Brexit but Remain Against Ignorance

A slightly edited (for images/grammar) version of a FB post:

I’ve tried finding words but I’m struggling today so apologies for the word vomit and umpteen images. This post won’t be eloquent or clever.

Here’s the thing, when it comes to politics I’ve never felt so personally affected by a decision before – for a variety of reasons – and I know from my various social media feeds that a lot of you feel the same. It’s easy now to feel despair, disgust, disappointment. And why not when the figures show what they show, when the media rams home what we already know?

All around me people are asking: Is there a way out of this? Well there’s already a referendum on the Referendum if you go on the parliament page. There’s already theories that we won’t leave because of a loop hole in the terminology. There’s a hashtag taking off (‪#‎notmyvote‬) because obviously that’s going to make a difference.

 But we also suspected the outcome today would be close.

We knew that a huge portion of the UK population would be unhappy with the result whichever way it went.

Today, Brexit has the majority not Remain. This means most of the people I know are on the ‘losing’ side.

Have we really lost? On paper yes. But we also turned out. Huge numbers of us were involved in this Referendum. We shared stories. We posted facts. We encouraged each other to read up, to choose our various sides and to vote. That’s a positive outcome, laying the foundation for dialogue and input from both sides as our whole country is forced into a volatile, uncertain future.

So if you want to believe in loopholes or sign your name online or latch on to the hashtag, go for it. However, the real opportunity now is for us all to stay engaged and work out how best to move forward.

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Look at the graphs: we’re not a small minority. We’re still nearly half the voting public – 48% – and in the ‘young people’ category (for lack of a better phrase right now) we stand at a magnificent 75%.

And the UK needs us all more than ever – people who temper the racism and bigotry that inspired much of the ‘unofficial’ Leave campaign; voices unafraid to call out the facts in the face of lies like the mythical £350m (that will not be going to our NHS); passionate problem-solvers who can try to find the best outcome within a less-than-perfect situation.

By choosing to exit the EU, we’ve lost many opportunities. In a fabulous piece of writing on the Financial Times, Nicholas Barrett, commented:

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Yet no matter how much of suckerpunch it may seem today, the full ramifications will not be felt immediately. And it’s up to us to work to soften the blow as much as we can.

Dr Andrew Scott Crines wrote earlier that it’s up to Leavers to provide the answers to the problems they’ve caused but sitting back and watching them will do absolutely nothing. Pointing fingers and giving up our voice because it was “not our vote” will do absolutely nothing.

Instead we need to recognise the Brexit result as a wakeup call to fix the problems that gave the Leave campaign credence.

We need to listen and respond with compassion and vigour, and change the ignorant, fearful, xenophobic tones of the current narrative.

I’m writing this and there are tears in my eyes. There is a tremble in my fingers. I still believe we would be better in the EU. But I also know we need to be strong, positive and more politically assertive than ever if we are going to recover as a nation.

We need to Remain the thoughtful, engaged, globally-minded people that we are.

Let’s stand together.

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