EU Referendum

I didn’t want to write anything about this because it’s all been so poisonous and I don’t want to contribute to that. This is the stuff that tears apart friends and families. I don’t want that.

Repeat: I do not want this whole messy business to get between me and my family and friends. Please keep that in mind. I loves the lot of ya.

There will be more informed and insightful opinion and think pieces about this referendum and its fallout but here’s my scrambled initial thoughts.

A Brit abroad

I have to acknowledge this up front. I’m in Australia. I wasn’t planning on returning to the UK and I’m even less inclined now.

But don’t think I’m the Brit abroad convincing myself that my current pasture is greener, although I do kind of think it is, but nor am I gloating.

I am 10,000 miles away and I can feel the poison and hatred. The UK feels as bad as the US at the moment. I don’t want to walk back into that anytime soon.

I am an Australian citizen and I have felt like one for the last couple of years. It’s something which I’ve embraced and will continue to embrace. I love this country but I also love the UK. I love England. I love Europe. That’s where I was born, that’s where I grew up. I hate to see it suffer, I hate to see it divided.

It’s no longer about the EU

I don’t think this has actually been about the EU for a while.

The Leave campaign have been clever in targeting pain points that would win them votes. The issues around immigration and the economy, while related to the EU, aren’t totally dependent and could be dealt with in other way (and should have for the last few years).

Politicians have fed on discontent and fear.

People, especially those under economic stress, are rightly unhappy with the way life is and they’re rightly fearful about the future.

It’s plain wrong that this manifests itself in racism and other forms of bigotry but the Leave campaign has been cynical in fuelling this fire, perpetuating the myth that people seen as “Other” are to blame for our woes.

I think people will soon realise that the EU was not the problem. People are struggling, they’re scared. It’s been going on for ages and it seems like no one knows how to fix it. In these circumstances, they reach for change. In whatever potentially dangerous form that might take.

Farage and Johnson

I’m not the first to say this. Farage and Johnson are not the bumbling, humorous Spitting Image caricatures they portray. They are professional politicians. Privileged, scheming, Machiavellian, selfish politicians with an agenda. This will be revealed. We haven’t see the worst of them yet.

(Although Farage’s comment about bullets not being fired is an indication of just how repulsive a man he is.)

Broken promises

Already Farage has gone back on the claim of putting 350m toward the NHS. This makes my blood boil.

Blatant lies, and that’s what this is, should be considered an act of corruption and treated as such.

Economy

Sterling dropping to the lowest point in 30 years, shaking global stock exchanges, including Asia. The repercussions of this are genuinely scary. Can we start listening to experts please?

 

Independence day

Stop saying it. It’s just offensive.

We have never been occupied or oppressed by the European Union. Farage is not a freedom fighter.

Building a wall

I have strong beliefs about the value of free movement but aside from that I think any action that goes against the cross-pollination of different cultures, ideas and values is inherently backwards.

We should embrace the fact our neighbours have different cultures, histories and languages and seek to reap the benefits of that while openly sharing our own culture and language.

A vote to leave was a vote to keep ourselves to ourselves, to put up a white picket fence and some tall evergreens so we don’t have to look at the neighbours. It’s anti-intellectual, anti-cultural and backwards.

A nation divided

It was a ridiculously close result. It points to a wider issue which cannot and must not be ignored. The divide must be addressed, people listened to and action taken. There are serious problems throughout the country that are deeper than whether or not we’re a member of the EU.

Both we and our politicians have an obligation to fix this.

Hope and kindness

This is particularly difficult for me. Because:

  1. it’s just not my typical outlook, and
  2. I’m really quite annoyed right now…

…but I must remember that the UK hasn’t been plunged into a post-apocalyptic wasteland where the undead and rabid dogs have taken over.

While the initial economic impact is genuinely frightening, everything is still unfolding. For the sake of our sanity, let’s hope for the best. For the sake of each other, let’s be nice and kind.

More thoughts…

These are just thoughts I’ve blasted out. Perhaps a second part is required. I have swirling thoughts about the potential snap election and future government (Boris a liability, Corbyn not capable of winning for Labour, the rest a shambles), and about the future of Ireland (reunification?) and Scotland (independence?).

Also, something which has been on my mind for a while but I’ve not yet expressed. And this may sound like the anti-establishment ravings of the common man, but politicians need to start acting more like what they are, our employees!

Tim Hodge
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Tim Hodge

Tim Hodge lives and works in Sydney. He specialises in web content including SEO and social media. He also writes about craft beer, art, culture and football.

Feel free to contact him on Twitter @timothyhodge, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Tim Hodge
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About Tim Hodge

I’m Tim, a human being living in Sydney, Australia. I spend a lot of time despairing over Leeds United and the rest of it writing, making/looking at art, reading, watching films and dabbling in SEO, social media and content marketing.

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