So, there was this vote last Thursday. Apparently we voted to have Armageddon! Or at least if my social media feed is anything to go by that's what we did. What annoys me about the wailing and gnashing of teeth coming from those who voted to remain (or at least the most vocal of them) is that they claim to be liberal, and that those that voted Leave are as illiberal, as stupid, and as racist as it is possible to be. And yet, look at what they are saying "the leave camp are wrong, we should not listen to them". Last I checked liberalism was about allowing personal freedoms, not about refusing to acknowledge a view point that diverges somewhat from your own. Now I agree that some of those who voted to leave are racist, and it sickens me to have sided with them. I also admit that some of those who voted to leave were stupid, and simply making a protest vote not expecting to win, and I am disappointed to have sided with them. However these two groups are not the only ones to have voted Leave. I voted to Leave as I believe the EU is broken, and that it's stated aim of "ever closer political union" is a dangerous route to follow if the EU is not reformed extensively, a reformation that I can not see happening, and so leaving the EU is what I believe to be the right choice. Do I think we should leave the EEA? Of course not! Do I believe that we should halt immigration? Don't be silly!
What the Remain complainers seem to miss, quite apart from the fact that they lost a democratic vote, is that the two groups mentioned earlier that I did not want to side with, exist for a reason. Wailing about their unsuitability to have cast a vote does not invalidate their right to cast that vote, nor does it solve the issues we now find our selves faced with. A collapsing Government, and a collapsing opposition (ironically for losing the same vote). And an unanswered question that should never have been allowed to be. The issue of our relationship with the EU is a complex one that should never have been framed as an "in or out" question, but David Cameron, and his pro EU conservative colleagues, in their infinite arrogance never believed they could lose, so why should they have bothered to trust the electorate to actually decide a matter of policy based on even a slightly wider subset of the options available?
Racists exist in this country, it is unfortunate, but inevitable. That they have been endlessly stirred up by the tabloid and right wing press is a travesty. Worse than that however is how the government has allowed this press to go unchallenged, because it serves their purpose that foreigners are blamed for policy decisions that have been made to hold the cost of unskilled labour down for the benefit of the wealthy by the Government composed mostly of the wealthy. If the foreigners take the blame the Government can continue to serve their own interests instead of doing what they have been elected to do. Those moaning about the result of the referendum should keep this in mind. The racists are in the wrong, and I am sorry that I have sided with them on this one issue, but those who voted remain sided with the self centred, self serving, manipulative, wealthy elite, who have allowed the xenophobia to be fostered by the right wing press as until now it has served their purposes.
That some made a protest vote not expecting to win shows an even more worrying trend in our country. The fact that many people do not believe the Government represents them, or is accountable to them, and that they have no hope of effecting change! The fact that it is possible for people to feel strongly that they must protest, but not expecting that protest to have any effect shows that our Government is desperately out of touch with the people they are elected to represent, and serve. The only realistic solution to this is electoral reform, but the only two parties currently able to force that issue in parliament are well served by the unrepresentative system of elections we currently use to choose our government. Those upset with the leave result should consider this as well when thinking about the result!
What, as a Leave voter, do I expect to happen now? Well given both sides of the commons have collapsed into ineffectual infighting I expect the country to suffer political, economic, and social, upheaval. It's going to get worse, a lot worse. Not because we voted to leave, but because our elected "leaders" are spineless, self serving, twats, unwilling to make the hard choices, and unable to muster any sort of self control.
What did I expect to happen when I voted? Honestly I expected to lose, but I hoped the Government would take the result and start a positive process of either invoking Article 50 negotiations, or engaging with the population about exactly what options where available, and what they wanted from us the people. I was always angry about the lack of options presented, and I was hopeful that our government might, maybe, just possibly, not be as useless, and self serving, as they had appeared to be in the run up to the referendum. But I am now even more annoyed at the petulance our Prime Minister has demonstrated, and the vindictive arrogance shown by the shadow cabinet in the aftermath of this vote.
Let me be clear, the issues we face are not because we voted Leave, they are because we elected morons and bastards to Parliament.