It is day four in the Big Brexit house.
I had hoped after Friday’s absolute catastrophe of a day that the country might somehow magically rally over the weekend. I mean, when you plunge your country into possible ruin on the promise of a golden future that will allow it to rise like a phoenix from the flames, you have a plan, right?
As it turns out, you don’t. The only person that seems to have any plan at all, and be acting on it rather than just spouting meaningless Churchillian rhetoric is Nicola Sturgeon, and I can’t even vote for her.
I was distraught and angry on Friday. I had hoped to feel better by today. Instead I am running on barely controlled rage and getting more enraged by the moment.
Here are a few things I am furious about:
Firstly, leave voters telling me to calm down. I’m sorry, many of you are my friends and family but you do not get to say this. I’m not angry at you individually. I’m angry at where we are and more, I’m incandescent at the way we got here. I have a right to be angry. I’m in the boat with you and I don’t like where we’re going. I have very little option with regard to getting out of the boat, and I’d feel happier if someone was actually steering it, but they’re not. I’m sorry if my anger makes you uncomfortable, but you have the choice to not to speak to me, or unfriend me if you feel better doing that. Please do, because I don’t think I’m going to get any less angry for quite some time.
Secondly, people telling me that this is democracy and I have to live with it. You know what? The referendum vote was simply one part of the democratic process, and as I keep mentioning to those who conveniently forget it, it was ‘Advisory,’ not legally binding. The vote itself is not ‘democracy’. Democracy doesn’t happen on one day for one vote and then go away again. Democracy is an ongoing process in which we are free to express ourselves however we see fit as long as we do not descend into hate speech (which I haven’t). Democracy is part of a process and is happening all the time. I have the democratic right to fight against decisions made on my behalf that I don’t like, and I don’t like this one, so I am fighting it every step of the way. Do not throw the word democracy in my face. It is not a trump card.
Thirdly, people telling me that what we have to do now is ‘pull together’ to ‘make this country great.’ Not one single person who has chastised me with the ‘pulling together’ line has actually answered me when I’ve asked how they’re going to do that. Unless you’re a millionaire or a business owner, or a politician, there are very few ways you can ‘pull together’ unless you’re going to get politically active. Like the term ‘democracy,’ it is being used in a way that is actually meaningless. Mostly, as far as I can see it is being used as short hand for ‘Don’t blame me. Don’t ask me. Don’t question me. I need to feel better about this and your questions are stopping me doing that.’ Sorry, not buying it. Tell me how you’re genuinely going to help our country ‘pull together’ and I’ll listen. Otherwise please shut up.
And I am doing something. I have joined a political party. I have joined the electoral reform society. I am attending a solidarity rally tomorrow for our city. I have signed petitions, however futile they might seem. I am taking action. I am attempting to get us out of this shit. I am reading everything I can find across every media source I can get to educate myself about what is happening to my country. I’m not cherry picking what I want to see and turning a blind eye to everything else.
What are you doing?
Fourthly, to the people who have actually said: ‘Enough now. I’m bored of this.’ Did you really think it would all be done and dusted by Friday tea time? As I said in my last post, this is the beginning of something that is going to have seismic repercussions for our country for years. Prepare to be bored witless, and frankly, don’t complain to me. I don’t have time to be bored. I’m too busy being horrified and upset.
Fifthly. Please, please don’t repeatedly tell me we are ‘Free’ now. We are not free. We are still in the EU, and with nobody willing to pull the trigger on article fifty, we may well be there for a good deal longer. Even if we had done it on Friday, please tell me how much freer you are, in real terms. If you can’t point to anything, please feel free to shut up. And what are you doing with that precious new freedom? Please enlighten me.
