Brexit. The conversation of the moment. Everywhere we look there is somebody shouting about it. About how messed up the situation is. Or there’s somebody telling us to pipe down and get over it (you people are the worst, this is a decision that will change lives, destroy opportunities, and ruin futures, we won’t just sit down and shut up, part of democracy is the right to discuss what we believe to be wrong).
I don’t feel remotely qualified to discuss politics to this level. Because it’s confusing, purposely so, and is a full-time job to fully understand every separate view, decision, and comment. I try to keep up. I read a lot. I ask questions of those who know more. But I’m still not completely up to speed.
I do know that I feel lost and alone and afraid though and I feel completely unable to not say something.
My brain at the moment is a jumbled mess, I have a thousand thoughts on the referendum and the days following the heartbreaking decision that I simply can’t put into one concise discussion. But as this blog is one I like to use for a good rant, I’m going to do that right now. I might get some things wrong, I might contradict myself, I’ll probably piss 30% of my Facebook friends off (but tbh guys, if you want to argue the points listed below, we don’t have anything in common, feel free to leave), but this is our world right now; confusing and contradictory. I’ve tried to provide links to back up my points, so before you tell me I’m wrong, do read them.
I’ve seen a lot of posts calling all those who vote Leave idiots, racists, and much much worse. I’m not disagreeing that some of them are, yes.
Those who we saw on telly claiming they didn’t think we’d ever leave so voted to for a laugh, or for a protest, yes – they are idiots. Massive ones.
The men and women standing outside mosques with St George’s cross yelling the utterly repugnant crap they are, the people who nearly beat that Polish father and son to death, every single person who has told somebody with a different accent or a darker skin tone it’s time for them to leave – they are racists. The are abhorrent and everybody should be shunning them, no matter which way you voted.
And yeah, these people do deserve to be sworn at.
But there are other people that deserve our anger and our swear words more. The people who convinced such a high percentage of our country that voting to Leave would be best for them. The people who approved the £350mil a week to the NHS lie. The people who shouted on front pages that leaving was the best option, only to publish a post proving it wasn’t the day after the vote. The people that fed into fears and misconceptions about the dangers of immigration. The people that copied Nazi propaganda…
It’s easy to say that believing politicians and famously right-wing newspapers is idiocy, but for many people it seems sensible. Because we should be able to trust these people. We should be able to see a news source (debatable, I know) as truthful. We can’t just call idiot, because that’s not fair. This is a result of decades of fear-mongering. Of politicians ignoring people’s true problems. Of many people’s lives getting progressively worse because of our governments’ decisions.
People may have voted unaware of the truth, and unaware that leaving the EU would do nothing to change our current government (except put somebody much, much worse in charge). But that isn’t something to criticise. That is something we should fight to avoid in the future, political honesty and education need to exist. Because look where we got without it.
I am honestly sorry if you voted Leave based on false promises. We did try and share truthful posts, but who wouldn’t like the sound of £350mil to the NHS? I hope this hasn’t left you feeling complete despair at politics, we can make it better. We need you as well.
The lies weren’t just based on the NHS of course. We were lied to about border control (have a little look at Northern Ireland and tell me how we’re gonna make a fortress of that border). We were lied to about our economy (the pound has fallen to a 30 year low, shares are crashing, we have lost our AAA credit rating that we endured austerity to keep). We were lied to about taxes (George Osbourne announced today a raise on taxes). We were lied to. Completely and utterly. Every single point made by Gove and Johnson was a lie, and now we need to find a way to clean up the mess.
I cannot put into words just how angry this makes me.
I’m ashamed of my country right now. In fact I don’t even feel like this is my country. This country was built by immigrants. Immigrants run our NHS, save our lives, comfort us when nothing more can be done, celebrate with us when we bring new life into the world. Immigrants teach us every day, introduce us to our new favourite food, take us to see our new favourite band, hold us when we cry, laugh with us. Immigrants are our friends. Immigrants are our family. Immigrants are us.
But now they’re being attacked on the street, being told to leave.
Not in my name. Not in my country.
There have been reports of homophobic comments starting to become more common as well. Because why stick to one prejudice? A Daily Mail columnist (Dominic Lawson) today has blaimed Brexit on the legalisation of same-sex marriage.
We’re flying backwards in terms of acceptance. We have reversed time by 40 years and it’s fucking depressing. I have no doubt that people will be calling for the removal of women’s rights next, because may as well go for the trifecta eh?
People who voted Leave are being very quick to say it’s not racist to want ‘our country back’ (whatever the fuck that means) and of course not everybody who voted Leave is racist. But, as many have pointed out, most racists voted Leave. Because the entire campaign was built on fanning the flames of racism and xenophobia that was already bubbling away in the UK. Farage used a poster that was almost identical to Nazi propaganda (and also those photographed had nothing to do with current migration fears in the UK). Newspapers for years have been creating tension between natives and immigrants. Racial hatred has always been there, and it has been getting progressively worse. And now that racial hatred has been justified and approved, I cannot imagine the fear anybody from another country or from a racial background of anything other than white must be feeling right now.
But what do we do now? We sign the petition. We write to our MPs. We join a political party. We shout, and scream, and RT a thousand blogs much more coherent than this one. But whatever happens, whether Article 50 is activated or not, our country has changed. And it’s changed for the worst.
A new level of mistrust in politicians has been awakened. An understanding that many who we trust to keep our futures safe and secure mean to do no such thing, they just want to further their political careers. Racism is back. With a vengeance.
Whatever happens the country we woke up in on June 24th 2016 is one unrecognisable to the one we fell asleep in. And of that I am deeply upset, angry, and down-right terrified.