So, we’re out of the EU.
I have been asked for my opinion several dozen times over the course of this referendum, and I have stayed silent in the main, posting only on my personal Facebook page, to friends and family. My political stance isn’t a secret–in fact, I would say it’s the absolute opposite of a secret–but the truth is I didn’t know which way to vote. I couldn’t make the decision, and however much I read up on it, the lies and bullshit were too hard to wade through. I ended up on the Remain side of the fence, because I couldn’t trust the people waving from the Leave camp. Farage and Johnson? Yeah, but no thanks. Still, I wasn’t qualified to make the decision and cast the vote. None of us were.
Sure, on the surface, Remain seemed sensible. It was what I have always known, after all. I was born five years after the UK joined the EU, so I have never known any different. I believe in open borders and a fair chance for each and every human on the planet, so immigration and the supposed use of ‘our’ resources didn’t have an effect on which way I would turn. I liked being a part of a larger whole, and even if ‘we’ might not get a say in some big laws passing our way (bananas, anyone? Remember that?) the payoff was worth it, because it meant David Cameron couldn’t become David Hitler. The overseeing eye kept an eye on not only us, but our politicians as well. I liked that, because no man who desires power should be given too much.
But then, the leave side had some fair points too. Not the immigration bullshit, or the ‘Make Britain Great Again’ rubbish. But the lone sane voices on the sea of madness, calling out that we could do it away from the iron fist of the EU. That the time had come to make a stand and not be *told* what to do by people across the sea, who have little to no idea of just how crippled we are becoming under the weight of legislation. Yeah, some of the ‘Leave’ camp had a point. A point that won.
Make no mistake. They didn’t win because of racist xenophobic bigots. If you believe that, then your opinion of your countrymen and women is damaged beyond repair, and no referendum would have changed those thoughts. Leave won, because independence from the mythical eye of Big Brother was more desirable than having a nameless, faceless, politician a world away from us, make our decisions for us. We have MEPs, sure…but where they were is anyone’s guess. Nigel Farage never bloody showed his face, did he?
Our working poor are getting poorer. Tax Credits have been cut again. We have, in effect, a two child policy for those families who are on less than £38,000 a year, because you can’t claim Child Tax Credit for more than two children. Our hospitals are falling apart at the seams, while managers get bloated on their raises, and doorways fill up with homeless people who can’t afford £1,000 a month rents. It wasn’t the EU who did that, it was the Tories. But to have the infamous “We Give £350m a week to the EU!” on a bus was inspired! It shifted the blame to Europe for our own government’s failings. It blinkered us to the truth, and we fell for the greener grass trick.
Well played, Boris, well played.
So, we’re out, and the world is laughing at us. But it’s not all doom and gloom. It’s not. I promise.
The UK was not the only country to consider leaving. We were simply the first to go. And as the first, we are in unknown waters. But unknown waters are one of the things we’re generally good at navigating. I have faith in our tiny little island. We can do this.
We’re not going to do it by tearing each other apart though. Whether you voted leave, or stay, the vote is cast, the ballots counted, and the results are in. It was a very narrow margin, but the die is cast, and we are leaving. Half of us don’t want to go, but we’re going to be kicked out if we don’t get a shift on, so get to it
So do it with a bit of dignity. No screaming and shouting. Don’t throw the priceless vase. It’s bad enough without kicking each other while we’re down. Pack a bag, shake hands, and leave quietly, through the door, and close it softly afterwards. Then take a deep breath, look at what we’ve taken with us and what we’ve learned, and use that to go forward to a new dawn and a new life.
And remember, when everything seems as bad as it could be, it can always be worse.
So please, stop tearing each other apart and looking to the dark side. Look to the sunshine and seek out a better way forward. Grieve today, because it deserves to be mourned, but then lift up your chin, dry your eyes, and show the rest of the world what we’re made of. We can do this. We must do this.
So let’s do this.