Oh dear, it’s not them. It IS me. #remain #leave

Well, this has been an interesting week. For better, or worse, Britain has voted to leave the EU. As a mum with an 8 year old in a local state school with a very wide range of nationalities attending, the majority of voters asked in my extensive Playground Polls came up Remain.

There is a reason. This:

Evilposter

A lizard with opposable thumbs in front of a racist poster.

In the absence of any real facts, and after right wring extremists murdered an MP for her pro-IN, pro-refugee, humanitarian beliefs, it was all about sticking it to the racists for us. So what I saw winning, when Leave won, was fascism and a sheep like mass of people voting the way they were told to by the Sun.

And we’re at the beginning of the century, the world economy went down the toilet a few years ago and is still only recovering. And despite that recovery it’s left a lot of people in deep, deep financial plop. Which is a worry. Because that’s the kind of climate in which fascism takes root as folks look for someone to blame and some of the rhetoric flying around about immigration and letting in refugees is … disturbingly familiar.

However, I have a handful of highly intelligent, sensible friends voting Leave. They’re good people, decent people, one is about where I am politically, one way to the right but the other two are further left. They are never going to vote for racism, no way, no how – even the right winger. So I asked a couple of them what the hell they were doing.

They put forward lot arguments which made sense – but all the arguments for both sides make sense when you uncover the facts that’s part of the trouble – but the salient point was one about how they believe the people of this country feel about politics.

Which is, that our politicians are condescending, aloof, self important and that they no longer listen to, nor have any respect for the people they are supposed to serve. My Leave friends felt that through the gradual change, over the years, from debate over the issues to personal attacks, most politicians have not so much lost our respect as earned our contempt. We believe what they say about one another. That’s why so many young people don’t or won’t vote, which is bats of them but that’s another story.

Furthermore, many leavers are every day people, but poor people, the folks who feel disenfranchised and without hope, because successive governments have stood by and let their places of work – in some cases, whole industries – die. Leavers are people who worked in our pottery industry, our coal industry, our manufacturing industry, dairy farming, fruit growing, the Cadbury factory, the steel industry. Most of our heavy industry was up north. And that’s why the folks up there are angry. The big agricultural areas in East Anglia voted Leave too. And a lot of the seasiders.

They feel that when their livelihoods and their whole communities were at risk, successive Governments, labour and Conservative stood by, didn’t step in, didn’t help. Failed them. And yes, there are probably more positve things to do than concentrate on your anger and bitterness about a past that is gone and a future that cannot be. But maybe they were just trying all that time to get someone, somewhere, to listen. And heaven knows, I graduated into a recession, I felt washed up, useless, dismissed as junk before my working life even began so I can actually really sympathise with that.

And so when the government asks for their help now their reply was a resounding fuck off, in this case, in the form of a Leave vote, to sock it to the Man. Whereas we in Remain, even if we’d thought of it, would probably have demurred from socking it to the Man when it’s just swapping one Man for another.

I suspect many people, both those voting IN and those voting Leave, may well share some very similar sentiments about our politics and politicians. We just reacted in different ways.

And in that one thing, lies our hope.

MPs have to learn from this, they have to start believing again, they have to relearn humility, that they are public servants, that it’s not about power for them but about working for us. And those who take such things seriously need to make sure that we, the electorate, realise that they, at least, are listening. They need to be Jo Cox, not Boris Johnson.

And as for tomorrow. What’s done is done. This is complicated, and it will be difficult. A lot depends on the negotiations surrounding exit. I hope Scotland and Northern Ireland give it some time to see what we come out with before they vote to leave and the UK is broken. Because it looks as if we, Britain, might actually have a chance at a new beginning, a new start. It’s up to us. It doesn’t have to be about racism, immigration and bigotry. It can be about unity, it can be like the 2012 Olympics.

Because for all my initial horror at the result, and for all the wailing and gnashing of teeth I’ve done on Facebook with my like minded friends, when we get to the bottom of things, it turns out that despite being on opposite sides of the debate, many of the folks who voted Leave are closer are closer to us than we think. And if they are we can work with that.

Here’s hoping.

Some good pro leave posts:

Roughseas – there are some good comments on this one and I had a long chat with her too: https://roughseasinthemed.wordpress.com/2016/06/24/brexit-its-real
Jim Webster, again more comment chat as well: https://jandbvwebster.wordpress.com/2016/06/24/the-road-from-the-bigoted-woman-stops-here/

A couple of good pro remain posts from writers, like myself, who hadn’t even thought of sticking it to the Man:

Chuck Wendig the thinking American’s view: http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2016/06/24/you-want-trump-this-is-how-you-get-trump/
Charlie Stross sums up the initial feeling in Remain at the result: http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2016/06/tomorrow-belongs-to-me.html
Lee Harris – just a nice cynical post about the Remain point of view. http://leeaharris.com/brexit/
I need to comment on these.

