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Saturday, June 25, 2016


I have struggled to put words to this. I haven't felt like this in a very long time. And, for now, it is exactly that, a feeling.

It feels like I have been dumped. It is exactly like that. It pervades everything I do. I can be having fun with the preschooler in the swimming pool, or throwing the baby in the air to make her giggle, but a black cloud hangs over everything, making nothing very much fun at all. You go through the motions. Every song - ridiculously - on the radio seems to have echoes, from Queen's Another One Bites the Dust to Razorlight's America. Just like when you've been dumped and the Corrs (I'm not proud of this) are singing straight to you.

The preschooler doesn't, of course, understand why we are sad.

She doesn't realise the doors that have been closed to her; the ability to study in a European university, to become an astronaut, to take place in cultural exchange schemes without needing a visa and a wad of cash we don't have. She doesn't realise the business we have built with the idea of handing it to her and her sister one day, may be worth nothing in a few years' time.

A mixed-race friend has already been the victim of being told that the country is being "taken back" from her. I am not sure who is doing the taking - Farrage? Johnson? (Yes, let's not call him "Boris", that informal, lovable buffoon's address. Johnson is dangerous.) I am not sure who it is being taken back from. (Cameron?) Cameron and Johnson were at school together. They both represent the elite - I cannot see how this was a protest vote for the working classes, to award power to an almost identical elite white male.

I cannot name one European law, with the possible exception of fishing quotas, that has damaged the British economy. In many, many circumstances, the British lawmakers have felt that the EU law hasn't gone far enough, and indeed have enhanced it.

In the meantime, I find myself almost debating with people who genuinely believe that leaving the EU is going to get rid of brown people (because brown people come from Sweden, don't you know?), that they should complete their ballot paper in pen because pencil was going to be changed, and that tinfoil hats will shortly be back in fashion*. I am almost debating because facts seem to have no bearing on a generation who is going by gut feel. You can't argue with gut feel.

They say they aren't racist, but. They start a lot of sentences with, "I'm not racist, but."

They quote misinformation. I honestly think one problem is that the older generation, not having assimilated Google quite as much as the youth, haven't been able to discern between quality journalism, and any old nutter shouting on a blog (myself included). Facts have not stood in the way of this debate.

Our currency has plummeted. Travel overseas - even before the borders come into force in the EU - is now prohibitively expensive. The Brexiters, to give them their due, did say that they expected it to plummet before rallying.

It will plummet. It will then rally briefly as it will take a hell of a lot of people employed for a lot of hours to rewrite and implement every policy in every company, right down to printing labels, redrafting HR policies and restructuring businesses...

... and then we will see the worst depression of several generations.

The majority of the people who voted for exiting the EU (that is, the over-55s) will likely die before they see the economy rally, if it ever does.

Britain has committed economic suicide. It has also defined itself as isolationist. For a country that manufactures absolutely fucking nothing and relies on imports almost exclusively, that's beyond stupid.

It also feels a less welcome place.

We have options. TheBloke (TM) has dual citizenship - admittedly to South Africa, which is hardly known for its stable politics, economics - or indeed lack of racism. But for the first time in my life, the idea of emigrating isn't off the table.

For most people though, the drawbridge is up. You may, may (but probably haven't) stopped more people coming in. But really you've stopped yourself getting out.

So yes, I feel exactly like I've been dumped. And being told to "get over it" or "let's still be friends" isn't helping right now. Right now I need to get drunk, eat too much chocolate, be a bit sick and anxious, listen to some Gloria Gaynor, and then, once the hangover subsides and I start to feel strong enough, only then will I start to be able to see what shovel I can bring to the shit heap. How I can help.

* I made this bit up.

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