23rd of June, 2016

In years to come, this will be a date remembered. Like other memorable dates in the past, this one will take its place in the history books, and be spoken of by future generations.

Against the odds, and to my own great surprise, Britain has voted to leave the EU, and by a fair margin too. The vote says a lot more than just about dissatisfaction with Europe. it shows a country divided, between the haves, and the have-nots. The patronising intellectuals who tell the working people what is best for them have been faced with a revolution from the voters. The scare-mongers have had their bluff called, and the ranks of politicians who were sure that they knew best, have found out that they didn’t know anything.

This country has had the remarkable courage to face an uncertain future, and to accept responsibility for that future too. I am immensely proud of my fellow voters. They ignored the slurs, saw past the untruths and downright lies, and decided to take a chance on independence. Even faced with the prospect of hard times ahead, they chose to literally stand up and be counted.

Now it is all over, what happens next? Many years of negotiations to actually disentangle ourselves from this bureaucratic spider’s web, that’s what. A minimum of two years, up to a possible seven years, before we return to anything resembling how things were before we joined in the first place. David Cameron staked his reputation on a Remain vote, and lost. He will resign at some stage. He was going at the next election anyway, so no loss. Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party also failed to rally their voters to the Remain side, so heads will undoubtedly roll there as well.

Shares have dropped, then bounced back. The pound has ‘collapsed’ on world markets. So what? Cheaper exports for our goods, slightly more expensive imports, and a financial penalty for those going on holiday abroad. There is a chance of more expensive fuel prices, and there will undoubtedly be some belt-tightening in the country as a whole. Things will certainly get a little worse, before they ever get better again. But there can be no price on self-respect, and no value placed on the power of a genuine democratic vote.

What will not happen? Foreign nationals living here will not be required to go home. EU citizens living here will not be required to go home. The NHS will not disintegrate for want of a workforce. The valued workers from places like The Philippines, Thailand, Africa, and the West Indies, will not be required to go home. Doctors, nurses, and other workers from Australia, New Zealand, or anywhere else, will not be asked to leave their jobs and return home. Properties and businesses owned by foreign nationals will not be taken away from them, and their money and investments will be safe. This is Britain in 2016, not Uganda in 1972. Germany will not impose tariffs on goods exported to the UK. Foreign-owned companies will not close factories and businesses in a country where they are long-established. European countries will not suddenly impose a visa requirement on UK nationals. It would serve no purpose.
Just some of the things that will not happen.

Scotland will ask for independence from the UK, once again. This time, they might win the vote that they couldn’t get in their last referendum. What then, an independent country to the north of England? A small and separate member of the EU, having to adopt the Euro as a currency, and enforce border controls with England? It is unlikely, but if so, so what? The United Kingdom is far from united, and may well fare much better as smaller, separate countries, who knows? Northern Ireland, long troubled, is once again divided by the vote, with the Nationalists wanting to remain in the EU alongside the Republic of Ireland, and the Loyalists voting to leave the EU. No doubt some accommodation will have to be made, as it usually is in those difficult counties.

We will have to attempt to curb the excesses of the old school, the silent elite, and the burgeoning racists. Unwelcome bedfellows in this campaign that they were, their presence cannot be ignored. Hopefully, they will also have learned not to try to fool the voting public anymore.

Lots of work to do, and many lessons to be learned. The main one? Ignore the ‘ordinary’ people at your peril, for one day they will rise up, even if only at the ballot box.

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21 comments

  1. emmakwall

    Great post Pete, really enjoyed reading it. Nice to have a level headed view after all the hatred on Friday. I agree with everything you said 🙂

    xxx (I’m being a devil and leaving them here too!)

    Like

  2. Eddy Winko

    I would have voted to stay, but then if I was that bothered I would have voted! It will be interesting to see how it all pans out, as you say its going to take a while for the dust the settle and the new Britain to emerge. However I can see one negative that nobody seems to have spotted, as someone living in Poland and who was in Austria at the time of the vote, watching the media reaction and coverage it would seem that the UK has a new prime minister and his name is Farage!!

    Like

    • beetleypete

      He is good at getting his face on camera, and a lot of the foreign media wrongly presumed that he would be the next leader of the UK. They just weren’t following the story closely enough. Obviously, I am glad about the result, but for very different reasons to some other voters. There have already been some anti-east European incidents in country towns; leaflets, signs, abuse etc.
      When all the wrangling is over though, I reckon it will still feel as if we never left!
      Cheers mate, Pete.

      Like

  3. Ian Gibson Photography

    I think it’s not so much a case of a revolution from the voters, more a case of the workers, fed up of being led by the nose by a liberal elite, have chosen instead to be led by a neo-liberal elite. Towards much the same destination, I suspect.

    Revolutions are rarely, if ever, led by old Etonian Bullingham Club toffs. They would be hiding in their Hampstead mansions looking fearfully at the braying mob outside.

    Still, the world goes on. Maybe I’ll get a Scottish passport one day.

    Nice article, Pete. Well thought out.

    Like

    • beetleypete

      Thanks, Ian. I know what you mean. At least everyone was surprised, and apathy took a back seat for once. Whatever the long-term outcome, I doubt I will live to see it!
      Best wishes, and love to Janice. Pete. x

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  4. jaypot2012

    Its done and dusted and I’m glad its all over. Panic has set in by a lot but it will go back to being normal in the next couple of weeks when people can settle down and think properly.
    I say to Embrace the new opportunities that we have coming our way 🙂 I do believe that a Scottish referendum would result in us breaking away from the rUK but at the moment, I actually couldn’t care less. My generation saw the beginning of the Common Market, I was 12, and my generation has now seen us leaving the EU. I have been very lucky to have experienced both events and hope that I will live long enough to see the changes to the country/ies which I know will be for the better.
    Just think of what we can achieve now that we are free and how thankful we should be that the people have spoken and have been listened to for a change 🙂
    I honestly believe that this is the beginning of the end of the EU and am happy for that to happen. Too many rich bureaucrats got greedier and greedier whilst the member states of the EU got poorer and poorer. Now those chains are slipping off we should celebrate the chances we have now of being free and independent again 🙂

    Like

    • beetleypete

      Well said, Jay! Let’s hope that it is the beginning of the end for the EU indeed. People were happy enough to see the Soviet Union breaking up into its former countries. Why not Europe?
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  5. fragglerocking

    Well I did not vote to leave, but we are so I’ll have to suck it up, like I did when I didn’t vote for a conservative government. I hope your perspective is right, but I do not think we will ever ‘return to anything resembling how things were in the first place’. Interesting times for sure.

    Like

    • beetleypete

      Cheers, FR. I have lived under governments I didn’t vote for for a lot of my life too. (The Tory ones…) Maybe we shouldn’t go back to how things used to be, but make something new? We can only hope.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. lividemerald2013

    I think leaving the EU is the right decision. To think that a European country cannot survive without Brussels is ridiculous. It’s going to be tough, but the UK has to plot its own social, political, and economic course. It has to be a country again.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Heyjude

    I was no more surprised than you this morning. I agree that the common man is fed up to the back teeth with the rich getting richer and the poor not even being able to afford a simple house. It has been all about the me since Maggie and now, maybe, eventually, we could get back some of that community spirit we were once proud of. I’m sure that there will be some belt-tightening to come. I’m sure there will be changes we won’t like, but I do feel a sense of optimism and excitement in looking towards the future.

    Liked by 1 person

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