Oh England!

I live and die through England,

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…

About John S

I'm blogging about the things I love outside work: music, sport, culture, London, with some photos to illustrate aspects of our wonderful city. And anything else that I happen to think is worth writing about!
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14 Responses to Oh England!

  1. Pity. The UK is not alone – nations of the world are going insular.

  2. Dood says:

    Nice piece, John, and of course every word rings true. I feel totally disoriented and empty, and this small company that I’m working with is in total shock.

    Bantering’s right, of course. Some come and enjoy their adopted country – then don’t want others to share in the pleasure! Sad but true.

  3. And that prize chump, Trump congratulates Scotland for voting to get out! Maybe he’s being prophetic.

  4. Within the UK, this is likely to result in recriminations and unhealthy polarisation. Sad.

  5. Dood says:

    Yep, with his characteristic wisdom and political acuity, Trump gets it perfectly and spectacularly wrong. Congratulates Scotland for voting out, when 62% of Scotland in fact voted in. Genius….

  6. Resa says:

    I’m so sorry! A result like this makes me worry that Trump might win.

    • John S says:

      I read a good article explaining how he’d alienated some many demographic groups – women, Hispanics, and many more – that it was close to impossible. Fingers crossed it’s right.

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