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David Pibworth | The Blog

Actor, Writer, Producer, Director

Why The Portuguese Have No Problem With The EU

Simply put, they mostly ignore it ...



This week's blog post comes to you from Portugal where we sit sunning ourselves by a swimming pool. However, I can only do that for so long. About 20 minutes is average before I have to go and do something ...

We're sunning ourselves by a swimming pool in Portugal.

We're sunning ourselves by a swimming pool in Portugal.

It's usually swimming, scuba diving or chatting to residents. There's little point going abroad if you don't have a natter with the locals.

"I'm pretty hopeless at learning languages but I do learn the basics and try."

Many more Portuguese people speak English than vice versa and once they know you're genuinely interested in their country the nattering is easy and, from what I can see, the Portuguese like the English very much.

So I got talking with a group of locals about this and that and they brought up the UK leaving the EU. Interestingly, their take on it isn't so much amazement of us leaving, but wonder of the fact that we took any notice of them.

Apparently Portugal likes all the benefits of being in the EU, but take no notice of any of rules they don't agree with. One of them even showed me a photo with a railway station sign proudly saying 'No Smoking' with two policemen standing beside it gleefully smoking fags.

I can't list all of the things they ignore, but it seems to be most areas including Health and Safety, the bits of the Human Rights Act they don't agree with and so on and so forth.

But they do get plenty of EU cash thrown at them and everyone seems happy. The government and local authorities in Portugal seem ok with letting it all happen and that, as I explained, was where the difference between our two countries lies.

Our government, civil service and local authorities are red tape merchants and are never happier than when charging people with minor misdemeanours.

To their hilarity, I pointed out that some otherwise unemployable dimwits in the UK are even hired to go around checking people's rubbish to see what is and isn't allowed in the black bin liners.

"After all, EU diktats must be
obeyed at all times."

That made my Portuguese friends realise why we had voted out and there was really no other way forward. One said to me that if we had been like Portugal then the Remain camp would have won.

I said that if we'd been like Portugal and just taken the cash and ignored the stupidity, then there would never have even been a referendum. He agreed.

I like the Portuguese. They're my kind of people. They're sensible.

Until next time ...


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More about David Pibworth ...

David is the owner of David Pibworth Productions who provides entertainment for theatre and corporate events. This ties in very well with The Arches Theatre, an outside venue that David owns underneath a disused railway line, equidistant from Bedford, Northampton and Milton Keynes. This was one of the few venues that could operate with social distancing in place during the summer of 2020 and where they ran everything from Shakespeare to Richard Digance through the summer months.

David has been involved in light entertainment for many years, even going back as far as working on a production with Norman Wisdom in London. He has a knack of keeping in touch with everyone he's worked with and would bring such people as Chas and Dave, Kenny Ball and Acker Bilk round to play locally when the chance arose.

His company also represent the stage rights for Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, the writers of Steptoe and Son and Hancock's Half Hour. He has recently negotiated permission with Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais to produce Porridge on stage although this is all hampered by the current situation and the availability of theatres.

Next year, at the Arches Theatre, he will produce Ripping Yarns, written by Michael Palin and Terry Jones. This will be an interesting production as not only does one episode involve playing a football match, but also with the agreement of Michael Palin and the wife of the late Terry Jones, it has been decided that all the profits on this production will go to a dementia charity as Terry Jones died as a result of dementia, as did David's father and uncle.