I’ve not blogged in what seems like an eternity but I woke up, like many of you, feeling majorly incensed. I feel like in the grand scheme of things, this day will be etched into our collective consciousness forever. A flashbulb memory, if you will. “Where were you when you heard…?” There’s an eerie chill in the air that I could not have possibly imagined, just last night. I say all of this from halfway around the world, which is perhaps for the best. Today is the day my country chose to leave Europe. The word ‘Brexit’, once humourless and tacky – but seemingly innocent and innocuous nonetheless – now represents the tasteless shame I believe we all should hold. It’s physically daunting.
We Needed Fewer Borders, Not More
They say no man is an island. Well, now we are. We’ve well and truly fucked it.
This is a largely emotive piece, so if you’re looking for the facts, please look away now. It’s been written through passion – and dare I say it, anger – because I’m having one of those rare experiences where I cannot possibly verbalise everything I want to say. I’m sure there are people celebrating, rejoicing, even, at this decision. In fact, I know that there are. Whilst I’m sitting here, almost on the verge of tears, over 50% of the country will be feeling entirely opposite. That’s an alien concept to me, but I must remember that I believe in the democratic right to vote. The people have spoken.
I wanted another hour or two of sleep, but the idea of that would be laughable if you asked me now, as it feels like I’ll never quite shake that sicky feeling in the pit of my stomach. Anxiety sufferers will relate I’m sure; this exit from the EU is playing on me in a way that I can only hope exits me with the same ease we’ve exited from our fellow Europeans. The trees are still standing, and the birds are still singing. Nothing changes overnight. I’m sure by tomorrow I will calm down. Life will go on. I’ll probably even smile later on today… but nothing will be the same ever again.
Goodbye. Freedoms & Friends. Nice Knowing You.
Travel is a constant in my life, but this decision, this grave, grave error, has made me question moving ‘home’ before the age of 30. Home? Seriously, what is home?! The home I knew wasn’t like this, it wasn’t supposed to feel this way. I feel more detached from my fellow ‘people’ more than ever. I’m seeing the country in a new light, one I never imagined I would have to; one where far more people than I ever realised are swept up in such awful sentiments.
I was lucky. My parents enriched my life with travel from a young age. I’ve grown up knowing the wonders of foreign perspectives on life and culture. Cheap taxes on flights. A lack of visas to explore the beauty of the world. A beauty I’m almost failing to see right now.
My best friend is German. Please tell me… where will she go? My friend’s boyfriend, the only person I’ve ever seen make her HAPPY, is also German. Without the freedom of movement, how would we have met such wonderful people? This is their home too. To all those feeling isolated or unwelcome: you are not alone. Some of us do not value your very worth in ‘points’, despite the fact that so many of you actually contribute far more than half of the lazy people blaming you for their poor decisions in life. There are still millions of us who care for you, even though it may not feel that way in these dark, heart-wrenching moments.
As a huge human rights activist, I quite enjoy having the right to maternity leave. Rights as a woman. Rights for the wonderful LGBTQ+ community. Not having to work insane hours. Having a country which had to be accountable to so many others if they tried to step out of line in these issues. It cost far less to be in than out. We have made a mistake, and we are doomed to forever be on the outside looking in.
Everyone Is Selfish
On a selfish level, I’m sad about the music industry, an industry that has welcomed me with open arms for over half my life. I worry about how our little community will survive and still be able to continue welcoming people in the way it has done now that we apparently exist in a culture which knows only expulsion and fear. I’m sad for the little band of eager-eyed 16-year-olds, set on their dreams of playing France out of the back of their little Corsa. I’m sad that one of the best festivals – Groezrock – may suffer. I’m sad for all the dreams that had to die for the arrogant little whims of privileged, old, white men. The arts are already dying.
