I was one of the 48%. Let’s be clear about that. Also, I have a university degree so it has been interesting to read the reaction to the EU In- Out referendum and the categorising of voters in the fall out from the dramatic events of this month.
It seems that I am part of the metropolitan elite! I often wondered what it would be like to be part of it and it seems I have arrived. I was born in London (tick), have a degree (tick), have always voted for the most left wing candidate I could find (tick) and believe that migration is a good thing and, too often, a necessary thing in the form of refugees and asylum seekers (double tick).
What is odd is that the OUT campaign has portrayed itself as an anti-establishment uprising that has given the political classes a good kicking. So now I am part of the political class as well! Hats off to the public school educated toffs and former stock brokers who have managed to portray themselves as anti- establishment but, speaking as a protester of the 80s when Thatcher was ruining this country, I am amazed at how easily the people who most need radical and progressive governments vote like Turkeys for Christmas.
So, five days on from the shock of the referendum, I am still coming to terms with what has happened to Britain. Scotland will become an independent country and Ireland will unite. Both may be in the best interests of their parts of the former United Kingdom but where does that leave the English who feel out of place in a country that has shown itself to be so small minded?
I started this blog to have a place to remember the best and the beautiful, not to moan. Yet, the EU referendum has affected me in ways that are unexpected. Boris Johnson lacks a moral compass and the other politicians on the LEAVE side never impressed me. My biggest store of contempt, at the moment, is reserved for Rev Giles Fraser and Dreda Say Mitchell. Giles Fraser was a voice of reason on BBC Radio and I usually enjoyed his columns in The Guardian, even when I did not agree with him. Now, I find his level of sanctimonious drivel hard to take: ‘we must unite’ apparently even though he participated in the most divisive campaign in political history. Dreda Say Mitchell was another voice worth listening to yet she sided with a campaign full of xenophobes and some who are proudly racist.
So now we live in a fractured country and the only response I think worthy of the fight back is to know which side you are on and show where you stand. To misquote Norma Desmond: “Europe is BIG. It’s Britain that got small!”