Wow, that was quite a day.
After forty-thee years, yesterday, the British public voted to leave the EU.
It was far from a vast majority, but, with 52% of the vote, it was decided that we’d stand alone.
The outcome came as a shock to many, and despite it being a close call, when the reality hit home, people were stunned by the result.
I woke up yesterday morning, having voted remain the day before, expecting the result to be as such, not because of my singular vote obviously, but because I thought that, like myself, many of the people who were unsure of which way to vote, who felt lied to throughout the whole campaign, disillusioned with the EU itself and sick of being patronised by politicians would, as I did, and despite this, think with their heads rather than their hearts when it come to crossing the X and stay put.
How wrong I was.
People didn’t bottle it, they didn’t have a change of heart, or try to find the positives in a clunky, central governed system.
The voted, and they voted out – all 17,410,742 of them.
And what happened then? Well, people were angry, naturally so – there isn’t a person in the country who’s life won’t be in some way affected by this decision. Social media was swamped with fear, with hatred and with resentment. Insults were thrown and petitions started.
Being the ‘losing side’ the remainers were, and still are, massively more vocal than those who voted leave.
I saw my timeline swell with anger – directed, without exception, to those who wanted out.
… ‘You’re all xenophobic idiots’
‘How do you speak to your European friends?’
‘What have you done to this beautiful nation’
‘How can you live your lives so full of hate’
‘Well done the great unwashed, uneducated and backward collective, your ignorance and fear is repulsive’
‘Xenophobic parasites who fear exploring other people’s cultures’
‘Ignorant, bigoted chavs who voted out enjoy your little moment’ …
And so it continues, from venomous hate, to patronising sympathy, never has there been such a divide of two camps, such a difference of belief and opinion.
But here’s the thing.
The anger people feel towards their fellow countrymen, because like the fact or loathe it now, that’s what we still are, is misdirected, and the irony that we’re hating on each other so passionately, given that we have democratically decided to stand alone, makes the mess we are in all the more ironic.
I didn’t want to leave, but I fully respect the opinions of those who did – and I’d rather live in a democratic society where I have a right to a vote and free speech than sacrifice this in order that I was never put in a voting situation where the result might not go the way I wanted it to.
We lost, fair and square, and now we must get on with it.
And here’s the science bit – we’re *all* ignorant.
I have friends who are in the proverbial backrooms of this country, who claim to know things we don’t – who tell me that the general public have no understanding of the consequences and repercussions of their decisions.
Jeez, tell us something we don’t know.
You think you’ve got the moral high ground because you voted in, that you’ve got the right to belittle and condemn people who voted out, just because they didn’t align to your point of view? This reminds me of something, ah yes the general election – and look what happened there.
Isn’t the point in all of this that, none of us know the outcome but there isn’t a person in the country who didn’t vote thinking with their hearts, about their family their friends and their neighbours – we all did it, and why should people be vilified for it?
Because, when it comes to crossing the box, everyone was blind, unable to trust the word of our politicians, sceptical of the patronising sound bites churned out by the left-wing luvvies and with no real understanding of the global economy – it’s no surprise for so many the answer, they believed, to their personal problems, was out.
Nothing to do with racism, nothing to do with ‘getting the country back’ or shutting the boarders – just about people doing what they felt best with the limited, convoluted information they had.
If you want to find someone to angry with, be angry with the government for calling a referendum, be angry at the EU for not reforming their model before it came to this, be angry at labour for totally rejecting their traditional working class voter, be angry at the media for scaremongering, be angry at the rich luvvies for patronising anyone that dared to express fear at the change they see everyday to their ‘ordinary’ lives – don’t be angry at your average Joe on the street who voted out, ‘he’ had as much right to an opinion as you do and should not be vilified for expressing it.
Now isn’t a time to hate on one another, to carve up the country into in and out.
We all had the right to vote and the right to our reasons for doing so, lets put aside our differences and get on with it, because, now, that’s the only thing we can do.