I went to bed about 2.30am, with no hope that Remain would win. I greeted Spurs Fan some hours later with “How bad?”.
I’ve discovered the truth of the phrase “I just can’t even…” as my brain couldn’t begin to compose sentences or half thoughts without simply running out of steam. My language has been colourful.
As I’ve read the tales of those who voted Leave as a protest, never thinking it would happen, or those who didn’t believe their vote would count anyway, or those who didn’t realise that ‘the economy’ affects them, or those who believed the lies (Farage was backtracking before 8am), or those who (a favourite from a friend’s work) wanted the old lightbulbs back, a rather odd thought occurred. Those Leave voters have a big shock ahead- they believed they were doing a good thing, and I felt sorry for them. Many will be horrified as today, tomorrow and the next few years progress, and the realities bite. They don’t see it coming. They are unprepared.
Social media is ‘blaming’ the over 50s, the Labour party, racists, and people who didn’t bother to vote. But blame doesn’t help.
It seems that many people don’t recognise how they fit into politics. It’s an abstract that they have no impact on, or responsibility for- a disempowered population, now reeling. Politicians haven’t served them well, or had their interests at heart. There was no positive Remain campaign about the value of problem solving together, or collaboration or peace building. There was no discussion of the value of European support for infrastructure, communities, or social support. Or of the gap created by austerity measure so often being filled (if at all) by European money- but that would have meant acknowledging that austerity measures were causing problems.
And somehow, the “don’t listen to experts” trope was effective. Why listen to people who’ve worked in the area for years, or researched options? Why employ a plumber when the decent (white, middle aged, English) person next door watched a TV programme once about taps?
The Leave campaign played on anxieties and disconnection, made wild conjectures and told lies.
Dave has resigned, and his successor will be more right wing, more jingoistic, even more concerned with the interests of his (almost definitely a man, one of the white, middle aged, rich English ones) own wealthy clique.
I have no idea where we go from here. I’m angry and anxious, but I’m doing sentences now, so that may be progress.
We need to look after each other. We need to rediscover the kind. Blame won’t work. Balm might.