Day 81 — Hope lost

I have been awake since 4am. I, like many young people, found it hard to sleep, given the potential severity of the vote for the country that I was born in to leave the EU.

It has left me with a sick taste in my mouth. Deep down, I did think that a vote to leave would win, but when it actually happened and I saw it with my own eyes, it was still unbelievable. I didn’t want this, I didn’t vote for this. People will come in with their rhetoric about Democracy and how I should suck it up. Why? I had an argument with a man yesterday who insisted that now was a time to be positive and look forward to creating a better future. He had a point, the decisions been made now, right? But when I replied saying that it’s easy to have that outlook when you’ve already got what you want, he had no answer.

I have grown up in an era that includes war, severe public cuts, unelected governments and few opportunities for people like me. Say what you want about the EU and it rules, I believed in the idea of peace that it was born from.

People were flat out lied to in the build up to the referendum vote. Made to believe false promises that were plastered on top of and throughout Red Top papers that had illogical hate and fear woven into their pages. It galvanised their inner demons and let them vote for ideas on immigration, and public spending and which have almost immediately been backtracked on so far.

I saw (over the space of five or so hours) the pound go from its highest value in years to lowest in 30. 2 Trillion dollars worth the money gone on the global markets. A weaker currency has been met with opposite reactions. Some like me, feel another recession looming while others simply believe it will all blow over.

Not much may change on the top level indeed. The poor will stay poor, the rich will stay rich and many will still be angry when they walk through their town centre.

I am happy to be born and raised in London. This vote was a reminder of how different the City that I have only ever known as ‘home’ is different to the areas that surround me. I’ve always known that, though, from the looks that I get while driving in Alien areas or taking part in races far from ‘home’.

I am different and so is London.

The saddest thing about this vote for me is that it was a vote for the far right. Yes, there was ‘left leave’ and so on, but they weren’t heading this campaign. No matter how you paint it, the leaders of the leave campaign (I know Gisela is Labour and that the party was anti EU) and many supporters (that I saw) had one big thing in common, other people. People that weren’t born here. People that apparently take all the jobs that British people, want, need and deserve over them. Take all the benefits.

These people will proudly eat the Kebab, but don’t want to have a Turk for a neighbour.

They chose to ignore the skills, community and much-needed workforce that the people of the EU bring in for the sake of fear of people that are different. Many have voted in vain for the idea of putting up walls, a blanket over their heads and patting themselves on their back for a good job of it while young people like me pay the price and try to make the most of the situation. There’s a valid argument for the need to treat all people coming in for work the same, but I rarely saw those messages brought up when I looked at pictures of refugees queuing talking about how the EU has failed us.

Today, it’s a vote saying no to the EU and the people from the EU that are already here, like my own family (my sister is half Polish). Tomorrow, it demands that they leave and not soon after, people will call for me and my people go back home. They will ignore that this is my home. That I was born here. That my life is here. That I have paid my way with no shortcuts. I belong here, and I will stay here.

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