We are approaching the one year anniversary of the BREXIT referendum in the UK. A lot of water has passed underneath this 'bridge'. Presently, it would be accurate to say that the EU mechanism is in full-turbo mode to make the UK pay and suffer for its decision.
I've long been an amateur historian, and looked upon the British culture as one of dozens with an interesting spectrum of authority. I can understand the EU feeling on this matter, and how they need to ensure no one else dare leave the EU....so it makes sense to hurt the Brits as much as possible.
But I look at the background and landscape, and I just have to wonder how far you want to go and ensure some form of suffering.
As much as anyone would like to really refer to the isle as the United Kingdom....it is something slightly different.
Ten centuries ago, a tribal unit of Normans (not native Brits, but coastal Frenchmen) decided to establish an authority on the isle.
Few grasp the original nature of the Normans....but they were descended down from the Norse....being of Viking heritage in different ways. They were the survivors....the Norsemen, the raiders, thugs, and marauders. These were not the kind of men that you went looking for in the darkness, and you tended to avoid them if possible. Their origin before Normandy? Denmark Norway and Sweden. Before that? Probably leading back to the Franks and the Romans.
These were folks not just known for their military strategy and tenacity but also for their discoveries and innovation.
They came in the fall of 1066, and battled the then king of England and his royal army. The Normans, led by Duke William II (later to earn the title of William the Conqueror). The battle would be recorded and likely rated as one of the ten battles in history to change the dynamics of civilization in a great way. The English were beaten by the Norsemen turned Normans.
As each decade went by over the years....the Norman effect became the new English prospective. You can call it the English empire or kingdom today....but it's really a collection of Norsemen turned Norman turned English.
In the big picture of thing, as history is written over the past thousand years....a lot can be said for the character, the literature, the arts, the technology, and the sense of 'us against them'. It was chiefly the Norsemen turned Normans turned Brits turned Americans that made up the bulk of the American landscape by the late 1700s.
The Revolution War was mostly a war of one Norman versus another Norman. Oddly, it was the help of the French that settled the war and set the path ahead.
As much as it does make sense to punish the UK over BREXIT and ensure that none of the other 27 members gets any funny ideas....one might sit there and think about amount of 'punching' that will be required, and the character or charm that the Normans turned Brits today will put on the 'table'. As unpleasant and tough as the EU side might think they are capable of....I have this odd feeling that the former Norman character is something that the EU hasn't really faced up to or encountered much of.
It is a rather unpleasant period ahead, for all parties. One can only hope that some civil behavior can still be found. Stumbling around in the darkness, talking tough, hoping that you don't bump into some rough situations or characters, isn't a practical strategy for success.