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Last refuge of a scoundrel?

Last refuge of a scoundrel?

“Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel,” stated Samuel Johnson.

We have seen England football fans with their aggressive displays of false patriotism, Nigel Farage with his “blokey” 1950s English image, both suggesting that the past was some sort of rosy era that we can head back to. The whole Brexit campaign smacks of a distasteful arrogance that the British are better than the continentals.

I am a Special Care dentist, and I remember being startled and gratified in equal measure to find that a profoundly autistic non verbal man presents exactly the same dental treatment challenges in Ireland as in France as in Greece.

Your non verbal autistic man has no concept of Brexit and Patriotism, but maybe he can teach us how shallow, ignorant and superficial our debate and thinking has become on this issue. 

I have many friends as dentists whose origin is from countries such as Bangladesh, India, Spain, Ireland, Italy and Greece. We have far more in common being dentists than our national and cultural differences divide us.

My late father landed in Normandy on D-day plus six, and often told me he never wanted to experience war again. The EU has many failings, but has kept the major players in Europe from warring with each other. That is why I would vote to stay in.


Neil Martin is a Special Care Dentist in Northamptonshire.


Image credit -Abi Begum under CC licence - not modified.

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