The passion for debating Brexit that grips so many friends and acquaintances cannot be found here. I spoiled my ballot paper back in June 2016.
Firstly, I couldn’t decide. The freedom of movement within the European Union appeals enormously. As does the lack of war in Western Europe since the EU’s beginnings in the 1950s.
On the other hand, the EU’s never-ending centralising thrust holds no appeal. That unelected humans in Brussels can have any say in my life, or have the power to override British courts, is not appealing. The logic trail leads to a world government. No thanks.
My 50:50 stance could have been tipped either way. One man’s bent banana is another’s nourishment, and a third man’s sex toy. I remained open to a compelling argument.
Instead, I started to drown in the platitudes and baseless propaganda from both sides. Economic “experts” who could not foresee the 2008 financial crash were suddenly able to give relatively precise predictions about the future under either scenario. Absolute bollocks. The hate speech ramped up, so that the term ‘racist’ was bandied about to include people who simply felt strongly about British sovereignty. Yet poor Jo Cox was murdered.
By the day itself, the polarisation was enormous. It was physically and emotionally palpable, and destabilising. I felt the rage travelling through me…….in favour of both sets of arguments!!
Is it fanciful to suggest that the huge storms buffeting the UK that day reflected humans boiling up inside? As above, so below?
Abstaining was the sole option to keep any sense of equilibrium. So glad that I made that decision. I wrote all of these reasons across the ballot paper. Didn’t want any part of it. Nobody “had” to vote.
The Brexit fallout has also left me cold. Both main British political parties pledged to abide by the referendum result. Yet the efforts to wriggle out go on. I am genuinely puzzled that people who extol the virtues of a democratic vote can nonetheless contemplate a second referendum. Maybe that is because I did not mind which way the mid-2016 vote went.
My perception over the decades is that corporate interests get their way, whichever puppets stand at the prow of the ship. The French Yellow Vests seem to understand this.
Interesting to see how it all pans out. It’s difficult to be optimistic.