15 Minute Blog: Out and Down

I could write for hours about today’s events, but let’s keep this brief, shall we?

Britain has voted to leave the EU. Yesterday, reassuring MWF I had said that I felt the British people would do the right thing and not gamble the future on nostalgic nationalism, fear and intolerance.

I gave my countrymen too much credit.

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And so we are out.

It feels unreal, and watching Nigel Farage celebrating is enough to chill the blood. This is the face of the British future, a rich, upper class toff cheering after he duped a nation into voting against it’s best interests.

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Areas like Neath Port Talbot voted to leave despite the fact that it is the EU that provides funding for these deprived areas. And now they have decided to shut the door, and must hope that a Tory government in Westminster matches that money.

Hope.

That is all I have left. The hope that our fears are not realised and that this is a step toward a better and brighter Britain, but I doubt it is.

The whole leave campaign has been built to play to the national character’s worst traits- misplaced nationalism, fear, intolerance and greed. Fear of the other, the different.

People who still see Britain as a global powerhouse, the country that ruled the world. But we’re not anymore. We are a small country, with no great industry left and must hope that we can forge trade deals on our own. That we can stand alone after leaving a network of support and cooperation.

Should the Leave gamble fail, we can’t just hit a reset button. And the next few years could get rough.

And going forward we seem to be lurching to the right. Anti-migrant feeling was stoked during the campaign, and they made out that somehow we had lost Britain and needed to “take it back”, and once that xenophobic genie is out if the bottle, we ain’t getting it back in. Bigots like Britain First and some UKIP supporters will be emboldened by this, and minorities must be anxious about what our future holds.

The whole Leave campaign played the ill informed masses like a fiddle. It used revolutionary language about “taking control”, “a new era” and “people power” but it was an act.

A new era? We will still have a Tory public school boy in Downing Street, it will just be a different one and Farage and Johnson are not the anti-establishment figures some view them as. Johnson is a dyed in the wool Tory, and Farage is just another toff who decided that he had a better chance carving out a niche with UKIP than as a Tory. That they convinced the working class voters that they were standing up for them beggars belief and celebration over David Cameron stepping down feels foolhardy.

Yes, Cameron is gone, but it will be another Tory who takes over and we will still be following the same theme. In fact we may even see them grow more right wing and able to do more now they are free of the EU and it’s policies. The hydra’s head regrows.

I am trying to stay hopeful. But as the future stretches out before us it seems a dark and uncertain path, and I expect there to be many stumbles on the way.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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