We Need To Talk About Brexit

 

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Because yes I’m still a bit bereft and weirded out by the whole thing.

And because it’s one of the biggest things that’s happened in British politics in all of our lifetimes.

And because it’s not over dramatic to say that it’s ripped our country in two.

SO, it actually happened. Last week (some of) the UK voted (by teeny tiny margins) for us all to leave the EU.

The time for arguing about the reliability of our democratic process, bitching and griping on that respected political platform Facebook and trying to work out how to teleport back in time for a do-over is gone. Probably. Unless anyone’s got the low down on that last one? Anyone?  Unless we just keep re-referendumming until someone gives in…

Instead, this could be the time for pulling together and trying to plough forward couldn’t it? Sure, we’ve seen behind the curtain, revealed the precarious tower of whimsy and bullshit that underpinned the campaigning but it’s done.

We now need those in power to take some control. Not Boris though – have some pride for the love of God.  We need the opposition to get their shit together and start opposing. We need to figure out what version of the UK we want (potentially just the ‘K’ the way things are going – bet the Queen is fuming). In short, we need a plan.

Whilst I could go on about this for pages and pages, hours and hours, I think this is the time to actually just clear a couple of things up, before we go past the point of no return.

Firstly: until someone bites the bullet and invokes Article 50, we’re still in the EU. All of the freedoms afforded under membership are still ours. And, crucially, even when Article 50 gets underway it is still illegal ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE in this land to be a racist, bigoted, bile spewing moron. However you voted, whatever your motivation (I just can’t even begin to pick at that thread. I just….can’t), it is still very much against the law to incite hatred via your clothing or some vitriol hastily scribbled on a bed sheet and hung by the side of the road. It is still against the law to harass women and children on the bus. Popping beautifully laminated racist spew through your neighbours’ letterbox does not make you a patriot, it makes you a hateful hateful cretin. A delusional, odious specimen.

Victory for the Leavers has not changed the law or, for that matter, common decency. The shameful minority have not suddenly been given unprecedented legitimacy.  No part of this result makes the bile more palatable, acceptable or lawful.

It is your right to have your voice heard, to use your vote to bring about change. That’s literally the whole point. It is no-one’s right to incite racial hatred, to spout venom at strangers or to tell anyone to ‘go home’.  I’m not happy about the referendum result at all but I’m thoroughly ashamed at the hateful undertone it’s revealed across the country. And you should be too.

Oh and secondly there is categorically not going to be an extra £350m for the NHS. No matter what the bus said. Soz.


This is a hugely emotive subject and I am not in the business of judging so whichever way you voted, if you did your research and are confident in your reasoning for that then good for you even if I don’t agree with you.

I’m really very interested in your opinions but don’t be a prat about it, ok? 

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  • Bethan

    Couldn’t agree more with everything you’ve said! I’m so fed up of the ignorant and almost boasting posts I keep seeing on Facebook at the moment. Of course everyone has different opinions but we still have to live in the same country together so we really need to just get on!
    I’m so annoyed at the results and I’ve no idea what is going to happen in the future, but I get so much hope from seeing posts like this and knowing there are people who think the same way as me! Now we just have to pray that Boris Johnson gets no where near the status of Prime Minister… God knows what would happen then…! x

    http://www.bethanlikes.com

  • Thank you for this post Michelle. I said on my blog last night how comforting I am finding it to see there are others with similar viewpoints amidst all of the turmoil and division, and this is another example of a post that makes me feel hopeful during the chaos. x

  • I really think some one needs to employ you as a political correspondant. Right now the country needs real honest people talking about their opinions and making the facts understandable. What we really REALLY don’t need is rhetoric or racism.

    I’m trying to write my own Brexit post at the moment, but I am honestly so confused and conflicted between being angry, and flummoxed and scared, and feeling like what we need to do is stop mudslinging and blaming. I can’t imagine my post is going to be as coherent as yours put it that way! Stephie xx

    http://www.teainyourtwenties.com

  • Charlie Elliott

    The last line = spot on. Political opinions are like penises: a lot of people have them but that doesn’t mean you want it smacked around your face all the time. Discussion is great, arguing is not (that’s in regards to politics, not genitals)
    Cx
    Charlie, Distracted

  • Em

    YES! This. I had to retreat from Twitter earlier to a podcast about serial killers because it seemed a happier place to be with all the news of racial hatred. What has happened to the country to make it seem ok for people to behave like this?

    The swift decent, by a small minority, into this behaviour is more terrifying than the implications of Brexit for me right now. The Brexit is for the politicians to work out, where as what is happening on the streets is something that IRL people are doing. And that is scarier for me.

    The fact that so many of these racists don’t quite understand which countries make up the EU is is a very scary thought too. We’ve had idiots who can’t use a map deciding our future………

    And if Boris, or Ukip, get anywhere near being in charge of the country I am fucking right off to sea. I’m starting my own land. It’ll be full of dog owners and gin drinkers……it’ll be bliss!

  • AnnaInternational

    Can I come?! Sounds perfect! 😂

  • AnnaInternational

    Fantastically well said. This whole thing is a total farce, and I cannot quite believe it is happening, but by far the worst aspect of it all is the horrendous behaviour that a minority appear to think has been justified by it. We are all still neighbours, we are all still in it together, amd we must behave as such. X

  • Fantastically well put, as always!

    A friend of mine put up a link to an album someone had collected on Facebook cataloguing all the hateful things people have been doing or saying on putting on Twitter since the result. It made for necessary but grim reading. I sat and went through it all with two friends on Monday, and it makes for such awful reading! We were all left feeling so short-changed by humanity. Such blatant examples of hate crime are utterly reprehensible, and yet this result seems to make people feel they have free reign to say and do whatever they want, no matter how vile.

    On the morning after the referendum I put up a slightly long and ranty Facebook post – the precursor to the blog post! A work friend of mine commented on it saying “So you’re basically saying that anyone who voted out is no longer your friend?!” I could have Face Palmed. I will never rail against our rights to vote and to make our own decisions in life, and of course not every Vote Leaver is a racist. I just think that, on this occasion, our country made a staggeringly terrible decision by a tragically tiny margin.

    If you need a bit of black humour to perk up your day (because I certainly did!), have a peek at this Buzzfeed article. No. 2 is a personal favourite of mine!

    https://www.buzzfeed.com/robinedds/brexit-tweets-that-will-make-you-laugh-despite-everything?utm_term=.qjQM97PV8K#.pbDW0wOQRg

  • It’s a sad time… It’s all a bit of a mess and I’m still not quite sure what to think about it.