The EU ReferendUM?

As I sit here with my cup of tea and rich tea biscuits I’m thinking about my home nation, the UK.  I never imagined I’d be writing a post like this, and indeed never wanted to but with everything going on at the moment I feel like I need to rant about my view, so here it is.

The EU is something I don’t fully understand. My politics knowledge is lacking, and as someone who’s only ever known life in the EU, the referendum shook me.I still don’t fully understand why this referendum happened. Cameron asked for it, then resigned when he saw the results. That’s like going to a restaurant, ordering a desert then not eating it. As annoyed at this makes me (both desert leavers and Cameron) and as much as I didn’t agree with everything he said the alternatives for PM are quite frankly weird and a little bit scary. Once upon a time, thanks to Russell Howard’s Good News I loved Boris, I thought he was totally insane and hilarious. Now I’ve seen a new side of him which has really changed my opinion.

When I woke up and heard the result, I was shaken to the core. I cried. I genuinely thought the majority of British people would realise the cost of voting to leave. But they didn’t. As incredibe it is, and as lucky as we are to live in a democracy, this is the issue with democracy and voting. Decision making is hard, I mean we struggle to choose what cake we want on our birthdays, and what colour socks to wear, and where to park our cars in a car park with more than two spaces. We’re given the amazing opportunity to let OUR opinions be heard, but they’re never really ours are they, not in the end.  There will always be winners and losers. Never a compromise. The marginal difference in these results demonstrate it perfectly.

The whole campaign was flawed, with parties twisting truths, dismissing experts who had actual facts, and relied on fear mongering to get votes. As someone who’s studied propaganda, Edward Bernays and the way messages are constructed by the media to a degree level, I knew things like this were possible. I just didn’t think people in this day and age would fool for it.

Looking at the demographics it’s clear how the voting was split. Leave voters were old/less educated and remain were younger/higher educated. As someone who voted for the latter, and is proud of doing so. I’m outraged that the vote was even open to people it wouldn’t effect, and not an option for those it would. The older generation has changed our lives forever and already it’s not for the better. Within hours, the value of the pound had decreased, our economy was decreasing, Japan was suffering, and now days later our credit score is down, the hunt is on for a new prime minister and most of the labour party has left (will there even be a government at the end?!) We were told it’d be “years” till we would have to officially leave, but the EU leaders want us out soon. Really soon. We turned our backs on 27 countries and now they’re treating us how we treated them. And rightly so.

I’m proud to be British, I have a love for all things British. I love tea and scones and National Trust houses. I love the Queen and The Great British Bake Off and roast dinners. I love the weather and M&S and British television and radio. I want to live in a nation that’s happy to share these things, and from where I’m sitting, we aren’t.

Some people who voted leave complain about migration. Without migrants, our country wouldn’t exist. Every bloody GCSE geography case study has something about migration shoved in somewhere and they always say that migrants do the jobs we’re too proud to do. And if we don’t want them here, who does those jobs? These people aren’t necessarily here to live an easy life (although I get just as annoyed as the next person at the ones who don’t speak English and don’t contribute, but then again some British people are just as bad if not worse), it might be their only way to escape war, natural disasters, famine, things we don’t have. People say the EU costs billions of pounds, but it provides us with freedom, resources, environmental agreements, rights and laws. Isn’t that worth something? (http://europarltv.europa.eu//en/player.aspx?pid=753daab1-7c13-44f4-8447-a27d00c811ab is really useful to explain things easily)

Whatever you voted for, you can’t argue that the outcome is not uncertain. It’s times like this I wished Doctor Who was real and could have travelled in time and shown us what will happen. But it’s not real. And now someone from my generation will one day be Prime Minister, and will have to fix it if it gets worse. We’ve stopped my generation from having access to jobs in 27 countries, and limited 27 countries from getting access into one of the most successful countries.

I want to end this on a final note. Our names. Great Britain. United Kingdom. A great nation helps others, shares it’s greatness, we don’t deserve that title after this. Our nation has lost value. In all senses of the word. Monetary, worth, importance, desire. We were made up of four countries. England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales. At the end of all of this we may end up with just two. Half. A united nation doesn’t halve, it stands together.

It’s fair to say I’m disappointed with the result. Though it is unlikely to change despite there being over 2 million signatures on a petition requesting a second referendum, which is a larger number than the difference between the leave and remain votes.  Me and the other people who made up the 48% are going to have to make do and mend, keep calm and carry on. Somehow we’ll have to say we’re okay with this, even though something in our hearts and souls is really not okay at all.

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The End of an Era

This week marks the end of my teenage years. This Saturday I turn the big 2-0. It’s crazy to think that I won’t be saying the suffix “teen” when someone asks me how old I am anymore. I know it’s not something I should be shocked about because getting older isn’t exactly a surprise, but it just seems to have flown by.

I thought for this post I would tell you the things I’ve learnt while being a teenager.

