Friday, 8 July 2016

Two Weeks

I've been trying for a while now to write a current affairs blog. It's a Sisyphean task; there seems to have been more news in the past fortnight than there has been all year.

It's only been two weeks...

I voted Remain. Most of my friends and many of my family voted Remain. As I wrote in a previous, pre-Brexit blog, I was under no illusions that the EU was perfect, and that change wasn't needed, but in my opinion, staying was for the best. A tiny, facetious part of me wanted to see what would happen (which made me think of this clip from Family Guy!) if we left; in the same way we watch YouTube 'fail' clips - you know it's all going to go wrong but you simply can't look away.

video

I'm over the shock now, but I'm still angry. I'm not angry at the majority of people who voted Leave; they did so for the same reason that I voted otherwise - they considered the evidence and the arguments and decided on what they thought was for the best. What I was, and continue to be angry about is that the campaign was built on misinformation, xenophobia and a complete disregard for facts:

"We made a series of promises that were possibilities"
Post-Brexit I've been told "Well, all politicians lie." Yes; about using public money to build a house for ducks. Not about the uncertainty of the economic and social future of the lives of millions of people.

"Number 10 should have come up with the plan."
The official standpoint of Number 10's occupant at the time was Remain, so why should they have been the ones responsible for coming up with the plan? The ones campaigning vociferously for Leave should have had the plans; Farage, who has campaigned for decades to leave the EU should have had a plan, but, oh wait, he's gone now, hasn't he? Boris and Gove, who led the official Vote Leave should have had a plan, but, dagnabbit, they've gone now too. It's like children who fight so hard to grab a toy that the toy breaks, rendering it unappealing and untouchable. And did you see Gove and Johnson's faces on the 24th? Did they look like the faces of winners to you? No. They were the faces of naughty boys who'd been caught pulling the girl's pigtails and were being forced to apologise in front of the whole school. They didn't expect to win, and I don't think they wanted to win. They wanted to advance their own personal political aims, and it backfired quite spectacularly for all concerned.

Image Source: ooyuz.com

Most of the main promises - sorry, possibilities - posed by the Leave campaign are now appearing to be unattainable. Immigration is unlikely to be able to be halted if we wish to remain part of the EEA; the amount of money that's going to have to be spent in negotiating new trade deals will mean there will be little, if any, left for services like the NHS (and in a wonderful irony, foreign experts are going to have to be employed to negotiate these deals as there is no one in this country sufficiently qualified or knowledgeable enough!); and the fallout of the scramble to escape from 'unelected Brussels bureaucrats', will result in an unelected bureaucrat taking control of this country (but at least she's not from Brussels, so maybe that's the point?)

There have been over 8,000 reports of race-related incidents in the past two weeks; people have been told to 'go home', individuals and communities have been targeted, and the government can't answer as to what the status of EU Nationals in this country (or UK Nationals abroad) should be now, or in the future. As someone who has spent the past four and a half years building a life with a person who is in this category (damn these immigrants, coming over here and stealing our women!) I am worried. We are now presented with futures that we never even considered that we'd have to consider.

Please note, I am in no way implying that Leave voters are racist or ignorant. I know some very intelligent, compassionate people who voted this way; as I said before, because they believed it would (eventually) be the right thing.

"Just Get Over It"
Image Source: thinkcats.com

I've been told to 'get over it'. I've been told to 'stop complaining about it'. I've been told that I 'just need to get it out of my system'. I've been told that 'everything will be fine'. And I've been told that I'm being undemocratic by continuing to rail against the result.

a) I will not get over it. Not yet. At the very least, not until there is a considered, considerate, logical and workable plan. There isn't. At the moment that I'm writing, there's not even anyone really in charge since the major political parties are imploding spectacularly. And the main contenders for leadership could make Cruella DeVil hang up her fur-covered mules and start working for PETA.
b) I will not stop complaining about the way this has happened. The Scottish referendum lasted for two years. Two years. Political, social and financial issues were debated for months on end. There was a solid plan for exactly what would happen should the result be to leave. We had less than a third of that time, a fraction of that level of debate and discourse, and, I repeat, No Plan for what a post-Brexit Britain might look like. Everyone who should have had a plan has bolted. What does that tell you? 
c) I do need to get it out of my system. I need to shout and scream, and vent my frustration. Then I need to tidy the house, pick up the bits of broken crockery, and decide how I can stop feeling so helpless. Full disclosure; I'm at this latter stage now, hence the blog post. But, getting it out of my system doesn't mean that I'll also stop talking about something that I believe has made a mockery of democracy. I honestly believe that the referendum was created as something for the country to shake a stick at, to distract us from more important issues, and for the media moguls to sell more newspapers.
d) Maybe everything will be fine. Maybe it will all work out for the best. And maybe it won't. We don't know because we were lied to from both sides. And right at this moment, it's definitely not fine as far as I can see, so I have a right to be angry. It's like telling me not to complain about it raining while I'm wearing flipflops, because the rain will stop eventually and I can dry my feet off then. Sure, I know I can. But right now I've got wet feet, and that makes me unbearably grumpy at the best of times.
e) It is my democratic right to protest. The referendum is not binding (Farage himself said at the start that if the vote was what it was, but the other way around, that he would continue to challenge the result) and I'm incredulous that everyone seems to be treating it as such. It was always declared an 'advisory' referendum; what should happen now is that our MP's, those people that we elect to make the big decisions for us, because we're all too busy deciding what to have for tea, should debate the issue in Parliament, and they decide what is best for the country. After all, they have access to all of the facts and figures whereas we were given skewed statistics and told to distrust expert testimony.

#StandTogether at Trafalgar Square

Our government is a shambles, my beautiful country is been torn apart ideologically, and even the weather hasn't been playing ball since Brexit. Maybe Free-Movement applies to the sunshine as well, so Europe is keeping it all for themselves.

I feel increasingly as though the country is actually a massive 'Truman Show' style drama series, written by Rupert Murdoch, who is throwing in increasingly bizarre plot twists in order to keep us hooked. 
I'm dreading the season finale...

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