Sadly disagreements with the people who live next door are not unusual in our nation, they can happen in the richest of locations as well as the poorest. Occasionally due to an oversight or failure to communicate, something which could be easily resolved blows up into a issue that puts a long term relationship at risk. What begins as a matter that has upset neighbours can sometimes escalate to involve the whole street or even the neighbourhood. What is rare is when two neighbours fall out to the extent that the whole nation and indeed the whole of Europe are drawn into the conflict. What is needed to solve such disputes is usually some sort of mediation, so that the dispute can also be resolved without resorting to costly and usually fruitless litigation, or worse still war!
David and George are neighbours and at the beginning of this week George discovered that a very large Bill had arrived at the place where he works, and he knew it would cause a lot of bother. What he should have done was told his boss, who also happens to be his next door neighbour and has been a friend ever since the men were at University together. Sadly either because £1.7Bn is only a small sum in George’s world, or else because he was already upset with Dave on other matters, George said and did nothing. When Dave did find out at the end of the week, he was already on his way to meet with other national leaders at the EU who were the people who had sent the Bill in the first place. Because Dave is angry with George, who is his neighbour, who works for him and who has been a friend for 30 years, he appeared to be takingthis anger out on the other World Leaders and the people who work for them all. This sort of anger is sometimes referred to as displacement anger which the urban dictionary defines as:
“Anger displacement occurs when you direct your angry thoughts and feelings at someone or something that is safe or convenient, rather than the actual source of your anger.”
Although Dave is Georges boss, Dave does not work for himself, although sometimes that is the impression he gives. He actually works for us. He mentions that whenever he is expressing frustration with the European Union. That is another form of displacement activity. By reminding these other National leaders that he is not his own man, that he is supposed to do what the British People tell him, helps him to give the appearance of being more powerful and a bit more awkard than he might do if he was actually in charge of the nation, because he is really a jolly nice chap. The fact that he ignores us most of the time, and only listens to the people whose opinion he thinks will help him in his career is another matter. It does however make him look even weaker and goes to show how dishonest he really is. Not long after he last told the EU leaders how angry he was with them because of how angry we are, a rather embarrsing Ipsos MORI survey was published which explained that 56% of us actually want to stay in the EU and only 36% of us want to leave.
Let us hope that in the next few days, Dave and George can get together over a bonfire with a bit of mulled wine, perhaps do some apple bobbing and put their disagreements to one side. Of course explaining that to Angela and Francois may take a bit of time, but hopefully George and Dave can deal with these matters before the General Election next May.