I live and die through England,
It leaves a sadness.
(“England” by PJ Harvey)
It’s democracy for sure… but oh England, what have you done?
A vote for isolation, division, racism, hatred.
A deluded vote that doesn’t recognise that we live in an interconnected world. “Taking back control” simply isn’t an option. To prosper in the modern world you need to collaborate, cooperate.
A deluded vote that imagines we can or will stop immigration. We need immigrants for so many of our industries and services (including the beloved NHS), and to pay the taxes which will fund the pensions of all those old people who voted to leave.
A reckless vote that will probably break up the United Kingdom. Scotland will want another referendum for independence. Northern Ireland – at least the Catholic half – will say a UK government has no right to take it out of the EU, severing links with the rest of Ireland.
An irresponsible vote which may lead to the breakdown and breakup of the EU, the institution that has stopped war in the most war-like of continents.
OK, let’s not get too apocalyptic. We’ll probably muddle through, and maybe not much will change after the initial shock.
But this is the worst of England – aloof, uncaring, living in a mythological past of standing alone. It’s the voice you sometimes hear in the countryside: “You’re not from round here, are you?”
London voted massively to stay in. It’s a city state which thrives on diversity, and has increasingly little in common with the rest of the country. But its tax revenues subsidise the rest. Maybe London should seek independence and stay in the EU.
It leaves a sadness…