Unlike the Scottish Referendum, which was pretty clear about what the advantages of being ‘in’ and ‘out’ were. The European Referendum has been anything but clear. I feel let down by our political leaders on both sides of the vote, in many ways the vote has felt uneducated as society were lead astray by both the ‘leave’ and ‘stay’ parties, who seemed to go negative instead of focusing on facts. Part of me feels that in may ways this was a bad example of democracy as firstly no one really focused on facts and the electorate in many ways voted to show how disillusioned they are with today politicians rather than on the issue. The problem is that this vote is valid in the eyes of all the politicians because we were asked to vote on this clear issue. That issue being the membership of the European Union (EU).
Personally, not only am I disappointed with my countries vote on the European Referendum but I am also deeply saddened. I think we were asked to vote on this in a very unprepared way, I have said this before, as have others, but the whole subject was too big for any one person to understand. Even though I don’t feel all ‘vote leave’ members are racist or xenophobic, part of me feels this result reflects that side of politics. I feel this vote in many ways represents the people who have been told it is the EU’s fault for any number of things for years by politicians on both sides, the problem is that this also means that the blame culture that exists in our society is used when making really important decisions. Very few people were talking about what the EU does for us in positive ways or in fact what the advantages are going to as a result of leaving.
I feel that in reality this vote really represents the the unhappy voters in this country who are seeing the gap between the rich and the poor getting larger and larger, and that the south or central government tend not to be listening to the people any more, even when we vote them in every now and then.
I honestly believe none of our media has helped in making the decision easy, as none of them were free from bias. I am also disappointed that our faith in media seems to be to believe what it says as truth, rather than questioning the facts we are given, we have minds and we should be using them. There have been numerous stories over the weekend about people feeling mislead on both sides, and to be fair I feel the same in some ways, I don’t feel this referendum was a win for anyone.
All the political parties seem to be imploding and for me (obviously being fairly left wing and upset by the result) the only person who seems to be making any sense in political circles at the moment seems to be Nicola Sturgeon (SNP). I find it rather funny that Nicola Sturgeon seems to be getting in trouble for actually doing a politicians job, which is representing the people who voted her in, I wish in may ways I lived in her area, I am not ashamed of the Manchester vote in anyway, I just know that I am going to have to live with the English vote, where as it is possible Scotland might not have to.
My faith in our political leaders has been at a low for years, and we seem to vote for the best of the worst instead of finding someone we can truly stand behind and believe in. I suspect this is because when political parties get involved it feels like they are out for themselves and have stopped listening to the people. It feels like party politics is getting in the way of what the ‘people’ want or need.
The problem is what do we do now, there seems to be the normal language going around about ‘mending bridges’ and such, which although I do agree with, I think it is going to be a hard process as the country is pretty much 48/52 on this subject and many of the bridges were not just taken down but were burnt, so new material will be needed to put them in place again. Bridging any gap is not just about the enablers, people also need to want to do it in the first place. And I have to say I have seen some of the worst examples of ‘hate’ come out as a result of this vote.
However much a second Referendum would be great (from my point of view obviously), I think it unlikely, mostly because we had a vote and wasted it in some cases but the majority have supposedly spoken, in which case we need to move on and figure out what to do.
I think a starting place would be to try and be honest about what it is we need to build now. We need to continue in peace; we need to be inclusive; we need to get one with our neighbours; we need tolerance; we need hope and not fear; we need to our politics and politicians to be honest; we need to stop the hateful language, and we need each other. Above all we need to be open about our fears and be able to discuss them in a honest forum without judgement and hate, in many ways our media has traded on our societies fears for too long and it needs to stop.