Waking up this morning, my first thought wasn’t that I had to go to work or that Carole has the nosiest water bottle in the known universe, coupled with a Strepsil packet that could wake the dead.
It was for the result of the Referendum.
Not the result we got, mind.
Sometimes, ignorance isn’t bliss.
I was undecided. My mind was made up by the events of last week, but even undecided I’d have voted Remain yesterday because I clearly didn’t know enough to make a reasoned decision against the position we were currently in.
So we’re leaving the EU. It will take years to sort out the finer points of the deal but the pound already dropped like a rock and £180 billion has been wiped off the value of UK businesses.
That’s worse, incidentally, than when the banking industry of this country brought us to the verge of economic collapse.
The main champions of the Leave vote are in a demographic who will see the least change in their lifetimes. They are the ones who will have to live with the consequences for the shortest time. And by 6.30 this morning we already knew that one of the consequences was that the £350 million we’d be saving would be heading nowhere near the NHS.
An NHS, incidentally, that the Government wanted to dismantle, and have very little love for at the best of times. The EU had no influence over that.
Brexit’s resident mouthpiece, Nigel Farage, had made three different speeches by 7am this morning, including the now well-retweeted backtracking on the money to the NHS. Farage isn’t a member of Parliament, or an official membet of the Brexit team but is – despite his best protests – loved by the media because he’s basically a cock in a tie.
By 7am he’d managed to say that the Leave campaign had won without a single bullet being fired. Casually forgetting the three bullets which were fired into the body of Jo Cox only eight days earlier by a fan of the Leave campaign.
The Leave vote, let’s be honest, hinged on one thing and one thing only. Immigration. The inherent racism of a certain age group of people and the ignorance of others meant thst immigration was where the fighting really took place.
Leave’s resident ass-hat unveiled his anti-immigration poster on the day Jo Cox died, showing a queue of people heading for a better life. We’re supposed to think they were coming here – they weren’t. Text was conveniently placed across the image to obscure the white faces in the crowd and the green grass was tweaked to make us think of England’s vibrant countryside.
But it’s already been stated this morning that immigration won’t magically fall to zero. That anyone who thinks immigration will magically stop because of the Leave vote is going to be sadly disappointed. And that’s by someone in the Leave camp (presumably Farage was in the loo or something and someone else managed to get a word in).
But the Leave vote doesn’t just affect immigration. It affects migration. People will no longer just be able to work and live in other EU countries. We’ve taken away the ability for our children, or our children’s children, to live and work in Europe – to make new friends, to fall in love, to grow.
And with Scotland and Northern Ireland voting to stay, while the majority of England and all of Wales votes to leave ee are no longer a United Kingdom. We’re not a Great Britain.
We’re a fractured isle, tearing ourselves apart for an outcome based on half truths and broken promises. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe the Remain campaign was any better in presenting the truth and lies of the whole campaign.
But then I don’t believe that something as closely contested as a 52/48 split is a conclusive result. The majority has spoken, yes, but only just. It’s not a definitive split like have been seen in some of the voting areas. How something as important as this can have a “first to 50%” goal post is beyond me.
Maybe that’s where I’m going wrong. Maybe trying to understand what has happened is a step too far. But I find myself needing to know, because the prospect of not knowing – of uncertainty – frightens the life out of me.
Welcome to Britain.