At the very heart of me lies an optimist – a glass half full kind of girl. And it is a rare moment indeed that I cannot see, or at least try to understand, the point of view of others’. Yet in the days since the referendum result I have been struggling to come to term with Britain’s decision. And I’m sad, sad that fear won over facts.
Maybe we’ve been papering over the cracks of unity for so long that this needed to happen. Maybe the rot was already there, covered only by a sea of everyday niceties. At least now we can see the foundations of our society. We may not like what we see, but the cracks are now exposed and they are much wider and run much deeper than we thought. Can we ever repair the damage? I’m not sure. Britain will survive, but I don’t think it will ever be the tolerant, multicultural nation I believed it to be. The erosion is too immense.
Make Britain Great Again
Many voted Leave because they believed the Vote Leave camp’s ‘Make Britain “Great” Again’ slogan. In the last few days it has proved itself to be just that – a slogan, all be it a very powerful one. Who wouldn’t want Britain to be great right? What was never made clear is HOW will we be great again? And WHO’S idea of great will it be?
In the last few days I have travelled across Britain. Visiting companies for emergency talks, and reassuring my EU tenants that they will not have to pack and immediately leave the house they have called home – despite their neighbours demanding they do so. The streets of the towns and cities looked the same, but there was something in the air. A shift, a crackle of uncertainty. As a nation we have succeeded in completely dividing ourselves in two – where’s the greatness in that?
This division has been blindingly evident in the last few days. The sheer weight of viciousness over social media has been astounding. But vilifying Leave voters serves no useful purpose, we live in a democratic society and people are allowed to exercise their right to vote. But when that vote was cast on the basis of fear and lies is that really democracy?
For some, worry about immigration was the catalyst for their Leave vote – having these legitimate worries is NOT racist. Yet their vote has endorsed Nigel Farage, a man who has stated that staying in the EU would see an increase on sexual assaults, that he would be worried if Romanians moved in next door to him and that employers should have the right to choose their employees based on their nationality. Is it any wonder that calls from the minority of Leave voters who seriously believed that their vote meant not just stopping immigration, but actually sending immigrants ‘home’ have become more vocal?
For others, Brussels setting the standard of imported fruit and how powerful a hoover is allowed to be is unfathomable. They’d simply had enough of bureaucrats making decisions for ‘their’ country and seeing money ‘pouring’ into the EU. And I get it, I really do. Through this referendum they have voiced their concerns, it’s just a damn shame that the only people listening fed them lies, ‘£350 million a week for the NHS’ being the most prolific.
I may not agree with the vote, but I have been made to listen and now I have to somehow understand the worries and fears that reside in some of the vote Leave camp and move forward.
But I have no idea how. Every fibre of my being is shouting at me to run away, to tell Britain I resign, to travel as far from the UK as I can and never look back. In the last few days I have seen my hopes for retirement in a sunnier climate compromised, my businesses surrounded by uncertainty and my pension drop by 30% overnight. I have worked my entire life to build a future for myself and my family in a country that I believed in, only to see it ripped from me in a furore as voters frantically scribbled their X in the box they believed would mean a future without immigration, without having to bend to the will of Brussels. Voters who are now standing open-mouthed as they learn the truth.
So if you weighed up the pros and cons of a Leave vote, checked the facts and still voted ‘out’, then I respect your decision. But please don’t expect me to work with you to make that decision work for ‘us’.
Our Prime Minister has quit and left the country to pick up the pieces, racism is openly rampant, the pound is at it’s lowest for over 31 years, the opposition is falling apart, property prices are predicted to fall, over 120 billion has been wiped off the value of British companies, large investors have been removing Billions from Britain and are forecast to continue to do so, Scotland is seeking a new referendum to leave the UK and stay with the EU, Britain’s credit rating has been downgraded to negative, discussions ensue on not IF there will be job losses but WHEN, as a direct result of the vote 2 Trillion Dollars has been wiped off global market and large companies are already moving out of Britain and relocating to Europe.
No matter what our financial situation, we will ALL be affected by the vote. The loss of investment in the UK will undoubtedly lead to the loss of jobs, which means less tax payed into the treasury. A tax shortfall inevitably leads to higher taxes and cuts in benefits.
So if you voted Leave my question to you is this: the country is now yours, what are you going to do with it?
P.S. I thought long and hard before publishing this post. We have all been told at one time or another to never talk politics or religion. But as I’m a big advocate of self development, and self development means doing things that scare you. And hitting the publish button on the post scared the sh*t out of me