed medical help. I’m not sure that has even crossed his mind. Like far too many expats he just doesn’t view himself the same as ‘Johnny Foreigner’ even when he’s the foreigner.
It is another example of extreme hypocrisy.
These are not the sort of people in whose company I’d wish to spend a second more of my time.