My children have been feeling pretty depressed by the result of the referendum, and I think that all the remain camp have been feeling low since the result. The feeling deepened when it became clear that the Brexiteer plan was “win referendum” and they had no plan in place to deal with the fallout once they did, and the coup in the Labour Party has only made the directionless void in government even worse.
I’ve signed the petition for a second referendum because of the number and size of the lies told to the country, not least that the prospect of a free fall in the markets and prospect of a recession was “scaremongering”. It is clear that many of the people who voted to leave thought that the gates of the UK would clang shut on the end of the count, and those people are going to be severely disappointed when they realise that the likelihood is that whoever is in government will have to agree a Norway-style agreement to the free movement of labour, which constitutes 80%+ of the movement of EU citizens. So it probably won’t change much.
The ones who thought a vote for leave was a vote for £350 millions plus to the NHS are going to discover that we will in all likelihood be paying the same to the EU and getting nothing in return, rather than the roads and fast broadband and investment for poverty-ridden areas like Cornwall. If those areas are hoping that government will plug the gaps, they are going to find out how wrong they are.
However, we had an economy and a life before the EU and we can have one again. During the swinging sixties we weren’t a member of the EU. The way the country has been over the past ten years isn’t the way I want the country to be. We’ve been chipping away at the NHS, removing the safety net for poor families, increasingly removing the very things that many people think is drawing others to the UK. We don’t support families in crisis, we don’t provide for people who are too sick or too disabled to provide for themselves.
We are rewarding the richest in society and not demanding that they pay their fair share of tax, and we are making new laws which favour corporations and companies and not the ordinary people. We have sold off our water, electricity, railways, and are busy selling off schools and hospitals.
If this world isn’t the way you want it to be DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Join a political party which has a vision you can share - it won’t be 100%, there are going to be things you disagree with. I joined the Labour Party last year once Jeremy Corbyn said that he didn’t support tracking, even though I had spent a lot of time fighting the Labour Party over their policies on Home Education. I am naturally a member of the Green Party, but I couldn’t see that my membership was making any difference to what was actually happening, and so switched to the Labour Party. If the coup against Jeremy Corbyn succeeds, I will join the Greens again.
This is an ideal chance to examine what’s important to you, what sort of world you want for the future, and to decide to work towards it. Too often the future is painted in financial markets and the prospect for interest rates and employment and not in terms of who we want to be, as people. Do we want disabled people starving to death in their homes? Children to be hungry at school and to need access to food banks in order to eat? Hospitals losing money because they are paying profit to private companies? This is what we have now. We can change it.
If you want a different type of Britain, it is time to stand up and work for it. If you don’t feel able to join a political party, at the very least, support the causes you support, and write to your MP on a regular basis and tell him or her what you think. They do take notice if a lot of constituents write - not the rote letters that the charities and pressure groups send out, but personal letters, will have an effect.
Set the intention, to support the things you value, and stand up for them. I don’t think most people in the country are racist or intolerant of foreigners. I think we are a tolerant, kind, polite society in general. Don’t let the binary vote we were faced with change the way you think about other people. An awful lot of them were deceived into thinking they were voting for the NHS, not against the EU.
And cheer up! Politics is an artificial world but the sun still shines, the flowers still bloom and we have everything we had last Thursday and can make it through this morass. And if enough people set an intention to defend the NHS, to improve life for the poor, to make the rich pay their dues, to prevent corporations from avoiding their fair share of tax… then maybe we can all change the world for the better, despite the last week.