I feel devastated, but not at the result of the vote.
I feel paralysed by the result of Brexit. Nowhere can I find a grain of consolation. Much was talked of ‘getting our country back’. The country we have got ‘back’ is not the one that existed two days before the vote, and I doubt it will ever be restored.
I voted ‘Leave’ not to win but to moderate the ‘business as usual’ model dressed in fear, blinkered by monetary self interest, and draped in complacency. I was not influenced by any bribe or promises.Sovereignty seemed important but that’s about it. I hoped that ‘Remain’ would be sufficiently warned (by breathing on its neck) to take some heed of their lemming pursuit of corporate, global solutions that ignored people, injustice, marginalization simply because they stood in the way of profits. My vote was my misguided hope for the recognition that the world is moving too fast for outmoded structures without flexibility or compassion. How wrong I was. HSBC and the corporations are already threatening to head away from this sinking ship, before waiting to establish that it is indeed sinking. Their exit will probably ensure that it does.
Overnight I do not recognise this country. I am just an immigrant but I loved it as my own.
I admit I did not foresee the opportunism that would move swiftly to exploit anger in its lust for power. Lady Macbeth in Scotland, (That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold; What hath quench’d them hath given me fire.… ‘Infirm of purpose. Give me the daggers, the sleeping and the dead’) decapitating the wounded country before it rises to its feet to appraise the view; ignoring the affections or historic loyalties, and jumping for independence from the UK. Strange that she fought so hard against UK independence from the EU, an artificial cobbled state of bloated bureaucracy, but loses no time in an independence from an organically rooted tree intertwined in shared history, island identity, genes and close co-existence.
The Sturgeon is planting the Saltire in every willing eu-ear no longer spilling caviar. Her fellow fish Salmond is bottom feeding on frothy outrage and anything he can dig up to warrent another Independence Referendum. All the things Sturgeon is gonnie do to the hated Toories will secure hatred throughout.They need not vote for independence. Emotionally it has already been achieved. We are already fractured. After the 2014 Independence Referendum, the columnist Matthew Parris made that point, the holding of a referendum created a different country.
Hatred is now the currency everywhere. Jeremy Corbyn, the much fêted ‘decent man’ with his ‘new politer politics’ has his Gauleiter, McDonnell to stoke the fires of revolution, and is ‘going nowhere.’ Mugabe with a beard. He would rather see the country burn, than resign. Revolution is always the hope of the hard left looking for violence. It feels like watching the trickling streams of new possibilities and embryonic hope coalesce into the most polluted, poisoned well which overflows in every direction, calling out the power- crazed to seize any flag. Watching the Sein Fein MEP’s hysteria in the European Parliament invoking the EU’s protection was beyond parody. Martin McGuinness seeks to shepherd a reunited Ireland from the rout. In this post-war zone the generals will be the least savory of all, backstabbing and garroting in full view.
This xenophobic, hating and hateful Britain is the underbelly exposed by so called liberty. We have forgotten what it means, liberty, although we created it by withdrawing from almost everywhere else. Interesting that we can’t withdraw from the EU but managed ( admittedly somewhat persuaded) to extricate from India and much of Africa who still play cricket, and speak the English now to be removed as an official language of the EU? The French have now their excuses to pay back which started with de Gaulle blocking our accession to the EEC.That does say rather a lot about our so called membership- once in as binding as being born a Muslim! A one way ticket to subordination: and beheaded for apostasy.
Nigel Farage who thought he had achieved this single handedly (undoubtedly a lonely man for twenty five years) cannot take his reward with grace or manage magnanimity. Instead he crowed from the top of the dung heap. Another humiliation, grotesque to witness.
The anger expressed by the so called ‘youth’ accusing people like me of betraying their hopes ( when only 35% could be bothered to vote) is the squealing of those who took their entitlements for granted, and now believe them gone. They were busy dancing and drugging in Glastonbury along with the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and creating the sea of mud that now engulfs us. Now their fury is available for any rabble-rouser to harness- a mob in search of a cause. The demos is dissatisfied with the ‘cracy’ forged by their indifference, and want another referendum!
Having despised electorates who meekly re- voted until the EU was content, for once I think it a good idea. Not because we should not have left, but because the reaction to the collective temper tantrum ( aka Referendum) shows we are unfit for self government, without the energy or courage to take the blows. We knew there would be blows, but since whimpering and whingeing seems nigh universal, let us meekly return and play safe in the kennel of Juncker. He will re-chain us with alacrity and offer reduced rations.
