Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Dear Diary

Something strange has happened to me. I have morphed and changed. Apparently, and I only have other people's word for this, I have become an unintelligent, racist, xenophobic bigot who has no mind of his own.

Remarkable. All I did was to vote leave in the referendum.

That, it would seem to some of those who are upset by the result, is enough to prove I'm an idiot. As if all the non-white friends I have, my upbringing in central London alongside children of migrants and actual migrants meant nothing. Nor, it would seem, is my degree in History, and certainly not the modules on the EU, migration in Early Modern Europe and the fall of the Berlin Wall.

None of that matters because I voted to leave the EU. My actual reasons are irrelevant as I've placed myself alongside bigots and racists and have therefore become one.


The young have complained about the old ruining their futures. Would this be the generation that suffered during WW2 and stormed the beaches of Normandy? The same generation that built the NHS and the welfare state? Or are you thinking of someone else?

Maybe you're referring to my parents' generation, the ones that voted remain in 1975, kicked off the 60s revolution and the freedoms that came with it. The ones that brought in the race relations act and the equal pay act in the mid 70s and made the country better as a result

Or maybe you're referring to my generation, the inventors of punk rock, the protestors against the Poll tax, the ones that supported band aid and live aid and who currently volunteer in charity shops up and down the country, the ones that started the trend to work abroad for charity and married who they loved whatever their skin colour or race.

Just one question, young 'uns: If it was so important, how come only a third of you voted?

You may have degrees, but you gained in an era when a degree is available to all, not just an elite. My generation and my parents' generation had to make do with apprenticeships and CSEs if they weren't academically bright.  Though I bet you couldn't pass one of their, or mine for that matter, exams.

We may be old, but we still think of the future, of our children and grandchildren...YOU. We've not just read about the past in books, we've lived it, been through it, survived it. We can see the patterns repeating.

The break may have shocked everyone, it certainly took us by surprise, but you know what? I don't regret it. Not. One. Bit.

I, like a good number of those who voted to leave, have had enough of smug, arrogant people talking down to us...people like those who now claim we're all racists and xenophobes because we didn't do what they told us.

There were many reasons why people voted to leave, only a few of those who voted leave are racists. Being concerned about the impact of immigration is not racist. Asking if globalisation is really a good thing doesn't make you a communist, nor does wanting to break free of the EU make you a luddite or a protectionist.

And if you think that the racist behaviour we've seen over the past few days is bad, you've not been paying attention for the last couple of centuries. They'll creep back into their holes soon enough.

As for Boris and co? We knew they lied. We didn't listen to them anyway. As for lies, what of the threat of wars and economic desolation that the remain camp placed in front of us? Was that the truth?

I voted to leave the EU because I do not trust politicians with that much power. They have rushed headlong towards political union and patronised those who ask them to hold back. The rise of the right is only one consquence of that dash as they are, seemingly, the only ones who will take the EU on.

I don't know what the future holds, no one does. But we never do. In January 1989 we thought the cold war would go on for years. By the end of the year the Berlin wall had fallen, and by the end of 1990 Germany had been reunited.

Britain has voted to leave the EU. It's called democracy. Whinging about it and calling people names is not just being a bad loser, it's childish and arrogant.

You can either help make the deal a good one, or you can sulk. Make a choice.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Saturday Fun

A day late, but then  did pull an 11 hour day yesterday. three hours in the charity shop, a walk to work and finish there at 8pm.

Good day though. Managed to finish a book on the late shift.

And with that cheery thought, I bid you adieu and hope the rest of your weekend is full of fun.