To whom it may concern,
Your reaction to last week’s Referendum was ecstatic. “We bloody done it 😂😂😂 [sic] ,” said one Facebook “friend,” “Independence Day!” trumpeted another local business echoing the Shakespearian pronouncement of that nicotine-stained, ale-steeped, racist scumbag, Nigel Farage. Your jubilation was unconfined and your smugness at rubbing our noses in it knew no bounds. Glad you gave us a bloody nose, are you? That you gave us Metropolitan Liberal Elite a right old kicking? Fine. But do you appreciate exactly what you’ve done?
The result has dismayed nearly half of the population. You have seen fit to ridicule and castigate those of us daring to express our sadness and trepidation on Social Media. Not all are as nasty as the woman I know slightly who privately sent me a meme with a toddler throwing a tantrum, to represent those of us who had been on the losing side. Democracy is fine, it says, until the result doesn’t go your way.
Actually, for what it’s worth, though somehow I doubt you want to listen, many of us had expressed extreme doubts about something so crucial and irreversible being put to the people as a divisive Referendum choice which, in plain English just for you, means that we think something as important as this is a bit too complex and focuses on too much entrenched bitterness to be distilled into two non-reversible alternatives. But that’s life, isn’t it? Complex, subtle, full of nuances.
We were furious with Prime Minister David Cameron for trying to resolve an issue that had divided his party for decades by allowing the country to express its bitterness and generate an enmity that won’t go away in a hurry. For what it’s worth, even if the result had been the other way around, as appeared would happen when we turned in for bed last Thursday night, many of us would have been extremely uneasy that half of the country did not agree, and the result does in fact cast light on a divided Britain where one side has little in common with the other. I would not have behaved like you, though. I was all set for a quiet, conciliatory post to try and pour oil on troubled Leave waters. But then we are being reasonable and thoughtful and perhaps that is old-fashioned these days. You choose instead to shriek at us.
Your chippy Facebook memes tell us that you don’t want to talk about it anymore. Enough, already, you say. Let’s talk about something else. This is boring. Let’s be optimistic and face the future. So, having whipped up your audience into a frenzy by uncritically parroting repeated campaign slogans that now appear to be complete fabrications, lies and already broken promises, you no longer want to think about what you have done. You want to bat away our anger with a breezy wave of your hand, so refusing to acknowledge your responsibility for the chaos you have caused. Perhaps it’s a little too difficult for you to face up to the implications of your choice? What you labelled Project Fear was actually Project Reality and now it’s all coming true. We told you so but you refused to listen. Well I’m going to tell you anyway. Why should you not take some ownership of your actions?
Was it racism? Fear of immigration? Sovereignty? Red tape that caused you to vote the way you did? You certainly didn’t want to listen to the plethora of independent analysis and facts. “We are tired of experts,” you said. You were frightened of being overrun by Turkish culture even though there its absolutely no chance that Turkey will be ready to join in the next few hundred years. You didn’t want a European army despite undertakings that there will be no European Army. One man, interviewed on TV after the Referendum, said he voted to keep the Muslims out, such is the root-grubbing mentality of the farcical referendum. Well, there will be still be immigration from non-EU countries, though, which is just as well since we need the skills of these people to run our NHS or to pick our vegetables or clean our offices. Taking your jobs? If that were YOUR job, you’d already be doing it.
You don’t like regulations, despite that fact that regulations are there to protect the consumer. Perhaps you haven’t heard about the food contamination scandals that have killed people in unregulated India and China? I’m writing this from India, where there appears to be no consumer protection legislation against cosmetic products that contain bleach to whiten your face or against a substance called Peado Sure that guarantees that your child will grow tall. I’d rather consumers had some protection against this sort of thing. I don’t suppose you bother about EU consumer protection or protection of the rights of workers do you? But you do realise that if we are to continue trading with the EU, our products will have to meet their regulations? No? Ah.
You chose to get into bed with racists and scumbags and liars instead of believing the pleas of anyone who had any expert insight into the situation. You would not be told, you refused to hear. You dragged your country into ignorance and that makes me furious.
Boris is still blithely trotting out quips about currency and equity markets recovering from their initial shock. That’s a lie. They’re not. If we go into recession and drag Europe with us, that will have been your doing.
Maybe you remember that 1970s children’s programme The Changes, where society somehow rebelled against technology and reverted to an almost Stone-Age society. This is how that feels: that through refusing to question the lies and propaganda with which you were fed you have cut the more outward-looking people off from an important part of themselves and regressed to the 1940s where, perhaps, you feel safe.
So much of the country was split along lines of age, geographical location, extent of liberal social attitudes, exposure to immigrant populations. As this report observes, the areas of the UK that benefitted most from foreign investments whether it was EU farming subsidies or EU development grants to Japanese and Indian inward investment in industry, rejected membership of the EU most vehemently. Hubris, was it? Biting the hand that feeds you? Cutting off your nose to spite your face? What will they do when those funds are no longer there? Did you even think about that?
On a personal level I am bereft and angry and anxious for the future. My husband has worked for a large European bank for 19 years. Logically there is no reason whatsoever for foreign banks of corporations to keep a large presence in a London that is no longer in the EU. Major banks are already moving their employees’ jobs overseas. I can hear you rejoicing: Great! Let’s kick the bankers out. Good riddance! So how exactly do you propose to replace the 25% to 30% of total UK tax take that comes from the City of London? Claim back the erroneous figures of £350 million EU payments per week? Yes, well that was a lie too.
People like me and my family will be forced to move abroad sooner rather than later. It looks likely that my family will be split, that my husband will move and I’ll stay behind to support my daughter complete her studies in a stable environment. You don’t care? Well, you might when we are no longer spending what’s left after tax in our local areas. My new kitchen was planned, built and fitted by Beckenham contractors because we believed in supporting our local economy. You can forget about that now. We’ll be spending our cash overseas in the future when we have to move. You might think none of this affects you but just wait until you start feeling the pinch when your European clients and employees of EU companies, Eastern European builders and care workers and cleaners and, yes, experts, are no longer spending their cash here.
Our immediate finances have already taken a hit. You probably will have no idea how it feels when the non-guaranteed part of your income, that is deferred for years and paid according to an arcane calculation of share values and currency movements suddenly plummets due to markets that have fallen in shock and disbelief that people could act against their own interests in this way. We have some serious concerns now about our ability to fulfil our normal financial commitments. You’re not bothered by the Pound falling to its lowest level for 31 years? Well, wait until you go on holiday and you no longer feel quite so wealthy. And just have a look at how it will affect your pension, your investments, your house prices.
Whatever happens next we shall just have to suck it up but do not dare tell me to cheer up and move on when you see fit to go into hiding rather than face the consequences of your actions. You have turned our life upside down. We’ll forgive, in time, but what you did is not something that can ever be forgotten.
One of the 48.1%