  1. Friends aren’t always all they cracked up to be. I’ve come across so many fake people in my teen years it’s almost laughable, but I think it’s helped me figure out who I am and who I really can get along with.
  2. Despite what teachers say. The internet isn’t always a scary place. The amount of times we were told not to talk to people online because they were almost certainly perverts. Well that was not the case for me.
  3. It is okay to like being on your own. There’s a lot of peer pressure for people to have big social circles, but you just don’t need them. I have more fingers than close friends, but that’s okay.
  4. Don’t overpluck your eyebrows. Trust me on this one. I think thin eyebrows were a trend in my school and I am still living with the consequences now. Just leave them be.
  5. You don’t need to know what career you want to be seen as “on track.” Take time to find out what you love.
  6. Time management is the key to surviving education. The sooner you start something the sooner it’s over.
  7. If you think you’re the only one not to have done something the chances are you’re not. Taking things steady is never a bad thing.
  8. Try not to wear hideous clothes for the last day of term *cough* I’m talking to you young me *cough* you’ll regret it everytime you look at the pictures.

And now I thought I’d show you some photos of young teen me, you’ll see I look exactly the same.

 

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Confidence

This blog post is kind of on the same lines as my last one, but a little more personal and maybe even emotional. I’m going to be talking about confidence (what a shocker, it’s as if the title gave it away) and self-confidence.

When Googling those terms you find these definintions; confidence is: “a state of being certain either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective.” And self confidence is: “having confidence in one’s self.” I’m not going to preach in this post about confidence tips and how I’ve got so much confidence I think I’m better than others (there is a fine line between being confident and being an arse.) I’m by no means a confident person, throughout school every “parent-teacher” evening I’d be told I don’t participate enough in class or that I need to put my hand up more. I never did. When I got to sixth form college, although I was improving due to smaller class sizes, I still was told those same two things.  But I want this post to be a little reminder that confidence levels can go up. 

We all know I’m an anxious person, I think it stems from a fear of being laughed at or judged, which led to my low self-confidence in lessons, which meant I came across as shy, and therefore didn’t interact with people properly. For someone whose degree is communications, I’m a pretty rubbish communicator, I never look people in the eye when I’m speaking and, if someone doesn’t make me feel like I’m comfortable I won’t speak at all. If I’m forced to speak I feel anxious and, worse case scenario, I have a panic attack. But these aren’t what I want this post to be about.

Over the last few years I feel like I’ve developed a lot of confidence. Not enough that I’ve stopped everything I’ve already mentioned, that is still very much happening. But it’s not as prominent. I’ve become confident enough that I can start conversations now (although I do rehearse what I’m going to say several times before I say it.) I’ve been able to move into a strangers house and not hide in my room, I can sit downstairs with them and have conversations with them. I’ve been able to meet some incredible people online, and then have incredible meetings with them offline, having trust in them really builds my confidence levels, to a point where I’ve never had so much confidence with friends before. I pre-recorded something to go on the radio today, which someone who wants to work in radio shouldn’t find challenging, but I did. I was terrified at first, but I sat down, channelled my inner Greg James and did it.  I’m finding I can talk to people in shops a lot easier now too. And I don’t mumble as much anymore, I can speak at a decibel level humans can hear.

I’m by no means Miss Confident. I won’t pretend I am. But I like to think I’m Miss-starting to become a bit more-Confident. I’m going to finish this by saying that I feel like confidence is like a flower. If you nurture it and nurture yourself, over time, it’ll start to blossom. There might be a bad season, and the flower might die, but the best thing about flowers is you can always grow more.

The Art of Conversation

I moved to Norwich this weekend and one of the first things I talked about with the lady I’m living with is what TV do I watch. This made me realise that TV is the universal ice breaker you can have with anyone you meet in any situation. If you find out you like the same stuff, great, if the person you’re talking to hasn’t seen what you’re talking about (or vice versa) you feel obliged to become the Wiki account for that show. So, this got me thinking, what other conversations are used when meeting and getting to know people.

Well for me, it’s the general education chat. “What do you study?” followed by some sort of remark about my course, either it’s “not a proper” degree or that “it’s very relevant today.” But that isn’t where that ends, oh no. They then have to ask what year I’m in, where I’m studying and most importantly, “what do you want to do for a job after?” I DON’T KNOW MATE GIVE ME A CHANCE TO THINK.

The next conversation is usually “what do your parents do?” I don’t understand why this is a conversation that is needed to be had? Are my parents more interesting than I am? Is it a pride thing? I don’t understand.

You’ve then got to talk about holidays, although they’re stressful and you may have negative memories from them you can’t talk about that side, you’ve got to claim you go abroad all the time and you have to recount tales of fun and excitement and adventure, all while hinting at the fact they should go to the places you’ve been as if you work for the bloody tourist board.

Basically, you’ve got to provide a character profile and then show off in order to socialise with other human adults. This is why I prefer animals.