On the night of Brexit – after weeks of debate, after a week-by-week roll of debate, hate and hobbled reason… to finally have the results coming in…. it was exciting.
Exciting like the London Olympics, exciting like winning the Ryder cup.
But it wasn’t good news because it wasn’t what I had expected. From the point of my world-view and my opinion we weren’t supposed to leave – we were supposed to just rubber stamp the status quo and to put ‘the others’ in a place where they felt heard but not acted upon.
When the result became inevitable (I stayed up most of the night until exhaustion meant i could take no more) I headed to bed. But it was exciting. Unexpected. Unpredicted. And oh, Lordy, we were out of control now.
But before heading t bed first I hunted out the image above…to share with friends… because it captured how I felt. Shock and Awe and comedy – 48% of the UK “trembled like a dog shitting peach seeds”. Leaving the EU?Just how dumb could it get?
No one likes change. Even change that is rational and can be understood. But time heals all. We walk along a grief curve and we can come to accept it. Acquiesce. Accept our place as victims of “its unfair”. And yes, I did sign a petition. And yes, I do know its dumb and no, I don’t expect it to go anywhere…
I didn’t understand how it happened – 17 million people couldn’t be racist. (But some of them are, points out Ricky Jervais). Why didn’t I see this coming? What didn’t I understand. And I cringe that Scotland could have escaped but we all talked them into staying. Im Sorry guys, okey.
However, there is an upside to the vote for me – because I just discovered that politics is has become tasty.
The helplessness of growing up in Tory Britain. The disappointment of the Tony Blair and Gordon Brown years (I have the book Spirit Level on my reading list for when I feel I need hard evidence on the failure of new labour). The disappointment of Clegg. The despair at the Millibands (who now seem almost palatable and human now). I really gave up on this lot many years ago – maybe 25 years ago…
But now its all got me trying to understand what is so bad north of Northampton and i get it, okey. I grew up in a shit hole I just did realise how deep the hole got and how hopeless if can feel trying to make sense of it. And okey I see its not a North and South thing. There are some reports on the Knowledge economy in the UK – anywhere in the crescent of knowledge is doing fine (Oxford, Reading, Cambridge and London) – everywhere else it’s pants. Don’t beat me up for spotting this 20 years ago and for choosing a career and life inside of these regions.
And I didn’t understand why the (hard) left disliked the EU so much. What was this democratic deficit – and just why do people despise bureaucrats so much (I read that Junkers has blocked most efforts to hold American corporations accountable for paying in-country Tax, and read and listen to Yanis Varafaroukis talk of his experiences with the EU Group and accept its all very wrong and broken and unjust and unapproachable.
And now Im happy to keep reading on this stuff and making sense of it – knowing its complex and I am unsighted and unclear on how it will all play out. And Im happy to accept I cant fully understand why so few young people turn out to vote. And accept that the parliamentary system is ineffective in promising an alternative. And despair at the bleakness of Theresa May (FFS!) and the bleakness of the press reporting on Corbyn and the even darker bleakness that it has come down to one shabby 67 year old man to reluctantly stand up only to be shot down again – because in a world where people need a promise of something worth believing in there is still nothing… except a shabby 67 year old man who can’t respond to text messages.
But at least I’m watching. I care. Im engaged. I’m trying to understand and above all else, Im developing a capacity to tolerate being proven wrong and then ask “why?” and “how?” and “if not that then what else”.
Sure, Im still shitting peach seeds like everyone else – but I’m sure it will all do me good in the long run. Its good to cleans. At least Farage has gone.