Sir David Attenborough wades into Brexit debate saying people ‘fed up’ with EU

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Sir David Attenborough in his house in Richmond, London (Credit: Alessandro Allocca)

Sir David Attenborough has said that many people in the UK are ‘fed up’ with the European Union.

The naturalist and broadcaster said the EU may not have paid enough attention to what people care about and has allowed itself to do things that irritate people.

He said that some people in South America and Africa ‘are faced with hideous problems, meanwhile we are occupied with these silly squabbles about Brexit.’

‘I think that the irritation of the ways in which the European community has interfered with people’s lives on silly levels or silly issues has irritated a lot of people who don’t actually understand what the advantages and the disadvantages are.

the world is going to hell

In an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica he said: ‘They’re just fed up with somebody over there who doesn’t speak their language, telling them how much money they’ve got to charge for tomatoes or something silly.’

The interview is not exclusively about Brexit as you can image and is well worth the read. The BBC legend made the comments in a wide-ranging interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica which also covered his views on the environment.

Sir David said South America and Africa “are faced with hideous problems” on the environment. He added “the world is going to hell” while the public argues about other issues.

Extracts from the interview…

From your actual experience, how has the world changed in the last 35, 40 years? What was the change that most amazed you?
“I have been talking about the problem of plastic in the sea for 20 years, like in the “Blue Planet” series and people didn’t take any notice. Why? Then suddenly, for some reason, bam! Everyone is concerned!”.

How this mentality change happened?
“I don’t know why. But it certainly was, like in Glastonbury. The change is not in me. The change is in the times”.

What’s the major lesson that you have learned during your incredible career?
“The real relevance of our actions, the consequences of a very simple action of us which usually we don’t think about. It’s very easy to live in a little cocoon, particularly if you’re in very comfortable circumstances. The difficult thing to learn is that we are so cushioned against the realities of what you see if you go to South America or Africa or many other places. I’ve seen poor people in huge numbers who are devastating the environment. No fault of their own, they didn’t ask to be in existence there, but there are faced with hideous problems. Meanwhile, we are occupied with these silly squabbles about Brexit. The world is going to hell, you know, while we are arguing about this ridiculous…”

What do you think about Brexit?
“I think that there are faults on both sides. I think that the irritation of the ways in which the European community has interfered with people’s lives on silly levels or silly issues has irritated a lot of people who don’t actually understand what the advantages and the disadvantages are. They’re just fed up with somebody over there who doesn’t speak their language, telling him how much money they’ve got to charge for tomatoes or something silly. And so, they’re getting fed up. Now, maybe the European Union didn’t pay enough attention to what sort of things that members of the Europe care about and has allowed themselves to do all sorts of things which irritate the members there at all. Also, you Italians are not all that pleased [with EU]”.

Are you more a brexiteer than a remainer?
“I think there had to be a change, one way or another. And I think that… look, I am old enough to remember the last war. And I’m older now. We had German Jewish refugees living in our house throughout the war. When I see mobs.. mobs of people are very, very ugly sight. And when I see people losing all sides of reason and just becoming enraged, that’s not a pretty sight. And I just hope to goodness that people remember the lunacy that overtook Europe 50-60 [70-80] years ago… dreadful”.

Are you concerned about the future of your country?
“Yes. […] Our political system has got itself into this mess, this absurd mess. I just I don’t know what’s going to happen”.

Did you vote for Brexit? 
“I don’t reveal what I voted for”.

Please take the time to read this most interesting open and frank interview at La Repubblica

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