Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Post Brexit – angry and sad

I have not blogged for some months. Everything seemed too awful or too trivial and every time I sat down to write I was immediately stuck.

However, in the UK a momentous referendum was held last week and we will be leaving the European Union.  David Cameron, the Prime Minister, has resigned – whether you think the “Remain” campaign was good or not, it was his campaign and he, quite rightly, doesn’t think that he should be the person to negotiate the exit. 

The Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, failed to lead the party: although the policy was to "Remain", his attitude convinced many people that he was for “Leave” as he always has been and, as I write, more than half his Shadow Cabinet have resigned and there has been an overwhelming vote of no confidence today – 172:40. He has said “I’m not going anywhere” – well that can be interpreted two ways.

Why am I angry? I am not angry because I voted “Remain” for the future of this country, peace in Europe and particularly for my children and grandchildren but my side lost in a democratic vote.  I am angry because I am now told that it’s my generation’s fault. The actual demographics of the referendum are not known – they are assumed and the assumption is that most people over the age of 60 voted Leave and 75% of 18 – 25 year olds voted to Remain – that is when they voted.  The older generation traditionally have a high turnout and some sources have quoted that under 40% of the younger generation actually voted – but it’s all our fault. This is quite a good article How did different demographic groups vote in the EU Referendum

I am over 60, draw a pension and am white – therefore the assumption is I voted Leave – wrong.  I am also an immigrant and Jewish. The first is significant because some immigrants have been told to go back where they came from (usually not English speaking or white) and the second because the referendum campaign unleashed a rash of racism – it almost seemed to give ‘permission’ to people to express suppressed racism – and the Jews are always targets in the end.

 

A wonderful, gifted young woman Labour MP, Jo Cox, was shot dead outside her constituency office (by a white Christian, British born man – given the events in Orlando, this is significant).  She believed in the EU and was campaigning for “Remain”.  Parliament was recalled, there were emotional scenes in the House of Commons and all party leaders went to her constituency to pay tribute to her. 

But, one week later, last night, at a rally by the left of the Labour Party (although most placards seemed to be for the Socialist Workers’ Party) John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor, said:

"Now a number of MPs have complained that people have been turning up in demonstrations to express their view. Some have described it as rabble, or mob rule or whatever. Let me be clear. People have the right to peaceful protest. The protests will be peaceful, but the reason the protests are taking place is that we will not allow a handful of MPs to subvert Jeremy’s mandate."


They haven’t been peaceful and MPs and their staff have complained of being threatened and harassed. The “handful" of MPs – 172 against 40!

This charming individual was at the rally - look how thrilled the young people on either side are about what is on the t-shirt.


I will write about "sad" tomorrow - still too angry!

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