 

Advertisements

20 Comments

Filed under General Wittering

20 responses to “Oh dear, it’s not them. It IS me. #remain #leave

  1. Emma

    Really well put.

  2. You in a much more balanced place than I am right now. I feel ashamed, ashamed of my whole country. And I’ve never felt that way before.

    • I still don’t think that voting leave was the right thing to do but I understand it a bit better now, and the reasons I voted Remain are quite similar to some of the knee jerk possibilities for leave.

      Cheers

      MTM

      >

  3. There are cogent, intelligent, rational, logical and positive reasons to have voted Leave. But they were drowned out by the fear, hatred, lies and bile poured out by people that I personally despise who led the campaign.

    There are cogent, intelligent, rational, logical and positive reasons to have voted Remain. But they were drowned out by the fear, hatred, lies and bile poured out by people that I personally despise who led the campaign.

    We never really heard a single positive reason properly explained that would benefit us to vote either way: just fear of the opposite side. Which ever way you voted or lean we have been let down by our political representatives and as cogent, intelligent,rational voters we should make our feelings known about them – at the next General Election. (As long as you don’t vote UKIP that is)

    • Yeh, that’s exactly it. They just treated us like morons and it was really irritating. I am the original floating voter, so I have voted Conservative before now but I’m wondering if I ever will again. I’m thinking probably not.

  4. Well said, interesting days ahead… 😶

  5. Thanks for the link. I think the people have felt disenfranchised, even though they have a vote. It doesn’t seem to count. And on this issue, they have finally been able to tell the establishment where to stick it. I don’t see it as an endorsement for Farage or Johnson, eating broken glass would be preferable. As you say, people from economically depressed areas wanted to make a point they haven’t been able to for years. My Welsh partner and I bicker happily away at each other, but on this one, not just us, his country and my county were mirror images. And the irony is, we both come from coal and steel areas, all of which are gone. And how did the EU start …

    I hope this decision brings people together too. I think it has more chance than a Remain one would have done.

    Incidentally I graduated into a recession too. My first job (history/archaeology) was a government scheme, a STEP one. (Special Temporary Employment Programme). One of my graduate friends spent months working as a volunteer before her employers finally created a job for her. My partner was one of only three boys to get an apprenticeship from his school. And one of the very few to complete it. But, we all move on, and hopefully, make our way in life. With or without arsey governments.

    • My own personal view is that the world economic system is broken and that brokenness impacts on everything. Nothing is going to work until we find a system that rewards us through something other than satisfying our greed.

      • For which, I blame Thatcher. Well she gets the blame for most things!

      • She was pretty scary and yes, I think that whole balance between the economic argument for something and the social argument for bolstering it up was lost. I wrote some stuff for a company that made the tools for injection moulding a while back. They said that a lot of tooling companies such as they went bust as manufacturing moved to China but that recently, they’d carved a niche for themselves making the tool first and doing short runs, because the Chinese factories could do the production but couldn’t make the tools well enough for many folk’s QS.

        Likewise, a mining engineer friend once told me that British coal was the best in the world but too expensive to remove. He said that Maggie’s plan was basically to close all the mines and keep the coal in the ground until such time as other coal was more expensive and Britain could compete, AND when quality coal was more appreciated. But of course, you can’t just switch off the pumps, many mines have flooded and deteriorated beyond redemption that coal is now lost. He argued that they needed, at the least to have a skeleton staff keeping the pumps going and he was convinced that if it was marketed right, there would be a demand for British coal probably even at the time the industry was imploding, albeit in reduced quantities – because it’s good stuff.

        When you put that against the NHS University tale I told on your blog – for folks here, NHS training wanted to ask its pilot users how it was doing. Executive asked for approval for market research and was told she could only use one of the firms procurement gave her. Procurement printed out the first 10 results for ‘market research’ from Google. She paid £100,000 for a market research company to do about a tenth of the work the Market Reserach company we used to use at National Express would do for about £20,000 (and they were lovely). It makes you realise what sort of mistakes might have been made throughout our nationalised industries: money pissed to the four winds on shite and then penny pinching where it should be spent … it’s grim.

  6. Graeme Rodaughan

    Hi M.T. Like your work.

    Reading through the comments above, re general economic state of affairs, there seems to be agreement as to the symptoms of “the world economy is broken”

    This is, of course, the opposite view to the establishment, mainstream narrative which is that everything is fixed and we just have to “stick with the program to reap the benefits.”

    The mismatch between the establishment narrative and the experience of peoples lives reinforces the disconnect people feel between themselves and an increasingly distant political process.

    Disenfranchisment of the common people is an active political goal – democracy always has an expiry date – unless the common people seize it back before it is lost.

    • Thanks, and yes, I’m not sure what the answer is about getting a balance and a fair relationship between workers and employers, government and people.

      I remember the Winter of Discontent, mainly because I was a wee nipper and really scared of the dark. Lots of sticking tissue paper round jam jars and putting a night light in the bottom type tasks at school and for me, a lot of rank fear, every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, I think it was, for three hours.

