In the immediate aftermath of Brexit, I am numbed, saddened and fearful for our future. Outside it’s a cold wet blustery June day. Perhaps it is apt that, on a day which represents the very worst of the ‘Little Britain mentality’ spouted by Brexit-supporters, our weather too is showing its dark-side.
The repercussions of the decision have been swift and largely predictable. Sterling lurching to its lowest level since 1985; bankers making billions plundering a falling stock exchange; David Cameron leaping on his sword in resignation; Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon calling for a second referendum on their independence from the UK. The impact on the UK could become worse too as Ireland’s Sinn Fein also called for a cross-border referendum on a United Ireland.
Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness fuelled that debate with his insistence that the referendum result means:
“(the) British government has forfeited any mandate to represent the economic or political interests of the people” in the North.”
It’s hard to argue with that and it holds doubly true for Scotland, who have turned their backs on both Labour and Conservative central parties in addition to voting to Remain.
So … it’s unavoidable right now to believe that a referendum fought largely on isolationist xenophobia is now turning inexorably into an English nationalist rising; with all the inherent racialist nastiness that implies.
Our reigning Conservative government did this nation a massive disservice not only in calling the referendum but in allowing it to be conducted in the malicious manner it was and in running one of the most inept ‘remain’ campaigns once could imagine.
Even the demise of Cameron is no cause for even mild joy, because his leaving opens the door for the establishment’s black-shirted jackboot brigade. The even more extreme neo-liberal acolytes who will replace him and his cabinet.
Only time will tell where this road leads, but the signposts are bleak. I hope that the youth of generations to come do not live to revile and remember the term Brexit in the manner Guy Fawkes is still ‘celebrated’.
Today is one of the most disheartening of my life. Let us hope tomorrow we still have battles to fight and the will to fight them.