In any major way you can think of, the ‘United’ Kingdom is divided this week. Let’s be clear, a 52:48 vote is not a decision. It’s a question. This is fifty: fifty. This is heads or tails. Based on half baked allusions and incomplete information, the British government has allowed its people to play heads or tails with its own social and economic future
Tails, we lost
All of us lost, even cyclists favourite Boris Johnson. Even the leavers who think they’ve won. It’s quickly become apparent that along with a number of leave voters, Johnson never actually expected to be successful in his Brexit campaign: so no politician bothered with a real, full follow up plan! At least the bankers have tried to help this time round-Mark Carney and BoE have pledged an extra £250bn funding.
Back to Boris though- it seems to me that this guy and his ilk were inviting everyone to a party he was sure wouldn’t happen. Johnson was a boy crying wolf until the wolf showed up. This campaign was just supposed to be a bargaining chip for his blatant PM fantasies- which bizarrely may be about to materialise after Osbourne declared himself unsuitable.
Don’t worry too much about letting him know how you feel, his dad probably told him off in the car already.
Maybe we should applaud the audacity of a man who is able to tell us everything is stable while the FTSE 100 graph’s line continue its bobsleigh slide off a cliff? According to Boris, maybe all the charts are upside down?
I’m aware that it would be wrong, however, to pin the referendum outcome on any one person. I am just personally fascinated by the fact that the floppy haired guy who entertained us with flippancy and bikes for a few years could now become our PM. He wasn’t alone on this though. Neither was Nigel Farage. It did, after all, take 17 million people ( vs 16 mil remain) to make this happen and who knows, they could be right in the long run. Everyone, by now is aware though, that for the short term, the UK and Europe will have to shoulder huge uncertainty. What’s worrying is that no one seems to know whether the short term is months or years.
I cannot even pretend to claim to be any sort of political or economical expert in the slightest so this is all my opinion. Rant with me in the comments section if you will- or tell me why you have an opposing view. I didn’t even plan to post about Brexit because I’ve been having a great week personally. Great includes celebrating my birthday for about a week and a half instead of a day (more on that in later posts)- I’m still celebrating it now, this is an interruption! This is just very difficult to ignore. Especially being from London where the overwhelming vote was remain, it’s been a shock.
It’s impossible to ignore, in fact- recall that before 9am last Friday, major blue chip stocks had dived 30%, a PM had quit and the pound had dropped like strippers at dusk. Can someone save us please? “No!” Replied Fitch as they dropped Britains credit rating 2 notches less than a week later. Is this real life this week??
Now a collective of Labour MPs are playing Now-You-See-Me-Now-You-Don’t with Jeremy Corbyn while we sit on the sidelines and wonder when someone will hand him a comb and a lint roller. More? Just this afternoon, I heard Farage telling MEPs that we would ‘be their best friend’ having earlier in the same session berated them by telling them none of them had ‘ever had a real job in their lives’. That last statement, to be fair, could be true unfortunately. It’s going to be an eventful year.
A disappointing, overbearing side dish of the referendum outcome is the clear division between the citizens of the U.K. along multiple lines. The young tended to vote Remain whereas older citizens leaned toward Leave. Londoners voted in whereas other non-capital regions voted out in frustration.
Perhaps the worst of these divisions has manifested itself in a reported 57% increase in racially aggravated abuse- to think that number only accounts for reported incidents. Closet racists nationwide are using the leave result as carte blanche to attack anyone who doesn’t look and live exactly as they do. As a black person who has lived and loved being here pretty much all my life, it’s quite disgusting to see that it only takes vindication through an almost 50:50 referendum outcome for some people to feel they can justify their prejudices.
It could be worse. Trump could be president. At least we don’t have to make that decision.
Photo credits: BBC Website