Sixthly: I am watching, over the last few days, in absolute horror as the far right start to move out of the shadows and back into centre stage again. My time line has been pinging with people reporting hate crime. There’s even a Twitter feed for it where they are gathering information in order to report it. It’s appearing in reports on my community Facebook page. It’s in my daughter’s school. It’s like someone took the lid off Pandora’s Box. Don’t tell me I’m exaggerating. Don’t tell me that reports can be twisted. Maybe they can, but it’s being taken seriously enough by everyone that matters and it is tabled for discussion in the House of Commons this week. It’s not as if they haven’t got other things to talk about. It’s happening and I’m appalled but sadly, not surprised.
Apropos of this, please do not tell me: ‘I’m not a racist’ if you voted leave. I get that, but I said that it would open the door to the far right, and it has and to pretend it hasn’t, and to not look or think about it is cowardly. And to say ‘I’m not a racist,’ is to imply that I’m making all this about you. I’m not, but I have a right to get angry and upset about the consequences of a decision you were a part of, however noble your intentions.
Seventhly, to the people who are saying we are now able to govern ourselves and we are free of the unelected shackles of Brussels dictating to us. Farage is unelected. Gove/Boris or whoever takes over from Cameron will be unelected. The House of Lords is unelected. The queen, who keeps being wheeled out as a symbol of our great democracy for reasons I cannot understand, is unelected. You are being taken into the future by largely unelected fuckwits who have already lied to you and broken every promise you gave them power for. Do not talk to me about the shackles of Brussels.
Eighthly gets several paragraphs because it’s such a clusterfuck.
Our government has imploded in on itself. Cameron made one, cowardly speech on Friday and bailed on us. Now most of the conservatives are too busy fighting about who is going to be the inheritor of the steaming turd bequeathed by Cameron to do anything useful for us.
George Osborne, who only came out of hiding this morning and said ‘the economy is strong.’ This is not borne out in the annuities market crashing, RBS and Barclays suspending trading and the pound dropping like a stone, again. So for all those of you who smilingly told me that everything was fine and it was all over by Friday tea time, what say you now?
And I reiterate. This is only the start.
Boris finally emerging yesterday. His statement was not a statement, it was an article he wrote because that’s his job, and he got paid £5,000 to do it. He has admitted that he wants to stay in Europe, however Europe will have him. This means that we go to the single market or EEA. This means, for those of you who don’t know by now, that we pay the same amount into the EU as we have done previously in order to trade with them. It means that we still have to comply with all their trading regulations. It means that we still have to allow freedom of movement across borders. The one thing it doesn’t mean is that we get to keep our veto. So we have gambled everything for less. None of the things the leavers want will happen, but we will also be much worse off in almost every conceivable way. This basically means that what the leave campaigners fought for and won, was Boris’ ambition to run the country, not the ‘freedom’ of the nation.
Daniel Hannan, a major player in the leave campaign who voted to be ‘tough’ on immigration, has now back tracked on his promise and actually left twitter for a month because he’s exhausted from campaigning. How convenient. I already covered the lies about the £350 million, which have become more and more byzantine as the weekend has progressed.
Then there’s the implosion of the Labour party under Corbyn with MPs resigning in droves from his cabinet and a vote of no confidence expected any moment. I have seen both sides of the argument on Twitter and I am ashamed of them all. It smacks of fiddling while Rome burns.
In the meantime, Farage has suggested that the sensible thing to do would be to sack Mark Carney, the head of the Bank of England because he was too partisan before the referendum. Mark Carney, as far as I can see, is the only thing standing between us and having to wheel our pay home at lunch time in a barrow, and spend it before tea time to cheat devaluation. The only reason the markets rallied on Friday was because he’d stashed £250 billion down the sock drawer and waved it around a bit. It wasn’t because the markets had confidence in us, it was because he showed them the money.
And they are playing at this. None of them are making decisions. None of them are doing anything. Our country is a laughing stock, our economy is in free fall and our government has washed its hands of us in favour of stabbing each other in the back.
I’m glad to say there is no ninthly and tenthly, but at the rate we’re going, there will be by tea time.