      At that time, some of the unions seemed to be abusing their power – to the point where it was impossible for management to achieve anything – and yet management then was probably so ‘them and us’ that it would never have achieved owt anyway. But breaking whole industries because the unions get a bit militant … surely there must have been a way to win the unions round, work together, fix it? Or am I naive?

      Where we are now, it feels as if management have the wrong sort of Victorian style power again, and people are stuck with less wages than they can afford to live on, or the dole.

      The nub of it seems to be that stuff costs more to make than people will pay, and in order for people to be able to afford stuff, they need to 1, accept that some things are proper expensive and going to need saving up for and 2, accept that the reason for this is that otherwise, the folks making those things will have trouble living.

      So we need to find a way to curb the ‘I can have it NOW’ way of thinking and at the same time, sort out something so our people earn more, for example so farmers can, at least, earn as much for their produce as it costs to produce.

      We need to re-educate ourselves and we need to stop thinking in ‘us and them’ and accept that there are good people and bad people in every social group, and we all take a shit each morning and are made of the same stuff and that no-one is better or more worth consideration than anyone else.

      I really, really hope that the every day person gets something out of this.

      Cheers

      MTM

  7. Caro

    Hi MTM, have you ever thought of applying to lead the country, I said LEAD not leave:) I would second you.
    I voted leave at the last minute for the following reasons in order:
    1. The EU as is, is not a true democracy, it has proportional represatation voted in MEP’s by a small minority of each country, but no true mandate for anything, just a majority desire for Federal Europe. Neither is it accountable to anyone but itself. Can’t kick it out and choose others you may agree with.
    2. The inequality of money sent to the EU versus what returns to the UK when we are in debt, face austerity cuts and our number one needed institution, the NHS needs more funding…and this we were told would happen…before the referendum.
    3. I truly believe the EU per se, and its dictats, policies, controls and law making that overrules each independent country’s sovereignty and justice system is responsible single handedly for the rapid and EU wide rise in right wing fascism by those who rebel against it. This is the most dangerous of things.

    At one point I almost voted remain, but thought about how the following would worsen and bring serious trouble to our streets and continued on to leave in hopes of avoiding this:

    1.. The disenfranchised, out of London and the south need some hope.
    They have been ignored, sneered at, rubbished and called benefit scroungers, ignorant and worse. There are professional and highly educated people amongst less educated…its a mixture across society, but according to the remain comments they are uneducated. However, neither the Blairite Labour, nor Corbyn’s Labour, nor Liberal nor Conservative have truly offered them anything…so they turned to the BNP and UKIP…who cultivated them and continue to and sadly they don’t see they are being used and manipulated. These parties want them to vote them into power, not to help them.

    The rest well, scare and fear tactics, lies, so many scumbag political references…makes me realise none can be trusted, none are good for the country and I have never felt such despair.
    On a personal note the younger generation have never lived without the EU and they see globalisation as best, they don’t see that it leads to control, and dictatorship and for the individual to be drones for the power seekers.
    My own kids have called me Nazi, and I have never been racist, it has totally split our family.
    The younger generation are also acting as spoilt kids and not accepting the decision yet less than 50% of them voted…yet, they say we have had our day and will be dead soon and leave the mess for them. Arrogant little shits.

    So Mary, if you or any can deal with the above I will vote you in for sure, and I am guessing a majority 🙂

    • Bless you, thanks. I think you’ve summed that up pretty well. I think what people like about Corbyn is that he seems genuine. I think we are where we are because a lot of people didn’t vote and didn’t register to vote. It might turn out to be our saving grace, who knows. Anyway, there’s one good thing come out of this, the UK Independence Party has got what it wanted out of this, so now it can fuck off! 😉

      Cheers

      MTM

      On 27 June 2016 at 16:15, M T McGuire Authorholic wrote:

      >

      • Caro

        They say things happen in threes but it’s not often same country gets kicked out of Europe twice in same week hehe.

      • Mwah hahaahrgh! Yeh, although I correctly predicted both results! I even got the football score right, although I predicted two outcomes, either nil-nil and we go out on penalties or England score first, try to defend, and we go down 2-1.

        Cheers

        MTM

        On 28 June 2016 at 09:50, M T McGuire Authorholic wrote:

        >

  8. G Webster

    Sorry, I voted leave – dont mind immigrants, cant stand Farage, realized it would mean money woes but couldnt bear the thought of the unelected legislating on my life with no hope of “sticking it to them in an election”. Might have been a suffragette in a previous life if could find the guts. Now if we could find a suitable leadee we can rise from the ashes and be Great Britain again. Xxxx

    • That’s OK, I think Britain can rise from the ashes and will in time and it may be that we learn from this, that any vote fought without facts is unsatisfactory for everyone, whichever way we vote. And I hear you about suffragettes… I have a great deal of admiration for them. 😉 You may well have noticed that in K’Barthan 4!

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Cheers

      MTM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s