On yet another selfish level, I really liked knowing that if I wanted to spend a year in Italy, visa free, I could; immersing myself in beautiful places (probably the likes of which many ‘leave’ voters have never seen). I basically adored using my privilege as a Brit to enjoy cheap healthcare throughout Europe. Remember this when you take too many pills in Ibiza and you’re faced with a £1000 bill.
On another travel note; I feel like screaming that our currency is all but destroyed. To all the nationalists, full of pride… our ‘great’ British pound is worth nothing now. I’ve never seen it so low against the dollar. You see, I travel to America extensively. No more Disney for you lot. Although, at the rate the world is going, I might have to rethink that. The apocalypse is already halfway here, and with it, my hope is devoured. We may well be looking at Trump 2016. America, this is our day of reckoning. Wake up before the bigots bring yours!
Who do we think we are? We are nothing but a tiny little island with something to prove. I don’t know about you, but my life wasn’t really a bargaining chip for you to make up for lacking in other departments, Boris. And Nigel. And all of you who’ve turned our lives into some kind of twisted game of whose dick is the biggest. We are not an experiment for your to flaunt our presumed superiority. We are actually a laughing stock. Our economy will crash, just as it has before. We needed the coalition the EU provided post-war to keep the peace. And now we have nobody to bail us out. Nobody to blame but ourselves. Nobody but a Tory government (with an unelected leader) to keep us in line.
Those of you shouting about ‘immigrants’ have done nothing to stop your FELLOW HUMANS from entering our country. Yeah, we should probably tighten some controls (for example on criminals entering), but we could have done that by co-operating with the EU. To all those who come back at me with valid points AGAINST the EU. Yes, I see the flaws. It wasn’t perfect, but this could have been a wake up call.
Guess what? The Asian man who runs your local shop will still be there. War in his country (perpetuated by the likes of us, the ironically supposedly ‘superior’ ones…) has driven him here. He was not from inside of the EU. The French also now have no obligation to keep the FELLOW HUMANS who congregate at Calais. Sorry, the ‘migrants’, as I hear you like them to be called. Ask yourself what you’d do in their shoes. You, the entitled one who screams if everything isn’t handed to you on a silver platter. I can barely think of a single person who voted ‘leave’ who didn’t have much more than the immigration argument to go on with their decision. Brought up on hatred, whether they know it or not.
As someone on Facebook said, too, it’s time for some of you to put your money where your mouth is. Find that job you’ve always insisted ‘the immigrants stole’.
And what about your granny living in Spain? Or your mate living in France? Do they have to ‘fuck off back to their own country’ the way you so politely request that others leave ‘ours’? I’m only now seeing the hilarious side… it was never ‘ours’ to begin with. Funny how when we British move somewhere else, we’re expats. Everyone else is an ‘immigrant’. And I dare say we never learn the language at least half as well as our visitors. It’s just semantics, but I feel disgusting.
And all for what? Nationalist pride. Thinly-veiled xenophobia, at best.
Picking Up The Pieces
This is a devastating, crushing blow from which I can only hope we recover. I am not an angry person, so I’ll phrase it this way. I am in mourning. I am mourning the loss of everything I once knew and held close to me. I am only glad I am already out of the country, because I fear what would happen if I wasn’t. I feel like my UK bank account is now worthless; I probably should have just blown every penny on crack before I left.
Bleak. Empty. Alone. That is essentially what we now are, as a tiny island. But it also represents the sentiment, those 48% of us with sense. We aren’t that amazing, but the EU gave us a unique opportunity. People want to be a part of it. We took it for granted, and now it’s gone.
Don’t imagine for a second that the EU did nothing for us. They allowed us to regenerate our towns and cities. Liverpool, anyone? They provided protection, which is ever-more relevant in today’s society. They provided grants for medical research and doctors and all the things we expect as a right. Quit the arrogance – we are far from all that the EU had to offer. The ‘great’ days of our empire were run on lies, slavery and war. Plus, there are no guarantees. The money that the Brexit campaigners lied would go back into the NHS? Well, they’re backtracking now. That was never on the agenda of the right wing at all! They got what they wanted, and they were never interested in protecting our interests. They just lied to the gullible, banking on the hatred stopping you from asking the right questions, stirring up enough of it to encourage people to vote who have never cared for our country and economy before. They will chew us up and spit us out.
