Since Friday I’ve waited to gather my thoughts and write something that is controlled and well thought-out. But today is Sunday, and I still feel the same way as I did when I woke up on Friday morning and switched on the TV to the news that we had voted to leave the EU.
Publishing this in an online, public space is unlike me. I rarely post on Facebook, never mind write lengthy posts about my politics. A few of the people that know me are aware of my feelings on this subject of the EU referendum, if it ever came up in conversation. However, after frantically typing in the notes section on my phone just to get the whole thing out of my system, I realised I needed to take the discussion to my blog – my outlet.
Firstly, I want to address the ‘Facebook politicians’ comments and memes that have been spreading across social media, like the ‘Brace yourself – Facebook is going to turn into the fucking House of Commons’ GOT one. Which = person who didn’t vote and doesn’t give a shit about politics. Okay, you have the right to choose not to vote, fair enough. And to write about how you feel on social media platforms. But it boils my blood that you scoff at the people who do exercise their right to vote. And whether you did or didn’t vote, surely it is important that events like this are actually being discussed by people of all ages. Anyway, it’s also called giving a shit.
When I woke up on Friday morning and heard the news, I got emotional. Which shocked me. I felt (still do) passionately that we were stronger in Europe and actually felt frightened and disheartened about the future. Nothing I had seen throughout the campaign process had changed my opinion, and was stunned to see that so many people had moved in the opposite direction. I really didn’t feel comfortable about risking the state of the economy and jobs, but many voters seemed prepared to take the risk – more than I realised. However, the results were close, and something like 75% of people aged under 25 voted to remain – the ones who have to live with this decision to leave for the longest amount of time.
I’ve seen lots of Bremainers comment on the fact that older people have been reckless in their decision, and have determined the fate of the young. I’ve also read comments that people in an older age bracket shouldn’t be allowed to have their say in the fate of the country. I’m not one of those people, however I can’t say that I’m not bitter about the outcome.
The North East (my home) voted strongly to leave. In this region we are economically dependent on the EU, and the result demonstrated a strong disconnect between the establishment and Northern communities. It seems as though the people that voted to leave will be the ones that are affected mostly by it, and I don’t know whether this decision was based on ignorance or the fact they were simply willing to take the risk. When I watched voters being interviewed on the news, I noticed a frequent topic – a protest against the government. One comment from a person in Hartlepool (overwhelmingly leave) was ‘It’s a vote against the establishment’. In Sunderland, where the leave vote was also overwhelming, major companies like Nissan that provide thousands of jobs in the area had stated beforehand it’s priority as a business was to stay in the EU.
I do feel as though passion, emotion, and the desire to defy David Cameron prevailed over potential economical consequences, and in my view, common sense. Now that we’re out, we are left with a Tory government (who, despite being voted in and reelected, have caused anger from voters over extensive cuts) and a new PM we won’t be able to choose. So much for ‘taking back control’. Like, were we all in shackles? A clear protest vote against the government has resulted in giving the government that so many leave voters wanted to defy more power.
Farage stated that the Brexit result was a ‘A victory for real people, a victory for ordinary people, a victory for decent people’. Okay, so I guess I’m not a real, ordinary, decent person for voting the way I did. This referendum has caused divisions I couldn’t have even imagined. He also said ‘We will have done it. Without having to fight, without a single bullet being fired’, which is essentially the most disgusting comment I’ve heard throughout all of this. If you wanna support someone like that, then you crack on.
Why was Boris for PM trending? Because you think he’s a proper hoot? Yeah, the dude that reckons we should pay for healthcare to value the services more, it was okay to publish articles suggesting black people have low IQs under his editorship, and that women only go to university to find suitors. The leave campaign has already backtracked about more money for the NHS. This is not surprising. Many Brexit politicians want to privatise the NHS, so why would anyone think that they would suddenly throw money into a healthcare system they don’t believe in?
This post has not, and will not, involve me listing off extensive details of the reasons why I believe that this is the wrong decision for us, as you can do your own research and make up your own mind. I just feel as though the EU has been used as a scapegoat for things that have left people feeling angry and defiant, for example cuts, and issues that are our own and no-one else’s. Patriotism seems to have, in some cases, equalled narrow-mindedness.
Stop worrying, stop moaning, it’s going to be hard for a bit, it’s no big deal, get over it. These are just some of the comments I have read from leave voters on my FB. The ones who have made this massive change but don’t seem to realise it. Which makes me think whether some of them actually know what they have voted for. It is a big deal.
I’m sick of being told just to get on with it. I’m well aware – well I just have to, don’t I? But it doesn’t mean I have to like it. I didn’t get the result I wanted, and I’m damn sure that if it was a majority remain vote, leave voters would have something to say too. Yes I believe in democracy. But it doesn’t mean that I have to be calm and collected about a result I don’t believe in.
I haven’t signed the petition for a second EU referendum, as I accept the decision that has arisen from our democracy, and admit defeat. I certainly wouldn’t be signing it if it was the other way round.
A lot of people close to me think that leaving is the best decision. I don’t think I’ll ever be persuaded but I’ll be the first person to say I was wrong about breaking this union. I don’t want to be isolated, and now I feel as though the country is moving in a direction that I don’t feel comfortable with. Putting up borders and shutting everyone out to ‘make it on our own’ just goes against my liberal heart and how I see it, a complete step backwards. There doesn’t seem to be a plan, and diving into the unknown is a big sacrifice just to spite the PM, who will now be resigning as a result. I just hope that feeling ‘more British’ is worth it.