“The UK is deeply flawed and I’m not sure I will be able to look past it forever.
But it may not be up to me, whether I stay or go. Which would suck.
If Britain remains, it will come down to other factors.
If it leaves, that might simply be it. Pack your bags or…
I’d like to be the one to decide.”
-Extract from “(Can this be) Home?”
It was supposed to be a happy day. Midsummer celebrations clogging my Facebook feed and comments about the sun finally deigning us with its presence. But no. It was a sad day that I woke up to filled with a lot of f-words in the wake of the EU referendum.
Because on the 23rd June 2016 a country failed.
I knew it happens occasionally, history tells us as much, I just never thought that I would be having a front row seat to the events, let alone be within its borders as they snapped around my future like a bear trap in the forest. Cutting it off. Plunging it into the dark unknown.
Now I don’t do these posts. Ever. And I mean that. I care and I do what I can, but I am not one to be on the frontlines of political movements and causes I support wholeheartedly or voice my opinion for the world to hear. I am a shadow person. I watch and I listen and I voice what I have learnt if it’s helpful. So it was a little strange but oh so important that I took a step out of my comfort zone and joined in. Because having no voice in an election that would determine my future is scary and I had lived with that fear for many months. I was so happy when I saw how every single one of my incredible friends were voting Remain. Partly for selfish reasons, I have come to love this country and I have worked hard to build a life here and I truly don’t want it to end.
But here is the thing:
I also believe that in a world that is becoming more and more broken it is so important that we fight to unite, to settle our differences and tell those who wants to separate and isolate us to fuck off. We always talk about humanity and how the world needs more love and peace and how divided we fall and how we can’t let the terrorists win, we can’t let fear rule us and turn on each other so that we become blind to the threats we already face. The EU referendum in the UK was one of those days when we could prove that we mean what we say. And we failed. After all that has happened in the past years I couldn’t believe it. I thought we were fighting. I thought humanity was becoming more human as terror attacks and Trump and Farage (and every leader who favors their views, too many to list here) were doing their very best to tear the world apart and watch it burn with gleeful sneers. For the first time in my life I truly fear for the world I live in, for the world that my children will inherit.
Having had a bad feeling from the start I wasn’t surprised or shocked when I woke up after a long shift at work to see the news. I was sad. Resigned. I must admit I had a moment of ”I told you so” when I saw how so many promises made to the Brexit supporters were already being broken, less than four hours after the results. I saw how the pound plunged into depths hitherto unknown and how the despair of a generation that has been screwed over yet again by their older peers took hold.
Is it just me or does it look a lot like the main supporters of Brexit are actually the ones who will die before the consequences really come into play? I can’t help but feel a resentful bitterness at that. I’m sure it will pass, it’s still early days. I see the education graph and feel pity and sympathy to all the UK universities who will loose their students, their teachers and face more complications as they try to maintain research exchanges across borders now closed. Against their will. Because they know.
I see comments about unemployment and snort at their statement that with the EU immigrants out of the way it will give more work back to the Britons. Yeah, probably. But they have failed to notice one thing; we are not the problem. The minimum wage is so low that it is impossible to live on, which forces a lot of young people (again my generation and the one coming after us) to take on two even three jobs. Unemployment would (mostly) be solved so easily if young workers between 18-35 could be able to survive a decent life on 1 job. Because then those 2-3 jobs employing 1 person could employ – yes, you guessed it – 2-3 people. Mind blown….
But I digress. I guess I need to retract my earlier statement of not feeling anything more than sadness. I am angry. I am bitter. I fear for a country who have given in to fear, to laziness, to fear mongering and unsupported facts and blind acceptance. I fear for a people unwilling to educate themselves and now tell the foreign pools of knowledge that they are no longer welcome. I fear for a people who will not accept others, who give in to xenophobia and racism, who relish in becoming a mob. I fear for a people who believe it is ok to hate. I fear for a nation who deny its very geographical location, who tells the world that a global society is not for them, who tells the world that it is white and supreme and that it doesn’t need an organization built on peace, who gives freedom of movement and regulated trade and funding to support a common economy as well as individual countries. I fear for the fools who have so much conviction and the wise who have so many doubts.
Scotland, I love you. I really do. I wish your voice mattered. Thank you for these past 5 years.
Thank you for trying.