I wrote yesterday about the ill conceived referendum on the United Kingdom’s future membership of the European Union and why I voted to remain a member state.
At 6am this morning I was rudely awoken by news, on my radio alarm clock, that only 48% of my fellow voters agreed with me and that 52% of the country’s voters believed we should leave the union and go it alone.
It felt like I’d been punched in the gut.
No, that’s not right. It felt like I was in a weird backwards reality where I was about to be punched in the gut but was left with a hollow empty void where the punch had not yet been placed.
No, even that’s not right. It felt exactly like it did that evening in late October 2003 when I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
“This is it.” I thought to myself, “It’s all over.”.
It took me less than a week of hospital based recuperation to come to terms with the fact that my quality of life was now irreparably damaged by factors now well outside my control.
That’s what Brexit feels like to me.
I held off as long as I could before checking out the news, it took m hours to pluck up the courage to even check social media.
My preferred source of news is BBC Breakfast News. Whilst the BBC is biased and as prone to controlling influences as the next outlet, at least it isn’t Good Morning Britain.
I watched with interest as the nation’s favourite susophile stepped away from the whole mess, without so much as an “I told you so”.
There was a great speech, full of references to his achievements – both imagined or otherwise. An emotional speech and to my mind a speech that David Cameron could not have avoided making; the reasoning behind his own exit being sound.
Cameron’s speech is something that, in my opinion, will stand as iconic of the day the United Kingdom fell. The day the pound hit its lowest value in 30 years. The day the markets collapsed and politicians on both sides of the debate proved themselves liars, almost immediately following the results being called.
The United Kingdom now embarks on the long walk, alone in a world where we were once the 5th largest economy. A world no doubt looking on in horror as the United Kingdom fleet steers itself towards the rocky shores of economic destruction, civil unrest and collapse.
Rocky shores that are littered with the corpses of betrayed voters and the wrecks of failed business ventures. Bleak, sharp rocks populated by nationalist Sirens singing sweet songs full of bilious hatred and venom.
Luckily I missed one particular nationalist Siren this morning. I heard that Nigel Farage, in celebrating the victory of the “Leave campaign”, had stated that they had managed to win independence “without a single shot being fired”. An insulting statement to make after the murder of Batley & Spen MP Jo Cox at the hands of a Britain First extremist.
Later this morning, the organisation HOPE not hate sent an email stating:
(I) worry that there is a real danger that the bitterly-fought contest could leave a lasting legacy of division in our country.
We cannot allow this to happen.
I fear this has already happened.
The Brexiteers in my life are revelling in their victory and openly laughing at the misery evident in those 48% of us that believe the wrong choice has been made. My morning has been a hell of force fed rhetoric and gloating from the poor winners that I am close to.
I am genuinely worried for my safety as known Bremainer – an alleged traitor to the United Kingdom.
I employ people from Eastern Europe. I have friends whose employment or business relies on a direct relationship with the European Union. I have family with financial interests in Europe and I have close friends whose health and well being will be directly damaged by the coming changes to the United Kingdom’s policies on health care and benefits.
Worse still, the number of Leave voters I have spoken to today who had no idea that the economy would be effected, or that they would now have less money when holidaying this summer.
When travelling Europe in my youth, my Father would often cite the Walls Magnum ice cream as a solid guide to currency conversion. Roughly a pound in the UK, this ice cream could be 15 szlotaks in a foreign country. Today it would cost us twice as much – that is how much faith the rest of the world has in our ability to go it alone.
All in all, the future is dark. Always unknown, the future has at least been somewhat predictable to date.
The darker predictions of Scotland and Northern Ireland moving towards independence and the effect that would have on England and Wales are brightened somewhat by the possibility of Boris Johnson as a leader on the world stage.
That would leave us with a lack of labour representation in the UK and boost to nationalist parties. UKIP couldn’t exist without a UK – and the UK can’t exist without Scotland and Northern Ireland – but that would leave us with the likes of the English Defence League (EDL) or a new England based nationalist party (like a modern day Knights of St. George).
Even darker predictions hearken back to news of Russian warships patrolling the coast of Scotland, scouting military bases sometime around the last Scottish independence referendum; and warnings of other member states leaving the European Union.
A weaker Europe could lead to military conflict and the European Union would be foolish to not penalise the UK in some way to prevent other member states following suit.
Could, not “will”… I suppose I should remember that in the coming days.
In his speech this morning, David Cameron encouraged us all that we are all in this together and the “will of the people”, albeit 52% of 72% if the people, “is an instruction that must be delivered” and that we’re all in it together. I suppose this is just his way of stating what HOPE not hate were saying in their email.
We need to work together to minimise the negative impacts of this redirection and maximise the positives.
Be excellent to each other!