Lessons Notes and Plans From a Post Brexit Hangover
Still feeling knackered and drained by the referendum, and what it means for our future? Butt-clenchingly embarrassed that we are the laughing stock of the world? Putin is salivating. Hell, even Isis are having a good chorlte.
So am I.
But today is the day to take stock, assess and learn some lessons. Remainers, step back for a moment.
I’ve had this uneasy feeling for a while that we have been coasting along unaware for two long. My generation has been cushioned by this comfy bubble, which we have allowed to steam up by our own hot air. Whilst happy to call myself a politically engaged lefty liberal, what have I ever really done to stop this from happening? The answer is: not enough. Complacency has ‘Trumped’ us. Farage snuck in via by the back door when we were too busy patting ourselves on the back for ‘doing the right thing’.
So what next?
Well for starters, if everyone who feels the same way takes from this experience the lesson to be less politically apathetic then we are already inching forward. If this all feels like the end of the world then turn it into a wake up call. Let this be your clarion call to future action. A political awakening is nothing to feel awkward about. Like a love of slippers and a slanky on a Sunday, its something we should all ease in to at some point. But first we need to eat and digest a fat wad of humble pie. Consider that we need a moment of humility as a nation. We have been at the top of the pile without checking our privilege for too long.
We deserve an international shit storm, and that is what we will get. Newton’s third law in action right here, right now. And to a degree my side of the fence have brought this upon ourselves. We did too little too late because it was all too obvious to us. Not so obvious to others though, was it? And as lefties we have all been guilty for failing to tackle glaringly apparent sociodemgraphic issues. Applying your politics only to or with those who agree with you doesn’t make for political progress.
In the short to medium term we need to ride it out. Democracy must happen as intended.
The vote has happened. We can not turn back time. We can’t ask for a new referendum because all hell will break loose, and even just asking for one is damaging our integrity. At least we are not rioting or calling it a fix.
We are now in for the long haul. I think the history books will not be kind to the referendum. A vote can only be truly democratic if people knew exactly what they were voting for. The reality and all its ramifications will come home in due course. The public deserved an independent fact checking body. The appropriate framework was simply not in place given the magnitude of the question. We were failed by politicians who manipulated rather than represented. Cameron will be used as a cautionary tale of the politician who sold his soul for power and then had to return it, and some, when the devil cashed their cheque.
I am already seeing the lights flickering on. It is starting to dawn on some Brexiters that they have signed up to something bigger than they understood. Those who didn’t realise a particular charity got their funding from the EU…. Who now expect the government to step in and replace the funding… The Cornish who want are now pleading for their EU subsidy to be…subsidised. Equally people will wake up to the facts that immigration the EU are not behind their problems. Now that the cogs are turning I predict we will see a steady outpour of this kind of thing as time goes on. But it will take time.
Look at what you need to do for your own circumstances.
My business, which is the main source of income for our family will be hit (import/export) but I am already working out ways round this. My mother’s B&B in France which we run once a year…not even got my head round that yet. Personally Brexit has cemented my one kid policy. I no longer feel we are as safeguarded. We are hardly going to be at the top of anyone else’s priority list should we ever need help, seeing as we have so readily jumped out of the frying pan. What exactly are we offering in return? An aircraft carrier with no planes? I’m not expecting neighbourly help after this. Have we ever had such a long-span of peace on UK soil? Will it last for ever? Considering that history has a habit of repeating itself, I think not. I like a good prepper fantasy but I am not forecasting the apocalypse. I am not burying the bakelite in the back yard. This pragmatism.
Keep focused on what is coming but try to not panic.
My daughter will grow up as Generation Brexit or ‘Broken Exit’ as I see it in my mind’s eye. She will be affected the most when those that chose her future are long dead. I grew up, studied and worked in three different EU countries for almost 30 years. She now faces a much more restricted landscape, and I am heartbroken that my choice is no longer hers. I am determined she will not the pay the price for the ideology of long departed and the career politician, but I am equally determined not to contribute to the hate and damage.
I am also super concerned about the need for the government to quickly untangle and rehash a lot of legislation. At law school I was taught that laws were formed carefully over time by the appropraite bodies. Who will oversee this? Will the judiciary, executicutive and legistalture all merge into one? In most democracies these three branches of the state are separate from each other. Keep up to date with the news as it happens. I know people my age who will not follow current affairs as its ‘too upsetting’. That needs to change.
I for one will concentrate on writing and using the platform that I have built up over the last ten years
My heart is heavy with the belief that this is the greatest political tragedy of my generation. Not enough people knew what they were signing up for.
However nothing will be gained by fighting. In law we are taught to concentrate on getting your point across rather than using up energy by being overtly responsive. We must step back, reflect learn and then mobilise or there will be nothing to be gained at all from this whole sorry eposide of our history.