This was not the type of post that I had planned for my blog, but then again this was also not the type of situation that the country, the people, had planned for either. It’s a mess. And it shows.
If anything is even more apparent, I believe that our attitudes desperately need to change.
This is not okay.
I had voted to Remain, and so you can imagine the horror and heavy heart in waking up to the bad news on early Friday morning. Before I had gone to sleep, I had roughly watched the vote counts whilst our shares and currency plummeted globally. I felt like I was watching a horror movie unfold, a dark cloud whisking above my head. But as numbers were still early, I had hope that many voted Remain just as I had and that we could somehow outweigh Leave – even just by a little. It was opposite – had people lost their minds? Are they aware of the damage?
Back in 2008-2010, I had studied Business Studies A-levels of which, one of the modules involved the European Union, our involvement in it and what it means in the wider world. One potential essay question could be: Discuss the implications of UK’s membership within the EU and the effects, if it were to leave. Flash-forward to 2016 and here we are, hysterically dealing with the situation…in the form of reality. Amongst global events, I am sure that this is not one to forget even if you didn’t study hard or weren’t good at it.
The irony is that, this is no exam paper. You cannot just guess the answer and be right (or wrong) and gain (or lose) marks in doing so, and be okay. You cannot not care and simply just hope to ‘pass’. Yet, this is the way some people chose to vote. On the whim. And perhaps it felt too easy because there were only two choices. 50/50. How wrong can it really go, right? Incredibly wrong. In my mind, my head wants to bury in my hand. It worries me a lot that some people voted in this way, in such thoughtlessness, carelessness, selfishness, in order to ‘take our country back’ and stop immigration. But irony strikes again, as the nation witnessed a clear division.
Of course, immigration is not all there is to voting ‘Leave’, and not all there is to the EU. This was however, the type of picture painted by the likes of Nigel Farage, and with little knowledge other than the campaign and its poster, the public were conned, and far-right nationalists won. What pains me more is the supposed ‘independence’ and ‘democracy’ that we will receive from leaving, which I strongly feel does not actually exist. It has been glamourised in the sense that we will be comforted by some sort of freedom – but this is not the war. The EU* is not a restriction, neither a threat but a freedom and security zone that we stupidly denied and I, having made many European friends throughout education, could not be any more apologetic. (To all my European friends, we are not all like this.)
*As it happens, the EU was googled heavily AFTER the vote to my dismay. It would seem that people did not know what they were voting for and how it’d affect everything and everyone.
This independence that we seem to be asking for is so out-of-line and virtually outdated, that you’d think we’re back to the 1930s again, back to a war of claiming countries. I strongly dislike this behaviour. Had we not learned from past mistakes? It is this so-called independence and democracy that sounds good on paper, but is actually invasive and soul-destroying. We have posed a threat not only to others, but of our own country, societies, trades and businesses that of course, I am fearing for the future. The costs of this decision are only going to get bigger, and if an independent Britain as so imagined is anything resembling that of UK politics today, then I suggest for a re-evaluation of the term ‘independence’.
There is other talk too, to respect the decision and not be a ‘sore loser’ and anti-democratic. But with a 72% turnout, and voters who are not even half-serious, how can I possibly keep calm at such idiocy? I may accept the Brexit because it is eventual and as many other things, something we will have to face but I cannot ignore a democratic decision that a) has not been planned for and b) has not been researched and understood, even in its most basic sense. I had even encountered one woman who had not voted because ‘what’s the point?’. My brother’s colleague, as did another man on the news voted for Leave but ‘didn’t think it’d actually happen’ and for this reason alone, I’d like them (and anyone remotely similar) to face the consequences of their decision, their ignorance, their mistake. Voting is absolutely vital, absolutely serious! How can we not be worried if people vote in this way??
Lastly, I could not tell you enough how gutted the whole of the Arts industries must feel but given the talent and already established connections in the industries, I am positive that these knots will be straightened out. It has to. We have too much passion to let this affect us, to let non-serious, non-passionate people affect us.