Today I’m ashamed to be British.
Not for the reasons that my facebook feed has been littered with all day although as someone who voted to Remain in the EU I am saddened by the result, not because the world thinks Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage now speak for us because I hope the world is more intelligent than that; just as we are able to differentiate our American cousins from the words of Trump and Hilary, and certainly not because I think Britain has become a racist country overnight because it hasn’t there’s always been a small minority of narrow minded idiots who will grasp at anything to further their intolerance. They just got louder recently. We just have to drown them out again.
No I’m ashamed because of the way so many are unable to accept that democracy was upheld today because they weren’t on the “winning” side, I’m ashamed of the fascistic way so many of my friends have used misinformed hate-filled rhetoric to slander those that voted the opposite to them. I have many friends who voted to leave the EU, people I respect and trust and every single one of them did for reasons other than hate of Johnny Foreigner. In fact, every single one them did so out of genuine love for their families, friends and fellow human beings (I know because I bothered to take notice of what they were saying). I will abuse Farage, Gove, Johnson and their ilk until the cows come home because they are liars, frauds and charlatans but to tar over half of those that voted with the brush of racism (news flash it would be xenophobia in this instance) is unwarranted, unnecessary and deeply troubling to me.
I am ashamed because I see a self serving attitude rise up in the Remainers because they are worried about their money not being worth as much when what they should be worried about is the fact so many have nothing and have voted (probably misguidedly) to change that. And finally as an ex-Londoner who is proud to have had his son born in the greatest city on Earth I’m ashamed to see present Londoners call for the capital to become an independent state exiled from the UK because they don’t agree with a democratic vote, putting up further “us and them” borders which have helped create this situation in the first place. Leavers have a distrust in the ruling elites and as much as you think your little liberal, middle class bubble isn’t part of it I’ve got news for you – London is the epitome of that. They were voting against you as much as the EU, for the austerity that has been forced upon them but doesn’t seem to touch the city and the tech start ups and the ridiculous house prices they can only dream of being able to afford, for the high unemployment and low wages that condemn whole communities to food banks and the uncertainty of zero hour contracts, for the growing inequality which only goes one way outside of the M25 and that’s down.
We lost today, but we shouldn’t be looking to create further problems we’re all much better than that. We have a Tory government to topple, a country to rebuild and a nation of people (wherever we originated from) to look after. Let’s start doing that and leave the hate and ignorance to that minority of idiots who will soon crawl back under the shit-stained rug they came from.
Disagree? Feel free to unfollow me so you won’t have to listen to my hippy bullshit any longer. I just want a tolerant, reasoned, sympathetic and humane Britain. Is that so much to ask?
Today I’m ashamed to be British.