Braindump on the British Referendum on EU Membership
70% of Elected Members of Parliament were in favour of a vote to remain in the EU. Where were they during the campaign? For all that they are despicable, awful humans - Johnson, Gove & Farage lead a campaign and gave their campaign a focus. Who were their contemporaries on the remain side?
It took less than 12 hours for the mainstream press to focus in on hugely important issues such as the Irish Border, Gibraltar, the entanglement of the Single Market & Free movement of Labour. Where was this discussion in the months leading up to the campaign? Where were the Irish, Scottish & Gibraltan voices in the campaign? Where was the representation of British immigrants to continental Europe? Where was the representation of Europeans living in the UK?
Core tenets of the Leave campaign - £350m in EU investment redirected to the NHS, Absolute border control - are just complete fabrications. How is this is any way acceptable? How are there not parliamentary regulations which prevent lies being propagated by political campaigns?
Fascist, Racist, Xenophobic factions of British society seem to have been emboldened by this result. Taking it as an endorsement that their views are broadly shared. Hardly surprising given the rhetoric of the campaign, and the tone of the right wing press in particular.
We’re going to have to have a general election, and perhaps if the opposition could sort their shit out we might have a properly contested election whereby a coalition can form around rejecting the recommendation of the referendum to enact article 50.
The talk of this being a referendum decided on class lines seems wrong to me - in Northern cities like Manchester & Liverpool (where I lived for five years) Remain won out, despite the high levels of unemployment and general malaise surrounding the political systems. If we can draw any lines between voters, it seems to be more of an Urban/Rural divide than anything else. I’d love to see how voting patterns change depending on the nationalities of the inhabitants - places where people are exposed to the world through immigration and integration seem to be less worried about the scourge of foreigners than the overwhelmingly White-British bits of middle England and Wales.
A few people have asked what this means for me personally as a British citizen living in the EU - honestly, I’m not entirely sure, but my situation is never likely to be particularly difficult. I will get a visa if I end up needing one, and my employer is very experienced in helping people from outside of the EU to live and work in the Netherlands. From a financial perspective, the value of the pound has some impact, but it’s not huge. I do find myself envious of my family who are all well on their way to getting New Zealand passports. I am saddened, disappointed and worried about what happens next. Cameron resigning a week ago would have been fantastic, but the idea of Boris Johnson or Michael Gove sweeping into the PM role unelected is horrible, and the continued farce which is the Labour party makes prospects for a General Election bleak. Jeremy Corbyn’s complete absence from the campaign is a disgrace, and I hope he pays for it quickly so that the party can at least try and do something to arrest the rise of the nasty, pernicious right wing we’re now seeing.