It’s been a week since a slim majority of the UK decided we should leave the EU. I’ve felt a strange sense of depression and sadness since then, a tight ball of panic has set up camp in my stomach and I have this horrible sense of despair that no amount of playing Lego games seems to shift.
I voted remain. Not because I’m a sheep, or because I am happy with the status quo. I voted remain because, having weighed up all the pros and cons, looked past the propaganda of the leave campaign and assessed the likely outcomes of the vote I realised something quite significant. Leaving the EU will only make one major difference. We’ll have less money invested in deprived areas, to address issues of disadvantage.
Think about it. The leave campaign focussed on 2 major things: immigration – taking control of our borders etc, and the membership fee – saving money to decide where to spend it, say, on the NHS for instance.
But somewhere underneath it all, we knew that in order to continue to access the single market, we would have to pay… probably more than we pay now… perhaps closer to that £350 million a week that was wrongfully bandied around throughout the campaign. And we knew that a condition of the single market would likely include free movement across the border.
So not only will we still not have control of our borders, we also won’t actually have any extra money to invest in the NHS.
The EU invests money in its member states, to address issues of disadvantage. In areas like Liverpool, which has been largely ignored by the government since the 1980s, EU funding has been particularly good to us, turning us into the cultural tourism attraction that it is today.
On a personal note, my business has been able to provide training and work placements for unemployed women interested in digital media careers, thanks to a grant from the European Social Fund. I’ve even been employed in jobs that were funded by the EU, tasked with providing opportunities to improve learning and job skills in deprived areas. These opportunities have been proven to help people enter the labour market and wouldn’t have been available if it wasn’t for EU funding.
So to recap. No matter what happens, we’ll have to pay money to the EU and accept free movement of people across the border. But we’ll no longer have a say in what happens and we’ll no longer get funding that has been vital to local economies.
Well that’s just awesome isn’t it? So how has this been allowed to happen?
Politics. I hate politics. I hate smarmy politicians in slick suits who are trained to speak in a certain way, so they say stuff without actually telling you anything. I hate that there’s a huge chasm between the people who run our country and the people that have to live with the consequences of their decisions. We’re so disconnected that we’ve turned a blind eye. Everything seems to be so cloak and dagger, that no one really knows what’s happening anymore and because we’re ignorant we just assume that they know what they’re doing and leave them to get on with it.
It’s a shame that many leave voters have since admitted that they didn’t really want to leave the EU, they just wanted to show their outrage at the austerity cuts and tax increases implemented by our government. This was not the time to do that. The time for that is at the next General Election.
My friend, Ruth, likened the Leave vote to a hangover… Like they all got drunk at a work do, told their boss he’s a prat, and threatened to quit. Then woke up the next morning with a bad head and sense of guilt and regret.
Perhaps the one good thing to come out of the referendum is that people are waking up to the idea that there seems to be a lot of corruption and bad decisions being covered up. There’s a lot of lies being told and we’ve had enough.
I’m so outraged by the whole thing, that the EU referendum turned into a popularity contest between one posh git and another posh git who both think they have the right to run the country when they don’t give a crap about the people of Britain. This egotistical contest has torn our country apart overnight. And while there’s plenty of infighting and backstabbing happening in the Tory party, this was the perfect opportunity for Labour to ride in like a white knight and steady the ship… but no. A Coup started, planned months ago, to oust the democratically elected leader. Rather than emerging as the stable party, they’ve completely deflected attention away from the shambles of the Conservatives. it’s almost like those Labour MPs are closet Tories. Is that why “New Labour” was also referred to as “Tory Light”?
I grew up believing that the Labour party represented workers, but as a worker, I have never felt any kind of connection to the Labour party. In fact, I’ve mostly voted Lib Dem because I felt let down by Labour and was never going to vote Tory. Lib Dem felt like a safe, middle of the road, never really going to matter, protest vote!
Then Jeremy Corbyn popped up and won the leadership contest. What a guy he is. A genuine, community activist. A man dedicated to improving the lives of people. Not just the 1% but the people that really need a voice. This was what I expected Labour to be. This was a guy I could trust to represent me.
I’m appalled by the coup. So much so, I joined the Labour party, to make sure I can cast a vote should a leadership contest happen. 60,000 people have done the same thing this week. Now that people are waking up, perhaps they’re also realising that Jeremy Corbyn offers a new hope to us. Something has to change. Leaders must be held accountable for their actions. The whole country needs to have their voice heard.
Gosh, it’s like Star Wars!
So this time round, rather than moaning about it, I’ve felt compelled to do something. Joining the Labour Party feels like the least I can do. But who knows what happens from there. I’m interested, for the first time ever, in politics, in the decisions being made on my behalf. I’m concerned by the lies and the propaganda and I want to know the truth.
I suggest, people do the same. Not join a party necessarily, but seek the truth. Don’t be getting all your facts from the news, because the media is corruptible. It tells us what it’s paid to tell us – and for the most part, that’s more lies and propaganda. Seek the truth and then make your voice heard. Make your vote count.