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.