I’m no longer a European! After the “Brexit” referendum, Great Britain has somehow managed to make itself into more of an island and less “Great” than ever… if you ask me.
I haven’t blogged on here because I am blogging every day this year over at 366 Pictures. However, I wanted to return here just to express my shock and disappointment that the UK has decided, by a small majority, to divorce itself from Europe.
The vote seems to have been carried by the “grey-heads” and people who seem to rattle on endlessly about immigration for reasons that I have yet to understand.
It wasn’t all down to the oldies though. One of my friends said that he was “delighted” with the result of the referendum because he wants to see an end to the “uncontrolled exodus from Eastern Europe” to the shores of the Britain. Ironically though in the past he lived in another European country for a while, and he says he wants to do so again. I wonder, would he classify himself as an “immigrant” in that case, or an “ex-pat?”
While I am sure that many people have sound reasons for wanting to exit the EU, I can’t help but think that many of those who voted in favor of the divorce, did so out of thinly-veiled racism.
How did immigration become such a talking point in this referendum when it seems that the issue isn’t actually one that any clear position has been stated by any of the powers that be? And what do those who want to see an end to the “tidal wave of immigrants” think is going to happen? Do they think that people from EU countries who are living in the UK will be summarily rounded up and sent back to Europe?
I am very concerned that the word immigration now seems to be a incendiary word capable of bringing out the ugly side of so many people who disguise hateful racist fears under a flag of national pride.
U.S. Presidential hopeful, Donald Trump, has endorsed the exit vote in what I think is a chilling preview of what might be to come in the coming election in the United States. Trump unashamedly whips up fear and racism with comments that it seems only excite his supporters. His tactic of using controversial claims and outright falsehoods has put him in a head to head fight for the White House, with facts playing second fiddle to fiction.
The so-called “Brexit” (and I REALLY hate that term) referendum seemed rife with the same problems. Facts and figures were set aside for fear mongering and misinformation served with a familiar dose of racism dressed up as “national pride.”
So now I am no longer a European, despite what my passport says on the cover. I’m not sure what effect this will have on my life, though as someone who lives overseas, I can tell you that today I am not happy the British Pounds I have in the my UK bank and now worth significantly less as I spend them. Other effects will take longer to see and experience, I suppose we’ll have to wait and see what happens. Time will tell if it was a mistake or not.
I tend to think that this referendum was won by selling a soup of fear and misinformation to the public and getting them to vote on a single issue, rather than truly understanding the wider question. Maybe that’s just the game of modern politics, in which case, I think our friends across the Atlantic might want to ready themselves for President Trump!
I’m blogging over at 366 Pictures this year – though I am really behind with that right now. I will catch up though, so please check it out, even if you voted for Brexit, I’ll still love you over there :-)