This is a strictly amateur blog, and my only ambition is to be able to say that, as an active citizen in a democracy, I made my voice heard. I was taught that democracy can never be taken for granted, every citizen must work to protect it every day. In the last couple of years it seems more important than ever to work at it. I am a modern citizen of Europe, somebody who lives with a foot in more than one country, consuming the media and joining in the dialogue in both my country of residence and that of my birth. Now the country of my birth is proposing to leave the EU; a real-estate dealer with a big mouth is US President, and a Slovak with a murky past will probably become Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. And yet, the fightback of the ‘moderates’ has begun, first in Austria, then in the Netherlands, then in France, and now in Germany. Which way will my two countries go? What does my life in one country tell me about the things that happen in the second one? I hope that this will be a sufficiently unusual perspective to make my posts interesting, sometimes, to some readers. You are welcome to comment and I will do my best to reply where appropriate.
There are many things wrong with British society, and I have never been afraid to speak of them to Czechs; I hope that then, if I claim something about Britain is really good, they will believe me rather than just suppose I am being “patriotic”.
One of those good things, I always argue, is the British justice system. When I first heard the dreadful news of the murder of Czech citizen, Zdeněk Makar, in London last autumn, I tried to reassure my Czech friends that our police will get the killer, and he will face justice.
The police did their job. Raymond Sculley was very quickly arrested and charged with murder. It’s usually a good sign, when an arrest and charges follow quickly. It suggests the police have received clear and damning evidence. In the meantime details had emerged of “Zed” in the press and social media. I quickly gained the impression of a hard-working and able young man who had gone to Britain to build a career and enrich his life experience, and was clearly succeeding. He had a group of friends there from the Central European countries, equally decent, and now horribly bereft. They organised a fund to ensure he could be returned home to lay to rest.