Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Short, Sharp, Shocked

There has been a blow to my solar plexus. The wind has been taken out of my sails. I feel the United Kingdom is rapidly becoming the Untied Kingdom and I am saddened and disappointed and a bit scared, if I am honest.

The referendum.

Oh my.

I did not in any of my wildest dreams see this coming. None of us did.

Well some of us did because they voted that way. To leave. To end it all.

I don't quite know where the country that I dearly love is going. No one does. Not even the folks in charge.

It has come about that those in charge do not seem to have a plan as if somehow they hadn't thought this far ahead.

After the referendum, there were scores of people interviewed on radio and television who seemed genuinely shocked as the pound began to drop in value and the stone, cold reality hit of what it would mean to not be able to easily live, work, travel to or trade freely with Europe  anymore. They pleaded with us us, wide eyed and terrified with phrases like, "I didn't know! I didn't understand this would happen when I voted to leave!"

How could they *not* know?

There was lots of misinformation out there on the Brexit side. Talk of national pride and money we wouldn't have to waste on filthy foreigners but could spend on ourselves to better the country.  The day after the referendum it was stated that of course we have that money, it just wouldn't be spend on the NHS as had been implied before the vote. There was also a considerable amount of scaremongering especially from more racist parties like UKIP headed by the duplicitous Nigel Farage. Lots of talk of US vs THEM. European immigrants coming over stealing our (fill in the blank) jobs...houses...womenfolk.

The referendum was during the European Football Championship 2016 and national pride was at at an all time high. It is OUR country vs THEIR country and we are more flag waving, God Save the Queen patriotic than we are at other times of the year. I think some of this feeling helped to sway people into not looking at the issues but the feeling of WE are better than THEM--WE don't need THEM.

I truly believe this closing ourselves off and going back to being a small island is a huge step backwards. One of the reasons we left the United States twelve years ago was to live in a country that wasn't so insular and self centred with its battle cry of  It's all about ME, ME, ME. We wanted one that was part of a larger community that said it's about all of US together. It's about being a part of a larger world community. Not just what's in your own back yard, but seeing the world. Global thinking.

This is the country I love. She is my country and I will stick by her. We must, as the Phoenix from the ashes, rise above this and figure out what we can do to make it better. If this truly is what we have to work with then what can we do to make it workable?

Colleen Patrick Goudreau said in a recent podcast something like Everything we do changes the world--we have to decide whether we want to change things to make it better or change things to make it worse.

The worst has happened. Now what are we going to do about it?

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