It strikes me that the outrage of the defeated ‘Remainers’ is precisely because they assumed that the lunatic fringe ( the Leavers) could never win. I confess I assumed that too, which is why I lent them one single vote. As a forlorn protest. Had the leavers lost I believe there would be an unsurprised disappointment (as well as some relief), but some sense of the value of speaking out, a sense that Europe would have to take account of the deep disquiet that grows daily in many eurosceptic countries who waited for us to make their case. Instead we have chaos and possibly the end of Britain, and perhaps the need now to be over-ruled by the discredited Parliament that have broken all the windows and fused the lights for whom we voted new powers. One leader cannot be dislodged by anything, one resigns with alacrity, and the rest are tearing chunks out of one another.
Let us reverse democracy by the means that remains. The Parliamentary Labour Party has already begun. Thank God they have. It will never reverse or recover the Britain we believed existed. All illusions are gone. Even personal friends and my daughter lost no time in sticking in a knife, and seem to enjoy reminding me daily that it’s ALL MY FAULT.
So will ‘sorry’ cover it? Probably not, but I am. I really am sorry that I believed British honour, tolerance and good humour would survive whatever the outcome. I hope that this protest post will seem absurd in a few years but suddenly untrammeled immigration seems a very good option. Bring in the hardworking and stoical Poles! No other nation has suffered and survived as they have. We need their daily example among us.
Images Courtesy of Creative Commons- Delacroix; Leon Maxime Faivre and Mechior de Hondecoeter
11 thoughts on “Brexit Betrayed. More Poles Please.”
I read this and am stunned and left quite speechless, Philippa. All I can offer is the sound of my own voice and whatever compassionate human resonance you can detect in it. Now I understand better your posting of the Neruda poem and the Mermaid. Oh, if only a real Mermaid could make her appearance in living flesh and what happens in the poem came to pass! All the way over here in America, I see and hear the news of what’s going on there, the gigantic waves crashing down, only reaching me as trickles lapping the shoreline.
You and Viv in your immediacy and urgency have brought it much closer to home for those like me further away. I think it’s a good thing that you and Viv and others like you register what’s going on inwardly, and voice, voice, voice, being like the Mermaid yourselves and swimming back against the grain of all the hatred and blame and hysteria, and down, down, down “shining like a white stone in the rain”.
Good to have you here John. Surrounded by vaunted ambition and such ugliness friends and fellow voices whisper loudly.
Reblogged this on jetude.
Thank you Jetude for the reblog and for darkening this door!
Call me Cassandra but what has occurred is precisely what I expected should the vote go that way; and while you may see little grief, I have seen plenty, and experienced more grief over this myself than over many other losses. There is a core of evil at the heart of almost every empire, and if not evil, then veniality and it is this veniality that has been exposed.
Most apposite Joe. A marvellous lament and invocation I had never seen in toto- just heard in fragments long ago.
There seems to be much real grief over the outcome Philippa. Maybe it’s too hopeful and too soon to believe/imagine something good can arise from the ashes. We stand by powerless much of the time, but protest we must. Protest if and when xenophobia or racism rears its ugly head, use your voice, your pen – strange times indeed …
So far I see little I would call grief Sue. Fury, Hysteria,Blame predominate. There seems now to be a conflation of Europe and the EU. I feel grief at the death of my illusions! But I still wonder why they don’t just re-run it if the belief predominates that it was a vote by deception, or against the wrong targets. It would be much cheaper!
The racist attacks have begun almost as soon as the results were in; there has been a five fold increase in racist hate crimes, and it goes on unabated. People being asked, apparently perfectly reasonably, when are they going to go home, when this IS their home. I despair.
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Yes Viv. The hatred runneth over and finds any target, especially easily identified ones. It never occurred to me that ‘Leave’ would win, and it is my own naivete I also confess, but Remain was no better and I admit to usually resisting threats. especially ludicrously exaggerated ones though right now even WW3 does not seem far fetched.
Good piece, Philippa. Interesting history here http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/07/04/conventions-primaries-and-the-presidency NOTE “King Numbers.” Maybe some decisions should not be left to King Number. All this nostalgia the world over for a way it never was? Here’s a poem by Langston Hughes, on point?
Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.
(America never was America to me.)
Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.
(It never was America to me.)
O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.
(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)
Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?
I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.
I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!
I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.
Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”
Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.
O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.
Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!
Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!
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