What I’m angry about

Like many other people who voted for us to remain in the EU, I’m shocked, upset and angry right now. But I think it’s important for me to make very clear what I’m angry about and what I’m not angry about, who I’m angry with and who I’m not angry with.

And it has taken me a few days to calm down enough so that I’m able to think clearly enough to write this.

It is now clear to me that whether people voted to leave or to remain is not important. The important thing now is what people voted for.

Anyone who voted for a cohesive, prosperous future is now part of the solution. We can, and must, all work together to ensure we have a cohesive, prosperous future. Some people who voted to leave really wanted this. Some people who voted to remain also really wanted this.

Some people voted to leave because they were protesting against an establishment that has let many of us down. Some of those who did that are not entirely happy with the result – some thought that remain would win so convincingly that their vote would be a protest only. Some thought that the protest was worth it to make the government see and hear their anger and discontent. I do not think this was a very sensible thing to do. I certainly understand the sentiment.

However, some people voted to leave because they wanted to cause division. They wanted to spread hatred. They wanted to create a society where it is acceptable to racially abuse people, where beating people because of their accent is entertainment of an evening. This is NOT acceptable. This makes me angry. These are the people I’m angry with. This is what I am angry about.

The other group of people I am most angry with are the leave politicians who KNEW all the time that the things they were saying were LIES that were DELIBERATELY calculated to DECIEVE the people into voting to leave. It was only half a day after the polls closed when the three biggest lies were admitted. The £350M that they said we spend on the EU per week that should go instead to the NHS is not £350M and will not go to the NHS. The reduction in immigration is unlikely to happen at all. A reduction in bureaucracy is also unlikely to happen because we will need to adhere to the same regulations if we still want access to the EU market.

Some people believed these lies. Some of the people believed these lies because they genuinely wanted a prosperous future and really wanted an additional £350M to go to the NHS. Some people believed these lies because they are worried about their ability to work; or the ability of their children to work and they genuinely believe that immigration is the cause of this problem.

Some people believed these lies because they are ignorant, intolerant, racists who would cling to anything that would justify their desire to voice their fear and their hate.

But let me be clear, when Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, et al, lied to the British public they lied to all of us. They are the ones I am most angry at. Their deception which will help them and hurt all of the rest of us is what I am most angry about. The fear and intolerance they have spread is evil and must not be tolerated. They must be held to account. They must be stopped.

And this is where all of us who want a prosperous future come into play. Despite 52% of those who voted (not 52% of the people registered to vote and not 52% of the people eligible to vote and not 52% of the population) voting to leave, not all of those people voted for division and intolerance. In fact, I am certain that the vast majority of them did not. It is dangerous and divisive for us to make this lazy assumption.

So I think we should not worry about who voted for us to leave. Instead we should worry about who wants a prosperous future.

Here are the first few things I can think of that we can all do to help.

  1. Write to your MP about issues that matter (like protecting the rights of workers or forcing big business to pay its tax, or spending more money on the NHS, etc).
  2. Do not stand idly by and passively condone racism and intolerance. We must make it very clear that the United Kingdom does not accept this kind of behaviour.
  3. Start your healing and the healing of those around you (regardless of whether they voted to leave or remain) by cultivating and spreading love, care, compassion, acceptance, and community.

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