Are you proud? What have you done?! I feel I will lament this day for eternity.
Borders divide people, and we’ve put up ours for good. I’m sure you’ll understand the repercussions for us when everyone else does the same.
Who Did This?
It scares me that we let such a monumental decision go to the uninformed masses. I hope that whatever those who feel they have less than me but more of a right for things they’ve never earned are happy now. Technically, you earned this. I only hope that now you will feel less failed than the way you clearly felt before. Now you’re in control… and half of you don’t have the intellect beyond the face-value xenophobia to articulate what you think should happen now. People talk about ‘rapists from Poland’ and other vitriolic tripe. What? We have no rapists here? Way to demonise an entire culture who’ve otherwise enriched us. You are oppressors; you are not the enlightened.
Honestly, I think all you’ve done is paved the way for a more far-right government. Which trust me, we don’t want. I am terrified. Scotland will likely leave us now, too, and who could blame them? I will apply for Scottish citizenship if it comes to it (I am half Scottish). I am being forced to question every belief I have ever held; everything is falling apart around us. London apparently want independence now, too. It might seem like a joke, but London is the backbone of our nation. Interesting…
Stereotyping is a dangerous game, but there was a real class divide to this vote. The young and the educated tended to vote remain, not swept up in prejudice or lack of an informed opinion. The old voted on something that won’t concern them in just a few years. The young will have to watch our world crumble for our whole lives. I hope the horrendous irony of what I just said isn’t too sweeping… I just don’t feel like this was a level playing field, and now this is out of our hands. We can only wait a while, and then hope we can salvage enough respect around the world to rebuild.
It will ironically be those of us who AREN’T rich who suffer most, too. Okay, I get it. The right wing is somehow attractive to people from all sects of society. Some of the richest people voted leave, as did some of the poorest. And those in between. A lot of people felt let down, but this wasn’t the way to unite us. This was anything but, and it will protect the interests of neither. The right wing are almost always the most inhumane.
When people say it’s stupid to judge your peers on how they voted, I’m starting to disagree. I don’t hate anyone for their views, but if they can’t eloquently express why they voted ‘leave’, this is literally judging people on whether they hold the same fundamental beliefs on humanity as I do. I’d say that’s a pretty important thing to have in common, with the way I’m feeling now. “It’s just a vote!” – no, it’s just our lives. No big deal or anything. Trust no bitch.
To all the #NotAllLeave crowd, fine. Some of you might have had other reasons. But it doesn’t change the fact that we are in for mountains of instability, and your campaign was driven by ignorance by many; even if that’s not why you personally voted out. Not everyone who voted leave was a racist… but you can bet that every single racist voted that way. Be careful what you wish for!
If you’re looking for a scapegoat to blame for the demise of our country, look at yourselves. I hope you regret it!
I never thought I’d see this day. When it was proposed, I thought it was a pipe-dream of the bitter and uneducated racists of our nation. UKIP never seemed like a credible threat to me. We just gave them exactly what they wanted, and 52% of us climbed into bed with literally everything they stand for. I hope it was worth your British pride. Now, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, has stepped down. I’ve wanted this day for so long. But not on these terms. Never on these terms. He was the lesser of many evils to come.
The world is different now, no matter your stance. For you. For our children. And for generations to come. It’s a day for the history books, we know this much for sure. This campaign was perpetuated on a culture of fear from both sides, and yet somehow, we still chose the unknown. We apparently fear that less than we fear other humans. Through spite; and through hatred.
I hope you guys liked your lives. Because whatever happens, that was life before. This is life after. And from where I’m standing? Our futures are bleak.