Post Referendum Righteous Anger
On Thursday 23rd June 2016, 72.2% of the British electorate turned out to vote in a historic referendum. 48.1% of those who voted wanted to remain in the EU. 53.2% wanted to leave. The Scottish desire to remain in the EU was, by far, the strongest from all four nations: 62% of Scottish voters want to remain in, 38%: out. England: my constituent state voted 53.2% to leave. London ‘Bremainers’ outvoted the ‘Brexiters’ by 59.9% to 40.1%.
I’ll try not to mention numbers and statistics again, as although they provide the quantitative evidence, numbers do not capture the sheer shock, resignation and utter fucking gloom most people are now feeling. Internet writing gets a lot of stick for being too ‘self-indulgent’ and ‘whiny.’ I love that shit, and I’m about to get a whole heap more self-indulgent and whiny about the sea-change in our culture which has, at least, in part contributed to this catastrophic decision.
Friendships have imploded, cross words, and fiery exchanges have taken place. Am I sorry to lose those ‘friends’? No, because this fundamental difference of opinion is not just because we voted differently, it demonstrates that we see the world differently. We assess risk differently, and at least one of us is perhaps more susceptible to racist and xenophobic propaganda than the other. This is what I want to address in this self indulgent and whiny little piece. I’ll let the Economist, Der Speigel, the FT and others assess the political and economic consequences of this decision. I want to sit on the front porch, hand down my pants, scratch my figurative balls and expound on the now consequent policing of righteous anger, on the pervasive racism, and anti-intellectualism prevalent in our culture. I won’t dwell too much on the fact that Brexiter politicians, Brexit fanboys and fangirls are now backtracking on pledges that they made during the campaign: the most notorious pledge being that they would commit to spending the £350m per week which allegedly went to the EU, to the NHS. Here’s that foxy brunette: Susannah from Good Morning Britain pushing the Farge to re-commit to that pledge.
In the 2 days that have passed, Bremainers have not only had to contend with our shock that we will be exiting the EU, but also having to contend with the glee and smugness emerging from the vast majority of Brexiters, who are resolute that exiting the EU will win back control of the country. We are being urged to unite and go forth in fucking splendour into a new dawn, free from the shackles of european rules on trade and commerce. The EU is not a macro-empire, sure it has its problems with accountability and transparency, but the UK always had its sovereignty protected. We are now seeing a minority of those who voted to leave, distraught with the realisation of their decision, wanting to reverse their decision. A petition has gathered momentum, now at 1.3 million signatures, making it clear that Parliament may call for a debate to consider re-running the referendum on leaving the EU.
Who the fuck are these people who voted to leave? What motivated them? I, and others like me have been scolded for demonising the majority of leavers, we’ve been ‘nasty,’ ‘bullying’, and proving just why ‘political correctness is mad.’ I’m sorry, what kind of fucking mind twisty-turns did you do to get to that assumption? I, for one, give zero fucks about political correctness. I will not have my righteous anger silenced because some hand wringing people are concerned that Brexiters do not want to be tarred with the “r” brush. The “r” being racist of course. I don’t believe that everyone who voted to leave is racist, but I do believe, that a racist and xenophobic campaign which scapegoated immigration as being the source of all ills helped to convince most of them, and that by some weird magicks; by exiting the EU, immigration will disappear overnight and everyone in the UK will be nice and white and shiny and new.
Brexiters have behaved like William Wallace, or rather Mel Gibson in that dirty kilt running at hordes of Englishmen screaming “Freedom!” Which is ironic, as Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that Scotland should and will hold another independence referendum, so well done Brexiters: you’ve probably just lost us Scotland, and triggered the break-up of the Union.
As we are now seeing, NOTHING will fucking happen until Article 50 has to be triggered by the next PM. Brussels, however are urging us to move faster, and to be fair to them; why shouldn’t they? It is unreasonable for those who pushed for this protest vote to now ask for a period of clemency and delay Article 50. We made this bed, we better fucking lie in it now.
These, by the way are some of the people who voted to leave. We (I speak for ‘my’ people, my tribe of fellow Bremainers) have been urged not to demonise the eloquently racist people (who are a small sample of a minority of Brexiters) as racist, and possibly a little bit stupid. I am righteously angry, a culture of resentment has been brewing for a long time against immigrants of all groups. The native population appears to have had its anger against austerity (and successive governments not giving a fuck about the North East and North West and other deprived and economically under-achieving areas), misdirected towards immigrants by way of the EU. The politicians who split the Conservative Party, utilised the propaganda brilliantly to convince economically depressed white communities (and some black ones fearing new waves of immigration), to promote themes of control and taking back our country and removing the financial burdens of the EU (which was a big fat lie, we get back more from the EU, than we pay in).
Those same Tories have also now paved the way for a man with snake like ambitions to have a run at the position of PM (Boris Johnson). Younger voters, 16–17 year olds were enfranchised and allowed to vote in the Scottish referendum, should the current government read the mood of the country right and out of courtesy agree to re-run a referendum on the issue Brexit: enfranchised 16–17 years up and down the Union might make a significant impact on the result. A girl can dream can’t she?
Please allow yourselves to be angry: fight about it, row about it: you are entitled to. No one can police your anger — whether you are a Bremainer or Brexiter: do not water down your political sentiment for fear of offending the other side. I am offended by the stupidity of those who voted to leave. Some of you, may be a tiny bit racist, some of you are probably very loudly and proudly racist: just know this: you were sold a lie, and now we all have to sit back and wait.