A pretty tight & divisive result in today’s EU referendum vote. I admit I know pretty much nothing about economics, & hadn’t/haven’t a clue about the financial implications/disadvantages/advantages of Britain leaving the EU. I won’t pretend to be an expert or fortune teller unlike so many others who suddenly became professors of all things EU over the last few months. But my gut instinct was always to stay united with Europe. I’m bemused by so many of our older generation voting to leave in stark contrast to the majority remain young who are the ones who’ll have to live with the consequences. If that’s not selfish & cruel I don’t know what else is.
What I just want to say is more about an emotional response. I feel gutted, disappointed, upset & angry. I’m angry that this political game our *leaders* revel in means appealing to the lowest common denominator, stirring up shit, making poor Brits hate other poor Brits (and anyone else poor & non- Brit) while the *establishment* – on both sides – will never suffer any negative consequences of their actions. Cameron resigning doesn’t mean he’ll be joining the dole queue. No, the man who presided over the most vicious cuts to public services & cruel welfare policy changes, will swan off to continue to live a life of luxury & entitlement, belonging as he does to a super rich family whose money has a tax free sun tan.
It is ever thus. The rich will be alright. Us “ordinary, hardworking, decent folk” are the ones to suffer pretty sharply from the decisions made by the entitled elite,whether the “decent” folks of Farage’s imagination or everyone else.
I’m upset not just because of this democratically voted for result that us who voted remain lost, but also because of everything that has gone before & leading up to this: the general change in mood & the consequences of this gradual lurch back to right-wing, nationalistic thinking that is seeing a surge of far right movements across Europe.
Europe is a world leader in human rights, decent societies, peace and stability in a world where people are still publically executed for being gay or girls abused with FGM. Why regress & not want to be part of that? Why try to create more devision than unity?
Despite personal grievances & the many problems we do have (no one is perfect) , these are mere annoyances compared the wars, oppression & violence of many other parts of the world. Europe should be a shining example of how we can all live together in peace. I worry about how this rabid nationalism that has influenced the leave vote, I worry about the support for people like Farage (but WHY is he still here when he was voted out???) and I despair that my Labour Party has let down so many of us “ordinary, hardworking, decent” folks so much so that support has switched to the right.
We do need change, we need a “revolution”, but why oh why has this change gone to the right & their very divisive & insular thinking?? We need sensible conversations about immigration & integration. We need to not worry about offending sensibilities when doing so (ie being too scared to tell religious communities that some of their cultural & religious traditions do not belong in any decent society). I’m not happy with the “regressive left” anymore than I am with right wing ideology – both are alienating & irrational. We need to uphold human rights, equality, tolerance and the positivity of difference & integration. I believed that being part of a strong Europe would be the way. I don’t know what this country the “take Britain back” lot are on about. Back from what?
There’s been much vitriol from both sides but the results speak for themselves – those of us who live in more harmonious, multicultural & diverse communities have voted overwhelming for remain. The leave votes come from the pockets of homogenous white Brits & in areas where integration from immigrants, if there are any, has failed or never taken off, not surprising from areas with strong UKIP support. Are we all to blame for this? If people feel not listened to they rightly get angry.
Britain is one of the greatest countries in the world – for its freedoms, its equality, its progressiveness. But then we’re marred by little England mentality, of xenophobia & bigotry.
I think the number of languages you hear walking around London is a postive & I love that my kids secondary school has over 100 different languages spoken – my friends and family come from every continent on earth. How do you talk to those in Britain today who think that’s a terrible thing?
I don’t know. I just want a better world & hope my children inherit a more peaceful & integrated one. I’m angry & saddened that the generations above me didn’t think the same & I’m saddened by a country I thought was more progressive than it actually is.