Let me start off by saying, I am not going to state which way I voted. My vote is between me and the ballot box. I don’t generally foray in politics on my blog beyond home education.
I was stunned when the results first came through. I also had no access to a laptop and finding auto-correct intensely frustrating on the tablet, I decided to wait until I had laptop access rather than posting in the immediate aftermath, it also gave me time to do extra research which is always a good thing. It’s now been just over a week and I am disappointed at what has happened, however there was always going to be a huge backlash no matter which side came through “victorious.” I shall bullet point:
- There has been a concerted media effort to brand all those who voted leave as racist or ignorant, even though they know this is not true. It is down to the non-racist leave voters, to PROVE they are not racist, rather than it being assumed they are not, like it should be in any civilised society. This does a grave injustice to those on both sides who heavily researched before deciding how they were going to vote.
- Media statements that around 1.1 million voters regret voting leave. How do they know? All votes are anonymous. How do they know that more older people than young people voted to leave? How do they know so many people regretted voting leave? Polls, surveys, etc do not tell us anything. ANYONE can say they voted leave, just as ANYONE can say they voted to remain. It doesn’t mean that they did. At best they are using guesstimates as facts. All it IS doing is causing further divisions within our Country.
- There has been a petition for a second referendum. Set up by someone who voted to leave BEFORE the day of the referendum. What does that say about our parliament? That it was already assumed that their vote would not count or matter.
- The hatred and vitriol that has come forth by the side that lost, of course this was to be expected whatever the result had been. However name calling etc is never the answer. I have also heard people say that only the educated should be allowed to vote. As Socrates said:
“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”
We cannot leave this legacy to our children, we need to be able to debate without lowering our integrity.
- Apparently there has been an increase in racist attacks since the referendum. Let me be clear. A leave vote does not give a mandate for racism. A racist dick will be a racist dick no matter the result of the referendum and we could have still seen a similar increase post referendum even if remain had won because of ill-feeling for those who are racist and want ‘all foreigners’ to leave. As I said above, hatred and vitriol was to be expected whatever the result had been. That doesn’t make it right, but as I question pretty much everything I read, could it be that it’s being paid more attention to now because the media want to find a scapegoat?
- Parliament is all over the place. Cameron took the coward’s way out and didn’t invoke Article 50 the next morning as he said he would (what’s new there?) thereby creating more instability for the UK, he is now trying to convince Corbyn to listen to Labour MPs and resign as party leader? Really? While I don’t necessarily like what Labour stands for home education wise, Corbyn is a pretty damn good leader who was elected by 60% of labour party members, and if anyone deserves the blame for an absolutely crap campaign, it’s the MP who failed to get more young people to vote and the MPs who decided it was more important to try and get Corbyn out than stand as a real opposition against a Tory party that is rapidly falling apart at the seams. But then that wouldn’t make good news would? Or distract people from the actual issues going on in the Country huh?
- The one party I really admired for their democratic approach to things, has in my view, quite possibly ensured a far right party gets elected in the next general election, and then we really will be fucked as a Country. I admire Natalie Bennett’s resolve to follow her party’s policies (and don’t necessarily disagree with what she has said), however the Green Party’s strength was always its ability to truly listen to the voters. Now I fear she has ensured that even the non-racists who voted to leave will vote for a far right party who will ensure Brexit continues, the headline specifically, isn’t helpful for getting her point across as some will only read the headline and not the actual article. I have said to friends that I sincerely hope I am wrong, but we only need to look at history. Will we ever learn from it?
On the flip-side I have seen this:
- The safety-pin campaign, to let those suffering the effects of racism know that they have someone they can sit next to the bus. I only have two questions. Why haven’t we been doing this before? Why has it taken a leave vote to get people to take action against racism?
– If we have done it, why hasn’t it received more media attention before Brexit?
- Photos of notes being shared on social media of notes being passed to neighbours and friends to make it clear that immigrants are still welcome here. Remind me again why we aren’t this nice to people normally? Or is it just not news or picture worthy when it’s part of everyday life and not being done to make a point? It doesn’t take much to be a decent person. Either way I’m glad people are being nice!!!!!!
- Memes like this:
- #dontbearacistdick is trending on twitter (I don’t know about you, but that sums up my feelings pretty well!)
- There is more interest between the general population and politics than I have ever seen in my lifetime. People are passionate, people want change, people want their voices to be heard. And boy are they making sure it happens! Vive la revolution!
There are many reasons some voted to leave, just as there are for those who voted to remain, I have friends on both sides who both researched their positions well and not once did immigration come up in a negative light, I have also come across people online who have not researched and listened to the political spin. Here are a few of the reasons I came across for both sides.
- The EU offers security and free movement for EU members.
- Economically it offers the most stable option for the future.
- They do not want any immigrants to feel unwelcome here.
- They did not feel they were well-informed enough to make such a huge decision that could negatively impact future generations.
- We need to stay in the EU if we want to have a say in what happens to us.
- We will lose our human rights if we come out of the EU.
- We won’t be able to hold our government to account if we come out of the EU.
- The EU is inherently racist (OK this comes under immigration but not in the way you think!) and that free movement should be for all not just EU members.
- Some older voters have seen it as a chance to rectify the mistake they felt they made when they voted for the common market. They feel they were lied to back then, e.g. they were not told that they would not be allowed to trade with New Zealand. It was years before the UK could trade with NZ again. They voted to join the common market, not the legislation and bureaucracy that came with it.
- They neither wanted nor desired to be part of an EU super state. (Something which I briefly remember glancing over before the referendum, but has since been reported on elsewhere in the EU since the results.)
- The Euro and common market is in decline.
- The EU is undemocratic.
“We live in a democracy, sometimes the other guy wins”
– CJ speaking to President Bartlet, The West Wing, season 2 episode 3
We don’t have to like the results, but we do have to accept them. It may not come anytime soon, and everyone needs to feel and overcome their grief for not getting the result they wanted in their own time.
Now more than ever we need to come together to find a better future for our Country, one that isn’t taken over by the far-right, one that stands together, says no to racism, says yes to free movement, says yes to the true democracy we saw in June and even more importantly puts aside it differences and fights for what it believes in. 52% voted leave, but not all 52% are racist and my bet is, we out number the racist dicks 😉
One thing is for sure, things are changing.
Be the change you want to see.
Oh and please remember…. Don’t be a racist dick! It’s really NOT that hard!