Well, I’ve been putting it off. But it’s time – we have to talk about the B word.
I never wanted it. I voted to Remain, or for the party that I felt was most likely to deliver Remain, whenever I had the opportunity to vote. I even wrote to my MP (but as my MP happens to be Philip Davies, that was always going to be a long shot).
I’ve enjoyed being European. I lived in ‘Europe’ (the Republic of Ireland) for 4 years. I taught English as a Foreign Language to other Europeans. I loved being able to travel without borders. I drove over the border between Estonia and Latvia the day after the Schengen agreement came into force there. I’ve been to Drielandenpunt, where the borders of Belgium, Holland and Germany meet – there’s a photo of me with my feet in one country, my hands in another country, and my handbag in a third.
I will never understand why so many people saw Europe as something they needed to reject.
I think we have absolutely no idea yet what all the consequences will be of leaving. But let’s be honest, it’s always been an uneasy relationship. Europeans get fed up of our total inability to even attempt to communicate in any language other than our own. And now that we’re leaving – they don’t have to put up with it anymore. They don’t have to be polite. We needed them more than they needed us. That’s it. And who can blame them. It makes me very sad indeed.
In the short term, the pound has rallied – that’s got more to do with the market’s dislike of uncertainty than anything to do with Brexit per se.
I don’t feel any rancour towards the people who voted for Boris. A certain amount of disbelief – it seemed so obvious to me that he was a mistake – but no rancour. I don’t like him as a person, and I don’t like his policies, and I don’t like the atmosphere he’s created. And I don’t think that leaving Europe will do us any good at all, in fact I think it will go down in history as the stupidest unforced error a country has ever made. I really do hope to be proved wrong, because the alternative – being proved right when it’s too late – doesn’t bear thinking about. I hope it works out for them, I hope it works out for all of us – I hope life gets better and they feel justified.
But I worry about what will happen if it doesn’t. If all those promises that were made (and a hell of a lot of promises were made) end up being broken. If and when the people who voted for Brexit slowly but certainly realise, drip by drip, that they aren’t getting what they thought they were getting. Then what happens?
In other news, Kelvin won Strictly Come Dancing. I wanted Karim to win, and voted accordingly – but hey, I don’t mind that Kelvin won. He’s a superb dancer.
And that’s how democracy works. We vote, someone wins, the losers shrug their shoulders and think, ‘Well, it’s not quite what I wanted, but it’s OK. Maybe we’ll win next time‘. It works in the glittery world of Strictly, but not so much in the real world.
I do mind that Boris won.
I really do.
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